I finally just unpacked my bag from Georgia yesterday. It was a really big bag. I had already unpacked most of my own stuff when I got home but was happy yesterday to uncover some clothes that I had forgotten about (and had been looking for these past weeks - like a moron!) Most of the suitcase was filled with stuff for the baby - cute little pink and purple onesies, a frilly little baby dress, tons of soft swaddle blankets, cloth diapers and teeny tiny socks. I unpacked slowly, and over time, not wanting to feel the full weight of the disappointment all at once. 

Emotionally unpacking this experience is something I really didn't want to have to do. It's something that I still don't really want to do.  I want to bundle it all up in a bag and forget about it.  I want to leave it on the bedroom floor, like I left my suitcase, and just pile other stuff on top of it.  I want to forget what is in the bag and maybe even pretend it didn't happen - because there is just too much to unpack and it is too intertwined with the much more crushing loss of Maxie. If he hadn't died, I really don't think this experience would have happened at all.  And packing up baby stuff - looking for places to put it all - and wondering, with a heavy heart, whether it will ever be used, is all too familiar.  Much different - but still familiar.

When I got home, several people offered to put me in touch with their friends who could talk to me about their failed adoption experiences. A few people told me that they knew it was "like a death" - words that stung to hear.  Not bringing home this baby was not like a death.  The death of a child doesn't only mean an end to the fantasies that the parents had for their child but it also (and much more horrifically) means the end of that child's life. The little girl I fell in love with in Georgia still lives - she has people who love her, an older sibling, a bunch of experiences waiting for her in the future. Do I wish she was mine?  Yes!  Totally.  Am I completely turned upside down by having to leave her there?  For sure.  But, all this really is is the end of a certain dream of mine. It doesn't even compare to having to know that Max will never have dreams of his own - but I'm still sad.

I have finally unpacked the contents of that suitcase but I need to leave almost all of the emotional stuff packed up.  There are so many layers of hurt and I just haven't gotten to the point yet where I can look at it at all without becoming completely unglued....and unglued was exactly how I felt on my last day there. It was awful and I am scared to let myself go there again. I've definitely learned by now that all wounds, great and small, take time to heal.  I guess I will have to postpone the healing with this one (and so many others that have come over the last few years) because I am still working on trying to heal (as much as possible) the heartbreak of Max dying.  I do know that leaving Georgia without that baby girl opened up the Maxie wound.  When I have allowed it to surface, even momentarily, it hasn't been pretty.

I have no reason to be posting the photo below except that my grandma used to always tell us grandkids that we were her best medicine.  I never really thought about the meaning.  I just thought it was one of those grandmotherly things to say.  But, just look at this kid!  It pretty hard to stay sad with this guy around. 

Mosie - he really IS my best medicine.


Anonymous said...

I feel you, dear Abby. And I'm with you. You can only unpack what you can tolerate. You're so strong and so pro-life. The photo of the dearest Moesie is perfect on this post - i understand your Grandma very well. Love, CS

TamaraL said...

What a sweet dose of medicine he is! Gobble him up!

Taryn said...

I think you have a good way of putting things into perspective. This may be like a death...of a DREAM...but the REALITY is, thankfully, it isn't an actual death! The two are very different. While the pain you are feeling from this loss feeds into some of the deep feeling you have because of the death of your baby, they are just not the same, and that makes complete sense. It is still so disappointing and heartbreaking, and regretful. I'm so sorry!!!