Over the past few days after letting people know that we have lost our expected second baby, I have had dozens of people share their own stories of grief from times when they have lost a baby, often many more than just one, and what that experience was like for them. I have simply been in awe of how common this dreadfully painful experience, both physically and emotionally, is in losing babies before it is carried full-term.
I feel that I am surprised by this for two reasons. 1) These aren’t fun stories or blessed memories that we like to talk about or want people to share with us. Most pregnancies that fail do so before the mom or the couple even publicly announce they are pregnant. I feel like those who do share on a wide scale about their lost baby are the great exception, not the rule. So I just didn’t know how unfortunately common this is. 2) Our daughter’s pregnancy was text-book perfect! Every check up when amazingly. Every ultrasound was clear and filled with anticipation. This is how it was “suppose” to go. No fuss, no mess, just sleep deprived, poopy, fun!
I’ve learned that no life is to be expected or taken for granted. I’ve talked with a few people who have had three, four, even five failed pregnancies! How precious and miraculous is each life that is given breath to fill its lungs, this side of the womb!
We have two couples that are friends of ours who are in the process of adoption because of long seasons of not being able to have their own children. When I first heard their stories of wanting to adopt I thought, “That’s a good option for you guys. It helps you establish a family that you’re hoping for and helps a kid out too in the process.” Basically I saw it from a logical perspective.
Yet now while trying to process our own story and hearing those of so many others the reality I am seeing adoption in a new passionate, almost desperate, light. The fact that there are so many millions of children who do have air in their lungs, a beating heart in their chest, and bear the miraculous image of God but are without parents is astounding. No matter the reason behind their orphaning every child who is purposed into this world is done so miraculously and intentionally by their creator! To ignore, turn our back on, or simply remain ignorant to the stark numbers, circumstances, and realities of the millions of orphans in our world is to deliberately close our eyes on the greatest miracle and calling that God sets before us each day, “to look after orphans and widows in their distress”
Whether through adopting the lonely, lost, and rejected into your community of faith or literally adopting children either nationally or internationally into your family I feel that this is a call I am hearing for myself with renewed passion. Our grief is pushing us out of our comfortable expectations of what life “should be” while God’s calling to look after orphans pulls us into a greater reality and blessing of his Kingdom.
May we with eyes open see the miracles of life that are surrounding us in the eyes, hearts, and stories of the orphaned all over the world. Then may we act boldly, faithfully, and courageously, motivated by the knowledge of our adoption by God through Christ in to his Kingdom, to look after these orphaned in tangible, transforming, and affirming means.
Here are two websites related to adoption. The first is one of our friends’ stories in their journey towards adoption and the other is a friends’ work in Ghana who rescues, serves, and houses orphans.