It is truly hard to fathom how much we have been through in such a short amount of time. As I attempt to put it all into words, it blows me away. And as I reflect on the tragedy of losing Mazie and the many hurdles we have had to learn how to cross since, I give so much praise to God for carrying us through. There is NO other way we could have made it this far. I mean that wholeheartedly.
When you very unexpectedly are faced with the most unimaginable loss ever, some may feel they have two choices – to “try” and run from their pain or surrender it ALL by trusting God to meet you in the midst of it and heal the hurt. I’ve referenced it before and do it again now because believe me the flesh in me for years most likely would have first resorted to escaping the pain. That could be keeping myself busy/distraction, not seeking help, taking pills (which I have access to and seemed like it could be such an easy way out), drinking, avoiding or not talking about the grief or covering it up with material items. None of that would help me heal and any dysfunctional behavior is only a “temporary fix”.
Father's Day 2019 at Asbury Methodist Church
Believe me, there are still times it is unbearable and takes me (us) under. So every day I have to say no to the enemy and trust God even more. I am open about my faith because God has saved my life countless times and am only still standing with His strength. He has given us light and hope when the world around us can’t offer that. As we embark on another new season, we pray for His continued guidance and peace.
In November 2020 I started grief counseling. I will never forget sharing with the social worker about all that the boys were trying to process and difficult questions they would ask. Myles had many right away. Unlike Latson who internalizes everything and his emotions, Myles is openly curious. His first questions centered around what happened to Mazie. Details around that still come up at times and I am so thankful for my PTSD therapy to not be quite so traumatized in those moments.
Myles & Mazie - Valentine's Day 2020
Then the question came that I was in no way prepared for and so soon after. Myles asked when we could have another baby. All I could do was cry. His sweet little heart felt what we eventually would after several months of therapy. We had so much more love left to give.
As I remained in grief counseling, I started my PTSD sessions in January. At times I did them weekly then twice a month. I brought up that question to both therapists and had no idea how to handle or process it. Yes, our arms ached severely for Mazie. Every time I hear and see a baby or toddler, my eyes immediately swell with tears and I long for her. That will never NOT happen, especially with a little girl around her age.
Mazie Leah - August 2020
In March and April, came my relentless pursuit (just ask my girl Hailey) of inner healing. Y’all, it has been LIFE CHANGING. I knew I needed it before October 20th. We dove deep into the root of wounds from YEARS ago. I encountered the presence and comfort of Jesus like NEVER before. He has opened my eyes and heart to the importance of not only healing myself but how that flows into our children and generations to come. After that last retreat, I will forever be on fire for God and the power of His goodness through complete transformation.
My days and life has changed ever since, living for HIS will (not mine). Combined with the inner healing as well as the grief therapy that was underway for both me and Adam, we also began marriage counseling. And suddenly there was a significant desire to embrace just what Myles’ and now Latson’s hopes were, to extend the love our family has even more.
God didn’t delay in his goodness. By the fall, we were expecting our rainbow baby. We found out it was a GIRL in October (the anniversary month) AND she is due the week of Mazie’s birthday. Let that sink in.
Now, the months leading up to that and to follow have been nothing short of an overwhelming emotional roller coaster. There has been fear, A LOT of anxiety and additional grief. We, as a family, can’t help but fear the unknowns. When you experience what you may be naïve to at what time, you devastatingly grasp that NONE of us are exempt from suffering. The most perfect example, our Lord and Savior, suffered the most. FOR ALL OF US.
The closer we get to baby girl’s arrival, everything we feel seems to heighten. We are also approaching Mazie’s 3rd birthday, which again adds to the layer of grief. To this day, Latson expresses his worry and very recently revealed a major burden he’s had of not being able to save Mazie. Talk about gut wrenching to hear from a 10-year-old. As the big brother, he assumes the natural role of a protector and that worry could multiply once the baby is here.
Only by the grace of God, lots of prayer and continued counseling for the boys would we understand how to best navigate all of this.
Latson & Mazie - May 2019
Many have emoted with us through it all and realize the brokenness behind the blessings. Some have asked if we are excited or assume we have joy now. We do get glimpses of joy and maybe one day that will be greater than the grief. But in NO WAY does this baby replace Mazie or fill a void. We will eternally miss her presence. No family picture will be the same. We have to keep discovering ways to love her earthside. We will stay intentional with talking about her constantly to everyone and her baby sister, honoring her often, dedicated to Mazie’s Mission and grounded in our faith so we will be reunited with her in Heaven.
Next month will look very different for us. One thing is for sure, God will share His infinite love for us THROUGH us. Please pray for our family.
For anyone who has read this far and has experienced the loss of a child or infertility, my heart is sincerely with you. Don’t lose hope in God’s faithfulness.