From losing 3 grandparents, 3 patients of mine, and my great grandma, I would say Sorrow to describe this year. Yes in each death there was lots of God and peace, but its still sad to have lost so many people, especially grandparents. My grandpa (father's dad) was very inspirational to many people and I am most sad that he didn't get to even know about my kids or that we were adopting. They would have loved him and he would have loved them as he loves all his grand and great grand kids. Losing both of Robert's grandmothers was also hard as I would have loved for them also to know our kids and to see Robert as a dad. My great grandmothers (my mom's grandma) funeral was probably the coolest bc she was 100 years old and left such a great life of legacy to all her kids, grandkids, great grandkids, and great great grandkids. Losing 3 patients was also very hard bc in my line of work, we develop relationships with people. My patients aren't just a file number or someone on my schedule they are real people and kids who need my help and who more often than not become my friends. Each one of them will be missed.
Joy would be my next description of this year bc of the obvious - we became PARENTS! Its still weird to think I'm a mom and Robert is a dad after all we went through to get here, but we are taking it each day, one day at a time. Exactly a year ago on New Years Eve I would never have told you or imagined that I would have two little kids with me that I am in the process of adopting. But thats what is so cool about God, He knew it all along and was just waiting to see if we would be faithful to follow Him through it all. That is the greatest kind of Joy you can ever have. True Joy, where you know that even through your faults and failures and mistakes and inadequacies that God honored your faithful heart and that the tears and prayers you poured out have not gone unnoticed. God's Joy is the best! From the moment Rob and I both decided to pursue adoption, to God giving me a dream/vision of two little kids running through the house, to finding our adoption agency, and then from each day we waited, to getting their names, seeing them the first time, bringing them home, and finally having them feel like they really are ours... yes, I would say there has been JOY this year!
I can't leave out the word waiting from the list. Goodness each of you reading this has gone through the waiting and struggles with us this year. Each step brought about a desperate cry for God to reveal himself and to show us what direction to go. Waiting was certainly the hardest thing for me this year. When we announced that we were adopting, we both thought that we would find the kids profile within a few weeks and then have them at the end of the summer... well at least thats what we kept hoping for... but God knew we needed to wait. For whatever reason, I'm glad He knew better. Rob and I were able to fully enjoy this year and to learn more about each other and our relationship with Christ before we were plunged into parenthood. How we would have survived without that time to bond closer in all our relationships, only God knows! And I have to say that if you are waiting for confirmation or for the next step to some decision or just for God to reveal something to you... don't lose heart, God is strengthening you for the journey ahead. The best thing I ever read was on another blog from an adoptive mother who said "The wait, though it may seem to last forever, WILL END. You won't wait forever". And its true, just as I gave up anticipating what God was gonna do and when I finally surrendered that His timing was going to be perfect and I didn't want to have any control anymore... He answered my waiting with two beautiful kiddos. So have patience, pray for more wisdom and contentment, and keep waiting. Something great is about to come!
AND finally, blessed. What more can I say except I am blessed. My husband, who is now a wonderful father and willing to go on this crazy journey with me to parenthood... even with all the tears, prayers, laughs, cries, and uncertainty... Robert you are my rock. My family, who lovingly took in these two kiddos as their new family members, loving them and praying for them and us in this transition... its a change for everyone and for their love I am so grateful! Our church, The Gathering @ Midland, how you all have prayed for us and helped us see the light of Christ even when we were at our weakest, you celebrated with us, helped prepare us, and are always there for us no matter the need... we are so happy to call each of you a part of our family. The Youth Gathering... our first kids and always will be, you guys embraced the change in our lives and even when we couldn't give you all that we had before, you still loved us and supported us.. I know you will each become a special and important part of our kids' lives and we can't wait to share in all the joys and memories of 2014. My friends, near and far, I have strengthened some relationships and sharpened others this year. To each of you who reached out to me or allowed me to burden you with my anxieties and freak out moments, thank you... and to all the friends who I haven't had time to fuel our closeness, 2014 is a new year!
And now a few pictures (without the kids faces) of our little family and the best times of my 2013:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of their righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5: 3-10