Friday, August 23, 2013

Mixed Emotions...

I have talked a lot about this to some close friends, but I haven't really said it publicly yet. With the down time I have had between expecting Bretton and receiving him (still not yet!), God has given me time to slow down and think. I've been struggling with the loss of Parke lately, and even though I see God's hand at work, especially with bringing our family sweet Bretton, it is still hard to grasp everything. I received several books from friends and total strangers during our process with Parke, and I have read a few for the first time lately. They stir emotions and remind me of things that I have put in the back of my mind or heart. One that I read with the kids this morning was, "Mommy, Please Don't Cry...There Are No Tears in Heaven."
That is a really bad and blurry picture, but it's the best I can get this morning. :) Anyway, I honestly can't remember who sent it to me. I think it was the ANGELS group down at Arkansas Children's Hospital, but I'm not positive. It is signed by the author and has a sweet note inside.
Anyway, as I was reading it this morning, one page in particular jumped out at me. It says,
"I've met a man named Noah. He told me about his big boat, all the animals, and the very first rainbow. Have you heard of Noah, Mommy?"
In a way, I have thought about that often. Really, I have thought about the things that I will miss getting to "teach" Parke. The Bible stories, his numbers, colors, ABC's. That passage made it so clear to me that Parke is not missing out on anything. I know that, but I don't. He is getting to MEET and sit with and talk with the people that are only stories to us at this point. It was totally eye opening, and I loved it.
So, as we move forward and bring Bretton into our home and our family, it is bittersweet and full of mixed emotions. Yes, I wish Parke were still here. No, if Parke was here, we would not be adopting Bretton. Does that mean I don't want Bretton? No, it doesn't. Does that mean I would want Parke back? Yes, it does. Does it mean that I will love Bretton less? No, it doesn't. Does it mean that God has sent him for healing and completeness for our family? To me it does. Does it mean that I get to experience and see God's story for our sweet sons unfold before us in hard and real and raw form? Yes, but I am thankful to see His hand.
It is hard. It is sweet. It is confusing and emotional.
Bretton will have his own identity in our family. He will not always be known as just the biological cousin to Parke. He is our the exact same way that Collier and Parke are. I know my emotions will change over the years, but at this point, this is where I am. I don't want Parke forgotten...I promised him he wouldn't be. I don't want anyone to feel that Bretton is a replacement for Parke's life and that our emotions of that situation are erased because of his presence.
I'm kind of a mess if you can't tell. I'm just feeling pulled a million ways emotionally, and the stress of waiting and waiting and waiting on Bretton has blessed me with time to think and express my emotions that probably didn't need to be pushed back.
I would really love your prayers as we continue on over the next few weeks. Happy, sad, real, raw, angry, joyful emotions are sure to come! :) 

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