Thursday, January 22, 2015

Grief Revisited

Two years ago we loaded all her things in the CPS van and I buckled her in for what we thought would be the very last time. 
This scene haunted me. Seeing my girls together one last time. I think of that time without her and I know that she's safe in our family now. Her bio family is not a safe one. They are all mixed up in things they shouldn't be and probably have no idea how to get out or even live any other way. We walked each day while she was gone praying that somehow God would break the pattern so she wouldn't grow up and walk that same path. He answered that prayer in removing her from that situation a second time. Twice redeemed. 

That weekend we escaped for the weekend. Yes we were running away from the pain. We were also  trying to reconnect as a family of 3 once again. It's what we did when M&L left us and we knew it would be helpful again. We knew we had to face reality but for the moment we wanted to stop time and just be together. We didn't even go home. We couldn't face the house without her at first. 

I'll never forget taking pictures in this spot. Hopefully one day we'll go back with Flower. Maybe we should do that this weekend. D's phone had a photo cover I made him of his girls. Just before this picture he took one of just Tinkerbell and I and it was torture when he told us to smile because we were looking at sweet Flower in that moment. We didn't take many more pictures on his phone that weekend.

And then there is this picture of Tinkerbell dancing in the rain at Disneyland.. My friend commented on it;

I bet you'll look at this pic time and again and relish her free spirited happiness here and give thanks for it
And I did. Over and over I thought about this moment. This carefree moment where life was able to stop and we were all able to just be happy in the middle of our sadness.

Grief comes and it comes like waves. Hitting you over and over and over again. But the calm comes too. We circled the grief cycle twice when Flower left. It was excruciating. But we survived. And if I thought my girls could survive we would do it again in a minute. But for now we protect the wonderful blessings that God has given us to care for right now. And we keep them safe from what we can.

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to weep,
    And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
    And a time to dance;

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Some days it's like reliving it all over again when something out of nowhere triggers that pain. The pain of losing your child. Flower was never ours, she was our foster child. But as we prepared to hand her to her great aunt's 2 years ago (this Saturday) it felt like we were losing our child. It came out of nowhere for us since we hadn't been kept aware of her process in gaining custody. Had we had proper time to prepare and know her it wouldn't have felt as bad.

She came back, we adopted her and the fear of losing her again has eventually faded away. But that pain is still there sometimes. And as I was scrolling through facebook this morning I saw my friend post a happy birthday post about her daughter who was born 2 years ago. It's a time in my life that I was at my saddest and I just couldn't celebrate with her like I knew I should. And during the time Flower was gone my friend had her daughter dedicated at church and invited us. We of course went and I knew it could be hard but could never have known just how hard it was. I was brought to tears and was grateful another very observant friend was sitting next to me. The pain of celebrating and dedicating my friends little girl when I so desperately had hoped we'd be doing the same with Flower was just too much for me.

And then this morning came and I read that post and I felt the tears threaten to spill. The fear is gone but the pain is real. And it's not just real in me, it's in our family. Each one of us shows signs of still feeling the effects of losing Flower.

Experiencing this today made me once again realize that I should never tell my kids to just get over it, or to move on. Sometimes they are acting out of trauma that has been triggered by something that I might not understand. I know right now we're struggling with an overly emotional Flower and Tinkerbell is pushing in ways that make me wonder if she still has walls of protection up around her heart.

Our family, and so many other families, need prayers for healing to come. But before the healing comes we need prayers for understanding and sympathy with how to help each other through these tough times.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Visits are Important

My sweet sensitive girls amaze me.
At 2 1/2 Flower has started asking when we will see Mommy Sun.
At almost 7 Tinkerbell hurts every time we have a visit with Mommy Sun because she misses her own birth mom.

We have been having a hard time with visits with Mommy Sun lately. In Dec we tried to have two visits because we asked to skip November because of Tinkerbell's school break. That was apparently the turning point.

Dec 8th was our first scheduled visit. 6:15 am I got a text saying she couldn't make it. We rescheduled for the 15th. That visit happened.
We set the next one for the 29th and planned to meet at the mall to take pictures together and then go back to her sisters to open gifts. That didn't happen. But we made it all the way to the mall (about 90 minutes from our home) before it was cancelled so the girls knew we were meeting her. They were both hurt. Tinkerbell couldn't understand why Mommy Sun couldn't get there and why we couldn't get her. We tried explaining that she hasn't learned to make good choices all the time. And Flower showed sadness for the first time that we weren't going to see her.

I received a text from Mommy Sun about a week later and I suggested today as a visit day. She agreed, we set a time.

Between the messed up visit on the 29th and today Flower has really started asking to see Mommy Sun. Something clicked in her after this one. One day she asked me when we would see her, I told her soon. And then she said "Mommy Sun crying." Hard to know what she really meant but to me it really seemed like she was saying Mommy Sun was crying because we didn't get to see her. So I was glad we had a visit scheduled for today.
Again last night she asked me when we would see her and I told her soon. She got very excited and talked about the gift she got her for Christmas (I'll share that later). My 2 1/2 year old was excited and asking to see her birth mom. This means a lot to me.

So this morning I got a text at 6:30 asking to change the time. it wasn't a time that would work for us so I said no. After another text from her I suggested a different time and requested she confirm. Problem is it's not her phone so I have no idea if she even got it. She doesn't have a phone.
So it's now less than 2 hours before we would have to be in the car and I don't know if we'll be doing the visit or not.

This messed up our morning very much. I was frustrated and I didn't handle it well. I finally told Tinkerbell what was going on. We had started just not telling her about visits because we didn't want her to be hurt about missing her birth mom. So we talked about it this morning and she said she'd rather I tell her about the visits. That she does want Flower to see Mommy Sun it just makes her sad. But that yes she wants to know when they are going to happen. We then talked about Mommy Sun not making visits a priority.

So I've got two girls with broken hearts right now (Although the little one really didn't know about the visit today and is happily watching Nemo next to me at the moment). But we will turn this day around and find something good. And in a few weeks Tinkerbell will be seeing her birth mom and we can't wait for that day.