Monday, December 2, 2013

The Difference of a Year

To say that this Thanksgiving we were thankful is probably the biggest understatement EVER.  We have been thankful for years for all that we have been blessed with, I mean, seriously....even before this year it was overwhelming.  But, I got to sit next to my daughter at the Thanksgiving daughter.....incredible.  She sat happily eating turkey and green beans (no, she's not a normal toddler!), and had no idea why her mommy was about to well up with tears.  I truly feel like we are living a real life miracle in our house every day.  We have been home a little over a month, and I can't imagine now not seeing her smile every day when she wakes up, or hearing her laugh when she's sword fighting with the boys!  It really does feel like she's been here all along, even though I am reminded all of the time how much we missed in those first years of her life.  We have so much time to make up for, and I plan to do that every day!

After the turkey was cleaned up and the pumpkin pie was eaten, the Christmas decorating could begin.  As we were getting decorations out and put up, I ran across this:
I swear it almost took my breath away to see it.  We bought this last year around this time, and it hung on our tree until we took it down.  However, it was almost a year ago that the ban was signed, and we didn't know what was going to happen.  I remember sitting at the table on Christmas Eve (we got Chinese take out, ironically), and I was really feeling numb.  It hurt too much to be celebrating Christmas while not knowing what was going to happen to our daughter.  At this point we didn't have pictures of her, we didn't know what her eyes looked like, what her hair looked like, or even how old she was, but we thought God was telling us she was in Russia.  It was so hard to be joyful at such a wonderful time of year, even though we knew that we had already been blessed so much.  Fast forward, and most of you know the story....we realized that was a detour since our Lainey wasn't quite ready for us to go get her!  So, this year we get these sorts of pictures instead:
For whatever reason, she is insistent the camel goes on the roof!

The boys were working on cutting down a tree...i worked on a candy cane instead!

I was so blessed to watch all three of my children decorate the tree (twice...but that's another story) this year.  The boys helped Lainey put ornaments on, and it really overwhelmed my heart to watch.  Now she is in a home where she can learn about CHRISTmas.  She can learn that she has a family that has adopted her and loves her, but so much more than that, she has a God that loves her and adopted her into His family.  A God that loves her so much that He sent these crazy people called mommy and daddy halfway around the world.  Just. To. Get. HER.

As blessed as we are, and as overwhelmed with joy as we are to have her home and in our arms every day, I can't help but look at this ornament and think of the children that are still waiting in Russia.  I will never know their fate, but I know that it cannot be what is best for them.  I still pray for a change of heart, and that they will let these orphans become a part of their forever family, no matter what country that family is in.  It is heartbreaking that they have become political pawns, and no child should ever have to live without knowing what it feels like to be loved and wanted.  Please keep praying for these children, that they will somehow know that even though they have been abandoned by their worldly parents, their Father loves them, and they will one day be able to feel that love.  It makes my heart hurt to know that children are dying not ever knowing what it is like to be loved so much that you can't even put it into words.  Please pray for their little hearts.