However, earlier in the week, Ricky offered to not go. You see, the past couple of weeks have been really, really hard. We are in the midst of a battle for our little girl's heart. She has been struggling with fears and control and it has been really, really hard (but her precious heart is worth fighting for and I think we are making some progress!). I have been exhausted and sick. But, I knew Ricky needed to go. As Isaac, Emma, Josiah, and I sat at the dinner table last night, Isaac turned to me and said, "I'm glad daddy isn't here because he is out helping other kids get adopted." This was a holy moment to me. Amazing. I'm so grateful. From the moment we brought Josiah into our hotel room in Zhengzhou, China to meet his big brother and sister, Isaac struggled. It was hard for him to process that he was worth just as much to us in that moment as he was in the short period of time that he was our only child and then our only boy. And he really struggled through that for months and months. He started really making progress at about the 6 month mark in accepting that he means just as much to us now as he did before Josiah entered our family and took his place as the only boy away.
So, after a particularly difficult 2 weeks, in addition to 10 months filled with particularly difficult days, the moment Isaac put himself aside and was glad his dad wasn't home (he would prefer his dad to be with him 24 hours a day!) for the good of orphans around the world was a sacred moment for me. Of course, the moment lasted less than a second because right after Isaac uttered those beautiful words, Josiah started spitting chicken out on the table, but it was sacred moment nonetheless and that is how real life usually works anyway. Well, at least real life as a mom to young children. That is why I am writing this down-to store that moment in my heart. I do not want to continue to allow joy to be stolen by the hard moments or disappointments or exhaustion. Emma also took a moment after I was finished cleaning up the chicken to agree with Isaac, so that was a sweet moment too!
This morning, we celebrated our family Christmas together. We sang 'Hark the Herald Angels Sing' and Ricky read the Christmas story from Luke 2. Josiah is celebrating his first Christmas. He is riding around on his new Thomas the Tank Engine toy (choo-choo!). His stocking was filled with goodies and unlike last Christmas, he is here to pull them out and say 'Open! Open!'. While all the kids spent time trying to take the others' new toys and it has not all been peace, Josiah is here and our family is together and I can think of no better way for us to show hope this season.
Merry Christmas from all of us!
"For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11).
Our Christmas Card photo is front of our 'Family Tree' in the front yard. We took a picture in front
of this tree for our China Dossier (paperwork) holding a branch as a symbol that we were waiting for Josiah to fill that branch and now here he is!
'Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinner reconciled. Joyful all ye nations rise, join the triumph of the skies, with angelic host proclaim, Christ is born in Bethlehem! Hark the Herald Angels sing, Glory to the newborn King!' (Hark the Herald Angels Sing).
If you would like to learn more about how to give to Show Hope and help serve orphans and families around the world, visit their website here: www.showhope.org