In This Together

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Russ traveled to California for a meeting this week. It was the first time he’d been away since the accident and I was a little anxious about it. It’s not that life is terribly hard, it’s more that we are leaning hard on one another. I often rest my head on his chest and breathe; I need to feel connected, hear his heartbeat, and borrow a little of his strength.

We’ve experienced so much in our years together – since we were seniors in high school. We’ve had many challenges and faced everything we promised in our marriage vows: better and worse, richer and poorer, sickness and health. Thirty years of marriage have allowed us to experience the highest heights and lowest lows.

Now we’re surviving something we never could have imagined – the loss of our child. This may sound strange, but I’m  thankful we were together and experienced the accident and our loss of Kalkidan side-by-side. I don’t have to explain anything because Russ was with me; in many ways he was my eyes and ears. He holds the memories my brain can’t.

So often, my heart is full of heaviness but I hardly need to say a word, and when I do, Russ completely understands. We were holding on to each other in the emergency room, and we’re holding on to each other now.

One day we need to get away to really talk, pray, and process. Caring for the children and working on my physical recovery have consumed our lives – and on top of it all, Russ has gone to work every day since the semester began. One generous reader offered us her vacation home in Connecticut; I can’t tell you how often I think of getting on a plane and going. Too bad it’s all the way across the country – but you never know.

Tomorrow Russ and I are driving to the Spokane Orphan Summit and for the very first time, I will pass the site of the accident (Russ has been by before). I don’t know if we’ll stop or keep driving. I don’t know if I’ll step out onto that field and feel nearly nothing, or if I’ll fall on my knees weeping. I have no idea. Whatever happens, Russ will be with me, he’ll hold onto me and let me feel whatever it is I feel. We are fully in this together and I am deeply thankful.

I tried to blog all week, but with Russ gone and some other craziness, it’s come down to Friday afternoon. I don’t know if many of you will even see this, but if you do, please pray for us tomorrow as we drive, and as we speak to and with adoptive and foster families.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends.

Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

16 Comments

  1. Julie Blair Pitts
    April 24, 2015

    I see you, Lisa. ..

    Reply
  2. Karen Grtiffith
    April 24, 2015

    Lisa, you are indeed blessed… and so is Russ. See you soon.

    Reply
  3. Laura Draper
    April 24, 2015

    My prayers are with you

    Reply
  4. Lisa H.
    April 24, 2015

    Praying for you so very often!

    Reply
  5. Sara
    April 24, 2015

    Praying. Thank you for sharing your grief. I'm trying to put words to what it means that you are willing to share the hard parts of this grief but it just feels like exactly how we are supposed to live life. It gives me strength to share the hard and difficult pieces of my life with others. I believe it's how the gospel calls us to live.

    Reply
  6. Melinda Muir
    April 24, 2015

    Praying for you and Russ. I'm praying that you both will be able to process this whole situation and that God will just bring you the peace and love that you and your whole family need right at this very moment. I will be thinking and praying as you pass the site that God will take that memory and unlock all the things that are intertwined and allow you mind and heart to just unload its self. I have not walked in your shoes at losing a child but I had a little girl who was 15 weeks early and she almost lost her life but God had other plans and she is now 18 yrs old and doing well for where she came from. Every time you blog since the accident I sit in tears because I want to understand your lose. Thank you for being so transparent.

    Reply
  7. Morénike Onaiwu
    April 24, 2015

    <3

    Reply
  8. Michelle
    April 24, 2015

    Love what you say about drawing some of his strength. Praying as you travel past the site and for your time at the Summit.

    Reply
  9. lucylou99
    April 24, 2015

    I'm praying this minute. Love you!

    Reply
  10. Anita
    April 24, 2015

    Praying for you now–and so grateful you have your Russ to lean on! Aren't godly husbands just a gift beyond measure!?

    Reply
  11. Rebecca
    April 24, 2015

    It's so nice to have a friend by your side. Praying blessings upon your trip right now.

    Reply
  12. Maureen Reagan Shear
    April 24, 2015

    I will be saying extra prayers for you and your family tomorrow.

    Reply
  13. Laurel
    April 24, 2015

    You are so blessed to be walking this together, to be drawing your strength from Russ. There are many, many marriages that could not withstand the loss that you are walking through. (I have thought often that I don't think my marriage could withstand such a loss at this time.) So often, a loss such as this causes both parties to pull away from each other, rather than to each other. I am so thankful that you have each other, and that, as you said, you experienced it together.

    I will be praying for you tomorrow as you make the drive north, that the Lord will guide and direct as to whether to stop. Maybe you should stop on the way home, after ministering at the summit.

    I have been in Spokane since Monday, helping take care of my 7th grandson and his sweet mommy who is recuperating from an emergency c-section. (Actually it's my 3rd trip across the state in 3 weeks.) But, sadly, I am headed home tomorrow morning. Wish I could see you and give you a hug.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers so often. Keep leaning on Russ, and leaning into Jesus. He is your strength in times of trouble.

    Reply
  14. Emily
    April 24, 2015

    Praying for rest tonight and comfort in the morning. I admire your courage in walking into the unknown shadows of the grieving process. I can imagine that it would be all too easy to take the path of avoidance. Lord Jesus, have mercy on Lisa, I pray, and speak peace to her heart.

    Reply
  15. Emily Curtiss
    April 24, 2015

    Praying for you and your family.

    Reply
  16. Alisa
    April 24, 2015

    Praying…

    Reply

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