Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Introduction

by Kellie Soper

It happens often, but I'm still not used to it. 

We will be somewhere...an event, a church gathering, that requires an introduction. I'm still not used to saying it all out loud

Most recently, we were sitting in a giant circle of tables with other couples, the kids were off playing in childcare. The leaders of the group say, "Please share your name and the parish you attend and how long you have been married."

A huge sigh of relief floods over me. Thank goodness. They didn't ask us to introduce our kids. For this one moment I might just get to feel "normal."

The introductions begin and there is an interruption, "Don't forget to share about your families!"

Luckily we are not the first couple to share, but the panic slowly starts to rise in me. I rehearse it in my head all day, every day. But saying it out loud is something completely different. I can feel my heart pounding in my chest. My hands begin to shake, and I can't breathe. I look over at my husband and I see him trying to swallow the tears forming in his eyes. It isn't any easier for him to say it. I actually get to a point where I am seeing spots I am so overcome with nerves.

How do I word it? What exactly do I say? Do I let them know how new this really is to us? 

It's finally our turn. I grab my husband's hand and with tears stinging my eyes, and my voice shaking I say, 

"My name is Kellie and this is my husband, Jason. We have been married 3 1/2 years. We have two perfect kids. Ted is two years old and Lily is nine months old in Heaven."

Everyone nods and smiles and I catch a glimpse of my best friend sitting across from me wiping away tears.

One of my greatest struggles with losing Lily is thinking about what my son has lost. His sister who should be crawling after him and giggling at him as he builds his trains or tickles her. His sister who he should be sharing his room with. His sister who should be right behind him in school. His sister, who should be here on Earth with him.

But these difficult moments that almost swallow me whole, remind me that he is not alone. He is not an only child. He has his sister looking down on him, smiling and giggling at all the silly things he does and he will have her forever. And in my heart of hearts I know that he will be a better man because he has his sister.

So I continue to ask for grace and strength, and with tears in my eyes and a shaking voice I continue to say out loud, 

"I have two perfect kids. Ted is almost 2 1/2 and his sister Lily is ten months old in Heaven. We are a family of four."

~ ~ ~

Kellie Soper lives in Arizona and is wife to her amazing husband, Jason. Together they have two beautiful children, one on earth and one sweet, perfect soul in Heaven. Ted is a wild, silly, and rambunctious toddler. Their sweet Lily Frances was born sleeping on November 12, 2014. They learned at their 18 week ultrasound that Lily had a fatal neural tubal defect the doctors said was "incompatible with life." Kellie and Jason both knew Lily was not a "decision", but their precious daughter and they believe her life was of value, no matter what. She carried Lily with love for 42 weeks and 2 days. They miss her every single day, but are grateful for the honor and privilege of being her parents. You can read more about their family on Kellie's blog, Life and Love.


Annery said...

This is so beautiful. We had a foster daughter from birth to 2.5 years. They told us for about a year we'd be able to adopt her, but then they found bio dad and she was gone in a matter of months. When people asked how many kids we had, it took a long long time to not feel punched in the gut every time I mentally adjusted the number. Prayers for your family. Thank you for sharing so beautifully.

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