Pursuing Adoption After the Loss of a Child
Eden Briscoe is a mother, a blogger, and an SUDC parent. Eden recently posted about her family’s journey with adoption on her blog “Indefinitely Three: An Imperfect Journey into Parenting, Loss, and Life.” To learn more about the Briscoe family and to support the memory of their son Christopher, visit https://sudc.org/christopherscrusaders/
Life is unpredictable in so many ways. Just when we think we have things figured out, life has a not-so-funny way of changing things up. There was a time when I really thought I had Life figured out. I was sick. There was a solution. I chose to voluntarily give up my option to have more children. It was, after all, the best option to remedy my chronic health problem. I agreed to my hysterectomy without a care in the world because we had three healthy boys. See? I had Life figured out. 30 days after that surgery, to the day, Christopher died. Without warning.
Outsiders would reassure me of many things but mostly, that we could always have more kids.
They had no idea of how incredibly painful it was to hear those words.
In the midst of that great loss, I struggled with the reality that we really couldn’t have any more children.
I didn’t want to replace Christopher. Children can’t be replaced. But, I knew there was more to our family’s story. We still had love to share, and a longing that wouldn’t quit.
For several years I researched one possible way to add to our family: adoption. Ultimately, I always talked myself out of it when David and I would discuss it.
Well, honestly, who would want to give a kid to a mom that couldn’t keep her son alive?
I felt so unworthy. I felt like a failure. I had ONE job. One.
But, the desire to share our hearts with a child kept pulling on my heart. I kept researching. I kept it all in the forefront of my conversations regarding our future.
Adoption is beautiful. It’s also quite complicated. I have struggled with the idea of adoption on many levels.
In order for my family to gain a family member, that child would have to lose everything… And, my happiness would depend on his/her mother losing their child…
How could WE want to participate in a process that would entail all of that?
We quickly learned there are thousands of kiddos that had already experienced this great loss and still didn’t have a place to call home.
With that in mind, we set out to see what God had in store for us.
And guess what?
Life tried to be funny and change stuff up. Again.
As soon as we were licensed and ready to accept an adoptive placement, the Army said, “Hey, y’all should go to a foreign country in 8 months!”
See, Life thinks it’s cute.
We knew time was not on our side but we pressed forward. Not long after, we got a call asking if we’d like to meet a little girl.
Well, hell yeah we did!
We had no way of knowing then, but that day I met our daughter. Everything felt right.
Wellllllll mostly right.
There was a lot of guilt mixed in with the happiness… Guilt about being so happy about loving another kid; especially after losing Christopher.
There was, and sometimes still is, conflicting feelings about the child I lost and the one I gained. In no version of reality would they ever both exist at the same time. I would do ANYTHING to have Christopher back. And in that SAME breathe, I’d do ANYTHING to keep my daughter in my arms.
One day, my daughter may have similar feelings about loving me and losing her birth mother.
Your neighbor or your BFF, who just gave birth to their rainbow baby, may feel this SAME way.
Without having lost their first family, their current bundle of joy may never have been.
How could Life, in its unpredictability, inflict so much pain but provide so much joy?
Don’t worry, I don’t get it all either. It doesn’t make any sense.
But Life, well, it has it all under control.
We don’t always get a choice in what happens when Life does its thing but we can choose how we respond.
And, I think the best way to respond to Life’s unpredictability is to always, always choose the path where joy can be found.
And when you’re ready, share that joy with someone who needs it.
By Eden Briscoe, Guest Blogger