At the time of her diagnosis, Noah was just 1 1/2 years old and barely understood that there was a baby in Mommy's belly. Each night in his bedtime prayer, we prayed for baby Sisa (he couldn't pronounce Amelia at first). We cherished every hug & "belly kiss" he gave her, wondering all the while, "How much of this does he really understand?" "How much of this will he remember?" "Will he remember his sister at all?"
We resolved ourselves to be honest with him when he asked about her, keeping it simple and as "un-alarming" as we possibly could. We questioned if we should have him with us at the hospital on her birthday and in the end decided, yes, he should have the chance to meet his sister. As it turned out, he was in the room when she died. Looking back I have often wondered, was she was hanging on just to meet him?
In the following weeks Noah would wander into "her room." One day, wondering just what he was up to, I followed him in. He was looking at her picture! He pointed right at a famed photo of her and said "sisa."
He only saw her for a few short hours in the hospital and on the day of her funeral yet, he recognized her in a photograph.
He remembered her.
I cannot describe to you the wave of emotions that came over me in that moment.
Noah loves to look at pictures of her and to visit the cemetery, which we explained is a place we go to remember Sisa, rather than where she is buried. At first we had told him we were going to see Sisa, but that was just confusing when he could not actually see her there. We have told him that she is in heaven with Jesus but I just am not sure how to explain that her body is still here...
So far he has asked us very few questions but has made numerous references to her and statements about her. Some make me smile, others break my heart in two.
We had intended to wait until our 20 week ultrasound to tell Noah about our pregnancy, in hopes of avoiding confusion between this new baby and our Amelia, but he figured it out on his own (still baffles me!) and asked if there was a baby in my belly as we were reading his bedtime story.
Much to our surprise, he has never confused the two of them.
He has however asked some difficult questions about Sam.
The most heartbreaking of questions...
"Sam come home with us, Momma?
he come stay with us? at our house?"
I told him yes, but I'm not sure if I was very convincing. Most days I am not convinced that he will be coming home with us. I pray that he will. I think that he will, but I don't know that he will. How can I make that promise?
And still, the joys far outweigh the sorrows~when I remember the promises my Lord has made to me, to our family and to each of us.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.