Current Child Count

  • HOGAR DE AMOR I: 11 babies
  • HOGAR DE AMOR II: 6 boys
  • HOGAR DE AMOR III: 8 girls

Saturday, January 23, 2010

One Year: Remembering

{Bottle time, at about 3 1/2 weeks}

I've alternated between not wanting this day to come, and wanting it to come quickly so that we can be on the other side of it.

The six month mark was also difficult but in this post I shared the brighter moments we have experienced.

{First visit to the pediatrician, the day they arrived. For several weeks they could snuggle in the same carrier, too cute!}

I don't know how to do a one year anniversary of losing a baby you loved. January 23, 2009 was simply the worst, most tragic day of my life. I tear up or full out bawl anytime I give it more than a passing thought. The only other deaths that can begin to compare with Gabriela's came when I was 6 and 15 (mothers' miscarriages) and those were awful enough, marking my whole childhood/adolescence.

Words fail me. Who would imagine losing a child to the common childhood illness of chicken pox? It's unfathomable, but now I loathe even hearing about chicken pox.

It attacked her brain so quickly. We knew she was suffering more than the rest, but the one-in-a-million complication took hold so quickly that morning. By the time I got her in my car, she was gone, even though I denied that viciously while racing to the hospital. (I finally changed out that car seat. Every time I looked at it for months, I remembered her dying there.)

I will post more later as I process this with friends worldwide who are remembering Gabriela today, and with the caregivers (including the one who is adopting Gabriel). Today is very full, for which I am grateful, so it might be late tonight.

Thank you to everyone for your support (like my sister H who sent an ecard, and Elizabeth a card from England)! Just like we got through their first birthday, we will get through today. "Beauty Will Rise" by Steven Curtis Chapman will be my music, and I will not take life for granted for one minute, particularly of the 36 little ones I have the great privilege of being responsible for.

We miss you, Gabriela!!

"The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away, blessed be the name of the LORD." Job 1:21

{See all pictures of Gabriela & Gabriel from their arrival on October 3, through January 23, 2009, in the album at right. I will take it down soon.}

Update just past midnight: apart from being January 23, it was a very good day. I was out for most of it, visiting street friends, the cemetery, church, the market with kids, pharmacy, buying soccer game tickets for lots of street friends/volunteers/kids, and "kid washing" (a project downtown).

Katrina (from NZ) gave me a beautiful little yellow rose bush! Those are the flowers I buy for Gabriela when I visit the cemetery. We went there today with friends from the street and we all had 2 or 3 babies to "visit". I was glad for others to share the time with, instead of being alone in my sorrow and remembering. It's strange to not be with the same set of people (family and volunteers) who were here when the twins arrived, or on January 23 last year, but such is the transitional life we live here.

Thanks again to all who did special things, and for the emails and phone calls. Elizabeth should receive special mention for visiting "Gabriela's Aberdeen Goodbye Place" - in freezing rain in NE Scotland in January.

And now, I'm exhausted and my bed is calling me!! Too many short nights lately and too many nights thinking and planning rather than giving in to sleep.


Gallo Pinto2 said...

Love you Jen...

jag said...

What a cherished and missed baby girl. Thinking of Gabriela and all who loved her so dearly.

Katie said...

Jen I have been thinking about you all last week... I meant to write you an e-mail but I just never had the chance. Please know that I was praying for you though! I know that Saturday was a difficult day. I am so glad to hear that you were able to get through it okay.

Just think what a merciful God we have too--for her short life, Gabriela was able to really LIVE and be loved. She and Gabriel were "supposed" to have died in the riverbed. Instead they were given a loving family, with dozens of people to give them abundant love!!