We’re Sam and Rachel, parents to Clive and Winnie in heaven, Corrie (via adoption) in our arms, and Miles due in February 2020.
We love coffee and community, and own a coffee shop and roastery in our small midwestern town.
Like most people we know, life hasn’t gone as we expected. A miscarriage brought the first blow, and then in the following year we experienced the deaths of Clive and Winnie just 14 months apart.
Unrelated, rarely fatal, non-inherited heart complications unexpectedly ripped them from our loving arms. More than one doctor has said the words: “Lightning struck twice.”
In the aftermath, we’re left with a difficult choice: to let fear, bitterness, and anger win OR to embrace brokenness, joy, and hope. We strive to choose the latter–only with God’s strength to carry us through.
Clive wins. Winnie wins.
They are with Jesus, experiencing things we can only begin to imagine. We miss them so very much and love them beyond measure. And in all this, God is still good.
A few months after Winnie died, we started the domestic adoption process. About 9 months later, we brought Coralie home. The adoption wasn’t without it’s share of complications, but we’re happy to have a positive relationship with Corrie’s birthmother. Corrie is a joy and a great blessing. She will always know of her sweet sister Winnie and brother Clive.
Right now, we’re expecting another baby—a sweet boy we’ve named Miles Dietrich. While everything is progressing normally as we quickly approach the due date, the future remains unclear. Yet, we are choosing to walk in hope. Fear knocks on our door daily, but we remind ourselves that if we let fear win we would have never known the love of family. Afraid of pain, we’d have closed our hearts to the possibilities before us. Fearful to try again after the loss of our first baby, we’d have missed Clive. We’d certainly would have lost the opportunity to know Winnie and Corrie—and this sweet baby boy on the way. Fear steals. But there is no fear in love, and perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18).
It’s a constant battle against fear, one that has us up for hours most nights, one that brings anxiety and nightmares. But love—true love!—and life—true life!—is worth the pain. Heights and depths, joy and pain. Once more, we remain open-handed and vulnerable as we wait. Our hearts are opening in love for this new blessing.
And here we are: still struggling, still healing, still living in mystery. Grief impacts our parenting and marriage, stirring up bitterness and brokenness; other moments, our hands lift open in surrender to a life different than we expected, but somehow more than we imagined. We press into grief and processing; yet we press into joy and abundance, a life still worth living.
God is still good. Even in the valley, He is faithful and good. We know that truth. We hope you can see our honesty and struggles and God’s goodness in spite of our inadequacies. Thanks for listening.
Want to read more of our story? Rachel wrote a book called Grieve, Create, Believe: Process Your Loss with Intention and Truth.
“Written by a mother cast into grief after the deaths of two children, this book points you back to the truth in scripture while allowing space to lament, grieve, and contemplate loss in your own life. In her process-oriented approach to grief, Rachel George provides prompts for reflection and creative response. The narrative of her own story is woven through the topical chapters, providing real examples for your grief journey. Full of artwork, prints, and hymns, this engaging and visual book is more than a story, and it invites you ― wherever you may be on your journey ― to join in.”
We’re remembering Clive, Winnie, and our little friend, Thao, by giving free Jesus Storybook Bibles to families that find themselves in situations like ours. Find out more at www.room423bibles.com or facebook.com/room423bibles