Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The entry about the rocking chair.

In 2007, I announced with joy that I was pregnant with twin boys.  It took us four years and one harrowing round of IVF (in vitro fertilization) to conceive them. I was hospitalized multiple times, I was horribly ill, but my little boys began to grow inside of me and our family prepared for the delightful arrival of twins.

In early 2008, my parents agreed that I would need a rocking chair.  Not just "any" rocking chair, but a special one; one that was comfortable and big enough to accommodate two children.  My father shopped high and low, looking for a chair that was aesthetically pleasing and functionally useful.  One day, I drove to a furniture shop to see several examples of rocking chairs. I sat in each one, rocking and gently holding my quickly growing belly.

We chose this one:

Large, beautiful, and with wide armrests.  Perfect to rock two fussy boys to sleep.

But any of you reading probably know what happened:  Those little boys never rocked in that rocking chair. They were born when I was 21 weeks pregnant...and they died.  They are Jacob and Zachary; they are Chelsea's older brothers and Joshua's too.

The chair stayed at my parent's home and there was discussion of getting rid of it.  Was it too painful?  But it was a beautiful chair and I couldn't see parting with it.  In a very small way, it was a part of my experience with Jacob and Zachary, and I didn't want to lose that.

Instead, we brought the chair home and kept it in our living room. I rocked in it often, but without my twin boys.

When I became pregnant with Chelsea, in our last-ditch fertility attempt, I rocked in that chair while cradling her inside of me.  But we'd chosen dark nursery furniture for Chelsea's room, and the rocking chair didn't match well.  Instead, we purchased an upholstered rocking chair for her room and kept the wooden rocking chair in our living room.

When we moved, the rocker stayed in our extra bedroom; unused, but ever present.

And now, it sits in Joshua's room.

Joshua's nursery furniture is light colored, and the chair coordinates with that.  (The light oak is similar to what he already has in the orphanage; we picked that to try and maintain some continuity for him)

It is HIS chair now.

There is no sadness in that.  I am excited to finally rock a little one in that special chair.  It is four years old and it is dusty, but it's still beautiful.  It was purchased to care for a little boy, and instead of Jacob and Zachary, it will be for him.  I know his brothers would be very pleased to share it.

They are sharing it.  There is no replacement.  Joshua cannot, will not, and should not replace his brothers.  Only someone who has lost a child can understand that no child can replace another.  No, not if I had ten biological children or a dozen adopted children, could I replace the little boys I lost.  Each little one is unique.  Jacob and Zachary are Jacob and Zachary.  Chelsea is Chelsea.  And Joshua is Joshua.  No one lives in the shadow of the other; rather, we incorporate all of the memories and pieces of our family into the fabric of our family.

Joshua is waiting for us, to leave The Bad Place and arrive into this room.  (Lord only knows when he'll actually want to SLEEP in this room, but that's another matter entirely!)  Thank you for praying for us and helping us reach the goal, which is just ten days away.

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