June 30, 2013

We Have Puffy Eyes and Heavy Hearts…BUT We Also Have HOPE.

The last few days, as expected, have been an emotional roller coaster for us and we know that he has been for many of you as well.  We wanted to share some of our special, merciful experiences that have occurred over the last few days.

Lady Hiva and I, as we have done many times in the past, closed the door to the house, turned off the phones and re-grouped. To be honest, Lady Hiva and I both greet the world with puffy eyes and heavy hearts...but no matter how hard it is right now, we know the Savior loves us and we can make it through this together. We miss Aleki fiercely. Our home seems empty without him. We never know when the grief of sadness will hit.  There are moments when we both break down and cry—when the neighbor boy brought back Aleki’s little sock that must have fallen off at their house or when we hear another baby’s cry for someone to hold them.  Despite all the hurt of loss, we have faced challenges before and we know that if we remain close to the Lord and close to each other that we will heal.

Grieving loss is an interesting aspect of life. We all experience it in different ways. Lady and I, over the years, have been through it and watched our family members go through it. Feelings of anger, frustrations, sadness, fear, and doubt all clamor for our attention. However, we have also learned that when we focus on our relationship with those we love and our relationship with our loving Heavenly Father, we will receive strength, love, mercy, and joy.

Just as we have in the past, we have felt an outpouring of love and support during this heartbreaking time. All of your prayers, messages, and words of kindness have buoyed us up. We thank you all for that.

This experience leads us to want to ask the question WHY? Some of the same questions many of you have voiced to us: Why after years of trying to have children do we have another taken away? Why is life so hard? The list could go on and on.  But we have also learned, with past challenges, that those questions are fruitless and dangerous. Instead, our focus is praying for strength to overcome and to understand the positive.

We know that we have a loving Heavenly Father. He loves each of us as his children. He knows our strengths, our struggles, our fears and our talents. We know when we need help, and He sends it. This week that help has come us in the form of your letters, calls, text and encouragement. It has also come from Heather and her friend Crystal driving all the way here to spend a day with us—we were able to laugh and remember life is beautiful even during dark times. We have also felt that love as members of our ward have left notes at our door or come to just give hugs and let us sob on their shoulders.

We know that families can be together forever! There is NOTHING on this earth that can take that away from us. We know that all of our children who have returned to our heavenly home will be there waiting for us to join them.

We also know, as hard as it may seem, that agency—the ability to choose—is an eternal principle in this life. Heavenly Father will never take it away. We often wonder why bad things happen to good people or what we did to deserve this or that…that is entirely the wrong way to look at it. Just as we know Heavenly Father loves us individually, we know he wants us all to learn and grow. The way we learn that is by making choices and living with those consequences.

Yes, when we see a child go astray, or abuse, or a myriad of other problems in life we wish we could take the agency away from someone who is hurting themselves and possibly others. But we can’t. What we can do is pray to understand that Heavenly Father loves us all and wants us to succeed. He will send the help we need to overcome and heal.

For example, Aleki came into our lives through a series of choices. And, similarly, he left when his birth mother made a choice to raise him herself. With all the things Lady Hiva and I have learned and stated above, we know that Heavenly Father loves Aleki’s birth mother just as he loves Lady Hiva and I. He would never take away her ability to choose. But He doesn’t just leave us empty and alone.

Lady Hiva and I know that Heavenly Father loved us enough to send His Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to overcome our pains, our sorrows, our trials and sins. It is through Him that we feel love and understanding. It is through that knowledge we receive peace amid heartache.

We may not be able to raise Aleki as we want to, but we still want to have children someday.  We are thankful for Tau’aho that Lady is still carrying, and he will be a unique joy of his own--just like Aleki was a joy to us—but he will not a replacement. We know there will be moments of tears and sorrow. But we also know the future is bright and we are continually blessed.


  1. God bless and strengthen you through this trial. It sounds like you are already reaching out to Him. Love,
    Jeanette Nelson

  2. Oh Dustin. I feel about you and Hiva the way I do about the Prophet Joseph and Emma; confused at why they needed to suffer so, amazed at their strength and faith, and certain of their eternal reward because of it. You are both such examples and those children of yours (yes, CHILDREN) are blessed beyond measure to have you be their parents and raise them, whether in this life or the next. lots of kiwi hugs and kisses and prayers coming your way. oxo

    1. I love this comment and I feel the same. xoxo

  3. Such a big reminder that we aren't here alone or abandoned by God-when I sometimes feel I am. Thank you for writing your thoughts and sharing this heartbreaking- and faith building- experience. Love to you both and prayers for the safe arrival of baby. Sarah