Saturday, April 07, 2007

For the Sake of the Present

Today, had she made it to term, would be my Ellie's seventh birthday.

I've thought a lot about her today. When I got to her due date back in 2000 it was almost a relief. I had marked it and dreaded it for months. With each passing day I would watch the women around me with their swollen bellies and wonder if I would have looked like them. I mourned the loss of relationship with the child I would never hold. And I don't even know the gender. (Frankly, I've been wrong three for three so there is a fair chance that she was a he...). And I lost her so early in the pregnancy that many people wondered what the big deal was.

We'd "tried" for two years already by the time God blessed me with her. It was the first glimmer of hope that nothing was wrong. Except something was. But that isn't the reason that her loss was a big deal.

If I got pregnant today (and I do NOT want to be pregnant today--labor is TOO fresh) and I began bleeding next week, I would mourn the loss of that child. Because you lose the future. You lose the Easters and Christmases and the birthdays and the pigtails and the sunshine.

But if I'd had Ellie, I wouldn't have Eldest. And I wouldn't have Princess. And my cycles probably would have been such that I wouldn't have Frodo or Possum. My family would probably be all pink and matchy. There are two jobs I never would have worked. Friends I wouldn't have. Vacations I wouldn't have taken with Hubs and experiences I wouldn't have gone through.

I lost another baby only two short months after I lost Ellie. I never got around to calculating a due date because I lost that one so soon. And I was numb and had practically given up hope of ever carrying. Besides, I still mourned my little girl.

But, because of Ellie, I tipped over the adoption cliff. I made the calls to the social workers and the agencies. And I did the paperwork. And my friends learned of our trouble and began to pray.

Because of Ellie, I wrote the first stories and letters and the first people commented that I might have a future in writing. I wrote my first book.

There is something about what you have that makes it a little less painful to have lost. Because of the insane love I have for the children that live with me everyday, I no longer mourn the ones I lost. I know we Americans are crazy in the way we live for the moment, and I look at my precious children and I wonder how life would have been. But I don't wish it were that way. I wouldn't wish to have Ellie instead of any one of them.

This present is exactly where God would have me.


Mandy said...

My daughters think it's really cool that their older sibling (who I've always thought of as a boy)is up in heaven with my dad. "He still gets to be a granddaddy!"

Liz said...

that is exactly the way I feel, especially about my current situation. If I had not been through the pain of a failed marriage and divorce, I would have never looked twice at dating a divorced man, and I would be missing out on my joy in the morning. It's not been wasted time. God turned it all around.