Today is a big day for me. I am changing my mind set and bio to read that I have eleven children instead of twelve……
After an unexpected, 18 month trip to hell and back, I have suddenly surfaced with the realization that DJ is no longer mine……
He no longer knows me or remembers me…He no longer runs to me when he is scared….Or when he is happy.
DJ is no longer here to laugh with, cuddle with or sing to…. He is not in my arms, being parented by me, living in my home, interacting with me daily, or receiving the love I have to give.
I think about DJ every hour of every day. He’s in my heart forever.
Each day is a reminder that this beautiful, innocent little boy will be missing from my life forever…And us from his….. He is not coming back……
I have not lost a child due to illness, accident or death, just due to our legal system. A system that says the genetic connection is far more important than I would have ever imagined.
These past 18 months have drained me. They have been emotionally exhausting….. I’ve stumbled and fallen….. Hard.
As the dust clears, and I slowly pick myself up, I look around surveying the damage. I see that I am still here… We are still here, holding on to ourselves and each other. Surviving.
How do I explain to anyone how I feel? How do I share how awkward it is when people ask how many children I have……How do I share how it feels to send out holiday cards with a photo of almost all of our kids….? How do I box up DJ’s photos and keepsakes for another day?
Is it OK to acknowledge DJ as one of my own? Do I qualify his importance in my life by giving him a tag line (always in my heart)? Is it alright to mention him in the number of children in our family tally, even though he isn’t here?
Am I over thinking?? Over feeling?? Crazy?? I am at a crossroads. Not because I want to be, but because I just am.
I don’t know why, but it’s time. I have to let go…..
May God bless DJ and please, please God, keep him safe.
Danee Kiernan is a writer, parent, entrepreneur and co-author of Bouncing with Style: Starting over but Not From Scratch. She connects with others based on her experiences as a full time woman, full time mom (adoptive, birth & foster), stay at home mom, working woman and business owner. She hopes that sharing her experiences openly will help others to find their bounce. Danee is a powerful advocate for women’s rights, especially every woman’s right to choose her own destiny and build the life that she desires.
Danee Kiernan earned a BS degree in Elementary Education with an early childhood specialization from Iowa Wesleyan College and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Danee believes in the importance of love, family and pursuing dreams. She makes her home in Wisconsin, where she and husband Jim, are thoroughly enjoying the experience of raising their 11 children.
You can reach Danee Kiernan at firstname.lastname@example.org