As the months and now years have past since Evie began a new life in heaven, many of mom's that I grieved with have started new chapters with their "Rainbow Babies." The rainbow is the baby that comes after the storm or the loss.
" 'Rainbow Babies' is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn’t mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope."
Without the immediate hope of starting a new chapter with my own rainbow baby, God somehow gave me strength and peace in spite of that reality, and allowed me to share in their healing. I felt lifted out of the storm with them in seeing the joy and the life in their eyes, watching them through their pregnancies, and then seeing their healthy babies when they arrived. Inspired by rainbow's Judah Courage(brother to Bella Grace in heaven) and Scarlet Noelle(sister to Lainey Grace and Evelyn Juliet in heaven) I created a new product for my Etsy store, Rainbow Signs. In making this bright and colorful gift for these babies and their parents, I felt God speaking to me that I was also entering a new chapter, the "rainbow chapter" in my own life. Because a baby is probably the closest comfort a mother can get after losing her child, however not a replacement of the child that is gone...it is natural to think that rainbow "baby" is the buzz word in the baby loss community. For me, God has many rainbows in store for me, but just not a rainbow baby in the near future, unless you hear me tell of the miracle child conceived by the Holy Spirit! ha! I am hopeful of the rainbows in store for me, and I will be patient for my "rainbow baby," because God's timing is perfect.
Saturday I spent some time with sweet rainbow, Judah Courage and his parents at his baby shower, where I was so blessed to be able to give away my first Rainbow Sign. I left the shower and got a little turned around, so I stopped in a turn lane going into a neighborhood and pulled up the GPS on my phone. As I was looking to see where I was by the street names, I saw that I was directly in front of Rainbow Circle. I was shocked, but not too much, because God is able to do anything! I took out my phone to take a picture of it, and then proceeded to turn around. I began looking at my GPS again to notice that there was also a Rainbow Dr. in that neighborhood as well. I thought that was interesting to I looked back at the entrance and noticed the neighborhood was named Rainbow Estates. I'm not sure how I missed this when I was first taking a picture of the street name right in front of it, but I think this is how we are with many things in life. We are so focused on what we want to see or what we are looking for, that we miss what is right in front of us...what has been there all along. I began processsing this thought, and felt God speak to my spirit, that he was giving me a rainbow, but just not the one I was looking for...
That night I got a call from a friend of seven years that lives in India. He had been trying to reach me for a day or so, and we finally caught each other. This is someone who I have always found easy to talk to and no matter how much time had passed between talking we could always pick right back up. We have been saying for years now how I was coming to India to visit, or he was coming here to work. I also joked with him that when I came I wasn't going to tell him beforehand, and was just going to show up at his work one day. He said, no I couldn't do that because he would need to plan some places to take me. SOOO...when we talked Saturday, he asked me how far I lived from Duluth, and I just said casually, I dunno, maybe 5 minutes. He said, Oh good, because I am here in Duluth....WHAT?? Well, actually I didn't say anything...speechless...and paralyzed, literally. Thank goodness I was on the couch! He kept saying, hello?, hello?....then he finally just hung up and called back. LOL. So I immediately went to see him and he made me sit on the couch right away, because I warned him I may have an episode and not to worry if I collapsed. I have cataplexy which causes me to become paralyzed with any heightened emotion (laughter, sadness, excitement), and if I'm standing when this happens, it basically looks like crumbling to the ground...I don't just fall straight over.
The first evening we hung out and talked about life, his wife and new baby, etc. He made the comment that while his son is learning all new things in India, he is here learning all new things here. He has never lived outside of his home with his parents and siblings, never cooked, nor left India. I was just so excited to take him anywhere. So, we went to Suwanee days and sat at a coffee shop for a while. He came back to the house to meet my parents and Max, and witnessed a little bit of a game of Taboo between my parents and their friends. I can't explain the joy at the thought of getting out again and doing things, the simple things, as we discussed all he had hoped of doing while he was here. It was so funny because the other day my good friend and I were just talking about how I needed to try to get out and "live" again...and how I felt I was really just not there yet, but admitted I felt God pushing me out of a life mostly in isolation. I even prayed for someone to help me, because I just didn't feel like I could do it on my own. All the while during my first evening with Om, I was not really connecting the dots on the timing of his move...this blessing that was before me.
I was so excited at the thought of being able to experience some of these "firsts" with him during his stay in the U.S.! I woke up the next morning and thought about what a blessing it was that God sent him at this exact time in my life, but also what a sacrifice for him to be missing out on time with his wife and new baby to gain new work experience in the U.S. I am immensely excited to be his aid around this side of the world for a short time, and I also can't wait to spend time with both his wife and son when they arrive. We talked about how old the baby would be about the time they planned on traveling here, and he talked about getting to be a child again when his son is moving around and playing....he said, you get to be a child three times in life...your childhood, through your children, and then through your grandchildren. This guy has so many amazing insights! This reminded me of my grandmother talking about how amazing it was to see through my eyes during my first trip to Disney World. She says I just marveled at tinker bell coming out of the castle, and the look in my eye was something she will never forget. She was living through me on that trip...and feeling that same joy with me in those moment.
To have a rainbow baby, means to move from the storm of loss towards hope in new life, experiencing all the happiness and joy of a new baby with all of the child's "firsts" in life...while still remembering the storm, and at times being painfully reminded of those firsts that you didn't get to experience with the child that has passed on into a new life in heaven. I know that God has many rainbows in store for my life...but today, I am thankful for the rainbow that came all the way from India, my friend Om. He has given me a chance to be a child again, and through his eyes, I will also marvel at all the "new."