I remember my exact thoughts when we drove home empty handed from the hospital after loss number two.
"I don't know if I'll recover from this."
Honestly. I wasn't sure. When I think about that car ride I can remember exactly how I felt. It was almost an out of body experience. It wasn't like I knew I would never be the same. That much was a given. It was more of a feeling of deep darkness within my spirit. It was the feeling of sorrow to a degree that I hope to never experience again. In the past when I had gone through hard things, I had the knowledge within my heart that I would be okay, even though I may not have felt it at the time. I did not feel that after my girls. Not at all. Especially after loss number two. Sweet Elsie.
Opportunities to share about our story and about our girls and about our adoption continue to arise as time goes on, and as I stared at the pages of this local magazine that featured our story, I was struck with a feeling that I don't know I've had before in regards to losing our first two.
I felt grateful. Not grateful for the opportunity, specifically (although I am!) Not grateful for my girls in general. Not grateful for our story (I'm not grateful that my kids died, y'all.)
I felt grateful that God chooses to give me a voice to speak about hardship and equips me with the strength to do it. After Elsie left, I feared that if I didn't talk about it publicly as soon as possible, everyone would forget about my girls and their legacy and the hope that is to be found. I do not crave the spotlight in any sort of way, I didn't choose this. I'd rather live a long life with my three children than be asked to write and speak about the deaths of the first two. But I craved that my girls would be known. More than anything, I wanted them to be remembered. But honestly, during those first few months I couldn't muster up the strength to share much more than a few blog posts every now and again because the courage just wasn't there. I was so sad. And there still are so many sad days. So many weak days.
So when people tell me I'm strong for sharing more now, or when they tell me that I'm brave, really what they are seeing is that I am equipped. I don't feel strong. Really, I don't. I feel weak. I stare at pictures of my children who are not here and I weep.
But I feel equipped. And I did not feel equipped before. The Lord continues to give me little ounces of courage at a time. He nudges my heart and he breathes truth into my lungs. I know that my girls will not be forgotten because their lives were too mighty not to be remembered. Their Maker is too mighty not to be noticed.
So if you're ever wondering what it feels like to talk about them or to write about them or to speak about them. It feels scary. It feels sad. It feels like heartache mixed with hope. But it also feels right.