Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Census

We received (as I'm sure most, if not all, of you did) the U.S. Census paperwork in the mail this past week.
And there it was, that familiar pang of grief.

How many in your household? How many living in your place of residence? How many... ?

It should be such an easy question. It should be. But it's not.

The correct answer (for us) is two. But I'm tempted to respond three. I don't even know how many I'd be responding if Owen was alive. Three? Four? Five?

For their purposes, the government doesn't care about or count Hannah Mae.
It feels wrong not answering three. There are three of us living in our house. One of us just happens to be a baby, living in my womb. As I type, she's pushing her sweet little butt out. She is living here with us.

And sweet Owen... our son. The baby boy I carried and lived with for 36 weeks. I can't count him in the census. He's not here. He lives in a vastly different place. Chipmunk and Sunshine too...


Just another sucky reminder.

8 comments:

Susan said...

I had a similar experience w/ the census... there's a baby girl in my tummy, but that doesn't matter. (Ugh! It matters to ME!) She'll be 10 before her next chance to be counted, God willing,and I am already counting her, but "they" don't care.

Still praying for you & your sweet family!

Ashley said...

Sucky indeed!

Love you,
ashley

Tonya said...

It does suck! Thankfully Gib did our paperwork so I didn't have to see the questions. (((HUGS)))

The Blue Sparrow said...

I agree, sucky reminder. *HUGS*

Freya said...

I totally empathize, I work with a lot of families, and people often ask, "how long have you been married?" --then--I know it's coming maybe even before they do: "any kids yet?" I just say no, although I want them to be acknowledged and honored, I want to chat with all the Moms about my kids, but I just keep quiet and listen and smile. My Husband has made the excellent point that we were the best parents possible--we did everything we could for their health, and our kids went straight to heaven. You really can't beat being written in the book of life (and added to the multitude sharing in His glory) before the Government gives them a series of numbers by which they will identified for the rest of her life.

You can do it, Ebe! You are doing it!

Take Care,
Freya

Melissa said...

Yes, I felt the same way about the little boy in my womb. He counts too!

Denise said...

I sympathize but having worked for the Canadian census on two occasions I can understand a bit more the logic behind the questions and the answers.

Since the census is just a snapshot of one day in the life of the country - on that date if you were alive at 11:59 p.m. you were counted. If you were born or died before midnight you are "in." If either of these events occurred at midnight or 12:01 then the people were not recorded on the paperwork.

Census information is used for government funding/grants on local, state and national levels. Today people gather historical information from the census forms that our forefathers filled out.

It is important that they are accurate. Unfortunately, under American and Canadian law, a fetus is not a person until they have drawn breath. I know it is crazy, but if someone murdered you tonight, they would only be charged with killing one person (you) and not with the loss of Hannah Mae. It's not really proper logic - as if she was born right now and received neo-natal care, she would no doubt survive.

Babies should be classed as people, but for the government, they don't. Maybe someday, if the abortion laws are struck down, perhaps babies will earn the status of "human" before birth... but until then, unfortunately it is what it is.

Glad you are "hanging in there" -- won't be long now until you ARE holding Hannah Mae in your arms and she IS living with you!

Emily said...

Definitely sucky. Your post reminds me of a comment by Frank DeFord in his book: "Alex: the Life of a Child." His daughter, born with Cystic Fibrosis, was born after the 1980 census and died when she was 8 years old, before the 1990 census. I've been thinking about that a lot lately; even if a baby/child doesn't make it into the government's census count, we can be 100% sure that he/she makes it into God's count.