The past two weeks have been punctuated by some painful events. We feel like we are in the eye of a hurricane, as several families we know and love go through tragic losses. Some friends at church -- amazing, wonderful people and parents -- lost a child this week. She was just 15, with so much to give, and so much life ahead of her. Our hearts are so broken for them as they go on parenting their other children, and grieving for their daughter.
Another dear friend's marriage is ending despite all her best efforts, and she must now be apart from her baby half of the time. Another family close to us is coming to grips with the reality that their child has a mental illness. And others we know are bearing the burden of infertility and an excruciatingly long path to parenthood.
Amidst all this came Mother's Day. As always, I have spent a lot of time thinking of Anya Rashi's birth parents, and wonder what their circumstances are now, five years after her birth. In many ways, their situation seems no less tragic than our friends' situations.
We don't have much information about them (and we don't feel it's our place to share what we do know about their circumstances -- that's Anya Rashi's story to tell someday, if she chooses), but I am struck by the sadness of any of the possible reasons for relinquishing their child. For many children placed in orphanages in her birth country, the main reasons are the birth parents' poverty or the stigma of unwed parenthood -- or sometimes, the bias against girl children. Sometimes I feel completely inadequate to explain any of this to her as she grows up. I feel like I can only be present with her while she asks those questions, and offer the only certainty I have found: that our God is a God of redemption, who can weave something beautiful of even the most profound sadness.
I've been holding on to that truth this week, and finding comfort here:
Surely he took on our burdens and carried our sorrows . . .
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.