We five enjoyed the holiday weekend together. We trekked to Jersey to see family for Thanksgiving dinner, and ate and played our way through Philly the rest of the time. With no work, school, or extra-curriculars, it made for a lot of time together, just the five of us, and that was nice.
Our hearts and lives are full, and we are nothing but grateful for that. But that doesn't mean we still don't feel a sense of emptiness and longing over so many missed opportunities for a fourth child so far. We've felt all of this all along, but are perhaps more aware this season.
Parents who have lost a child feel it even more during the holidays, and that isn't quite us, for we never really had any of the babies we failed to place with. But there is still a sense of wondering what could have been, wondering if it will ever be.
We usually do family portraits every other year, and this year was the
year to do it, and we were looking forward to it being the first time as
a party of six, but that hasn't happened yet, and so we've decided to
postpone portraits and I'm not sure when we'll do it next now.
Our hearts and lives are full, so there is relief that a little baby isn't in the mix, with all of the sleeplessness and responsibility that goes with it. But there is also heartache and waiting and hoping and wondering. We squeeze each of our kids tight each time we hug them, because no matter how much they complicate our days we can't imagine our lives without them. Maybe we will be forever without one more, or maybe it is just a little more time. This is what we wonder this holiday season.