In February, my husband and I opened our hearts and home as we chose to be parents to three little girls. Even though I did not carry them in my womb, I loved them deeply and I was their mom. Adopting 8-month-old triplets changed my entire world. Then, after three months of being their mom, I found myself begging God not take one of them away from me. And on May 28th, God said no. We did everything we could to try and save her. We prayed harder than we have ever prayed before and we petitioned God and doctors to help our baby. Before Ruthie’s kidneys failed, I spent the night patting her chest to try and clear her lungs. Then around 2am, I called Konrad to tell him that he needed to get to the hospital as soon as possible. She was fading. Up to that point, we told doctors to keep working on her and always try and resuscitate her, but they had nothing left to do for her medically. I could not bear the thought of Ruthie going to heaven without me holding her, so we implemented DNR, so she could spend her last moments in our embrace. Konrad was so kind and let them put her in my arms. I held her for what only seemed like minutes, but according to everyone else, was a few hours. Konrad held our other two girls- Ruthie’s triplet sisters, who would never get the chance to know her and see for themselves how truly amazing she was. We wept, thanked God for her life, and told her how much we loved her. Lord, I just hope she knew how much we loved her.
Then, around 6am, Ruthie took her last breath and her heart beat for the last time. She was gone. God said no.
I truly do not understand how we made it through those next few days. I was in shock walking out of the hospital for the last time- without my daughter. Two weeks before, I was planning on a glorious exit from that hospital bringing Ruthie home. God had another plan and gave her a glorious exit to her eternal home. I was sick with grief and needed to leave immediately before I started vomiting everywhere. I came home and slipped in bed and prayed for God to take me, too. Again, God said no.
I endured the pain as we planned our first child’s funeral. Just a few short months prior, I didn’t even know Ruthie. Now, I did not know if I could bear life without her. I was not able to express my feelings or how deep my sorrow was to anyone because I thought I would die under the full weight of my sadness. There were times that I questioned God’s choice to take her, but I never turned away from His love. In fact, I felt His love stronger than I’ve ever felt before. I sought God’s presence, like a scared child seeks her father for comfort. He was there and He was with me.
Everyone mourns differently, which is okay. God promises to be with all of us. Since losing Ruthie, I evaluated my faith. Could I continue to believe in a God that took my baby? Moreover, could I trust a God that let other babies live and mine die? Having met some great godly people who have also experienced the same kind of loss, it seems common for us to have some moments of self-pity wondering why it was our baby.
I truly believe that God could have healed Ruthie, but He didn’t. He said no.
There’s a mantra that I love to say that helps me through dark times. The saying came from a man at the church I used to attend when I lived in South Carolina. He was a staff member and had been diagnosed with cancer. So many people prayed for God to heal him, and this man’s response was, “Sometimes God says ‘Yes’ and sometimes God says ‘No’ but either way, God is still God and God is still good. To God be the glory.” We all prayed earnestly and fervently for him, but he passed away shortly after. His was not one of those miraculous goose-bump-giving stories of earthly healing that is shared on Facebook thousands of times, and neither is ours.
Does that mean God still loves me?
Yes. He loves me. And He also loves Ruthie more than I ever could. I rest in the fact that God always has a plan and His plan is good. There were times that I wondered, “Maybe if I would have had more faith, then God would have saved her,” but I know that’s not true. I know that ultimately, He would accomplish His purpose. According to Romans 8:28, “We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” I found rest and peace in this promise.
I also find comfort in Romans 5:1-5:
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.“
God brought these three little girls to us, knowing one of their lives was about to come to an end and He carried us through. He also walked with me through the darkest of days- the days that I cried myself to sleep, the days I feared leaving the house, and the days that I wanted to leave this world altogether. He is still walking with me as I continue to mourn the loss of my child. I continue to struggle and even still sometimes ask Him, “Why Ruthie?”
But I rest in God’s promises. I know He has a plan and I find my joy in Him.
We appreciate your prayers, and know that whatever struggle or trial you are in the midst of, God goes before you and He will sustain you.