Five days. That’s it. Then, he left and I couldn’t stop crying.
He first arrived on a Monday, left on Good Friday and I can assure you it felt anything but “good.” DHR had located distant relatives who were willing and able to take him. When much to our surprise and great delight just five weeks later I received a phone call asking if we could take him again. Some things had come up disqualifying the distant relatives from eligibility.
This time, we had him just over seven months and now he’s gone.
Foster care. I liken it to standing in the middle of the road and then, being surprised when you’re hit by a car. We knew it would come. We knew when we took him we would eventually have to say, “Goodbye.” Still, there are no classes or training that prepares you for the goodbye.
Unlike many of the children who have visited our home, this one has a bunch of people who love and want him. I’m glad. He’s easy to love.
The part I can’t be glad about is the pain. Gosh, it hurts!! I tell myself we should be used to loss by now and yet, are we ever ready to lose? Lose a loved one? Lose the dream? Lose the happily ever after?
I know the Lord is close to the broken-hearted. I trust He is working all of this for our good and His glory but man, I still don’t like it!
To add insult to injury his leaving came on the anniversary delivery date of our second stillborn. Karson Elizabeth was born perfectly still on January 5, 2005. I wished I’d had Sarah’s words during our season of loss and yet God is always on time.
Back in the fall, while scrolling through Facebook, I stumbled across Sarah Philpott’s book, Loved Baby, 31 Devotions Helping You Grieve and Cherish Your Child After Pregnancy Loss. The book had not yet been released so I clicked on the link to learn more. I watched the trailer and felt compelled to reach out to the author and launch team. The long and short of the story, it’s a small world after all. Sarah and I share a couple mutual friends, I asked to be on the launch team and they said yes. I’m so glad they did.
This devotional is a classic. It is a timeless treasure chalked full of wisdom. This book is a classic gift as well as a great resource for those who have experienced loss. Sarah is authentic. She speaks to us through the pages of this book from the heart and it feels as though we’re sitting together on the porch. She connects with the reader and we are a people craving sincere connection particularly during seasons of loss.
While reading through this book the Lord brought several of my friends to mind. Some friends who have grieved well and others who are stuck. I have given some books away and want to give away another to one of YOU!! We will talk more about that in a minute.
Initially, I thought this book would be a great gift and resource for me to give for to others and that’s the primary reason I reached out. However, I was surprised and a bit taken back by how much I needed Sarah’s words of encouragement during this most recent season of loss.
Countless times while ministering to others I have declared, “Pain is pain. Whether you loved the baby growing in your womb that was taken too soon, or the baby lived two years or twenty-two. Loss hurts. Maybe you are like us? Perhaps the loved baby was never yours and yet you loved without abandon. No matter the details to lose someone we love HURTS!
Sarah has done her research. In this book, she has included great resources, suggested prayers, ways to memorialize your loss and lastly, my most favorite part, SOUL WORK is included in each chapter.
Saturday afternoon, I was sad. Suffocatingly sad. I asked J to take me on a date. I needed to get out of the house. We quickly worked a plan for the boys. I washed my face, got out of my yoga pants, put on my boots, grabbed my makeup bag, & my Loved Baby book before heading out the door. I wasn’t sure if J would be ready to talk and I wasn’t sure if I could talk without crying. I thought the book might be a good distraction. I often say during times of crisis, “We have two choices: laugh or cry?” Laughter through the Tears is the title of Chapter 10 in her book and these timely words were just the reminder our aching hearts needed.
I can’t say enough how much I have enjoyed this little book and believe you will too.
With all of my heart, I believe life is better together and I want to hear from you! Please share in comments the names of your Loved Baby or (babies) and/or a simple prayer request if you or a loved one have suffered a recent loss. I will select a random winner from comments next Monday, January 15, 2018.
If you simply cannot wait and want to get your copy (or many!) today visit Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
You’ll want to connect with Sarah online! Sarah Philpott, PhD, is a mother of three young children and farmwife to her highschool sweetheart. A former elementary school teacher, and founder of the Loved Baby support group and #HonorAllMoms Mother’s Day movement. (See why I connected with her??!)(We’re like sisters from another mother!)
P.S. FACEBOOK LIVE tonight–> at 7:00–>Discussing in greater detail “How to keep you eyes on Jesus when they’re full of tears?” “What do you do with a broken heart?” “What does it look like to follow your faith instead of your feelings?” Follow and JOIN US by clicking HERE!!!
Bethany Whittle says
Our loved baby is named Ella
Grace. We miss her and can’t wait to be reunited with her one day.
Heaven is sweeter because your Ella Grace. Aren’t we glad that this ol’ world is not our home?!
Although we went through 2 private open adoptions. Our stories are similar. And 2 years later after both of them failed my heart still hurts. God was the only one to get my through. With him he gave me beauty for ashes. And joy for mourning. He dances with me and covers me in his strength as he lavished his peace on me. All I can do now is pray that they are both ok and taken care of. Many prayers for you. -Jennifer
Yes, Jesus loves them even more than we do and that’s A LOT! Thank you for sharing your heart with us!
Mandi Goza says
Hey Karmen! I love reading your blogs! They inspire me, uplift me, and humble all at the same time! Sending up extra prayers for you and your family during this time of hurt. I have four angel babies. My Caitlin Marie would have been 12 in December. She has a sister and more two siblings. Their genders will be a happy surprise to us when we get to meet and snuggle them once we get to Heaven where they have been with no pain or suffering, not even the tiniest little “boo-boo” or “owie!” We were also blessed with three beautiful miracles that we’ve been allowed to borrow here on Earth. We are SO blessed! My prayer requests include an unmarried young woman who lost her baby last week. Although this baby was planned, wanted, and loved, this sweet girl and her fiancé have had to grow up so much this last week.. I’ve spent a lot of time talking with her via messenger. I think the above mentioned book would be perfect for both she and I. Another prayer request is for a relative of mine. She and her husband are both sterile. They have been foster parents for a while and are currently raising a brother/sister combo. Please help me pray for God’s will for them as they travel this journey. <3
Precious Mandy, I love your heart! Someone once told us, “It takes an extra special person to be the parent of an angel.” I think you’re super special and am grateful for your story and how you have chosen to glorify our Father in spite of your great sorrow.
I’ve loved and lost many babies through foster care, but my greatest loss has been my little man, River. 22 months isn’t long enough to get in all the love and memories you need for a lifetime. I’d give anything to hold him again, but I wouldn’t ever dream of taking him away from Heaven and Jesus.
No pain is in vain. Thank you for faithfully serving our Savior through your sorrow. Heaven is sweeter because of your little man. You are loved and lifted up!
I have not personally suffered the loss of a sweet angel babe, but one of my best friends did this past summer and it broke her. I don’t want to enter myself – I would just love to enter this for her. <3
Thank you Lauren for helping to carry the burden of sorrow with your friend. I know it helps her to know she is not hurting alone! P.S. YOU WIN!! Your comment was chosen at random 🙂