Today is March 16th, 2015. Somewhere far away from here, there will be a party. Cake, most likely, and balloons, and brightly colored decorations. Toys and laughter and the chattering of a dear girl who has now officially left being a baby behind, who is now a toddler, who has now entered the so-called “terrible twos”. It’s a party I myself would have hosted, had things gone differently.
Today is March 16th, 2015. I thought I was past the point of tears. Naive, I know. Wishful thinking, to believe that days and months and years will ever be enough to completely erase the pain, to believe that there will ever be a time when certain dates, certain memories will not bring those emotions to the surface yet again. Still, I hoped. My life is so full, so good. But then, it isn’t just about me – it never has been – and the sorrow remains.
Today is March 16th, 2015. Yesterday, she was on my mind, this date was on my mind, and the music at church did me in. (The music always does it to me, somehow). We sang a song for those who are brokenhearted, for those who are hurting and wounded and lost. “Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal,” we sang together as a congregation, and the tears flowed freely, for I believe those words with all my heart (Lord, help my unbelief), and I hope, someday, my little girl might believe them too. My prayer for her is and has been and always will be that somehow, she will know that the brokenness and hurt and chaos in her life are not the whole story, that somehow, she will find her way to God, to Truth, to Love.
Today is March 16th, 2015. Jonathan spoke during our church’s sharing time yesterday, talked about how desperately we hope that she is able some day to come to Jesus and lay down her hurt and her sorrow. He said – and this is important – that we are ok. We are. Despite the tears, despite the sorrow that may never fully heal this side of heaven, despite the questions we continue to have, we are ok. We have each other, and a community of love and support, and a faith in the ultimate goodness and justice of God, and our life is blessed and it is full.
Today is March 16th, 2015. We are ok, but sorrow remains. For our own loss, yes, for our own confusion and hurt, but even more so for the great gulf between what is and what might have been, even more so for the hurt and confusion and loss that will be a part of her life as she grows. We do not know much about her day-to-day, it is true, but we know enough. While those in her life now have good intentions, while they love her as best they know how, there were solid reasons adoption was what was healthiest for all involved, and those reasons persist today. And so we fear for her future.
Today is March 16th, 2015. While I think of her daily, it is good to set aside specific times to remember, to reflect, to commemorate. It is good to mark this day, bittersweet though it may be, in some special way. We will go to a nice restaurant tonight, eat a meal we did not prepare off of dishes we will not have to wash, and afterwards we will break our Lenten fast to have a birthday dessert. We will celebrate her life and the joy she brought to us and to our community during the brief months she was ours, even as we remember the sorrow and the loss. We will pray for her, that her future might be brighter than it seems it will be to us, that she will know love and truth and goodness, that she and her family would feel the presence of God in their lives.
Today is March 16th, 2015, and I cling to the promise that earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal. Let it be true in her life, Lord. Let it be true.