When you have two babies, and one dies

You get things like this in the mail on the same day (yesterday):

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A kind note from the Dragonfly Project whose mission is to comfort families who have lost a child, and an equally thoughtful note from the Elizabeth Ministries group at our church welcoming Valencia into the church after her baptism.

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And that’s just the way it is.

On Sunday Anabella came upstairs with puffy red eyes and said so earnestly and with such great confusion, “I really don’t understand why God made her and gave her to us if he was just going to take her away so soon.”  She repeated it a few times and was genuinely perplexed.  It made no sense to her.  I talked to her for a while.  We talked about how God created Laurencia and how I don’t think it was God who caused her issues but she wasn’t healed perhaps for many reasons, some we may never know until we meet him face to face, some might be very profound and hard to comprehend at this time.  Some, I told her, might involve showing us a path to Heaven or giving us a reason to not be afraid to go there one day.  I talked about how our lives have spectacular value no matter how many minutes or years we live.  I wasn’t feeling particularly clear on the answers myself so I didn’t fake an answer.  Sometimes I just tell the kids, “I don’t know.”  Because I don’t.  I do know where Bella’s question came from though.  Part of it came from her basic understanding that babies are just beginning their lives.  And part of it came from that part of her that is innate, that part that caused her to snuggle and cuddle her baby dolls when she was a toddler.  It came from her instincts.  Babies belong with their mothers.

Today I read a blog post from a friend of mine (http://mycamokids.com/2013/12/the-truth.html) who adopted a child not long ago.  She was brave enough to speak her heart about orphans and adoption.  In essence, she talks of how every baby belongs with his or her mother and calls this the “Plan A”.  Every baby.  That is what God intended when we were created.  My friend, Lora, was talking about how after the terrible tragedy of a child being orphaned, adoption is the Plan B, a BEAUTIFUL, NOBLE, wonderful plan all in itself.  A plan God himself commissioned and sanctioned.  But it can never be Plan A.  While it isn’t exactly the same, a baby dying and a child being orphaned, both are great tragedies.  And when tragedy befalls us, Plan A doesn’t always work out.  I don’t know why Laurencia isn’t sleeping on my chest just as her sister is right now.  I don’t know why she only got to be here for 15 minutes.  We are told, however, that when she was formed she did not have anencephaly, in other words, it wasn’t Plan A.  That happened later and when it did I believe God allowed her come to him for many reasons.  Her Plan B is glorious, amazing, beautiful, she is with Jesus.  It all gets a bit confusing to me, what is God’s will and what things are the result of sin.  I agree with Lora, that God never intended for a mother to abandon her child or for circumstances to be such that a child should be or must be given up.  I also believe that God did not intend for my sweet Laurencia to have anencephaly.

I’m doing the best I can trying to answer the kids’ questions and trying to find peace myself.  Because I’m human and because I’m a momma, I will probably never fully understand or have a perfect answer for Bella.  It’s still true that focusing on Valencia’s good health keeps me going and likewise focusing on the beauty of Laurencia’s eternal life brings me comfort.  But there will always be a part of me that wishes she could have stayed here with me.  I know it’s different than what Lora was talking about and I hope she doesn’t mind my finding parallels.  Laurencia did in a way get to have her Plan A fulfilled.  I just wish it was for longer.  We must all leave this earth, dying is a part of our lives, not a separate plan or path, but it somehow doesn’t ever seem right that a tiny little baby, who just came from its mother, should be anywhere other than in her arms.

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(Laurencia in my arms)

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Valencia’s photoshoot

About a month ago I had my niece, Katrina, take photos of Valencia.  I brought along some dollies and one of Lencia’s lambies for her to hold in some of the photos as a little reminder of her sister.  She was being a baby 🙂 so it was tricky to get pics but here are some of them.  Little turkey is always sticking her tongue out, more like letting it hang out as in “blaaaah, I’m so sleepy I can’t even close my mouth”.  And by “sleepy” I mean during the day.  She is still not sleeping at night but is healthy and growing.  She hasn’t been back to the doctor yet so I’m not sure how much she weighs but judging by her new double chin and the almost-chub on her thighs I’d say she’s doing fine.  She’s still pretty little and hasn’t come near her Papa’s “four roll (on the thighs) minimum” but she’ll get there no doubt.  Thanks Trina for ‘capturing the spirit’ of my little lady Valencia.  Trina’s photography website:  http://spirituscapere.blogspot.com

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