Tuesday, January 3, 2017


The opening paragraph of my book is planned to look something like this:

I really wanted that baby. I wanted to get pregnant and give birth again. I felt that there was a soul flying around in my universe, needing to land in my family. Being a doula, I needed another chance at getting birth right, after having had a c-section with my last baby. I was looking forward to a positive birth experience that would repair the last one.
In time, the very essence of the words “repair” and “birth” would take on entirely new interpretations. I planned, I prayed for what I wanted. What I now realize is that I did receive repair, and I did receive birth, but only my Creator could teach me those concepts in the way they were tailor made, and intended for me.
I had a plan. As far as I was concerned, it was 100% foolproof. I had no reason, in my small scope of living, to think that things would turn out differently..... 

That's the opening concept... that I wanted another baby. That was the reason I had the hernia surgery.
Along with mourning all I lost to NF after the hernia surgery, I had to mourn not having that other baby. There was no way in the world I could physically or emotionally bring another baby into my family at that point. I know, I have four *amazing* children, and they are true blessings and each one an incredible soul. But mourning what you didn't have doesn't cancel out what you *do* have. Kind of like having a healthy baby after a cesarean section when you had planned a home birth. Yes, I was *of course* happy to have Azriel, and that he was healthy after the crazy birth we had to go through, but I had to mourn the home birth I hoped for. So, too, I talked in therapy about that baby I had prayed for, what it meant to me, how I can move on anyway, and I learned to put those feelings safely away.

What I didn't know is that there was another level of mourning waiting for me regarding that fifth child. It seems I am doing that now. I was ready and willing to adopt Tessa. I loved her mother, who just passed away. I was taking care of Tessa a lot the weeks before Sabrina passed away. It was hard for me, I was giving my all, and exhausting every emotional and physical resource to do it. I was also trying to take care of Sabrina, driving her to Tel Aviv for her appointments, visiting, errands. But I had it in my mind that I was ready to adopt Tessa if things turned out that way. Sabrina had chosen someone else to adopt Tessa, and that me and my family would be "back-ups" if something with the first choice arrangement didn't work out. During those last few weeks of Sabrina's life, I really got to know (and deeply admire) the person who Sabrina chose. We had some very deep heart-to-heart talks near the end, of course. I had to know where she stands, and she had to know where I stand.

It's just that I thought I stood in a different place. I assumed my kids did, too.
Turns out I really couldn't give Tessa everything she needed, while giving my own children what they need as well.

Turns out that what we learn from our kids is *always* our tikun. Once again, they taught me what it means to mother them.

And thank Gd Tessa's soon-to-be adoptive mother is able to make the difficult changes her life will need to take Tessa into her home, and they have a very wonderful relationship. I will still be in Tessa's life, of course. She'll always know where I am and that my door is always open to her. I'll be a loving auntie.

But right now my heart hurts. I am again mourning. Honestly, it's been so tough. Mourning Mom has been more real-time with my father here. And of course Sabrina's passing is so fresh. Then there is also this other little person who, for a few weeks, I thought I'd be bringing up... well I'm mourning the plan of that. It's so interesting how children show us exactly what they need. All we have to do is listen. They are a little piece of Gd that way, you know?

"Mother these souls. The ones I've already given you. 
I heard your prayers, I saved your life. 
I've cradled you in my palm."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Thank Gd my father is indeed recovering from the pneumonia. He is starting to get a little stronger as you can see in this picture from our walk outside today.

Tomorrow is his last full day in Israel... Thursday is their flight home. I'll miss him, and I'll also look forward to quiet. I really, really need quiet more than anything these days. Quiet to rest, to write my book, to mourn, to heal (will I ever heal?).
One important concept I am learning to incorporate is that mourning is not depression, that there is a very clear distinction. That is somehow comforting, right?


  1. wow-an incredible piece of writing.

  2. Thank you for being so honest and open, and for sharing your most personal experiences in such a beautiful way. I hope we get to spend some time together on my next trip to Israel (Godwilling some time in 2017). Meanwhile, I wish you and your family health, happiness, and peace/

  3. Very powerful, moving and beautiful Sarah

  4. You are such a talented, powerful writer, Sarah. What a beautiful, moving post. I especially loved these lines:
    ""Mother these souls. The ones I've already given you.
    I heard your prayers, I saved your life.
    I've cradled you in my palm."

    As a fellow writer, I'm so blessed to have found your blog and look forward to continuing to follow.