Yesterday we celebrated the day I brought home my youngest daughter, Jenny, from Russia.
I’ll never forget that landing at Dulles airport surrounded by my oldest, Noelle, who was nine at the time. She ran to me her Santa hat bouncing on her black curls. My eyes filled with tears when I saw her. I had missed her so very much. The time apart had been hard. This adoption trip had been long.
As we embraced time seemed to stop and it was just her and I. My thoughts quickly replayed the roller coaster adoption ride we had been on in order to get Jenny. What had started with prayers of surrender while at a Virginia beach in October, winded through a painful failed adoption, a long three weeks in Ukraine, many sleepless nights, and many more disappointments. But that was only the beginning.
From the time I adopted my then two year old I was challenged. Adopting a toddler is very different from adopting an infant. Difficulty sleeping at night. Fear expressed by fighting everything and anything during the day. I smile remembering how relieved I was about two months after coming home when Jenny came down with a cold.
For the first time she wanted to be held. She wanted me. Whispers of God’s love and grace.
She rested in my arms with her warm little head nestling against me.
I was ecstatic to finally be able to cuddle her and whisper sweet words in her ears.
“I love you, Jenny.” Oh yes I did. I most certainly did.
But parenting my little girl was not easy. Daily I leaned on the Lord to give me the grace I needed to patiently pour out my love.
It was a hard road. Some times very hard.
God’s calls are not necessarily easy. We must not assume that His Path for us will be without many opportunities to trust Him.
No, it is through those difficult, tear-stained places in our lives that He teaches us His Faithfulness. His Mercy. His Grace.
Today we celebrate God’s goodness to us in bringing us together.
We laugh and reminisce. We love and give thanks.
And sometimes as I look around our table my eyes fall on the fourth chair.
And my heart bows in worship knowing that He is here.
He’s been here through it all.