Micah, Judah & Caleb: Living with Joy & Grief

A few days ago, Caleb and I were having one of our moments. We were hanging out on the changing table (something that he really enjoys to do). He was staring out the window. I was gazing at him. And I probably even kissed him a few times.

I kept looking at him. Eventually his gaze caught mine, and we were looking at each other. He was making some of the insanely cute cooing sounds he’s recently been fond of doing…and the thought crossed my mind: “How in the world did we get so lucky? How in the world were we blessed with such a beautiful and amazing little baby boy…? What did we do to ever deserve this precious baby?”

And that’s when it hit me. The only reason Caleb is with us right now, the only reason we get to call this beautiful and amazing little baby our son…is because Micah and Judah died.

Had we been spared the agony and anguish of having two sons die just shy of 20 weeks…had we not had to go through losing our twin boys…we’d have two beautiful baby boys, but we never would have been able to meet Caleb. We would never know this amazing son of ours, this son whom we would give anything for now…

It can get you pretty messed up when you start thinking about it like that. Totally messes with your mind.

Falling in love with Caleb doesn’t mean that I love Micah and Judah any less…they will always be my first boys, my twin boys. But falling in love with Caleb means that I realize that he is only here because of the death of his brothers…

And I don’t even want to get into the theology of that…did God cause Micah and Judah to die, so that we could experience the love and beauty of Caleb? Was God just oblivious to our plight? Was God helpless and not able to “step in” and save Micah and Judah? I’m just not going there..that could just mess with my head pretty bad.

And so…there it is. We sit with that reality. The reality of the loss of Micah & Judah. The reality of the amazing gift of Caleb. The paradox of loss and love. Of grief making room for joy; both forever with us.


  1. Shawn Foster says

    I understand the edges of this feeling. In 1995, we lost our much-loved nephews in a fire. There isn’t a day that passes that I don’t think of the four of them. At the same time, we would not have the joy of having our two nieces and our nephew in our lives if the boys had lived. My sister-in-law’s life would have been very,very different… and, if one can leave the boys out of the equation (hard to do), much worse. She is now in such a better situation in every other way that I don’t even want to think about the theological implications. I just don’t. And if it’s like this for us, removed a little bit, it’s that much more for her. Some of the condolence cards she received contained some of the worst theology I’ve ever experienced. They were meant to be helpful, but… ugh.

    Losing a child is the worst possible thing that can happen to a parent. Take joy in Caleb. Continue to love Micah and Judah.

  2. Shirley Patton says

    Life became simpler for me when I learned to embrace paradox–and came to appreciate that excruciating pain, loss and sorrow can coexist with deep joy. I don’t understand it, but I’m grateful that for me it’s been true.

    It was wonderful to meet Caleb last night. He’s a beautiful guy. And Micah and Judah will always be with you as well. Those we deeply love never leave us.

  3. Jo Ann Staebler says

    Such a poignant, heartfelt, faithful reflection, Adam. I had no idea you had gone through this. To your questions: no, no, and no–that is all. My response: I am so very, very sorry. And so grateful for God’s grace toward your family.


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