The Place where lost things go

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Gone but not forgotten…

Song from Mary Poppins Returns

“The Place Where Lost Things Go” (

Over this past weekend, I watched Mary Poppins Returns with our twelve year old foster daughter. I was a bit in and out because of tasks, but I caught a scene with the precious song “The Place Where Lost Things Go”. It’s a song sung to children who are dealing with the loss of their mother and I so related to the feelings that loss brings. My own broken heart listened like I was one of those children, being sung to by the Lord instead of Mary Poppins. I snuck away to the other room shortly afterwards, to listen to it again on my phone and cry to myself. There is such a simple childlike sadness to it that has made me feel reminiscent and hopeful, imagining my baby in a wondrous place that I will get to see one day too.

The lines “So when you need her touch and loving gaze, gone but not forgotten is the perfect phrase”, keep coming in my mind as I hum the sweet little melody. Last night I was in my closet, thinking about how only recently I’ve begun to wear the clothes that I last held Wynter in. They’ve been in the back of my closet for nine and a half months, unsure if they’d ever be worn again. But something in me shifted at the nine month mark. The time she’s been gone is almost longer than the time I carried her and had her here on Earth. And I’m starting to think I may never get pregnant again, which terrifies me, but I’m feeling that maybe I have to accept that. It’s a truth my heart doesn’t even want to conceive of, but it could be what God has for me. I have no way of knowing. Wearing those clothes was some small bit of moving forward in the uncertainty of life, while trying to trust God even in the pain of not knowing.

As I hummed those words, I also saw Wynter’s crib folded up and tucked behind my hanging blouses. I pictured where her tiny clothes used to hang next to mine. One in particular said “pretty like mommy” and I often say it under my breath when going to my closet. I wondered when the day would come that I would feel ready to sell her crib, or her changing pad that was up on my closet shelf, along with her other things. I can’t see that day coming anytime soon. She is sadly gone but not forgotten and I’m not ready to give away her things. I can’t imagine that now. They are the only physical remnants I have left of my only forever girl.

Oh Wynter, you will never be forgotten my daughter. No matter what new roles, events or people come into our lives. No matter how much life brings new love and new losses. No matter how many years pass before we see you again. Mommy and Daddy will never forget that precious moment we first laid eyes on you or even that special Valentines Day when we first confirmed we were parents with a child of our own coming into existence. Your little life matters so much now and it always will. I hold onto your memory so closely in my heart and the hope and knowing that I WILL be with you again one day in the place where the lost things go. You are never truly lost. The Lord knows exactly where you are. And on that much awaited day when I get to see you again, we will cry with joy together and the Lord will wipe away every one of our tears because all things will be made new. ALL things. I can hardly wait my Wynnie Pooh! You are gone from me now, but never forgotten.

#WynterMonetCelisa #neverforgotten 💙🦋#9monthsinheaven #theplacewherethelostthingsgo #missyoudaily #Lordgivemestrengthtoendure #loss #infantloss

for THOSE struggling to HEAR GOD

I shared with a friend recently who is struggling to trust that she can hear from God, even through the Bible. I pray it can benefit someone else too.

“It sounds like you definitely have a heart to know and hear God but you don’t trust that you can.

I felt that same thing pretty strongly right after losing Wynter and I’m still on the road to healing in this area. I had been doing this journaling process I learned from Dr. Caroline Leaf to detox my brain and I kept up that format for about a year. In that process, she has you write daily about the toxic thought coming to you, but then she also has you listen for how God would like to respond to it. Through that process, I really started to believe that I DID know how to hear from God in my heart. I was always so afraid that I didn't know how because of my dad. He made us feel unspiritual because of his supposed daily revelations  in which he'd write down pages of stuff that "God was telling him". I never wanted to be a false prophet like him or a kook with outlandish revelations, so I always questioned things I felt God telling me.

But over that year of journaling, I finally felt I had broken through that fear and COULD hear him. It was amazing! I felt so much more peace in my heart and I could feel his love for me so much more.

Then after losing Wynter, I doubted it all. None of it contradicted scripture and it so often spoke exactly to my deepest need, even when I didn’t know what that was, and still I wondered if I made it all up in my head, wishful thinking. What if God was just my imaginary friend I created to feel less alone in life??

This thought broke my heart. God was all I truly had throughout my life. I couldn't bear it if he wasn't real. And in my mind I knew of all the proof of the Bible’s authenticity and the resurrection. I mean, I had been to Israel and seen the original manuscripts of Isaiah, where Christ was prophesied about hundreds of years before he was even born. But the horrible sadness of losing my only child covered all of that.

So a month after Wynter died, we went to stay at our friend's vacation house in Destin, FL for a week. It was Thanksgiving and we were so out of it. I had brought my laptop with the intention of finally facing God and re-reading all the journal entries I had done over the year before Wynter's birth.

I was avoiding it. Avoiding Him.

But when I reread it all, I realized that God didn't deceive me like I’d thought.

There were so many little messages in the parts where I typed out what I felt Him saying to me. He had told me to hold her tightly but hold her loosely. Wow.

I mean, did I think He was he supposed to warn me? If He had, I wouldn't have enjoyed my pregnancy and felt joy and peace. That would've sucked.

As I kept re-reading through the perspective of her passing, I could see that nothing truly contradicted what He had told me. The only thing that I still don't understand and still hurts me is that He said I was coming into a season of joy. But then as I read my favorite authors, they always talk about suffering preceding a deeper joy. I am hoping and waiting for that.

I also noticed how much I prayed for my marriage to improve and for greater purpose in life to minister to people. Something shifted in our marriage big time after Wynter died. We came together more. We still argue sometimes, but we are much more united since having and losing Wynter, and even more since fostering together. So I'm seeing this as an answer to other prayers. And now the book idea too. This could be an answer to my ever longing desires for greater purpose in life.

I'm trying so hard to think from God's long term perspective, not my immediate perspective. I have to believe that He's going to make it up to me with Wynter. That I'll either get to raise her there in Heaven or watch some interactive video replay of her life and not feel I missed out. I think of that often, even as I miss her daily.

For some reason, God has me here on Earth still, with this hole in my heart. I have to believe that even with that hole, He can make something good of my messy life. He did it for those who trusted Him all throughout the Bible, He has to do it for us.

So I am saying "I trust you Lord", even when I'm really scared to trust Him because I don't know if that means more suffering. No one knows.

But I do know that I couldn't bear the thought of Him not even being real and being all alone in life, with no purpose in our sufferings. I'm trying to remind myself of all the times I have known He was with me, whether a sense of His presence, something He showed me in His word that was timely, or through a person reaching out to me at the exact moment I needed them. I am not alone and neither are you, my friend. He is here and we are all doing our best to hear and follow Him. I am sure I've gotten it wrong several times. But somehow He picks up my mess and points me back on the right path. You are not forgotten.”

Much love.

#hearingGod #youarenotforgotten #drcarolineleaf #lovedbyJesus

"Just Believe!"…ugh

It happened again. Another talk about how I need to just fully believe that I'll have another baby and it will happen. I appreciate the well meaning intentions, I do, but I must say, I absolutely disagree with this theology of manifesting whatever we want in life. I agree that sometimes we do attract positive or negative things and people into our lives because of our attitudes and beliefs, but this is definitely not true for everything. It isn't a one size fits all solution to all the world's pain. That is BS. Look around people! This world is full of a bunch of tragedy that faithful, praying people prayed, begged, and believed wouldn't happen, and yet it still did.

God didn't answer the way we wanted. Telling us to simply have faith and it will happen, only adds a subtle shame to our already wounded and heavy heart. I prayed and cried my guts out in the hospital for my daughter to be healed and to live, but she didn't. My faith was strong, believing and knowing God can and does miracles. And yet, God chose not to heal Wynter for some reason that I cannot see and probably won't fully see in this lifetime. I'm choosing to trust Him with my pain and my disappointment because He has been my greatest friend and parent throughout my life. He has proven Himself to be good and kind and present to me, so I am choosing to remember all of those times in this dark night. I have to believe that there's a good ending to my story, though it has been marred with much sorrow.

I absolutely believe that He can gift me with another baby, but it's not my place to demand that He do that and He doesn't owe me anything. He is the giver of all life and I'm not His boss, I'm His servant put on this earth for a reason. Do I pray for another child every single night? Of course I do... with faith that He hears me and will answer me according to His purposes for my life. Is it hard to pray with this unknowing? Of course. But I have too much respect for God to try and be His boss.

So please, friends, think through what you say to someone who is in deep grief, and recognize this subtle judgement of a lack of faith. It is the last thing a person in agony needs to hear.

#endrant #grief101 #Godistheboss #faithandtrustinGodswill #notours#trueChristianity

a ray of light in Depression


Last time we were at this beach in Destin, we were newly mourning our daughter Wynter. It was beautiful and horribly sad. We never actually went in the water. We just waded the shores and stared into the vastness of the ocean at sunset every night, once most of the families had cleared out. I cried so much on that trip and kept my mind on thoughts of Heaven, imagining where my daughter was, as I desperately read everything I could about this hopeful life to come.

This time we arrived with two foster girls, excited to experience the Emerald Coast. This was the first beach experience for our 16 year old, which is the main reason we went. The first day was really fun at the beach and ended with an unexpected firework show at dusk. We felt peace and joy and lots of hope.

Then there was the second day, a stark contrast to the first. A bicycle accident that resulted in 17 stitches for our 12 year old, extra stress for everyone, and me in a grief bubble in my room that I couldn’t escape until the following day. I was overwhelmed by all of this new parenting stuff and grieving my precious daughter whose ashes I had partially released into this ocean only 8 months earlier. It wasn’t supposed to be this way and I wasn’t ok about it. As I lay in bed frozen with grief and talk-crying out to God for help, a thought entered my mind. A better title for the book I’ve been working on for the last four months as I process my journey back to trusting God after heartache. We’re all familiar with the song so often played at funerals, It Is Well With My Soul. But the honest truth is that it isn’t always well up in there. Sometimes we’re pissed off at God and don’t know how to trust him again when we feel he bailed on us.

So back to my depressed, curled up in a bawl, lying in the bed self with a moment of clarity. The title that I foresee sticking is “It Isn’t Well With My Soul: Surviving Child Loss Without Hating God”. I don’t know who will end up reading it or even why God put this book in my heart at this time when I’ve had no desire for pursuing much of anything. But I do know I have to finish writing it to find out what the next part of my story is and why God allowed me to suffer in this way. I may never know in this lifetime but I’m asking God for a glimpse of His redemption in the here and now and hoping to see some good emerge from all this pain. I have seen the good that still exists in my life, but I long to see more in this area. Please pray for me and us. Thank you so much.

#Destin #missing #WynterMonetCelisa #myforeverdaughter 💙🦋 #heaven #fostermomming #untilthen

Love & Loss

Wynter in Daddy's Arms 2 crop.jpg

Wynter Monet Celisa

October 17, 2018 - October 23, 2018

My beautiful daughter, Wynter Monet Celisa Boado, was born on October 17th, 2018, a Wednesday morning. She came into this world weighing 8 pounds 12 ounces and over 21 inches in length; looking like a tiny version of her daddy. I couldn't believe I had birthed a big Asian baby! I found it hilarious. She was just precious and my heart exploded with love the second I saw her. She cried an adorable little cry that sounded like a baby dinosaur! She looked around alertly at us and the world, and she wrapped our hearts around her little finger.

Wynter's apgar scores were the highest they could be. All the doctors and nurses said she was perfect and healthy. I was even able to nurse her too, which she naturally just knew how to do. It was so sweet.

With no warning whatsoever, our tiny girl stopped breathing after about 45 minutes of perfectly normal life. She wouldn't breathe again for another 24 minutes. After stabilizing her, Maury Regional quickly transported her to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital for better care.

The transfer paperwork simply stated "Boado, Girl". We hadn't officially even named her yet. That's how fast everything happened.

The brain damage to our girl was completely devastating, due to lack of oxygen for that long. The doctors spent the last days of her life trying to understand what initiated Wynter's sudden down turn. None of the experts could conclusively figure it out. It wasn't our genetics, our age, or structural defects in her body. No apparent reason at all.

We never thought we'd become parents, only to lose our daughter after 7 short days. Please pray for comfort and healing for us. We know she’s with Jesus in the most beautiful place of joy and peace, but there will forever be a hole in our hearts. This is a heavy loss for us and I miss her so much already. My husband and I are leaning on God, each other, and the support of our community. Thank you everyone for your thoughts and prayers. Here is a picture of our precious baby daughter. For more photos, see my Instagram page.