Updated: Jul 13, 2021
"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us."
My dear friend Meghin sent this bible verse to me the other night in the midst of one of the waves of grief that I was drowning in. She doesn't know this, but this verse, this verse has given me such hope. Hope in God's plan. Hope in a future where my pain and joy can co-exist.
Where will we find joy?
Our biggest hope right now is to hear from the recipients of Finn's strong organs. The way that process works is that both donor family and recipient and/or family (dependent on age) have to agree to communicate and/or meet. On Tuesday of last week, I sent 3 letters and pictures of our hero to the Transplant Organization. From there, they will send the letters to the families, and they can choose to respond. So now, we must "Let go and let God." For Austin and I, being able to meet the recipients and families that Finn's heroism saved, would allow us joy in seeing that a physical part of Finn lives on, and although we already know, it would help reinforce the impact our sweet, perfect baby boy has made.
Our Future Family
I have been completely transparent in this blog and plan to continue to do so, so here goes the burning question that some have been brave enough to ask and others have wanted to ask, but haven't. Future children.
Let me first start by giving those of you who aren't as familiar with mine and Austin's story some background. I did not enjoy being pregnant. Yes, I knew it was a blessing. Yes, I was beyond excited to meet my Finny. But the actual being pregnant part, well that was a challenge. I am 5ft tall, and I'd like to think that added to my discomfort. So while pregnant, I was like, "NOPE - NOT DOING IT AGAIN." Then, Finn came along. I fell so madly in love with him and motherhood that while we were still in the hospital I told Austin I wanted 14 more. Our plan, because I'm a planner, was to begin trying for baby #2 this month. I was breastfeeding so the likeliness of getting pregnant prior was less and once Finn was weaned at a year old, we had decided we'd be adding, God willing, to our family.
So now what? Now that our entire world, our entire happiness that was wrapped up in the sweetest 11month old baby sized package of a boy is gone from this earth, what do we do? My heart hurts for my baby boy and although I try to take it day by day, imagining future children without their big brother, aches me to my core. But in my heart, I want more sooner rather than later. I know no child will fill the void that my perfect baby boy has left. That no child will replace the boy that made me a mama. That no child will ever be my Finn Benton. But I do know, that a child will bring us joy. And that as I read from another woman's blog, joy and pain can co-exist. I know that Austin and I were meant to be parents (and yes, we will ALWAYS be parents to Finn), but to more children I hope as well.
But you know what the biggest thing I struggle with, which might seem silly, but again, honesty. Imagining a family picture without Finn in it. Yes, I've seen the various ways families include their children who have passed, but it's not enough. I want to capture his smile, his growing, his love for his siblings, his love for himself and the camera, in a family picture that will now never happen.
So here I am caught in this constant battle between wanting more children and knowing it'll never be enough. And maybe, you're reading this and wondering how any woman who just buried her child a month ago could be thinking about future children, and that's fine too. I am past the point of caring about judgement. I used to fear so many things, and what people thought was one of them. Now? There are no fears, because once you lose a child, what is left to possibly fear?
So if you are still praying for our family, pray that as Romans 8:18 states: glory will be revealed to us beyond comparison of our present sufferings.
Here is an excerpt of part of the letter I wrote Finn on his birthday:
"Looking into your eyes, I saw all the goodness and love that I would ever need. I saw our future. I saw our family growing and you becoming the most loving big brother. I saw it all. And Finny, even though you're not here on earth with us, I want you to know that NONE of that changes. Where I go, you go. Because you are in me: in my heart, in my mind, in my soul. Forever. You are still our future."