One of my son's favorite movies is the movie "The Incredibles". When our second son was born, someone said that his resemblance to "Jack Jack" in the movie was incredible. Our oldest got such a kick out of that and the nicknames stuck. He still refers to us by our nicknames on a daily basis. We hope to add a "Violet" to our family through adoption someday.
Grief never ends…but it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith…it is the price of love.
A few short years ago I would have said the pain of genuine relationships wasn’t worth it, and that I would rather be closed off than share myself and my thoughts. Too much hurt has made me very private and often closed-off. Even though I have been tempted to fall right back into that mindset and delete my online presence and just crawl into bed with the covers over my head, I am not going to. Today I say that opening myself up to love is a fight I’m willing to take, even if I get hurt in the process.
My sweet little girl loves to snuggle and be held just as much as I do! Every day during her nap and at bedtime, she held on to my arm even in her sleep (bottom picture), and we took dozens of walks all over the guest house grounds hand in hand or her with her arms around my neck as I carried her.
A year ago I saw our little girl’s face for the first time and experienced a very clear calling that she was to be a part of our lives. Knowing that we wanted to adopt this specific child was a crystal clear conviction for us both. We never imagined the complete joy–or devastating pain–the road of adoption would bring us, but we have felt complete peace every step of the way.
This Christmas has been our measure of “she’ll definitely be home by then”, and that really hurts. We couldn’t have dreamed up all of the delays we’ve experienced if we tried–that is how truly crazy this process has been. At times there are just no words. The waiting is hard, the unknown is painful. As an adoptive mama friend of mine named Jennifer said, there is no adoption without brokenness and loss. The waiting hurts, but how much more for our sweet girl than for me? For her it is just days, weeks, months, years of waiting. Waiting to be our daughter. Waiting for love and a home.
Since the beginning of December in particular, I have been pondering what waiting looks like. Advent is the focus of our church calendar at this time of year and can be defined by dictionary.com as the waiting for the coming or arrival of something extremely important. It feels so appropriate that we are experiencing in a very deep way our own waiting in this advent season. As Paul Tripp writes, it’s vital to understand that waiting isn’t an interruption of God’s plan. It is his plan. And you can know this as well: the Lord who’s called you to wait is with you in your wait. He hasn’t gone off to do something else, like the doctor you’re waiting to see. No, God is near, and he provides for you all that you need to be able to wait.
Today we learned of a major roadblock that is greatly impacting us. I canceled all of my plans, called the school to have my little guy stay in stay & play, and laid on Lyla’s bed all afternoon just staring at the ceiling and begging God for wisdom and strength and trying hard not to ask the “why?” questions. We are choosing not to share the details at this time because we need to sit with it ourselves for awhile first and discern our next steps, but we are sharing this post to seek the support of those who love us and ask for your prayers and encouragement. Pleaseplease don’t be offended that I am not personally reaching out, or sharing details, but I honestly can’t right now. I’m not trying to be frustratingly cryptic, it is just too complicated and I can’t talk about it yet. Please shower us with grace (even without knowing details) while we wait.
I pray that my hurt pushes me to remain vulnerable and open (which is hard for me), reminds me that I’m not control (and I can take comfort in that!), and helps me to care more about the things that truly matter. I pray that this journey is a testimony of Christ’s light in me as I trust in Him even when it is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I pray that my focus is always what Lyla’s best interest is and not mine.
So we continue to wait and to trust in God’s great plan for us.
“But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord; I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.” (Micah 7:7).
In the past month, I have blogged about my thankfulness for saturday mornings, the gift of joy, best friends, the beautiful colors of fall, my dad, days off, extracurricular opportunities, God’s presence, meeting Lyla, strength, adoption, available internet, home, hiking, food, our christian school, baking, my boys, my mom, fridays, quiet time…from the simple to the profound, I have experienced overwhelming thankfulness!
I never once felt like I had to think hard about what I was thankful for while I was writing each post, and even though my “30 days of thankfulness” goal is coming to an end I haven’t even scratched the surface of all that I’m thankful for and could write about Our church, Mr. Incredible, my in-laws, where we live, my cat, my work, our house….my list could quite literally go on and on. Choosing to focus on thankfulness and the abundance of blessings in my life has been a good practice for cultivating joy and peace in my heart. The month that I started out dreading on November 1st has slipped past!
And now as I continue cultivating a wholly thankful heart I hope that overflows into being a living example of the joy of gratefulness, and spills into a lifestyle that gives my kids an example to follow of being thankful for the blessings we have.
“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts” — Washington Irving (1783-1859)
I am thankful for my mom each & every day. She is the quiet cornerstone in my life. I would do anything for her, and she for me. Love you, mom, and so thankful for all of your encouragement, love, and help keeping my sanity
Child of God. Mommy. Photographer. Social worker. Lover of fall colors, rainy days, and hearing my boys laugh. Committed to living life intentionally in every area.
My husband amazes me every day with his incredible patience and love. He quietly tries to make my life better in each of his actions, and he is a natural father, shouldering equal responsbility in raising our sons and caring for our household. He is a mechanical engineer by profession, and enjoys reading, board games, hiking, and playing with the boys.
our spunky red-headed 7 year old lives up to the name "Dash" with his genuine love for running and anything active. He also loves to read, create imagination games, and play soccer.
Our unbelievably happy 4 year old who keeps us on our toes by his love for mischief! His smile and amazing blue eyes capture the hearts of everyone who sees him, especially his mama!
We are in the process of adopting a 3-year old little girl through international adoption. We can't wait until she is home and part of our family! You can read more of our journey to adopt her on our fundraising website, http://www.bringinglylahome.com