Sunday, April 13, 2014

On Another's Sorrow

This weekend was FULL. We had our second garage sale fundraiser for the adoption and raised just shy of 1000$ to go towards our adoption expenses. We are so grateful for everyone who donated items, helped us sort and set up, and then everyone who shopped. I was so blessed to meet two adoptive mamas ( one who adopted from our agency ! ) and also a grown adopted daughter. These sweet connections encouraged us and gave us some much needed motivation to get through our last few bits of paper work.

Along with the garage sale we hosted my little sister ( who is almost 13) for the weekend. She is fun and active and is in crutches at the moment. We had a sweet time hanging out and even found a chance to venture out to see Rio 2. I also enjoyed trying out 4 kids and was pleasantly surprised that the chaos didn't feel any more chaotic! Woo-hoo! Hope!

This weekend was also a weekend of tenderness. We have always been blessed, every city we have lived in, by friendships with families who grieve. And I say blessed because I have learned more about our Father God through friendships with parents and families who have lost children than I otherwise would have. There is a depth of understanding of his grace and mercy when a mother or father who has experienced that loss looks you in the face and tells you it is true. Here in this town in this moment, this was a heavy weekend of memory as we as a congregation remembered a sweet little boy I will one day meet in heaven. His mama, and other women I deeply care for and respect have heavy hearts this week as it is an ebenezer of the day he began his journey home. I do not usually shy away from these moments as they arise, but as humans we have our own grief, and grief triggers grief. So Thursday and Friday nights were long nights of hard dreams. The ones where people visit. The ones you don't want to wake up from. And so we wonder. How do we, people living our busy lives with adoptions and fundraisers and children and events, share in the sorrow of another? How can we carry the grief of our friends? How do we enter in to their sorrow when the reality is that our sinful selves are incapable of true empathy. I'm comforted that this is not a new question. William Blake wrote of this in his Songs of Innocence (1790's) in "Sorrow of another." His answer to grieving with each other? Our Father in heaven grieves too. We do not carry each others burdens alone. He carries mine. He carries yours. He carries what I carry for you. He weeps with us. "Till our grief is fled and gone, He doth sit by us and moan."

William Blake
Sorrow of Another

Can I see another's woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another's grief,
And not seek for kind relief?

Can I see a falling tear,
And not feel my sorrow's share?
Can a father see his child
Weep, nor be with sorrow filled?

Can a mother sit and hear
An infant groan, an infant fear?
No, no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!

And can He who smiles on all
Hear the wren with sorrows small,
Hear the small bird's grief and care,
Hear the woes that infants bear -

And not sit beside the nest,
Pouring pity in their breast,
And not sit the cradle near,
Weeping tear on infant's tear?

And not sit both night and day,
Wiping all our tears away?
O no! never can it be!
Never, never can it be!

He doth give His joy to all:
He becomes an infant small,
He becomes a man of woe,
He doth feel the sorrow too.

Think not thou canst sigh a sigh,
And thy Maker is not by:
Think not thou canst weep a tear,
And thy Maker is not near.

O He gives to us His joy,
That our grief He may destroy:
Till our grief is fled and gone
He doth sit by us and moan.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Easier out than in, or is it?

Teething. The bane of early childhood. The most common answer to "why is your baby screaming like a lunatic?" 

When our babies are little we hold them and struggle with them and cry with them through every minute of their teeth coming in. We seek advice, buy remedies, rock, snuggle and lose sleep. And then they become toddlers. When their molars come in, well darling... Just let me know and I'll bring the wine. Let's just say those days can be so long and so hard that years later you are willing to write a blog post lamenting their difficulty. 

But then. But THEN. Oh the audacity. These same teeth that took an eternity to work their horrible necessary selves INTO the mouth of your beloved first born start flying out once a week when he approaches his 11th birthday. Every other day this week has brought me yet ANOTHER tooth. Four this week. And I hate them. These horrible pieces of bone that I don't know what to do with ( seriously, they feel too sacred to throw away and too morbid to hold on to) they are taking over. Not cool teeth. Not cool. And the worst part? They are causing his sweet little mouth, the one I tenderly held ice and teethers and tablets and the forbidden orajel... This sweet little mouth is no longer sweet and little but older and teenagery and saucy and smart (in a good way). 
The same little teeth the bit my shoulder one unfortunate midnight feeding, these same precious teeth that chewed the Cheerios, rejected the peas and claimed many a pizza crust , these horrid little beasts have the gall to just fall out. Without even a to do. Without drama or consequence. Without even a fairy request. And I'll miss them. Oh man. I miss them already.