Sunday, June 5, 2011

...to find a soul...

it's only natural that i read birth stories (often) on friend's blogs.  

it doesn't bother me, and it's my choice to read them.  sometimes i make it a few lines, sometimes i read the whole thing, sometimes i close the page as soon as i open it.  depends on my mood, honestly.  however, i am happy for those that i love, and happy that they are able to experience such a gift.

as i was reading a particular birth story, the hidden wounds from years of infertility and loss surfaced and i found myself crying over the lappy.  it was the title in particular that hit me.  'to birth a soul.'  

quickly, i am in no way saying there is anything wrong with the post my dear friend wrote.  her feelings are validated, expected, and beautiful.  i love her deeply, and am very relieved and happy that things went well with the birth of her little guy.  i love you, T.

the realization that i will never, 'birth a soul' is a jagged little pill, and obviously hard to swallow.  i do have a 'delivery' story, but a soul was not born that day.  a soul was lost.  as time went on and now that i am sterile, i will never (at least in this life i suppose) 'birth a soul.'  my husband and i will not be able to create a son or daughter.  we will never experience those first tender moments of our child's life, of basking in what we were able to bring into this world.  we've accepted that, but acceptance doesn't mean the hurt disappears.  while it fades, there are times, like now, when it is at the very forefront of my mind and the pain is quite uncomfortable. 

i feel worthless in my own skin.

as i've continued to think about my situation vs the more 'common' situation, i have to say that while it pains me that we won't experience certain things, we are blessed with just as special, spiritual and meaningful experiences with the way children come into our home.

we don't, 'birth souls' here.

we, 'find' them.

the moment harley was placed in my arms, i knew that i was holding my son, and that he was just as much mine as if i had borne him myself.  no, he hasn't been mine from the moments he took his firth breath, but he is mine all the same.

in nine days we will head to the courthouse and harley will become, officially on paper, our son.

in twenty-four days, we will be sealed to him, for eternity, in the temple.  

the lord has truly compensated for what has been taken from us.  while certain experiences will not be known to us, there are others that have been presented to us and we wouldn't have known their sweetness if our lives went the way we had planned.

i get to kneel across the alter, with my husband, along with the friends and family we love most, and have our sweet son sealed to us.  ours.  forever.  

i'm humbled by what the lord is allowing me to experience in my life.

especially this...

finding you (or rather, you and sadie finding me), boog, has been the sweetest, most humbling experience of my life.

you are mine.

for more on my faith, go here.

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31 comments:

Jewls said...

Your post made me cry. It's insane how some days it doesn't even fade you and others you just feel like sitting in bed and crying! Sooo excited for you guys to go to the temple, it is some seriously awesome compensation!

Alecia said...

this is beautiful. but you DID birth a soul. your daughter has a soul and you will see her in heaven! i can't imagine the pain you have to go through on a daily basis. you are a strong girl!

Harmony said...

And when you are in the courtroom and they say that he is legally yours, it's a great feeling. The only thing better is when you are in the temple and they say that it was as if he was born to you! Best feeling in the whole world in my sons and all of my nieces and nephews adoptions.

Rebecca said...

What a beautiful post. I agree that it is interesting how much fluctuation there can be in emotion between days and even within the same day. Infertility is very unique. I am so excited for your sealing. That was one of the best days of my life, and a moment where I felt victorious over infertility. It was a beautiful compensation, in a way, to be able to do something that the "common" family doesn't get to experience each time they have a baby. He is adorable.

mrs. r said...

I love "to find a soul."

I feel like my kids found me. Reminded me of this post: http://therhouse.blogspot.com/2009/07/i-will-sing-you-to-me.html

XO

kenna said...

agree linds. completely.

it's more like i spent the time 'searching' and int he midst of that i was found.

love everyone's comments.

Kristina P. said...

I didn't realize you were an adoptive mom! Which is a compliment. I know several families who treat their adopted children differently and it breaks my heart.

-M- said...

Amazingly written.
Your souls found each other.
Adoption is beautiful.

Lechelle said...

Sending you hugs and loves, this post made me cry for you and the pain you feel over the heartache infertility has caused you.

Of course when it comes to your angel daughter who passed, the only opinion that matters is yours. but from my point of view her soul was brought into the world just as much as if she had been born breathing and screaming and lived 100 years.

The first time my son was in my arms was the most spiritual experience of my life and I believe I felt the same as you did when you first held harley. Now I am in the situation where I will actually give birth this summer. And truthfully, I don't feel like I have done anything different to get my kid to me. I guess you could say I feel like God 'birthed' their souls and then they get to be mine. I feel both my boys, my first son through adoption and my second son who I carry now, are equally mine, equally created by God. I didn't "do" anything to create the son I carry. I'm doing a lot to try to keep him here but even now I am powerless, none of it is in my hands. I guess I never really understood the whole "look what we created, look what we did, we made a baby" thing. I feel the making is all in God's hands whether we enter our child's life at conception or 9 months old.

I guess I'm trying to say that I'm sorry it hurts, I'm sorry you don't get to have the common situation, and my heart hurts for you for that. Thank you for sharing such personal intense feelings. I agree that the adoption is just as special and meaningful and in my opinion MORE spiritual. And from my point of view you are just as much a creator as a woman who births her children.

I love you Kenna!!

Amy said...

You make my heart grow bigger and bigger with your insightful, honest posting. I feel so much of what you have explained in this post. Love you!

Anonymous said...

ouch, right? maybe i am more mindful of the little "nuances" in birth stories because you have been so open about sharing the pain and struggles associated with infertility. while i am sure giving birth is a special experience, certain phrases can seem so insensitive.
one phrase that really makes me cringe refers to being "trusted" to give birth to and raise a child. maybe it's just all of the crappy parents that i see in my field, but giving birth doesn't necessarily mean that you have been "trusted" above others. what makes a good parent is how you raise and care for your child.

Talltiffany said...

I loved this post. CHILLS. I can so relate on so many levels.

A said...

I agree with Anon-- I've seen more than one person who should have not been 'trusted' to birth a child let alone raise said child. Adoption is an amazing, beautiful thing that very few of us will ever be able to experience. Although I have had a child since, I feel that adoption is a special 'club' per-say that only the elite few are allowed to join. It takes VERY STRONG people to be a part of that club, and I would not change it for anything. I hope that you are doing well. You are amazing and never forget that.

Ash Rae said...

You are seriously awesome. I am sorry for your pain. I am so excited for you to go to the temple with your little one. I have been to a handful of family sealings, I think I could spend days on end attending family sealings. They are perfect!

The Trevenen's said...

Beautifully put....you are my hero. Thank you for bringing me back to reality today. I know I can always count on you for that. I think you find lost souls everyday. And the skin you are in is all the more worthwhile then most people experiencing this life for the way you have opened eyes to what it means to conquer life. Harley is lucky to have you and I am lucky to know you. Love ya.

Chris, Chelsea and Lilly Edgren said...

Hi Kenna! I've been following your blog for awhile and absolutely love every post. I never leave comments on blogs I stalk but after reading you are going to be sealed to your cute boy soon I just had to write. We were sealed to our little girl two days ago in the Oakland temple and it was the most amazing experience of my life as they brought OUR 16 month old beauty to the alter and to truly know she is ours. It was wonderful and truly beyond words. I am so happy for you!! We have never met but I couldn't be cheering you on more!

Que and Brittany's Adoption Journal said...

I loved this! And I'm so excited for you to finalize and go to the temple!

Lynne said...

That was lovely.

Tressa said...

Beautifully written Akenna. I was touched.

A. Bailey said...

What a beautiful post. I would hope that if I knew you in real life we would be friends because you are incredible. You are funny, and sassy, and spiritual. I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog. It has been a huge blessing and comfort to me.

kenna said...

anon : that is one of the most painful things i hear, but i remind myself it's not true. i'm a firm believer in miracles, but the universe is more random than most people think. women get pregnant because of biology. that's how our bodies work. not because the lord, 'trusts' them.

everyone, your comments have been beautiful and encouraging to read!

miss A. Bailey. email me pretty please? i want to be your friend.

kenna.shumway@gmail.com

Heather said...

Beautiful, beautiful post Kenna. Adoption is so amazing and such a beautiful thing.

And Boog. Seriously? Could that picture be any cuter? The dimple... The cleft chin... What a darling boy!

Leslie said...

I love what Lechelle said.

Your sealing day is going to be MONUMENTAL. The last time I did proxy sealings, I really paid attention to the words, and I was reminded that God truly is merciful and kind. The plan really is a plan of happiness. I can't wait for your sealing day.

Michelle said...

This is how I think of it:

Having the biological capability to give birth to the physical body of a baby, doesn't mean you also created its spirit.

Our spirits existed before we came to earth and will continue to exist after we die. Boog, or rather, Boog's special spirit, was meant to be with you, but he just had to find different way.

Val'n'Ben said...

My darling Kenna, I love you dearly!

In 6 days when you leave the courthouse with papers signed, or 21 days when you leave the temple after kneeling across the alter and having Harley sealed to you for eternity... He will be no more ours than he has been since he came to your sweet family in December. Paperwork, sealing... just formalities. We love you all. So. Much!

kenna said...

Michelle, that is the most comforting comment. I have never thought about it that way but you are completely right

I love your wisdom.

Spencer said...

Kenna, you are amazing. Beautiful title. Beautiful post. It is amazing how sometimes I go for weeks or longer without even thinking about infertility and then other times it just hits me. Sometimes it's hard for me to be honest in recognizing the hard days. That is one of the things I love about you. You are honest with what you are feeling. It's refreshing.

I am so excited for your sealing. I dream of the day that we will be able to bring our baby to the temple to be sealed to us. We just have to find our little soul first!

This is Whitney by the way. My husband isn't creepily stalking your blog, but I just wrote all that and THEN realized I was signed in under his name, and was just too lazy to fix it. :)

Stephanie said...

This is beautiful in every way and I love you so much. Pretty amazing to know it just gets better from here. :)

Hot Pink said...

Oh Kenna, I have been quietly stalking your blog and feeling like I should say something and keep forgetting. This however has made me make the time to tell you how amazing you are! I randomly came across your blog one day and then realized that we knew someone in common. Entirely different story for another day!
I think you are amazing and you give me hope. My heart aches for you and at the same time rejoices for Harley ending up where he belongs. I have struggled with infertility for almost 4 years now and since I have found your blog I have basically wanted to face it just like you. Some days I want to take it into the other room and beat the shit out of it (*Gasp* mormon girl just swore ;) ) and other days I accept it and try my hardest to "embrace" it and accept it as my trial.
If I ever get back to Salt Lake, you and i should be like...bff's or something. :D

Brianne said...

LOVE this and so excited for you and your big day tomorrow! I can't even imagine how wonderful it will be to have him sealed to you and be yours forever and ever and ever. Love you lots and your precious boog!

Amanda said...

I haven't read your blog in a long time, but just thought about you the other day and got to wondering....
I'm so grateful that you have finalized and been sealed. That makes my heart so happy for you.
This post totally echos my heart. You are a gifted writer. I love it. Thanks for sharing!

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