Just Look...

Just Look...

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Held Space

One day, I promise, I might shut up about all of this. But then again, I doubt it. You see, when God gives you a promise and you have to fight and claw and scratch to hold onto it for years and years, you really can't help but shout from the rooftops when He brings it to pass. This blog post, however, has a two-fold purpose.

In the wee hours of this morning when I should have already been in bed but I was sitting up late to relish my Spring Break chance to do so, I checked out my fb "On this Day". I have already referenced this in the past, but I love any chance to illustrate the faithfulness of God AND something else struck me last night when I saw that post.

Here is the original post from 2014. I have included a screenshot of the comments because I loved seeing that the people who commented on it at that time are some of the same people who send me random messages that they are excitedly awaiting good news or they can't wait to meet our kids or they have supported this adoption in big ways.

When we went to visit them this year in August, just after we had made the final decision, I walked up the stairs and there it was, that tiny "x", still there, only this time an "X" that was filled with so excitement and hope. It was truly going to happen, there was actually going to be a picture hanging on a hook in that very spot, Davises to come. I remember tearing up and just bursting with praise in my heart to my Father God for the fact that He doesn't call us to something then leave us without. 
The way we do Christmas in our family is that (after a Silver Christmas Eve at my mom's) the four of us celebrate in front of our own tree in the morning, then head to my mom's for breakfast and Christmas with them, then hit the road around noon to get to West Virginia in time for dinner and a nighttime Christmas with them. This year, everything we did came with the most exciting thoughts of how next Christmas will be when there are three more faces around the tree, three more sources of giggles and laughter on the drive, three more cousins contributing to the chaos. On Christmas night, after food and presents and conversation, I went upstairs before the rest of my clan. I walked to the top of these stairs and immediately saw this {edited because it has to be but her version was full and pure and beautiful}. 
I'm just telling you, I sank to my knees right there at the top of the stairs, breathless. When I could finally stand, I went into the bedroom and just collapsed on the bed and cried. That picture was more proof of the fulfillment of God's promise, YES. But it was so much more than that, and that's the second purpose of this blog post.

That picture was my mother-in-law, in her quiet, unassuming way, holding space for my kids. It was her not only accepting them, but eagerly anticipating them and celebrating them. It was her telling us that they will be as much her grandchildren as any other face on that wall, that family is of the heart, not the blood. {And I know right now you are thinking, well of course she would love and accept them, she's a good person and a Christian and did you ever doubt it??? I didn't ever doubt it, no. But that assumption is simply not always the case, and I know other people whose families have not been accepting and who have made differences in their children. And for that matter, there is a difference in being open to an adoption and celebrating it. And even though I never had a doubt that she would love all twelve of her grandkids the same, it still mattered so much to see it.}

And that's what we have received from so many of you. The Christmas card and note from a far away friend who said her heart was with us and our whole family, those on this side of the world and the other... the family tree at the reunion that our cousin drew with three extra branches... the new set of family stockings that another friend monogrammed for us... the friend who wore a bracelet every single day to remind her to pray until our I-800 came through... the family who comment at every single family gathering, "Maybe at the next one, we will have three more loved ones!"... my grandparents who ask every.single.time.I.visit what the status is and when we are going to get them... the Sunday School classes and prayer groups here and at a distance who remember our adoption in prayer... my colleagues and friends who have been asking for information so that they can best plan a shower/party... the people who have brought bags of clothes, those who have asked about sizes and interests... the friend who bought a set of globe Christmas tree ornaments, knowing I could find some way to use them... the friend who, the other night on fb messenger sent a message out of the blue that her whole world was right again because her son was home from college and she hoped mine would be soon too... the tons of people who follow along and support and pray through this blog and our fb page... the many people who have donated, bought shirts, run a 5K, attending or donated to our quarter auction, and will buy shirts again ;)... my parents who sat for an hour this weekend to feel a part of a special moment... the former pastor who bought all four mattresses... the current pastor who continually finds new ways to help... the friends who texted and facebooked on F's birthday because he is already a part of your life... the students of mine who ask me CONSTANTLY how things are going...  the network of supporters of this orphanage who have invested themselves in this journey like nothing I have ever seen... my mother-in-law, who keeps scavenging airfare sites in the hopes of traveling with us... the long-distance and longtime friend who has faithfully checked in, not only on the progress but also on ME... the group of friends I have kind of created as my own little support and prayer group who have received all kinds of texts from me, highs and lows, and always reassure me and walk beside me... the Bible study at CMS led by Terriy Esquinance that prays for our people every single week, keeps the girls talking about it, and can't wait to welcome our sweet A to their number... Kraig's colleagues who talk to him about it and look for ways to help... my principal who looked at me in a meeting when they were discussing enrollment and said, "Plus one more!", making my heart smile that whether he is in the US or not, he's already a Raider... our church family, people who have walked every step of the way by our side and will love them so much... a teacher at my school who specifically asked if I could make sure F was in his class, no matter where he falls with language or ability... the friend whose second grade daughter sold a toy from her room and sent us our first donation with the sweetest note about using that money to bring home our kids... teachers at the middle school who have requested my sweet girl be on their team... the girls' friends, who are probably so eager that I fear it might overwhelm these kids when they get here ;) ... 

In all of these ways and so many more, you are holding space for F, R, and A. That picture on the wall was a literal representation of what has happened in the figurative and metaphorical and spiritual sense from the first moment I said to another person (my mom, being that person), "I think we are going to start the adoption process for these kids." You have held space for them and you have treated us as a family of 7 even before we actually were one. You have talked to us of our sons and daughter, to Emma and Kelsey of their brothers and sister, even before it was reality. And we could never, never, never tell you enough how much that has meant to us. You are our tribe, in every sense of the word.

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