I was in bed last night reflecting on the present and the past. I remember a year ago thinking to myself and sharing with others that I believed grief and hope can coexist. I still believe that. But now, those two things have faces attached to them. Recently, I have been reminded of the small, mundane moments of everyday life that now cause a twinge of grief in my heart. I was working on our taxes and had to indicate that Eisley had passed away last year. For whatever reason, physically typing in her date of death into our tax preparation software was hard. It was another reminder of the finality of her passing. There was another moment from last week that caused the grief and the hope to surface at the same time. I was opening a tub of clothing in preparation for pulling out some clothes that might fit our new little one. I rifled through onesies that I had purchased for Eisley that she never had the chance to grow into. I sorted through outfits that swallowed our tiny, 13-lb, 18-month-old in their 6 month and 9 month sizes. I sadly realized that our newest addition will have outgrown these tiny clothes. What do I do with them? For now, I put them away and decided to finish our taxes. But there it is – that moment of grief and hope now paired with two faces – our daughter who passed away and the one we hope to bring home very soon. And here was the realization I had last night. If Eisley had not passed away, more than likely we would not be adopting this specific child. We weren’t planning to adopt again when Eisley was home with us. We thought our family was complete. I will not go as far as saying “we won’t adopt again” or “we can’t”. I’ve learned that when I say things like “I can’t adopt a child with a complex heart condition”, I later find myself falling in love with the most beautiful brown eyes belonging to a little one with a complex heart condition. I won’t speak in absolutes, but I will say adopting again wasn’t on my radar. If you’ve been following along, you know how that story is being written. As I grappled with the reality of losing Eisley, a thought planted itself in my heart – if we lost her, I hoped we would adopt again. And here we are a little over a year later and we should be meeting our newest daughter in less than two months.
Because of Eisley’s death, we have the privilege to know a new life – that of a new daughter joining our family. The love does not end with the life that was lost; it continues. I came across this quote tonight,
“God pours life into death and death into life without a drop being spilled.” -Anonymous
At the same time, I am reminded of another life and death juxtaposition. As we enter into Holy Week, I will pause in remembrance of His death and how I may have new life through Him. May my daughters continue to point me to the cross, to the sacrifice of the Lamb, and the great love that was poured out there.