5.08.2012

Gain from Loss

I'm at an age at which many of my friends have had children or are having children.  It is a time marked by the sharing of cherished moments.  What greater joy is there in announcing that you are expecting, or in reveling in something cute that has been done by the apple of your eye?



The thing about joy is that it is never quite complete until you share it with others and invite them into your happiness.  It is one of life's great treasures, to rejoice in others' rejoicing, and to have others rejoice in your rejoicing.  I do my share of both sharing my joys and rejoicing in others'.



But I must admit that these joys are tinged with bittersweetness.  Adoption brings its own share of joys, from marveling at God's intricate plan in connecting you to someone so special to seeing that someone special blossom right before your eyes.  I would not trade our path to parenthood, or our two kids, for anything in the world.



But that does not mean there is not real loss and real mourning in what we have not and cannot experience.  If you have had a child biologically, consider all of these treasured things that you have experienced that adoptive parents have not:

  1. The intimacy of the pregnancy stage
  2. The blessed moment of the baby's arrival  
  3. The closeness of breastfeeding
  4. Seeing yourself and/or your spouse in your child's physical features
  5. Seeing yourself and/or your spouse in your child's mannerisms and temperament
  6. Seeing yourself and/or your spouse in your child's interests and abilities
Not to mention, in our case, not getting to meet our kids until age 7 1/2 months and age 4 1/2 months, respectively.  How many memories, photos, and Facebook shares are contained in these experiences and in those time frames, which we have not had access to, and never will.



Though our lives are full, that does not mean they are not without some emptiness.  This too is a blessing from God, for blessing from God is not always about abundance and provision, but sometimes about emptiness and loss.  We may question and even rage, but we are stilled by the fact that, were we to somehow be able to rewrite our life story, we could not make it better than what God Himself has willed for our lives.  That is a precious, precious truth.

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