Why Are You Here?

988679_10151587989483595_738925914_nI’m not sure how this works exactly, but I’ve been told it gets better.

Not easier. Just better.

I’m sure if you’re here for the long haul, you’ll see the shift, the slow and sure change from deep, unbearable grief, to sadness that lingers on for long months, to an empty spot that will change me forever.

I’m sure you’ll watch me transition from being totally broken, to being healed a little each day.

I’m sure you’ll watch me smile more and cry less.


We’re not there yet. We’re at the “holy sh**, this gets harder and harder each day” stage.

I’m not sure why you’re reading this.

Part of me fears that my blog is suddenly depressing, and you’ll tire of my naked heart.

Why do you read the ramblings of a broken woman?

Why do you?

Sure some of you know me intimately and you love me.

Some of you are my family.

Some of you are dear friends.

You won’t get tired of me. You don’t get to. You love me.

But what about you? You’ve never met me.

Why are you here?

Maybe you’ve followed our story for so long that it has become part of your own.

Maybe you fell in love with a little boy because of the words I’ve penned on these pages.

Maybe when I told you he was gone, your heart sunk to the bottom of your feet and you couldn’t catch your breath.

I don’t know why you’re here.

But I’m glad.

Thank you for listening.

Thank you for letting me grieve out loud.

If you want to tell me why you’re here, I’d be glad to listen.

It helps me.


It does.


From Ann Whiston-Donaldson’s blogpost on What You Can Do To Help A Grieving Family, #19 is really important to me.

19. Even if you didn’t know the deceased, consider sharing what the deceased means to you NOW. Eternal life is, well, ETERNAL. Jack’s life is affecting people in ways we could never imagined, and we are blessed that so many people are making the effort to let us know, through emails, blog comments, letters, or person. This helps ease the sting. Have you had a dream about the person who passed away? Tell the family.

 I’d love to hear your stories. How did my son change you? How did his life impact you? 




18 thoughts on “Why Are You Here?

  1. I have followed Mattie since you adopted him. He was by far one of the most expressive children I’ve ever seen. The smile on his face, the light in his eyes. Whenever I was having a bad day, seeing a FB post by you about Mattie could ALWAYS make me smile. I come here now to listen. To be here for you. I may not know you in RL, but I do know your family from your online writings. I’m here to offer support. To offer my love through the internet. It’s not much; I wish I could do more. But I am here if you need me. When you need me. I am here to shore you up during your unimaginable grief. I am just here to be here. To be your online friend. To listen. To offer cyber hugs. To love and support you through this. Because I want to be here. I want to do this for you. I want to be here for you.

  2. I am here because Yes, I fell in Love with Mattie!! Through pictures and videos on Facebook, I came to know this little prince. Then through him, I fell in love with your family. Why have I stayed? Because through your experience, your transparency of brokenness, I am learning a very valuable lesson. You see, I have never experienced this kind of grief. Although I have always thought of this as a blessing, I realize that this is not necessarily the case. I am so ill equipped for any tragedy, let alone one involving my child. I was here for the joy that was and still is Mattie and I stay for the sorrow and pain because his impact on your family and even in my life is not over yet. I was but a mere witness peering into your life and now I am a fierce friend who will be here to see how God will use this journey for His Glory. Love you guys.

  3. I have been reading since the Ukraine adoptions. My bro has Down’s syndrome, he is 34. I think it is healthy to talk about your grief, to write about it. It may help other moms who are grieving realize they are not alone on the roller coaster. Keep writing, processing, feeling, grieving. Much better than pretending. I am very sorry for your loss. Your readers are here to listen.

  4. I am close friends with one of your adoptive families and have been reading since you adopted sweet Mattie. I have been praying for your family through every crisis Mattie faced, and now pray for your comfort. I wish I could give you a real hug, but I’m sending you cyber ones. God Bless!

  5. I’m here because I fell in love. I fell in love with Mattie. I fell in love with you. I fell in love with your family. The way that you all love. The way that your husband chooses you even in the worst of life. The way your son draws his love. The way your kids do music together. I have dreamed of the kind of love that you share with each other my whole life. I was beginning to wonder if it was possible on a human level. And then I met Mattie and you through this blog. I saw that it IS possible and it is very real. I am seeing that God wants to give me that love but He has to take me through a very barren desert first. And while my darkness of circumstance does not even compare to what you are going through, you are showing me that it is possible. And Mattie still shows me that it is possible, even with his absence. Your family shows me that it is possible. Love is possible. God is possible in it ALL.
    You may feel like your blog is getting “depressing” as you say but to me it is bright. It is light. And it is full of hope. Because you are real. So very, very real.

  6. I stumbled upon your blog through Dawn Wright’s blog over 4 years ago. I was interested in adopting again and had consider using Christian Adoption Consultants. We ended up adopting a our oldest son through kinship adoption so our plans were put on hold. It was around the same time you began the adoption process again. I continued to follow your blog and was encouraged by your willingness to adopt special needs. Your family’s story in addition to your brother-in- law’s family’s story changed my heart forever. My husband and I re-evaluated our reasons for wanting to adopt. In 2012 we updated our homestudy and added we were open to special needs. We then began working with a crisis pregnancy center. In May 2013 we received an unexpected phone call from our home study agency. A baby girl had been born with special needs and they did not have a family for her. They called us because they knew our homestudy stated we were open to special needs. We brought our daughter home a week later. Exactly 11 1/2 months after that her bio-sibling was born. We welcomed 2 beautiful babies into our home due to our “yes” to God and “yes” to special needs. Mattie’s story, your story has impacted our lives in ways I would have never imagined. His life mattered, your story matters. I feel honored that you are willing to walk this road out loud and often find myself in tears as I journey it with you. It makes me hold my kids tighter and enjoy each moment I have with them. I am so sorry for your loss. I truly can’t imagine what your family is going through. Our family will continue to pray for you and thank God for people like you who change lives just by sharing your life with us. God Bless.

  7. I’m here because I know some of your babies and their families that you helped find a forever home for AND Im here because I see and hear the words from you that are REAL! Its not just something you do its what you live and I truly admire that. Its something that is lost in the world today and I seek to find more of it. The real way that you love, the real way that you hurt, the real way that you lay down at Jesus’ feet and ask WHY! I Mattie did have a place in my heart and your family is still in my prayers! Thank you for being real even when it hurts sooo bad!

  8. I simply loved seeing his face, He was the cutest kid I have ever seen. He changed the way I see Down syndrome . I always wanted to adopt another special needs child one day ( we have adopted 4 times before, all with treatable Medical conditions), but Mattie made me think that this future child must have DS. I imagined my future child like him: full of life and energy, and soul. I was so sad to hear of his loss. I am praying for you as you grieve,

  9. Dearest Tracie and your beloved family,
    We have never met, but I have followed your adoption journey on your blog for quite a while. I’m writing to you because you said it might bring you some comfort to know how Mattie impacted my life. Words cannot express my sorrow at the great loss of Mattie’s presence in your lives here on this planet. You will carry him with you in your heart and one day, the memories you treasure will be a source of comfort. But the raw pain of grief is overwhelming.

    Surely Mattie was a very special gift from our Heavenly Father – one to bring intense joy to many and make palpable His own love for you all through the ways you loved your son. Who can possibly understand the untimely death of one so precious? Surely there are not words to heal the pain, the sorrow. One day, the joy of being reunited with Matthias Samuel in eternity, will erase this horrible grief. Until then, only the working of the Holy Spirit, over time, will ease the experience of that pain. I am praying for you and your family, that our God of all mercy will fill you with His Holy Spirit, allow you to feel His supernatural comfort, and ease the pain of your grief. Remember, He has your tears bottled up. They (you) are precious to Him. (Mattie isn’t crying anymore.)

    Your son was an inspiration to me. His joyful spirit and beautiful smile, would lift me up on days that life made hard. His zest for life, and his refusal to give in to difficult medical challenges encouraged me so many times when I felt cheated by the challenges in my own path. Your family’s dedication to this little man, to giving him all the love his heart could hold and walking right beside him through the difficulties … well, it inspired me at the same time as it reflected to me my own selfishness in not moving forward with special-needs adoption… (in a good way, one that still pushes me forward.) If the Lord opens the doors for me to parent children who need a mom, Mattie will have been a major mover making that happen. I can only imagine the extent of his legacy in finding homes for many, many other children.

    Tracie, you have been so open, so honest in all the things you’ve shared with us blog readers over the years. Your transparency all things has been a source of great inspiration and a reality check for me. As you share your heart and its deep grief, I wish there was some way I could minister to you in return. Though I can’t, I know the One who can; and I lift you before Him often.

    In Jesus’ love,
    Pam (in California)

  10. I have always read your story and loved your truth and rawness. Kurt used to work with Derek and John & although we aren’t in kc anymore we really are still impacted by your entire family. We are adopting right now & when I have read your blog for a while now I have become open to love however and whoever God leads into our family. And for that I am thankful. I prayed for you when I heard the news about Mattie but never felt capable of saying anything heartfelt from someone who used to cross paths but you never really knew. But we prayed. And we still pray. And we will continue to read and grow from your story and your family’s story and your sons story. So please be brave. And please keep sharing.

  11. I was introduced to your blog through the Reece’s Rainbow Facebook group. I am a magazine writer, and well, I love good writing. Your honesty and photos translated into great blogs. Plus, I’m fascinated by you and your husband and your family, most likely because you are what I want to be someday. Including the really cool hair.

    As far as Mattie goes, he and his spirit were so beautiful you couldn’t help but love him instantly.

  12. In my world, there has never been a Tracie without Mattie. The first time we talked on the phone you were nesting, anxiously awaiting the phone call telling you it was time to get your son. The first blog post I read was about him. Every prayer I have offered on behalf of your family has involved Mattie.

    Though it doesn’t make a bit of sense to cherish someone you’ve never met, I loved Mattie. I still do. Sometimes I’ll feel an ache in my chest. For a splintered sliver of a second I wonder why I hurt so before I remember Mattie is in Heaven. When I remember why everything is awful I feel another level of confusion. How can he possibly be gone? The world was so right with him in it.

    I can’t yet articulate what all Mattie taught me and what he meant to me. It is still too deep for words. But I have been able to discern this much: it really is good, and possible, to make the world beautiful with your presence. Mattie did that. His life made so much lovely. There are a handful of people that I know I do that for. Mainly, my man and my babies. If my simple presence can fix a lot for them, then I simply need to be present. Put away the scattered thoughts, step away from the electronics, ignore the housework; be with them.

  13. Also fell in love with Mattie. Can’t remember how I found your blog initially but my youngest was sick and I had stopped working to look after him. It helped me to hear how another mother was coping and it encouraged me that I wasn’t alone. Your honesty here was very comforting to me. Why do I still come here every day? To check in on you. To make sure you’re doing ok and to grieve with you from afar. He was truly a very special child. Love and light x

  14. I found your blog quite a while ago through another blog. The writer there had asked for prayer because at the time Mattie was in the hospital in dire need. I remember the first picture I saw of him was with a red rash all over him (that will give you a time frame). Anyway, the other blogger posted a link to your page along with the prayer request. I clicked, read, prayed, and then kept clicking back to see how Mattie was doing with that situation as he continued to come to mind and I continued to pray. Through his continuing stories and situations I gradually became more familiar with your family’s larger story, and when you would ask for prayer (and maybe when you didn’t too), I would pray. I was heartbroken for you when I checked in a little more than a week after Mattie had passed and heard the news. I am a mother and my own mother heart aches for you, and so I pray some more. I check in maybe two or three times a month to see how you are doing, and though I don’t know you in person, the Lord prompts my heart to pray for you more often than that. And so I pray.

  15. I am here because we share our faith in Jesus Christ. I have followed both your blog and “Ne’s blog and it was through another tragic loss for the Loux family, Derek’s death, that I found and experienced true GRACE and TRUST and LOVE. It is when I became aware of the Orphans that needed so much. I was and continue to be blessed by how you Walk with our Lord. How you Live for Him. At times when I would have “given up”, I saw that none of the Loux Family ever did!
    I journeyed with you to U, when you brought your two sweeties home. And, again, when Mattie was given to you all. I have watched your Big Kids grow and thrive in their own walks with our Lord. And, I have seen true healing in your Little’s and You & John though your Iso-Journey.
    It is simple for me, I Love you. All of you. How I wish I could carry your pain for you! Take it away. But, it is not my story. It has been Written especially for you, by The Author of Life.
    Feel my hug, Tracie. ~ Jo

  16. Hi Tracie, my name is Maya and I’m from Israel. I’m here because your grief and loss relates to mine, and also the way you chose to live your life as an adoptive mom..
    8 years ago a kid I worked with, Alon, died at age 13. he was also the son of a very close friend of mine. He had a rare kind of C.P. couldn’t speak or move at all, except moving his hands a little to use his computer. He had Epilepsy and needed drugs every two hours. He was sick many times due to many health problems, but time and time again he came back to life with his will power, love and the unlimited faith of his parents. His parents did everything to give him a good and reach life – he went to a regular school (that was my job, to assist him there), made friends, did everything – with just the movment of his big eyes and his special and beatiful personality. The last two years of his life were hard because he was very very sick.
    When I read your posts about what you’re going through after Mattie died I can understand my friend better and her deep pain and loss. Your way to raise Mattie reminde me so much of Alon’s parents way and attitude.
    I also remember Alon and the impact he had on everyone around him, like Mattie has. Two souls that were here for a short while but will stay in many people hearts for ever, and change thier perspective about what really matters in life and what it means to be fully yourself with no shields – like Alon tought me.
    As to adoption.. I got to know Deanna Falchook’s You Parent vlog while looking to learn more about adoption and hear stories from people who did it. And following her on FB I got to know your story and blog. I’m very far and a stranger yet feel very close and inspired by your community of adoptive families. It strengthens me, gives me hope and courage to do what my heart tells me to do, make me feel there are people in the world that can really understand my heart’s wish to adopt a child.
    So that is why I’m here.. your words and pain and also the affirmation of love and life touch my heart and soul. I can only say that like waves in the ociane, Mattie and your love get to far places and bring healing and power… Thank you. Maya.

  17. hi Tracie, My name is Shari. I’m from Canada & sometimes Ukraine. our family has 12 kids…7 adopted & 5 bio( one of our daughters was adopted from UA in 2000) I found you through connections to Ukraine adoption . I’ve followed your journey with Mattie in prayer & am so sorry he passed away. I know you miss him. the word missing hardly fits…I know its more & deeper . he was a gift from heaven…a message that all are precious in God’s sight & loved. God Bless & I ‘ll be praying

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