Asking why?

After losing a child, it never gets easier to raise the one you still have here on earth. Today I was given the heartbreaking news that our beloved pediatrician Dr. Mindy Green passed away after a long fight with breast cancer. We hesitantly established care with Mindy just weeks after Zoe died. As grateful as I was for all of Zoe's doctors, it was terrifying to take the only child I had left in for a simple well-child check. from the start, Dr. green already knew our story and was more than kind and gracious with our traumatic circumstances. Having battled with cancer, she knew all too well how fragile life can be.

We trusted her. I trusted her. She treated us as if we were the only family in her care. If I ever called for anything, she called me back personally within minutes. If Londyn needed to be seen urgently, she saw us regardless of her busy schedule and would spend an hour just talking to us as if we were family friends. We always talked of getting our girls together, as she has a little one just Londyn's age. 

When I heard the news of her passing, I was sick. I was sick of people dying... especially people that I care about. I was even more sick about having to tell Londyn that someone else in her life had gone to heaven to be with Zoe. It seems as though a lot of people are returning home too soon.

I said a little prayer, took a deep breath and gave her the news. I think it hurt me more than her, because I feel like hard things are constantly chipping away at her innocence and childhood. I was nervous because Londyn was so afraid to go to the doctor after Zoe died.  She thought everyone that went to the doctor would die. Dr. Green made her feel comfortable and special during a confusing time.

I told her that Dr. green was very sick and Heavenly Father didn't want her to hurt anymore, so she went to heaven to be with Zoe.  Without hesitation, she said " I thought only babies go to heaven."  

I didn't feel like cooking dinner tonight and while at our favorite Chinese restaurant, out of nowhere Londyn said "I'm only a little bit sad that Dr. green passed away."  I told her that it's okay to be sad and that I'm sad too. She then said, "it's okay Mom. now she's Zoe's doctor."

It's indescribable how my heart aches when she says things like this. Especially because my preschooler is the one comforting me! What 4 year old says that? A four year old that tells me in the car today, "I need to take flowers to the cemetery for Zoe. Can we do that this weekend mom?" A 4 year old that expresses the fear that she won't go to the same heaven as her sister. 

Once Lulu asked "what cemetery did I use to be at?" She thought that since Zoe died as a baby, she would soon die as well. I told Lulu that only some babies die and go to heaven. Lots of babies live and grow to be big like her. 

Later today we were talking about Dr. Green again and Lulu said "I thought only Mommy's die when they get really really old." How do you explain that these instances are rare and that at her age, she should be afraid of the dark or monsters in her closet.  Instead my sweet little princess thinks, worries and fears death at such a young and what should be an beautiful and innocent time in life. Growing up is filled with roadblocks, life lessons and heartache. WHY does hers have to start so early?

These moments lead us to the dangerous "whys." Why do people around us keep dying? Why did a sweet baby have to come to this earth and die after suffering for her entire 4.5 months of life? Why did the first funeral I ever attended have to be for my own child? Why does my four year old have to worry about whether she or her family and friends are going to die?  Why do I have to live the rest of this life with a hole in my family and a hole in my heart? Why me? Why does Mindy's little girl now have to grow up without her mother by her side? Why does Mindy's husband have to raise their daughter without her? Why can't the grieving period be just that, period? Why? why. WHY?

There is only one answer. 

The Plan of Salvation. The Plan that our Father in Heaven has for each of us. He loves us and sent us here to learn, make mistakes, love, serve, hurt, grow, be tested and put our faith in him. These trials are unbearable at times and can most certainly be without His presence in trying times. If we shut Him out, we are left lonelier than ever before. I have found that hurting because of Him is much more painful than letting Him hurt with me. I don't have all the answers, but I hold onto this one and look forward to a fullness of joy that will be given to me when I am faced with my Maker and only then will all the answers be revealed.

The Green family is in our hearts and prayers. Mindy Green was a beautiful woman and talented physician. She left a heart shaped imprint in our lives and will be forever missed. 

August 2013


T Minus 16

I have so much going on in this head of mine right now and the only possible way I will get any sleep tonight is to blurt it all out.  So after much procrastination... I must blog.

December is my most favorite time of the year.  I just love the magic of the holidays that fills people's hearts and reminds us that there is good on this earth.  Gift giving is my all time favorite part of Christmas.  It isn't the receiving, nor is it the money spent.  Rather the building up of a grand reveal and then the look on their face.  It's priceless.

Over the past few years, this specific month has been repeatedly difficult.  December 1st, 2011 was the day that we met who would be the single most important doctor in our lives over the next 11 months, our beloved cardiologist Dr. King.  It was that day that Zoe's Congenital Heart Defect was confirmed, options were given to us, terms like "quality of life" and percentages were uttered.  We left a large part of our innocence as parents and human beings in that office that day.  

December 2012 was surprisingly enjoyable at times and excruciating at others.  Zoe had died just 3 months prior and we were doing our best to shower Londyn with love and having just started Andrew's big-boy job, we were showering her with presents too.  We didn't hold back with the decorating, a large noble fir in our little townhouse and anything else we could do to fill the sadness in our hearts.  

And December 2013... is nothing short of another incline in the emotional roller coaster that has been our lives.  About a month ago, my Birth Mother whom I had searched/found 3 years ago decided that she couldn't wait for me to come to Korea anymore and was coming here.  It was a normal Tuesday night in the Armitage abode... Lulu and I were snuggling on the couch with a show, while I was getting some work done on the computer.  I get a call from a random and unusually long phone number.  Not once, but three times in a row.  By the fourth time, I had a feeling that it was her.  I answered and it was a lovely young woman calling on behalf of my Birth Mom and Birth Uncle... who she said were sitting right next to her.  Up until this point, all communication had been via e-mail and snail mail.  This was the closest to speaking to her directly that I had ever been.  It was hands down the most awkward and unusual phone conversation that I have ever had.  It all happened so quickly and then just like that, I found myself on the phone with my Birth Mother.  Hearing her voice was one of the strangest moments I have ever experienced.  I couldn't understand what she was saying, but I could hardly believe that I was communicating in real time with the woman that I was a part of for 9 months and that gave birth to me.  After what felt like an eternity of silence, the translator came back on the phone and told me that my Birth Mother was coming here on December 8th.  Here, meaning little old Sherwood, Oregon to meet the daughter that she relinquished 27 years ago.  This reunion had been in the works for years but with life doing what it does best... throwing us for a loop, timing just hadn't been right.  Up until this phone call, I still didn't feel like it was the right time to meet and with great hesitation, I expressed those feeling to the translator.  I heard a short conversation in the background and then she came back on the phone to tell me that my BM didn't want to wait any longer and was coming December 8th.  So there you have it.  My first experience with my Korean mother and I was already overruled.  

In about 16 hours, a woman that I know just as well as the sales clerk at Target, will walk off an airplane and refer to me as her daughter.  My life will change in 16 hours and it is completely out of my control.  I like control.  I like a plan... especially my own plan.  I like knowing what to expect and being prepared.  I like organization and things that just make sense... on paper and in life.  Over the past three years my life has had very little of all of these things. I suppose this is Heavenly Father telling me to let go and trust in Him.  Trust in His plan and not my own.  This lesson seems to be tied up in a pretty little package and although I am a changed and better woman with my adversities, some days I wish that enough was enough and maybe, just maybe there was a "Get Out of Jail Free" card, waiting for me somewhere.  Just a tiny little break from this exhausting roller coaster?  Is that too much to ask?

I wish I could say that going into this reunion I don't have any hesitation or resentment.  I have prayed so hard to just let it all go.  But the questions... the how's and why's continue to creep in. Lately, curiosity and intrigue have led people to ask questions about my "Mother" and my "Real Mom."  This is by far one of my greatest pet peeves that just rubs me the wrong way.  Maybe it's the nature of the situation and the anxiety of meeting my Korean mother, but when people ask "Are you excited to meet your real mom?" or "So when is your mom coming to visit?"  To clarify and confirm to the greater blogosphere, this woman is not my mother.  My mother is the woman that carried and continues to grieve the loss of 7 sweet babies before opening her heart to adoption and to me.  My mother is the woman that spent hours driving me to dance classes, helped me with campaign posters and speeches, excused me from school for "Mental Health Days" AKA retail therapy and the Nordstrom's Cafe.  My mother is the woman that continues to love me despite all of my faults and is my cheerleader and friend.  That is the woman who I honor as my Mother.  

I may resemble the woman that I will meet tomorrow and I am grateful that she gave me the chance to be with what I refer to as my family, the only one that I have ever known.  But this relationship cannot be forced, nor expected.  I have questions and I hope to find answers.  

My hope is that we can get to know each other, language/culture barrier and all.  But my prayer?  

My prayer is for peace.  Peace in both of our hearts.