Friday, April 27, 2012

Back to Work

Happy Friday! Fridays can't come soon enough these days. I have now been back at work for a full month. I was ready to go back, it was time to be getting up and getting back out, I was starting to get antsy. However,I am not going to lie, it has been totally exhausting and emotionally taxing. Hence the lack of posting. I'm hanging in there, but pretty much out of steam at the end of each day. Part of it is just getting back into the swing of things, and remembering my job is a little intense and slightly stressful (probably an understatement). The other part is that I am seeing everything through a new lens.... a much more emotional lens. I see a lot of sad situations, but I've always been able to cope with healthy boundaries and separate myself from the situation. Now that I am going through grieving the loss of my own child, it is hard to be as objective. (Lots of countertransference for all of you other clinical folks who will understand what that means).

Just a refresher for those of you may not know, I work as a counselor/social worker to support vulnerable infants and toddlers and their foster parents. The kids I work with have been taken away, involuntarily, from their biological family due to some kind of problem within the family that is putting the child at risk.

 So here are a few of my latest internal rants and raves, from a personal level, not wearing my social worker hat right now:

 * I am viewing child abuse and neglect in a whole new light. Don't people know how LUCKY they are to HAVE their kids..... you can't treat them like crap when God has blessed you with the opportunity to be their parent. I have less empathy for the unfortunate cycle of abuse that many people face.... and now probably too much empathy for children in need. In my job, in order to make it, you have to be able to balance out all these feelings. Not doing so well at that these days. 

 *Also, if someone takes your kid away from you- and getting them back is an option.. why wouldn't you fight like the dickens to get them back!I would have done ANYTHING to be able to keep my baby! 

 *I am finding life UNFAIR. For example, how is it that a baby can be born several weeks early to a Mother who has had no prenatal care,be born addicted to methamphetamine,and end up being totally fine! Our baby had state of the art care at one of the best hospitals in the country.... and I am not a crack addict.... and he was NOT fine. 

 *It is not fun to be carrying a newborn infants around for part of my job. It is especially worse when someone says, "Congratulations." All well intentioned, but unfortunately no congratulations for me.

 So, I think it is safe to say I am maybe moving on to the angry phase of grief. That is my latest update. TGIF

Monday, April 9, 2012

Drake's Journey- Video

A couple of weeks ago, our Church, Ocean Hills Covenant Church, asked us if we were willing to be interviewed about Drake's story. As the pastors were planning for the message on Easter Sunday they decided the theme for this year's Easter service would be, "When it looks like death has won." They felt that our journey with Drake was an example of what it is like to walk with God, "When it looks like death has won." After prayerful consideration, we said yes. We were honored that they would even consider our story worthy of being featured on Easter Sunday. This would mean that hundreds of people would be hearing about our little boy's life... Wow.

Jon and I were both anxious about the filming process. We didn't know how we would react emotionally. I still cry at church EVERY Sunday, so I sort of expected to have a melt down. Our Pastors were very reassuring and respectful- if this was too hard, we could stop filming, take a break, or just say no. SOMEHOW, we pulled this off! Again, we are blown away by how God shows up to be with us and speak through us, so this story can be heard. Also, as we are continuing to grieve, we are getting to the point where we can hold it together a bit more emotionally, especially if we are prepared.

That doesn't mean it isn't still painful. Let me share with you the text from the sermon before they played this video at Church. Quoting Pastor Jon Ireland;

"The good news of Easter is that Jesus Christ, who overcame death, can overcome anything. What does anything mean? It means anything! He can overcome anything that you are facing. He wants to live in you and through you. He wants to change the way you think, he wants to change the perspective about your suffering- about the way you are facing pain and heart ache.And he can make all the difference in your life. when it seems like death has won.

We have a story that we are going to share with you and let you watch on video. It's Jon and Stacy's story. They are a young couple in our Church. You're going to see the difference that the risen Christ has made it their lives. It's not there is not pain. In their story there is a lot of pain, there is a lot of heart ache. But Christ is making all the difference in the midst of their darkness."

So , the point of this video is not to show a "Happy Ending". On Sunday, Pastor Laurie put it well when she explained, "God didn't rescue Jon and Stacy from their grief, but he did show up to walk along side them." That was a good reminder for us, as we sat their and watched our own story.....

Please feel free to pass on this short video documenting Drake's Journey. God used Drake to impact our faith in a profound way. We are happy to share it with anyone else who might need to see some light in the midst of struggle and heart ache. You can share it through this blog- or directly through You Tube @

(Also, props to the amazing W.Ashley Maddox who created this film!)