Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Natural Order of Things

Sometimes as a society I think we become so 'enlightened' that we actually begin to deny basic truths. In some instances the reasons behind the denial is good intent, but the truth just sort of bubbles up.

I think one of these truths is that genetics does matter. We have hid it because we don't want people to be chained to the past and we want to accept children fully regardless of origin. Which are both wonderful concepts that should be accepted.

But the truth is that when I look at my children, I see myself and my family. My son was a little bit of everyone that I love. The literal joining of two people. I felt like not only did my son die, but a piece of myself, my husband, our parents, our grandparents died that day. It's a strange thing because in todays society you are supposed to say that all this doesn't matter.

The reality is that every person has two ways to keep living in this world once they are gone. The first is the ripple effect, and sadly some people do not produce a very big wave. It is not only the achievements but how you cared about others and made them want to be better people. I think here is where adoption and choice of bringing friends into your inner circle matters- this is part of your ripple. If you can pass good things along you still live.... but sadly some create waves of terror that echoe through generations. Sometimes perhaps a person does a little of both.

The second is through your genes. Yes I said it. But in a very real way your personality, facial features, and health/ pschological characteristics go on. I think this can be good or bad for obvious reasons, but also because of how people treat those who are or aren't related. It's become taboo to acknowledge because of rejection by others because you weren't 'their blood' or the extreme of genocide.

But it is real. Don't reject the truths that are good because of the bad.

I miss my son. Because of who he was and who was part of him. It was no mistake he was named after our two favorite men in our families, Perry (my husband's father) and my Grandfather Bryce. It is a whispered hope that this child will embody them and live out the best of both men. It is also a hope that this child would carry them forward. You want them to continue to live not only by that ripple but to hopefully see the physical part staring back at you.

And when he died we all died, even those who still breathed.

I feel like a very real part of me is buried wth my son, like part of me died before the rest of me. You can't see the missing limb (genetic) or the hole in my soul (ripple), but it is there. I feel like I have seen my own funeral and watched my own body descend into the ground.

I never really felt this before in all of my losses. The natural order let me whisper that they would live on through me. Instead I see an end where there should be a brillant future. He was supposed to be my ripple, and instead I am now his.

And I feel sadly inadequate at times to live large enough for both of us.


  1. I believe that you are giving genetics entirely too much credit in who we are. I doubt that you believe that genetics play much of a role in your becoming a firefighter; you might even say your genetics have been an obstacle to overcome. Madison Christine’s middle name is from your husband, but she is not genetically related to him, does that mean that she can never be engineer like him?

    I would argue that adoption is far nobler than a genetic offspring. First off, while you were able to bring your child home and begin your new lives together, we have had to fight for our family on a monthly basis for the past nine months – a fight that will continue into the unforeseeable future. We know from experience that an adopted child will show traits of their adopted parents. When I look at our baby, I often see Laura, and it has nothing to do with genetics.

    For us, Madison is as much our baby as Emily is your baby – perhaps more so, as we had to choose to make her a part of our family and then fight for her.

    1. Michael, my first response to your post wasn't posted correctly. I do hope that this one goes through. Maybe it is better that the first one didn't. The ripples that you have caused by your thoughtless, and cruel post will be going for a long time. Your post and your complete and deliberate ignoring of Perry's death has spread farther than I am sure you can ever imagine.

      I was right behind Perry's loving parents as a caregiver. I didn't have a son, or a brother growing up, and I was constantly amazed at how much I loved and enjoyed having a grandson. I so looked forward to T-ball games, or maybe soccer and rooting him on, seeing him grow up with his sister, Emily, and watching him grow into manhood. All that ended with his death.

      I have watched his parents and sister struggle to deal with their grief and loss, feeling so helpless to make it all better. I I grieve for him still, but your cruel comments have ripped any forming scars and scabs off of my grief. It is all new again. I have spent the last three days crying and screaming. I cannot imagine what your words have done to Katie and Chris. May God forgive you, because I do not know if I ever will.

    2. Hugs momma bear! I know you hurt too and I am sorry that the scabs that have only begin to form have been ripped open and exposed you to that fresh pain. Please know that you are in our prayers for healing! In love. Margot

  2. First, to say that my children were not planned or wanted- ?!. You are right I didn't go through a nine month process like you do I went through almost 2 years with each, prefaced by multiple losses (miscarriages)and nine months in the womb. Pregnancy is not easy and I take a series of expensive prescriptions as well as vomitting throughout most of the time. Adoption is a great thing, but make no mistake that the quality of a parent is determined by how they parent and not how they get there. There are many parents that adopt as well as birth parents that are far less than noble.My children are no less wanted because I had them naturally. You are right that genetics does not make a family- I have found mre support through strangers that have also lost children. I am sorry to say that I feel that their words indicate they care more about me than most 'family'. Your daughter will never have my husband's eyes. She will never have his heighth. And it is ok for me to miss that about him- it takes nothing from your child. Far from overcoming my genetics, my Grandfather was a Fire Chief and my Cousin (also female) was in fire and rescue in the army. I am proud of my family and genetics- for as messed up as we are I have many great people that I am proud of in the mix as well. To tell a mother that has lost a son that her child is less hers than yours because she didn't 'chose' hers and that adoption is nobler is quite frankly sanctimonious bullshit. I need support and not judgement. The date of my son's death is coming up and instead of support from you all you focus on is hurt feelings from a post that was not ABOUT YOU. And yes, there was a child missing, and it still isn't yours. None of you couldn't see that because you were so focused in on your own situation that you couldn't look around and say "HMM I bet is sucks to take any pictures for them". We haven't taken any 'family' pictures other than the wedding because our family isn't complete anymore- to be there let alone take pictures was a very costly emotional gift that nobody else will ever understand that hasn't 'been there'. I would have given anything to not be in that picture but be sitting there in the pews holding my son. In a way I hope you will never understand what we are going through because you would have to lose a child to understand it and I would never want that for you and Laura.

  3. I think people need to recognize there is no hierarchy system when it comes to love. And if you never lost a child how can you even comment? I dont want to hear that the adopted baby is more loved than the birthed baby, that makes no sense, whether planned or unplanned that child is a physical extenstion of you/the parents. An adopted child is love wanted to give to another and planned to give to another but when you actually grow the baby in your belly, and when you feel its first kicks, when you adjust your life so that you can start parenting way before the adoptive family has filled out forms... what i am trying to say is, this shouldn't even be an issue. This is a grieving mother. I am both a grieving mother and a sister to two adopted siblings who I love very much. My parents are getting older and want to travel and i always said i wanted to raise them as my own kids if my parents can't, and I still would. Only a callous jerk would say insensitive things to a grieving mother, and somehow try to negate the mother's feelings and her love for her child. the day you grow a baby in your belly, feel their movements, adjust your life, and then the child is born, bringing you great joy and then the baby dies, THEN you can comment on this. Then you can say how it feels and who loves who more. But since you can't stop talking about it. keep your comments to yourself.

  4. Look, adoption is great..But you really can't say one is better than the other. And you really can't say that an adopted child is more a part of a family than an offspring child. How can you tell any mother, grieving or not, that their biological child is less a part of their family compared to your adopted child? There are mothers everywhere who have to fight daily for even the slightest chance to have a child, and some sadly never get the chance. So what if a child isn't planned? That child may still be that persons reason to get up in the morning. As a Mother to an Angel myself I can tell you, My Son was my everything. He was a huge part of my family, he was also our first child. You can't tell me as a mother that my child was less of a part of my family than yours. Thats just arrogant. It's almost like saying, " My adopted child is more important and special than your biological child."

  5. OMG I have deleted my comment now 15 times and my heart races and tears well in my eyes. That someone even a bit close to your circle never mind in your circle could respond to your terror and grief in such a manner makes me question their ability to raise a child. Theirs by adoption or birth. Just gross really.

  6. Adoption does not mean you love a child more then the child I grew in my body. Your 9 month process does not override the 9 months I spent pregnant with my angel baby. And last of all until you know the pain and heartbreak of making funeral arrangements and having to face everyday of your life knowing that precious child is never going to grow up, you shouldn't pass your views onto the rest of us who know that pain. No child erases another child. And your child is not more loved or more important because she was adopted. All children are special and loved regardless how they come into a family.

  7. I have thought about posting a comment for the last few days. I wasn't sure if I could articulate what I wanted to say but, doesn't really matter now, I can't stop thinking about this post. At first I thought it was because of the ignorant comment about adoptive parents being more "nobler" than parents that conceived their children and then I thought it was the comments about Katie mentioning that she hasn’t/doesn’t want to take family photos because her family is not complete and then it dawned on me why this is bothering me. Basic compassion. Katie and Chris have just gone through every parent’s worst nightmare. My worst fear, the thing I pray about to any higher being that could be listening has happened to them. I don’t even know what I can do to support or let them know that I think about them, that I think about Emily and that I think about Perry…..I am at a loss, I don’t know what they are going through and if you have not lost a child you don’t know either and if you have lost a child you can’t judge either. We all deal with things differently, we all grieve differently. To even state something so ignorant, so rude, is just uncompassionate. Michael, as a human being, as a parent it is just plain nasty to say the things you said. Try being compassionate, try being supportive and if you can’t…..keep it to yourself.

    Katie Girl I hope you continue to post what you are feeling. Know that some of us even though we don’t know what to do…………read your blog to get a better understanding, to support you and to remember Perry.