Thursday, December 26, 2013

This Christmas

This year I hosted Christmas Eve dinner and I went all out. I spent several, busy days preparing for the feast. Turkey, corn pudding, potatoes au gratin, (by request of my children) fresh string beans, sweet potato casserole, cranberry sauce, and as if this wasn't enough, there were appetizers, homemade sugar cookies with egg glaze and royal icing, and six pies, all from scratch. We had eleven people all eating, drinking, making me crazy merry! The kids got to open gifts from the grandparents. Then the grown ups played a white elephant gift exchange game while the kids dug in to their new loot. The house was all decked out in holiday grandeur and my favorite Christmas classics played in the background. It was really a great night. None of the food burned, everyone was (mostly) nice to each other, the setting was beautiful and the house was bustling with happy chaos.  Yet, as distracted and busy and determined as I was not to get blue about missing my baby boy, my thoughts inevitably turned to his sweet little face and how badly I wished he could be there with us, over and over again. As my daughter and I worked in the kitchen baking up new traditions, I would catch a glimpse of a baby not yet home, tracing his fingers through the spilt flour on the kitchen floor, or pulling on mommy's apron strings. Do any of you other waiting mothers experience this? Sort of a day dream kind of vision of your little one there at home with you, and it almost feels like he is really there? I'd see the low hanging ornaments, and smile through tears at the thought of him reaching up to yank them off the tree. Or I'd imagine him being passed from aunt to uncle to grandparent, each getting in their baby cuddles, until he'd had enough and wanted only his mommy's arms. The entire evening, this alternate story line of this if-only Christmas played in my head. That night, after everyone had gone and the kids laid in bed pretending to sleep,  my husband and I shared thoughts and tears for our baby boy. His beautiful face, framed in holiday colors, hangs on our tree as a symbol of, God willing, not only his first Christmas, but our last Christmas apart. All day, we had been thinking the same thoughts, wishing the same wish, missing our little boy so badly it hurts.

If this Christmas all of your children were under the same roof, I hope you cherished every moment. I hope your day was filled with new memories, and old traditions. I hope peace and comfort surrounded you and yours. But, if you spent this Christmas with a child-shaped hole in your heart, know that you were not alone. Know that your grief of time lost, that full heart and those empty arms are so real and not at all misplaced. You are not ungrateful for what you do have, just because you are missing what you don't have. My prayer is that very soon, so many broken hearts will begin to mend as children come home, and new families are born. Dynamics may change, patience may be tested, old hurts may begin to surface in new ways, but the love of a family will be there to begin to fill in those cracks.

If you have been following our journey, you know that we may be able to travel to meet our boy in person for the first time VERY soon! As soon as the end of January! But we really need your help. New fees for our son in country have gone up, way up. His monthly care is now $700 per month, and that does not include his monthly care packages or any extra medical visits he may need. Our little guy is doing well, but he has had pneumonia, anemia, and continues to need special care. We also will be making two trips, instead of the one trip we had originally planned on when we started this journey a year ago. We are very blessed that Grace Haven ministries has started a fundraising page for us, where you can make a tax deductible donation to help with these expenses. You can read a little about our journey so far here, and make a donation if you are lead to. There are also raffling off a 50 inch LCD TV that was so graciously donated to us by another local adoptive family! We are so thankful to that precious family that chose to bless us, a family they had never even met! God is good, and He loves our baby boy!

We ask for your prayers for our son while he waits and for our journey to him! Please pray that our fundraising efforts will be successful and that we would be able to make the journey to see him very soon!

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