Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pushing Forward & Going Fishing

June 16, 2008.....
Memories of this day are hazy in a way. I have been trying to figure out why. Is that God's way of keeping the pain of our loss from killing us? Is it because in the midst of such beautiful memories there is memories of shock of the sight of what was supposed to be a 2 1/2 year old girl. The concern we felt over how sick she was. How her little bottom was so scalded from having constant diarrhea for the 24 hours before they gave her to us. How they did not even give her a day to adjust from leaving her foster family of 2 years before she was thrust into our strange arms. The memory of days that were so frightening in China. Driving over 80 mph for 9 hours with perfect strangers while our sick baby of less than 18 hours laid in my arms lethargic. I am flooded today. I am worn completely out by the overflow of memories....scary, painful, good, beautiful & heart wrenching memories. In the midst of all of this exhausting process of remembering one year ago today I am so homesick for my Anna. I would do every difficult, trying & heartbreaking moment all over again. With complete knowledge of the outcome I would do it all over again & again, if I could only hold her and kiss her today. I MISS HER! I MISS HER! I WISH I COULD SCREAM AND SCREAM AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS UNTIL IT FELT BETTER! I AM HOMESICK FOR MY BABY & IT IS TEARING MY HEART IN TWO ONCE AGAIN!
Then I stop the whirlwind in my head with one sweet memory. How she looked into my eyes, straight into my soul with the realization that I loved her. How as I bathed her two nights later & she screamed in fright she then quickly realized that it felt wonderful. How she held my hands up to her chest for me to keep rubbing the lotion on her dry, parched skin. How she moaned while I put the diaper cream on her sore bottom & kissed both of her sweet hips and told her over and over how much I loved her. How that night, once Tony & Anna went to sleep, I got down on my knees in the bathroom of our hotel & praised God for the blessing of that precious, pitiful little creature. I begged Him for strength. Strength not to fear so many unknowns & to please if it was His will have her strengthen in our care. To have her trust & see me as her protector. For Him to please help Tony & I survive that hard trip and have us return home safe with Anna. To have Anna heal completely. He answered so many of those prayers and so many more. He gave me a gift like no other. He placed a piece of His divine majesty in my hands and asked me to care for her here on earth. I have done so many things in my life that I am not proud of. So many things that I know have broken my Savior's heart but He still entrusted an angel to me. I am proud to say by His guidance I was a good Momma.

June 16, 2009........
A year later I look at who I was then and she seems like an acquaintance but not "me". I do not think there was anything really "wrong" with who I was then but I look in the mirror today & see a different person. Who am I now? Oh, I would love to answer that question but I am such a work in progress. My Maker has taken me to the marrow & is re-building me. Today I feel the pain from all of that work. Today, like I said, I miss her. It is hard to even type. It is hard to put into words or a sentence. I miss my child & there is nothing I can do about it. I can not see, feel or hear her voice in person. She is well & happy and in a place that she would never want to leave--even for me. I would not want her to leave. Heaven.....heaven used to seem to me such a far off distant place. Now heaven is only a heartbeat away. My heartbeat. It is funny how the last several weeks certain things have become very important to me....eating right, exercising and trying to take care of myself. Things that honestly in the last several months I have let go to the wayside. Things that the indifference of I have started to reflect. I have not really let myself go but at the same time I have not kept myself up either. Tony said something the other day that really hit me. He was getting ready to go running & really did not feel like it. He said, "Well, let me go run. I do not feel like it but I want to see Grace grow up so I have to do it". Funny how God allows a simple statement to impact you. I have been trying to eat my veges, fruits & walk at least every other day. So why do I feel horrible? I feel worse than I have in months. I ache all over, my head just pounds and I am tired. So tired that I could sleep for days. Because the fact is I am sad. Sad that one year ago today I was given an angel who would return to heaven 71 days later. I physically hurt because every cell in my body longs to hold her again. The stress & strain that I feel are different than when Anna died but my body feels so similar to how it did those first couple of months. Like I have been placed in a blender, pulled out & told to walk. How do I do this? How do I get through the next 2 months? We saw just in the last month the glimpse of how we can live & enjoy life again. I know God in all His glory gave me that glimpse so that I would keep going. Keep pushing forward. He showed me how the small details in life mean so much. Like hearing Grace's voice with all it's excitement describing how she caught her first fish.

How she tells me everyday, "Momma, I love you all the way to heaven & back." She told me she says that because she knows Anna can not say she loves me to my face anymore. He allowed me to see Tony & Grace fish at the pond here in the neighborhood night after night trying to catch another fish. He gave me two beautiful sunsets in all of Anna's colors and let me know without a doubt it was Anna sending me love from heaven. He guides the lighting bugs all around her "spot" every night so that it illuminates showing me her happiness and telling me to keep moving. Keep moving and not to stop fighting the good fight.

So I end this entry saying I will keep pushing forward. I will remember the day a year ago that I excitedly rode the elevator of a hot, stinky social affairs building. To walk into a room where the cute tiny boy(so we thought) who sat at a great big conference table caught our immediate attention. To eventually be told that "boy" was our sweet girl. To feel her little 14 pound body in my arms. Thanking God for every scream she proudly shouted. Each scream that made Tony & I hope that her heart was not as bad as we thought. I will hold those precious memories in my heart. Here in Franklin, TN as I sit a half a world away from where I was one short year ago I sit feeling like I have experienced a lifetime. So even though my thoughts & feet feel glued today I will eventually move forward this week. Through the deep, breath stealing hurt. Grace from Jesus will continue to hold me close & will guide my feet. Faith in His abundant Grace is what will eventually give me the strength to start moving again. Maybe not today or tomorrow. The impact of memories hold me steadfast but He will not allow me to go backward. He will lift me as I raise my hands high and say just like Anna used to, "Up, please". He will hold me until I can continue to walk. He will do that because I am His & He loves me. I am not strong today but He will continue to strengthen me in days to come. June 16, 2009.......stumbling a little but still facing forward. We covet your prayers for continued strength. We need all the support of prayer we can get for the next couple months. Prayers to keep pushing forward & again one day soon to just enjoy going fishing.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my Power is made perfect in weakness." "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses , so that Christ's power may rest on me." "That is why for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."



A Journey of Hope said...

Oh sweet friend I hear you! You have been in my thoughts all day today and now I know why! What a day! What a year! So much but..... well friend know that I am here! I am lifting you up in prayer! REST, know that I am a car ride away or a phone call away! Here is a BIG HUG! love ya friend and I am hearing you!

Diana in Indiana:) said...

Good morning, Jo,

I just stopped over here at your home blog:) After reading your entry to Mary Beth Chapman. I just wanted you to know your words spoke to my heart. I am a Mama of five children, and, my three youngest daughters were all born and adopted in China. So, when I read your words of your precious daughter who now dances with Maria and sees Jesus daily, I just wanted to reach out to you and let you know you were being thought of at this very moment.

Many hugs to you on this day, and, the difficult days to come. Please know, even though at times I'm thinking it feels you are, that you are not alone. Rest, rest, fall, jump into God's arms!! He is right with you....and, with me, too....I'm in Indiana...you Tennessee...our God is so good...He does not leave us alone. I am sorry for your pain in losing your sweet daughter, would hug you if right there...but, since I am not, I am hugely blessed to know our God who places us together in the Body of Christ is right with us both and He is all we will ever need until you meet Jesus and your sweet girl in Heaven!!!