One of the other major things we discussed with our social worker was grief in adoption. And, many questions on how John and I handle grief and loss. It’s so amazing to sit back and think how God has created the timing for our adoption. Because while we’ve discussed adoption for years, it never seemed to be the right time until now. And, I believe that one of the reasons is because our views on grief and loss would’ve been much more naive a few years ago than they are now.
One of the very first things I knew I had to do after losing Warner was to allow myself to feel any emotion at any time. If I was sad, it’s okay. If I was mad, it’s okay. If I was confused, it’s okay. If I was joyful, it’s okay. And, I made the commitment early on that I was going to fully feel whatever the emotion was at the time and to find appropriate responses to my feelings. It was one of the best things the Lord led me to do in the days, weeks, months, and years following his loss.
And, I am amazed to think how much preparation was happening for the future of our family even then. Even the name and concept of this blog, Joy in the Sorrow–how joy and sorrow can intermingle in a way that only God can make it, has overwhelmed me to think that it has all brought us to these holy moments. We serve a God that was a man of sorrows on this earth. How comforting is that? He was not immune to sorrow but yet He leaned into it. And, because He did, great redemption was made for all mankind. Just imagine if we were all Christians that actually stepped into the pain? There’s much to be gained from allowing pain, grief, and loss to have its place.
One thing I’ve come to notice with the walk of Warner’s grief is that it takes on new forms in different seasons. For example, when Jedidiah was born, there was a new wave of grief. Grief, pain, and loss ebbs and flows and takes on different forms at different times. If that’s not all a small preparation for our precious new little one that will be entering all kinds of transitions over the years while coping with their story, I don’t know what is.
It was such a precious time with the social worker to discuss Warner’s life and loss, our opinions on the pain of grief, and how there’s absolutely no shame in receiving help when you need it. I am a huge proponent of counseling and it was so lovely to hear from a social worker encouraging that if at any point we feel we need the extra help or our child does, we should pursue it. Just a few years ago I may have agreed with those statements but not down to my core like I do now.
If you or someone close to you is struggling through pain, grief, or loss, emotions are good. Talking is good. Support is good. Isolation is never helpful. Seek out the help of family, friends, counsellors, books or whatever is available to best meet your needs. Shoving down the emotion or pain never works out and it tends to become something greater that you never intended. Don’t be afraid to lean in to the pain. The redemption and healing that comes is well worth the work
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.”