Do I belong here?
I hope this story will be the beginning of healing a deep hurt that has gone unresolved for over 20 years.
In 1981 my husband and I decided with great excitement to start a family. If only excitement was enough to accomplish our goals in life! 5 years and 4 lost pregnancies later we gave up trying and put our name down to adopt. Within a few months we were the proud parents of the most beautiful baby girl. We called her Nicola Kate and she was the apple of our eye. I remember watching her sleep and wondering at the amazing luck I had to be the mother, finally, of this gorgeous little girl. I could hardly believe it. She was sunny and smiley and easy and loved everyone. When she was 4 months old we celebrated with a dedication service in our church and a family lunch.
The next day, her biological mother withdrew her consent to the adoption and a two month battle followed. She left us in November of that year - she had just turned 6 months and it was one of the worst days of my life. We were in shock, sad, confused and just grieving for our daughter, but that was the worst thing. I felt as if we didn't have any right to grieve, because she hadn't died, she just wasn't our daughter any more. Our friends didn't know what to do or say to support us. Clearly they also felt they were on shaky ground. There was little or no affirmation of our grief, no support and we didn't even have the closure of a funeral or memorial service. And so we just tried to ignore our grief and get on with life. Another baby came in to our life and demanded our attention and we learned to just get on with life and tried not to think about that.
Recently we just lost my darling sister-in-law to cancer. She was only 54 and it was such a shock, and I am not doing well coping with the grief. I wonder if this has brought up all that unresolved grief from the loss of Nicky and feel that it is complicating the grief I feel for my sister-in-law. How do I deal with this? Is it valid to feel grief for the loss of a baby that hasn't died? What can I do to resolve that? Even now I feel that maybe I don't have the right to write on this blog where mothers and fathers are dealing with the terrible and real loss of their children through death. If I have offended any of you with my post, please forgive me. My heart goes out to you in your grief, and I pray that you will get the support you need.