Good Grief

We could not believe that we had been so deceived.

After months of preparation for adoption, first through foster care, and then from a birth mother who had approached us at church, we were within days of our twins being born. Only there were no twins. There were no babies at all. The birth mother was not even pregnant. We had been robbed, deceived, heartbroken.

Grief. The dark hole of the soul that seems to have no limits to its depth.  My plans, my dreams, my joys, were ripped out from under me and my heart tumbled in a free fall into the murky pit of grief.

I mourned the children that never were. Though they had names, they had never existed. How do you grieve someone who never existed?

I grieved motherhood. For years I had prayed that God would make me a mother, and I had believed that I was at last realizing that dream, only to have that dream snatched away.

I mourned my plans. My plans were to spend the first half of the summer devoted to being home. Though I knew the crazy schedules and sleeplessness would be exhausting, those disruptions were desired and loved. Now, I would have to take on a tremendous load of work — my regular course load, plus my course load that was meant for me when I worked my way back from maternity leave.

I grieved all the baby things waiting in new packaging that we would never open. The letters spelling Palmer and Emelia crafted with such love that would never be hung on the wall. The mural that would never light up two pairs of tiny eyes. The matching outfits that would never elicit the question from strangers: Are they twins?

I mourned the excitement of others, who were also waiting with bated breath for the twins’ arrival as they asked, “Any news about the babies?” Their hopes would be dashed as well, as soon as I could choke out the words to tell them.

But in the suffocating downward spiral of grief, we were not alone.  In the midst of the mourning, there was never a moment in which I felt that God was anywhere but right there in that endless pit of grief with me. In the darkest nights of sorrow, there was never an hour that I doubted that we were exactly where God wanted us to be. 

For a while, I pondered what purpose God had behind the situation. Perhaps we would be able to prevent the “birth mother” from defrauding someone else. Perhaps our story would serve as a warning to others who were considering independent adoption. Maybe God was delaying our adoption until our actual children were ready. Perhaps God was increasing our dependence on Him.

Any of these were possible, but the truth is that God does not answer to me. The point of surrendering my life to God is not so that He can help me fulfill my dreams, or achieve my goals, or even make me a mother. The point of surrendering my life is to glorify God, even if I must glorify Him in the midst of mourning. 

I would rather be falling into a dark pit of grief, knowing that I am in the center of God’s will, than be living my dreams without God as the center of it all.

Even in grief, God is good.

Good grief.


10 thoughts on “Good Grief

  1. I can’t possibly imagine what it is like to be standing in your shoes! I can’t imagine the ache you must feel for the babies who were so real in your heart but really never were. I definitely believe God has given you a testimony that will speak very loudly to somone. In fact, I’m sure it already does! I read your post and couldn’t help ending with the thought of, “I want that kind of faith.”

    Yes, I believe and I’m God fearing, but way to quickly in difficult situations I find myself asking God, “where are you and how can you let this happen?”

    I sometimes wonder why if God hears our dreams, desires, and prayers He doesn’t make them happen sooner. At 34 I, like you, desire to be a mom one day. I long to wake up in the middle of the night to a crying baby most easily comforted by his/her mommy’s touch. I long to see a little one grow through the many stages of childhood and be a constant part of it. Yet, in my world, I know one more thing is a must, a husband. And, I sometimes wonder at what age it is ok for me to grieve what never may be.

    You are an amazing woman of God. Though personally I don’t know you, I’ve followed you on facebook for quite awhile now and have been blessed many times by things you have posted. Isn’t it amazing how God can make peoples paths cross! We became friends simply because you were Nazarene and I wondered if you were related to a Nazarene I know in a local church here, all the way in Iowa! Yes, God is good, and we will never know why He does the things He does, or allows things to happen, until possibly the day we meet Him face-to-face. But then, all the heartaches and tears of this world will be left behind.

    Blessings to you sweet friend! I’m truly excited and praying for all to fall into place with the babies God is currently placing in your path! 🙂

    • Thanks for reading, and for commenting Jessie! And I am certain that God has a wondrously adventurous plan for your life as well. For some of us, God’s plan comes in the form of dreams that are challenged and hopes that are transformed. God never presents us with challenges that His faithfulness won’t sustain us through. I have a Mother Teresa quote on my wall at work that says, “I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish he didn’t trust me so much!” Maybe you should consider yourself well-trusted! 🙂

  2. Wow! This is an incredible entry. Loved this paragraph “Any of these were possible, but the truth is that God does not answer to me. The point of surrendering my life to God is not so that He can help me fulfill my dreams, or achieve my goals, or even make me a mother. The point of surrendering my life is to glorify God, even if I must glorify Him in the midst of mourning.” Something I needed to read and be reminded of today. I can’t even begin to imagine the grief. At the same time, I can’t even imagine going through that without knowing our Father. Thanks for sharing your heart Robin. You are an incredible writer and I love, love, love reading your blog.

  3. Pingback: Wearing My Heart On My Shirt « Where in the World Are Our Kids?

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