You know about the child I lost. 

It was 2007, and I was pregnant with my second. Everything seemed to be going well as far as pregnancy is concerned. I was throwing up regularly, felt like I could barely stand for an hour without needing a nap, and my stomach that had taken weeks to show signs of pregnancy with my first was already sticking out way further than I thought possible.

The heartbeat had been heard. And it was strong.

During a routine appointment when they went to find the heartbeat once again, it was discovered the heart once beating so strongly, was beating no more. I was crushed. Devastated.

I had a miscarriage.

You all know about this. All four of you. My children.

You have heard this story about the child your father and I lost between our first and second. We talk about how God intended for that child to live all his life in Heaven. And about how our second, who we have on earth, would never have been born if God had not chosen to take our child home. We talk about how it is all a part of His plan. And while it may have hurt us at the time, His plan is always perfect.

You know about this child—your sibling in Heaven.

But what you don’t know is you have another sibling in Heaven.

And that seems wrong.

It seems wrong that we talk so openly about one and not about the other.

But, you see, I don’t know how to tell you this story. I don’t know where to begin. Or if knowing it will hurt you.

How do I tell you I was pregnant once before you all were even a thoughtmany, many years ago?

I was 19 years young, a freshman in college, with a lifetime ahead of me. Your father and I had been dating for just over a year. He was a senior, with a lifetime ahead of him, when we found out we were pregnant.

I remember vividly staring at the two lines on the test in the bathroom of the home where he lived with his college friends. I had realized that day I was late. Very late. But I still didn’t think it was really possible. Purchasing the test was more of a “there’s no way, but just in case.” Until I saw the lines appear.

We went back and forth and back again trying to make up our minds. I spoke with doctors, and we met with a pastor. We wanted to be sure if we made this choice, this horrible choice, that we could be forgiven.

Does God forgive the choice to take the life of your first child?

I wasn’t so sure. For many, many years.

I wish I could say we made a different choice. I wish I could say this wasn’t part of our story. But we did. And it is.

I had an abortion.

And now I wonderhow will I tell you this? After giving birth and becoming parents, the reality of what we chose became even more apparent. Where there was the promise of life so beautiful, we chose death. We chose ashes over rubies. We chose to never hold, or comfort, or care for our child. 

And this is something we both have to live with.

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But just like God had a plan for the child we lost in miscarriage, God had a plan for this child. He knew the choice we would make before either of us came to be. He knew this child would live his life forever with Him in Heaven.

He knew. And yet He still loved me. He still loved my husband.

He loved us then. He loves us now. And He has never stopped. 

I know I have been forgiven. Fully. Forgiven.

It took many years to come to terms with that. For a long, long time I lived under a heavy, weighted blanket of shame. Afraid of what would happen if someone lifted it and discovered what was underneath.

But God is faithful. He takes what is broken and makes it new again. He took my pain and my shame and replaced it with an understanding of who He is. And how He has always been with me. Even in that horrible, dark moment.

Do I want this to be part of my story? No. But it is. It is a choice I made many, many years ago.

It is a choice I have to live with. 

And someday I know I will tell you this. Someday, I will share with you about your sibling in Heaven. How will I tell you? I don’t know. When will I tell you? I’m not sure. But I do know when it’s time, God will give your father and me the wisdom and the words and the strength. 

You have another sibling, my children. One I have never told you about before. One who deserves to be acknowledged. 

One we will all meet one day. One we will all have the chance to embrace. 

One my heart longs to hold. To tell I am sorry. For the choice I made many, many years ago. 

One who is, and forever will be, a part of our family. 

In Heaven. 

Jennifer Thompson

Jennifer Thompson is a freelance writer, preschool art teacher, interior designer and mother of four with a heart for Jesus. Her work can be found on a number of blogs and parenting publications. Recently relocated from Indianapolis to Nashville, Tennessee. She is a passionate storyteller and believes every person has an important story to tell. We grow when we share. And even more when we listen.