April 12, 2010

It's Been a Long Time

Dear Friends,

I know it's been months since my last post...and that I promised an update would be forthcoming soon. Honestly, I don't have any good reasons as to why I haven't been writing...I think I just needed to have a little space. I needed to try to find a way back to the person I was before my son lived...it's not been an easy road...I've certainly learned that we can't put the past behind us...It's just not possible. No matter how hard I've tried to bury my sadness...it comes back in the most unpredictable ways...

On Saturday night, Ryan and I sat down and watched an old movie classic, Saturday Night Fever. One would think that as harmless and so unrelated to my experience as that movie was to my life...It wouldn't have garnered any kind of emotional response or meltdown. But it did....probably the worst I've had in months. During a particular dance scene, Ryan started laughing and, as I watched his smile and his movements, it triggered the most upsetting episode of tears that I've had in quite awhile. I didn't see him as my husband at that moment...but I saw him as the little boy I've viewed in many home movies...chubby cheeks, wide eyes.. I'd seen him this way in old family movies we've watched together...Ry was such an adorable little boy. But, in that moment, my thoughts shifted to Christian. My sweet boy whose face I will never forget... I saw him a little older...in a fit of laughter...looking sweet and innocent. It hit me hard...and I was snapped back to the reality of my life..of longing for moments I will never share with my little boy.. and it hurt so much. It has never stopped hurting.

That's why I'm writing to you today... I've been trying to ignore my pain. But the reality is this is my life. This quiet sorrow I've been trying to hide....it is who I am.

There is a dichotomy which is evident in all that has transpired over the last year and a half. On one hand, many people have suggested that I am a strong person for absorbing this loss and advocating for the beautiful life of my son.. But the reality is that I have been wounded...of course, it's not a mortal wound.. but it is permanent. Today, I am weak in my resolve to grow from the death of my son. I struggle each day with how I am going to project myself to the world. Will I be strong or will my eyes be puffy from the tears I've shed as I relive the terrible day my son died in my arms. Today, my eyes are puffy.

Dichotomy? I think so....how can one be strong...and weak? How can I feel like I've experienced the most amazing and joyful time of my life with God's very presence surrounding my family in a veil of sweetness...and then feel choked with sadness and despair over loss so deep? This was the deal... I made my peace with God... let me know my son.. and I will remain faithful to His plans for our lives. I will never doubt God's plans for my son..because I know Christian's life had purpose. But what about me?

My friends, last year was a tough year. I felt that I had truly lost my way. I want to share with you some of the things that have happened over the course of the year...I have been hesitant to share them with you...I wanted to project a person who could overcome grief and see sunshine and God's glorious promise of life. I wanted to make all of you proud of me. But, in doing so I have denied my right as a mother ...as a human to grieve. So, here it is for all of you know...good, amazing...and bad.. This has been my year.

Of course many of you already know that 4 months after Christian died, I broke my wrist...and it couldn't have happened at a worse time. I'd been so sad during that time. Honestly, there were many, many days where I sat in one chair...looking out at my son's garden for hours on end. I remember sitting down with my coffee in the morning and getting up when it was time to go to bed..barely conscious of the time and only briefly noting the shadows that crossed the room from morning til night.

To tell you the truth, I was afraid to go to sleep. The last day my son lived on this earth continues to haunt me...even to this day. And I've had nightmares about those final moments. He died so many times on that Friday...each time I held him and kissed him thinking he died. And he would struggle to come back to me and his father . I know he didn't want to leave us. I remember begging him one final time to please stop fighting. I felt so powerless to help. I would have traded my life for his...gladly. Just please, God, please take my little boy...don't let him suffer anymore. I remember the way he sounded when he took his last breath...I remember the last noise he made...a soft whimper.. And then he died. And a part of me died too. I've held these things inside for too long. My sweet, sweet boy died in my arms and I couldn't do anything to save him. It will haunt me for the rest of my life.

Those months afterwards were hell. It was an effort to move and I spent so much time thinking of ways I could check out of this life so that I could join my son in heaven. The thought consumed me for months.

When I finally had my surgery in January, my mood seemed to elevate somewhat because I was feeling better about my injury and I wasn't in constant pain. Truthfully, Ryan and I had made the decision to try InVitro once more and were scheduled for our cycle in March. I scrambled to try and get healthier so that my chances of getting pregnant would be increased. I shoved all the feelings I'd been holding on to in the back of mind and focused on healing. We only had a month to prepare.

I've always been an athletic person...and getting back in the gym would be a natural way for me to relieve the depression which seemed to lay claim on to my well being. But shortly after starting a workout regimen, I hurt my back. Probably the most excruciating physical pain I've ever been in in my life. I couldn't move. Even now I shudder when I think of that pain....I would rather break my wrist a thousand times over than to have to withstand another back injury.. But nevertheless, I completely reverted back to depression. I had to stay in bed for almost a week...trying to relax my muscles enough to be able to move again. The slightest movement sent unbelievable pain coursing throughout every nerve in my body.

It was also during this time that Ryan and I had to start our InVitro cycle.. I could barely sit in the car to get to my doctor's appointment. And it took every ounce of strength I had to lift my legs in the stirrups for my exams. But I did it. And after about a week and a half...the pain in my back subsided enough to where I became more mobile.

When we started our IVF cycle...I was definitely on the mend...but had to endure daily injections of hormones in my stomach...I had done it before..but for some reason, this cycle was painful. Each day, 2x per day I got my shots..and a little bruise on my belly where Ryan would stick me. And I kept saying it's okay...we're going to make another baby. It will happen.

During all of this...I continued to push past my grief. I didn't want to think about it although my internal torment showed through in other ways. I started losing a tremendous amount of hair... and my skin broke out in a rash that would ultimately take me 8 months to get rid of. Physically I was in horrible shape and I was tired.

My IVF cycle only produced 3 eggs... again, another tick against my emotional well being. My nerves were frayed and I was on edge. But, by time we were ready to "launch"...we had two viable fertilized "A" quality eggs that were implanted into my uterus.

Ryan and I were ecstatic...all the physical challenges I'd faced up to that day seemed to disappear and Ry and I were confident we would be making babies again. This was my last chance. Ryan and I have exhausted our financial resources trying to have a family...and time was not my friend. My biological clock was ticking loudly. And I felt the weight of this on my shoulders.

Sadly, it was not to be. In April, my cycle came and my hopes for more biological children were dashed. I had failed. It was a bitter disappointment and I hated myself. I beat myself up wondering if it was my fault...I was injured...I was depressed...I wasn't healthy.

But mostly, I quit asking God for help. During this time, I needed his help. I needed Him to make me feel special...the way I felt when I was pregnant with my son. Back then, I spent a lot of time talking to God and he was there with me...helping to buffer the uncertainty and pain of the future. But somehow, during my time grieving, I'd backed away from my relationship with God. It was a tough and lonely time. Part of me wanted to know Him more...and yet I looked for other things to divert my energy to.

I learned that without God...there is no healing. We are only kidding ourselves if we think we can do it on our own. Trust me, I know... I've tried.

Also, I had been seeing a grief counselor to help me deal with the pain of those last hours with Christian... too much to bear. But in April, when she diagnosed me as being "severely depressed" and suggested medication, the fight in me began.

I was so outraged by the notion that I could be labeled as being, "severely depressed". I wanted to scream at her and ask if she had ever lost a child. I had earned the right to be depressed...the battle scars I have on my heart aren't there on their on volition. The idea of it all made me so mad...that it spurred me to get better...what ever that meant to the outside world. I think it was at this point that I realized perhaps sharing too much of my life may be detrimental to me... I didn't want to be judged and I felt my counselor was doing just that.

In a way, I believe that's why I couldn't write much last year. Each time I wanted to open up about what was going on with me...I felt paralyzed by fear. I didn't want to be judged for not being strong enough or faithful to God enough.

I am so sorry for being absent. Even though most of you don't know me personally, you are all my friends. You have supported me and cried with me.. You have laughed with me and have patiently listened to my stories. And I haven't trusted you enough to let me be me. Even now I am ashamed of the words I write. I'm sorry.

From late April until now, I have spent much of my time trying to suppress the emotional roller coaster of events that continue to shape my life. I have been focused on getting healthy...which has eliminated virtually all of the dark and dangerous feelings I kept bottled up inside.

Getting fit and healthy again makes me feel good about myself and my life. So I go to the gym...I eat right...and I've lost nearly all the weight I gained during my pregnancy. Some days it feels as though I've climbed Mt. Everest to reach the place I'm at today...many weeks I plateau..and revert to a place and time where sadness grips my heart. Saturday was one of those days...but it's okay. I am finally able to open up out my trials this past year.

I feel good about it...reconnecting with all of you has been long over due. And I've missed you.

I started working again which has made a world of difference in my confidence. Before getting back to work...I had HUGE anxiety about being in public... about talking to people... about being away from home. After Christian died, I separated myself from my circle of influence here in Naples...I shopped in different grocery stores, I got my hair and nails done at different salons.. I didn't want to run into anyone who knew my situation because I couldn't bear the look I got...that look of pity. I hate that I'm telling you this, but you need to know. I shut out some pretty amazing people in my life. People who mean well and who care about my family. I shut them all out because I didn't know what to say. All is well....things are great. Really? Really.

At work, I got my confidence back...I am blessed to know some pretty awesome people who have embraced me for all that I am. Today, talking to people is no problem. I can do that. Completing a thought ...no problem, I can do that too. And taking care of myself...I can do that!!

I guess what I am trying to share with all of you is that....the whole process of grief is not a steady climb to eventual healing. I will never be the same as before. I can be happy, sad, very sad... and still be hopeful that tomorrow will bring a better day.

I have fought through a lot of pain, physical and emotional, and have hard earned proof that even in the midst of despair we can find the strength and grace to handle anything that comes our way. BUT we cannot do it without our FAITH in God. I truly lost my way last year. But each day, my life continues to get better.

I miss my son. There isn't a day that goes by where I don't think of him. Each night, my husband and I kiss his bear goodnight... and his garden is just magical. I can't wait to show you pictures of his special place...I honestly believe God has his green thumb on our little plot of land. Before Christian's garden, Ryan and I couldn't grow a weed...and my son's place flourishes..everything flocks there..birds, squirrels...I've even had a couple of ducks! It's a source of comfort to me each time I look out my window!

So I know this post is long...but let me close with this...I've had quite a year...good, bad, amazing... I still feel optimistic that life will only get better. I know I will see my son again...I see him in my husband! What a beautiful reminder that we made this incredible little boy together.
My relationship with Ryan continues to blossom....he is the most amazing person I've ever known.

And....Ryan and I are parents...Christian is our little boy. Perfect, beautiful...amazing! And he is going to have a little sister, Maya... Yes, friends, we are adopting a little girl from China....

More good news to come...

Love you all,

Leah

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your writing is incredible!! I can identify with so much of what you have said and am slowly coming to the place where I realize adoption is the way we will have a sibling for our son. It is so good to hear from you again. You are on my Google Reader and I was excited when I saw you had an update! Thank you for sharing so honestly.
Nicole

fourboyjoy said...

Checked in many times. Welcome back... May we never forget our pain, as it helps us to fully comprehend how much God really loves us. Good, bad and ugly.

Rebekah said...

So happy to read about your adoption news. We just brought home our son from China 4 months ago. He is such a blessing to our family. The journey of adoption is an incredible journey. It is so different from anything I have ever experienced. I pray that your wait will not be too long and that all your paperwork and approvals come with ease. Many blessing to you and your husband.

MY LIFE WITH BOYS! said...

I've missed you Leah! I'm so sorry for the pain you have gone through. What amazing new of adopting a baby girl from China. So exciting!!

twiceasnice4tots said...

Thanks for sharing with us! I have tears as I read your blog. Your journey has been difficult but i love to see what God has taught you. Someone very wise once told me "you cannot have joy until you have peace." Sounds like your joy is returning. Love you and so excited about Maya! PLEASE keep us updated!

Casey said...

It's so wonderful to hear from you again. I've never commented before, but I've been reading your blog since the beginning.

Thank you so much for your openness and honesty. Like you said, we don't know each other, but I feel like I've gotten to know your family through your writing and I have sobbed many times as I've read your posts.

It's so wonderful to hear that you are adopting. I hope to do that one day myself. I can't wait to hear more about your sweet little girl!

Anonymous said...

You are an AWESOME lady. Your writing is just breath taking. May god hold you tight at the times you need him the most. Congratulations to you both on your adoption. Can't wait to hear more details and hopefully photos. May god bless you and your family. Please continue to write I look forward to reading your continued journey.

Anonymous said...

I continue to pray for your family. You are an amazing family.
Karrie

Sherri said...

I have followed your story for so long, but never commented. Your post is so moving and I am so happy about your decision to adopt. I am the grandma to a beautiful little girl adopted from Ethiopia and she the joy of our lives! The adoption journey is a wonderful adventure and I will never forget the day I first saw my granddaughter walk off the plane holding her mama's hand. It was magical! Congratulations and God bless your little Maya. God is great, He brought you together as a family. Keep us posted.

The Fluck Family said...

thank you for the update...i had hope that you would be back. congratulations on your upcoming adoption. that is wonderful news!

asplashofsunshine said...

Exciting news! I wish I had more words for you. Great women, great mommies, great wives, great friends, great daughters deserve something GREAT in this life. You are all that! Thanks for writing your post.

Becky said...

Ah sweet Leah! I have thought about you. Wondered about you. I am so excited about the little one that is not growing under your heart, but that will grow into it. So excited for you! I just gave my sweet daughter a book today about adoption from China. My son and his wife were underground missionaries in China for two years.

Thank you for returning to us. Even though answers He may not impart (at least here on earth) Forever you can trust His heart.

Debbie said...

What wonderful news about the adoption. I am touched by your openess about your trials. I, too, have struggled with grief and it is true that we have to turn to God in our darkest hours even when we just want to stay in the dark. It has been a long 3yrs for me and am inspired by your writings and thoughts. Thanks

t~ said...

Leah, I've thought about you more times than I care to count this past year. You may have felt alone, but you never were. Your words are like a breath of fresh air on paper and I believe you resemble exactly what any Mother who has lost a child feels like. Nobody expects you to bury your pain. Just be you...

I long for the day Maya comes home. You sound very excited, have you been peeking at the SN list? I long to go back and have been wondering if we have a daughter on that list...

Anonymous said...

So happy to hear from you! You are incredible. Baring your soul, is kinda like standing naked in a large crowd, isn't it? Christian, is lucky to have had you for his mother and father. Congrats, on the new little girl. You are wonderful parents.

Lisa
Atlantic Canada

Beckie Sibley said...

Dearest Leah, Thank you for the update. As someone else said, you may have felt alone but you never were. You have been in my heart and prayers since I first found your blog.

Your writing is so real. Thank you for sharing your life. You are touching people you may never meet on this side of heaven.

Many blessings to you as you welcome your new daughter home.

michele said...

I don't know you at all, but your son touched my life when you first shared him with the blog world. I've checked back on your site from time to time. I just checked it Sunday, and for some reason I decided to check again today. I'm so glad you've started writing again.

My heart breaks for you as a mother. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain you and Ryan have endured.

I am overjoyed to read the news of your daughter, Maya. What an incredibly blessed little girl she is. She will have amazing parents, and her guardian angel is more than any little one could ask for. Congratulations to your family!

Destini said...

You bless me, girl. I've been involved in a study of the book of James. Perservering under trial? Rejoicing in suffering? Pretty hard concepts to fully grasp, but you are a wonderful example of that. When we are at our weakest, God is his strongest and accomplishes his best works. Thank you for not giving in to the temptations to no longer be. You have such a testimony to share. Praying for you my friend.

Angie said...

Leah,

Your words have touched me. Rarely have I read the kind of honest, heart-opening look into grief that you have shared, and it amazes me. Your heart is a beautiful thing, and I know that a heart like yours, capable of such a deep, deep love, is something that God is not done with.

Grieving never looks the same on any two people. But even so, I think you have nailed it when you say that no matter what grief looks like in your own personal tragedy, grieving cannot be done apart from God if it is going to bring healing. And even though the wound will never disappear, I believe with all my heart that healing is what God wants for your life!

You have my love and prayers!

Angie

Anonymous said...

God bless you and your new exciting life ahead. I have never experienced the loss of a child but have gone through several IVF procedures and finally turned to egg donation my final and last possible way to have a child. It worked and my beautiful daughter just turned 4 in February. I long for another child but with a final IVF using the last frozen emb's we had was unsuccessful. I thank god everyday for what I have. God Bless you.

ReadyAim said...

It is good to hear from you and there is no explanation or apology necessary for you staying away. I can only imagine how many others you have helped by your description of your very raw and real grief. As Christians, we are sometimes much harder on ourselves than we should be. The things we think but cannot say often weigh heavy on our hearts and minds. To know others have experienced similar feelings and thoughts is a relief and a comfort.

My prayers are with you as your adoption moves forward. Maya is going to be very blessed and will grow up knowing of her big brother Christian in Heaven.

Lisa

Carla said...

So good to hear from you again. I'm glad you are healing and getting out of that dark place. What a long road for you. Wish I could have been close enough to give you a hug. I remember that dark place of grief well and you had so many other circumstances and injuries to add to the burden. No one who has ever lost a child would judge your grief.
I'm SO happy that Christian has a little sister. That is so exciting! She will be a little ray of sunshine in your life :)Keep us posted!

Anonymous said...

You are a very strong person to be able to write these thoughts down. I think it is good therapy in itself. So glad you are finally having some happy news with the adoption of your daughter. You will both be amazing parents from the love you have shown your precious son, even if the time was short. Firefighters must be great husbands and fathers in general. My husband is a firefighter for our city here in Canada and he is also an amazing husband, and the best father 3 little girls could ask for!
God Bless You
Heather from Canada

Pam said...

I am sooooooooooooo glad you are back. I can't say I have been where you are but I know the feelings that we try so hard to ignore. They are real and have to be dealt with. I'm excited about the adoption and what a joy!!!!!! What a blessing!!!!!
Welcome back and know we have all missed you!!!!!!!
Pam

Leah said...

It is so good to read your heart...I have checked back many, many times to see how you were doing and so glad to see this heartfelt post. You are so right that we can not do this journey called life without God, it's just not possible. I am so glad you are finding your way back to Him. I am beyond THRILLED that you are adopting!! My son is adopted from Ethiopia and we are in the middle of a second adoption from Ethiopia right now. Adoption is an amazing miracle and such a gift and though it is not identical to birthing a child, the outcome is EXACTLY the same, you will be a mother...again:) My prayers are with you and Ryan..if you'd like to talk I'd love to! My email is

lanipuakea at gmail dot com

melissa wyland said...

Leah,
I am so proud of you!!! I have been reading Christian's blog since shortly before he was born... Immediately, I was drawn to his life.

For months, I have been clicking on your blog and waiting to hear from you.. waiting for the moment when you would make the decision to not only write but confront your feelings and give them the justification that they deserve.. praying for God to show you that acknowledging your feeling and emotions is never wrong , just honest. GOOD FOR YOU!!!

I am home alone with my girls this morning , listening to them play together upstairs, and reading your blog with goose bumps all down my arms... You have done it, Leah.. you have decided to turn the corner and embrace everything that has happened in your life and tell it "it's ok, you can be inside of me without overtaking me. I can live my life with all of you in me and together we will still find our way".

All I can say is " you did it , sweetie--- you made it" and know that your son is sitting up in Heaven looking at you right now telling everyone "yep, that's MY mommy!!! Isn't she amazing?"

I can only imagine where God is going to take you next in your life. Thank you for sharing with all of us your strength.

Take Care,
Melissa

kimberly said...

You have quite the way with words. So honest with yourself and with all of us. To be transparent is a hard thing, I'm still learning this at 43.
No words that I could say could take the sting of your hurt away, not even for a second. So I will not try.
I will tell you that there is no shame in your sorrow. Ever. Nothing you feel is shameful, it's just you being human.
Mourn your beautiful Son for however long it takes and in a way that is good for you.
Know that God is with you always, in every tear you shed.
Know that those of us who have been touched by your Son's life are praying for your peace.
Something about being a woman...it's nice to have others who will understand a Mother's heart.
Blessings today and for an eternity.
In HIm,
kimberly dawn

Kathy said...

Welcome back, Leah!

What a wonderful treat to see your post!

Thank you for sharing what you have been going through. Your year has been harrowing and traumatic. The pain of losing Christian and then the physical injuries and pain you endured is nearly unfathomable to me.

Please know that we are your friends and not here to judge in any way but to love and pray for you and Ryan.

I am in awe of you, what you have survived and I praise God for bringing you through. You and Ryan have grown closer through all these trials. Again, I am impressed and grateful that God has kept you close and loving.

I am just so happy and excited for you, Ryan and your precious new daughter. What a blessed little one she is to have such amazing, loving parents! Please keep us posted on how things are going as you work to bring her home.

God has kept you, Ryan and your precious Christian on my heart and in my prayers.

Melissa said...

It is wonderful to "hear" the peace in your words. Your family has been in my prayers even though we don't know each other. The way you have shared Christian's story and your journey with God has left an impression on me that I can't quite explain. I will continue to pray for you and your family, including your wonderful new addition! Thank you for sharing your news with us and know that you have many friends out here thinking of you, never judging you, every day.

Cathy said...

Leah,Ryan and Christian, I was initially brought to your blog through our connection with Trisomy 18. Annabel who just turned 5 is my little girl. I have come to detest this T18 thing but know our children are perfect. I am lead back to your blog and we still have a connection through adoption. Please keep writing! It is beautiful and so honest. Maybe you help us out here heal also. We could never judge you for loving and missing your perfect son! We love you, Ryan, Christian and Maya! Please keep us update!

Amanda said...

Leah,
I, too, have checked in often over the last months, but have sensed that you weren't ready to 'be back'. That is OK! I'm so glad to be able to hear where your heart's been, and I am proud of you for your honesty. It's hard, I know. I'm excited to follow the journey God takes you and Ryan on as you move forward in building your family. Christian will NOT be forgotten...Maya will be such a gift to your hearts.
I've also struggled with depression over the past several years, more so the last 2, and it's not easy. Feel free to contact me if you need an understanding 'ear' (or eyes) :)

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to hear more about your new daughter. You have been in my prayers this whole time.

John said...

Leah, so glad to see you here again. It is so difficult to hold back the tears as I read your post. In reading your very personal experience in this part of your life... thank you for sharing. Thank you for your honesty and insight. Getting back in touch with all those from your past will prove to be a good thing and I think it requires mentioning that all those that could be perceived as looking at you with "pity" were really looking at you with love and care and uncertainty of how to comfort. It is awkward for everyone. It is so personal and I would never want to pretend that I could ever imagine how another person is feeling and surely never want to say anything that could upset them (that’s where the awkwardness comes from). I would say, I would cry with you but maybe you don’t want to cry... i could laugh with you but maybe you don’t want that either. I guess the only true thing to do is let you know that you are Loved by many and however those people could facilitate hope, love, support and anything else you could want or need they would surely do so because you are so fantastic. Good friends are hard to find and sometimes (times like this) so hard to communicate with. In our life we will always have challenges and breakthroughs... they are part of every day to some degree. each challenge can remind us of a breakthrough and each breakthrough can remind us of a challenge. Life is intertwined this way. You are right, this pain and sorrow will be with you forever and after our minuscule time here on earth you will be with your son again. The key is to be able to share all the great things that happened while apart. He will love that! Your tears and sorrow are never ever interpreted as weakness. What you are sharing gives strength not only to you but others as well. You and Ryan are Awesome. We all wish we had the magic words to wipe away your sorrow but it is now part of you and without the ability to go back in time and change things it is just as much an important part of you as anything else. what stories and experiences will you share with Christain? In the place he is now, he feels your love and is waiting because at the right time... Naturally, you will be back with him again. He wants to know all about your time with Ry, your thoughts of him, the things you accomplished, the impact you made here etc... Live each day with that in mind. Let it guide you.

Always and Forever, your Loving Friend...
Ski.

John said...

Leah, so glad to see you here again. It is so difficult to hold back the tears as I read your post. In reading your very personal experience in this part of your life... thank you for sharing. Thank you for your honesty and insight. Getting back in touch with all those from your past will prove to be a good thing and I think it requires mentioning that all those that could be perceived as looking at you with "pity" were really looking at you with love and care and uncertainty of how to comfort. It is awkward for everyone. It is so personal and I would never want to pretend that I could ever imagine how another person is feeling and surely never want to say anything that could upset them (that’s where the awkwardness comes from). I would say, I would cry with you but maybe you don’t want to cry... i could laugh with you but maybe you don’t want that either. I guess the only true thing to do is let you know that you are Loved by many and however those people could facilitate hope, love, support and anything else you could want or need they would surely do so because you are so fantastic. Good friends are hard to find and sometimes (times like this) so hard to communicate with. In our life we will always have challenges and breakthroughs... they are part of every day to some degree. each challenge can remind us of a breakthrough and each breakthrough can remind us of a challenge. Life is intertwined this way. You are right, this pain and sorrow will be with you forever and after our minuscule time here on earth you will be with your son again. The key is to be able to share all the great things that happened while apart. He will love that! Your tears and sorrow are never ever interpreted as weakness. What you are sharing gives strength not only to you but others as well. You and Ryan are Awesome. We all wish we had the magic words to wipe away your sorrow but it is now part of you and without the ability to go back in time and change things it is just as much an important part of you as anything else. what stories and experiences will you share with Christain? In the place he is now, he feels your love and is waiting because at the right time... Naturally, you will be back with him again. He wants to know all about your time with Ry, your thoughts of him, the things you accomplished, the impact you made here etc... Live each day with that in mind. Let it guide you.

Always and Forever, your Loving Friend...
Ski.

Lisa said...

So glad to see that you have posted again! I have checked in often wondering how you were. Congratulations on your adoption. We have a little girl from China. You are pregnant, in your heart and not your tummy. Adoption is an incredible journey.
I can't wait to hear more!

Candy said...

I am so happy that I checked your blog and see that you are doing so much better.

I too have a little girl from China. We adopted her in April, 2007. She is now 4 yrs. old as of November.

Your daughter will never take the place of your son, but she will bring so much happiness into your lives. I wish you the very best. I hope that you will blog about your Journey to your Daughter. I'd love to follow along. If you would like to read about our Journey, please send me an email to candy0722@aol.com and I will add you to my private blog.

All the Best to you and Ryan.

Candy
Mom to Rebecca - married 4/17/2010
Mom to Rachel - adopted 4/2/2007 - Anhui, China

Anonymous said...

I am so happy for you both! I haven't been on your blog for a very long time as I too have been very busy, but always wondered how you were doing. You see, I was one of the nurse's at the hospital the day you gave birth and saw the joy in your eyes in spite of a difficult road ahead. I prayed that God would give you strength and comfort in the months and years ahead. God is not finished yet and will always be right by your side. He will give you this beautiful little child from China for you to cherish and love. She will bring you much joy but, will never replace your Christian. And you are right, you will get to see your son again. Please hold on to the wonderful memories and add to those with your daughter. May God bless you all!!

Deb D. said...

You have been SO missed!! I am SO happy you are back. I've checked in many, many times as I know others have, too, because we sincerely care about you. You have shared so much here, Leah. You are a beautiful person. Genuine. Loving. A survivor. You've dealt with so much in these many months. I'm sorry you've had such heartache. What a beautiful testimony you share of how your faith is what keeps you.

Beyond the moon to learn a precious little girl will have the gift of your and Ryan's loving hearts and home. Cannot wait to hear more from you.

Welcome back!! (oh, wait. is it right to welcome YOU back to YOUR blog??) Well, you know what I mean? SO GLAD you've touched base with us again.

Love and blessings to you and Ryan.

Canadian Girl said...

We knew you'd come back...you're an amazing mother. FANTASTIC MOTHER..im crying. Im so happy to hear that you're adopting a baby girl from China...Christian is SO looking down on his parents with love and smiles...! Cant wait to hear the details

Verna said...

Wow...what an amazing ending to your post! Congratulations!
One more thing, NEVER be ashamed of your feelings! Each one of us cope with life and loss differently.
I lost my grandson,Noah, 16 months ago and thought I was doing "fine"...little did I know that I was not! I have had help and same as you when the word depression was mentioned, I pick up my boot straps and tried my best to find a way out of it.
Good for you for being able to share so freely, you will be of big help to others that find themselves where you have bee.

Sara said...

Leah,
I am so glad that you are back. Wow, what a journey that I can so relate to... grief and loss are so hard. We lost our son, Samuel Mark on October 29, 2008. We still miss him like crazy...

Leah, I am so glad that you shared all you did... and you are not alone in so many of your feelings. Your honesty and vulnerability will help so many others. Thank you for that.

I am praising God over your adoption of Christians little sister. I will be praying that the road will be smooth and move as quickly as possible. What a wonderful gift she will be to you... but you will be such a blessing to her as well.

Much love in our Savior Jesus!
Sara

They call me the boss said...

I am so glad you are back to blogging.
You don't know me but I have followed your blog since before Christian's birth. I have prayed for you and Ryan often and have checked in often because I hoped you'd be back one day!
I am so excited about your adoption and I'm sure Christian is watching and smiling down on you.
I hope you will allow us to share in your joy as you bring your daughter home and show her Christian's garden!
God bless!
christi
Lafayette, Louisiana

Muriel said...

Have worried about you much over the past year. Grief wears many faces and non are more valid than others. I am so happy for you to be bringing a sister for Christian into your lives. You have and will always be a great mother to Christian and now you will be able to be a great mom to your daughter. Christian I am sure is already keeping his sister safe for you.

Angie said...

Oh Leah, I've thought of you often and was thrilled to find this update. I've missed you by friend. Thank you for sharing your feelings and allowing us to be part of your family. I'll be checking back often to get updates on Maya. May God hold you tightly in his hands.
Angie

Tonia said...

Leah, I am glad to hear from you even in the bad. I/we may not understand your life exactly, we can love on you :) What a tough year! I am excited to hear of your adoption plans and I pray everything goes quickly and smoothly! Hang in there!!
Tonia

Andrea said...

HI Leah-
It's good to hear from you - I've thought of you often. My heart goes out to you and hurts for you in what you endured in the last hours of Christian's life on this earth.

I pray that God would continue to give you sweet glimpses of what Christian might have looked like and done as he grew ... uplifting moments the would tell you God knows the desire of your heart to know your little boy.

Rejoicing in the news that Christian will be a big brother.

Love in Christ,
Andrea

Muriel and Jerry said...

leah!!!! i am so glad you are back. I was pregnant with my son the whole time you were (our boys share the same b-day)and I can remember reading your blog and feeling such a connection to you and Christian. Please do not apologize for being gone...you had to go through a lot and I am just so glad you are back. Adoption is amazing and our daughter was brought into our family through the miracle of adoption from kazakhstan. There are so many gorgeous loving children who want nothing more than a mommy and daddy to love. I am fairly involved in the international adoption community and if I can be of nay help please let me know.
muriel collison at hotmail

Jaci said...

Oh Leah I have been worried about you.. I am so excited about your adoption news, how awesome. I didn't realize what a year you had last year, I am glad you are doing better. I will pray for you guys!

The Fluck Family said...

i just wanted to say thank you for your post about mother's day last year. i sent a mother's day card to my friend who lost her son in october and she really appreciated it. i never would have thought about doing it if it wasn't for your post. i hope to see another update from you soon.

Lady-in-the-Making said...

Leah!!! I am so happy for you and Ryan. That is glorious news.

Thank you for your transparency. I find it so hard to be honest with people about who I am and I put a 'mask' on.

Your post encouraged me and made me thrilled that you are doing okay. Dale & I prayed for you a lot.

Please post pictures of Christian's garden!

Love to you!

The Giffens said...

Hi there! I have been checking in on your blog for a long time now. I haven't looked at it in so long, but just popped on here tonight and read your latest post. I burst into tears when I read the end. We just adopted our little girl from China six months ago and it has been the most amazing blessing! The whole time I was reading your post, I was thinking ... I wish they would adopt from China. And what do you know?! I am so super excited for you and the amazing journey ahead. We are already counting the days until we can go back and adopt again! Congratulations and, if you haven't already, may you quickly find your way to you daughter!

Anonymous said...

I read your blog daily while you were going through your sorrows. You were so inspiring and I prayed for you daily. I'm a Texas Teacher and off for the summer, so I stopped by your blog today....what a joyful story. Thank you for sharing your your life and know that even people in Texas love you and lift you up in prayer. Maya will be the luckiest little girl :-) HUGS from TEXAS

Melissa said...

Just wanted you to know your family is still in my prayers...hope all is going well and God is bringing Maya closer to home. I truly believe those we love in heaven make special choices for the ones they send to us on Earth! Christian gets to whisper the most special things in God's ear!

The Cheesecake Lady said...

I am so touched by your post. It is good to hear that you are healing and surviving one of the most difficult times a parent will ever face. Congrats on the new baby girl! Can't wait to see pictures. I am sure she will be just as beautiful and precious as her big brother! Beth

Anonymous said...

Have been praying for you!!! Hoping that you will update with new pics of Christian's little sister!