from the heart

It’s taken me a while to feel ready to write this blog post.  My heart has been a little bit broken.  As many of you know last fall on Sept. 1st we added an African son to our family.  Though we anticipated a time of transition and perhaps even a stretching adjustment, our experience could not have been more seamless.

Enric moved in and from the start belonged.  He was a perfect fit and having had our older son move out on Aug. 28th he filled a void we had little time to feel.  Within weeks, though we had been asked to have Enric live with us  for only one school year, we knew beyond a doubt that he was welcome to stay for his final 3 years of high school.

On Sept. 12th, 2009 Enric moved out.  It was a very sad day for the Rettmann family.  In August Enric came to us and shared his heart, “completely uncovered”, as he put it.  He took some time to share with Todd and me how our home had affected him.  He said that the peace we live in on a daily basis in our home was healing his pain from the genocide he had lived through in Rwanda.  We were stunned, and of course thankful.  He went on to tell us that the way we talk to each other and our kids as well as our finances and faith were things in which he had learned from and would shape his future.  What he had trouble saying in addition to all this was that it was time for him to move on.  Living in Sherwood, so far from the Portland area where he planned to spend much of his time developing his musical career, had become too inconvenient for those who were investing in him musically.

I have cried over and wrestled with his absence in our lives.  One year went by so fast and it is hard for me to believe that it was enough.  Last week in the middle of one of my good crying sessions with a dear friend, Enric sent me a text.  It said, “You will always be my mom and I miss you”.  Of course I cried some more.

As I have been processing the loss and getting used to the hole, I have had to believe that sometimes our seasons are shorter than others.  I have had to reconcile the fact that though we offered Enric healing and a  home, he needed to fly.  I am also learning that loving someone means sacrifice and loss sometimes, but it is always worth the risk and heartache. The Lord’s timing is perfect, not always understandable in our finite minds, but perfect none-the-less.

Mitch and Enric first day of school, Sept. 2009

Mitch and Enric first day of school, Sept. 2009



Comments on: "from the heart" (8)

  1. Heather Duff said:

    oh Angie, thank you for sharing. I can only imagine the depth of your heartbreak. I know Enric will carry his year in your home with him for a lifetime and it will effect how he one day leads a family of his own. You have an amazing ability/gift to love big, a very beautiful thing. My heart is with you as you transition to having another son find his wings and learn to fly.
    Much love,

  2. Thank you Heather! I know we share the same heart for motherhood and family life. It is a gift and yet can be very painful. You are a model to me of pure heartfelt devotion and passion for your children and husband. Bless you! Angie

  3. Thank you for sharing your experience. We recently lost a son, too. He was our foster child from age 2 to age 4 1/2. He was taken to live with his biological father, which is NOT a good situation for him. I’ve struggled so much with this, knowing as you do, that God’s timing is perfect. And I know that this is all part of God’s plan. It’s just SO hard to understand why.

  4. Susan, Thank you for sharing. How incredibly difficult this must be for you, I am so very sorry. I am thankful you too can walk in the confidence of His sovereign plan. May the Lord continue to comfort you in your pain.

  5. Sally Fischel said:

    Hi Angie,
    Thank you for sharing your heart wrenching story. I am so blessed to have met you over the summer and have come to be able to share my struggles with you. I want to thank you and Jen again for your prayers. You know it worked miracles. One thing I learned from the past year is that God is unwavering in his loving purpose and perfect wisdom. I believe God in his wisdom is weaving our painful experiences together to form a community of believers full of wisdom and character….

  6. Jill Cain said:

    Oh, Angie….I just read this. I wasn’t aware. I’m sorry. He was very blessed to be in your home and I just know that he learned and absorbed so much for you and your family. So, he’s still in the Portland area? I will lift you up in prayer. Thank you for your prayer the other morning! It meant more than you will ever know. It was very encouraging and supportive. Thanks!

  7. Thank you Jill, I know you are aware of how much we loved having Enric live with us. Bless you friend!

  8. Hi Sally,
    So fun to be getting to know you as well. I am looking forward to holding your precious baby boy soon=). I agree the Lord is using our stories to knit together our hearts and bring unity to the redeemed. Blessings on your and your family!!

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