What seems like another lifetime ago, Tucker drew 5 pictures. One of each of us: Daddy, Mommy, Tucker, Libby, and Aida. And I loved them. I hung them simply with some sticky stuff on the wall leading up the staircase to see if I liked them there. I promised I was going to buy frames for them but never found the right size and so they stayed simply crudely hung pieces of paper on a wall. I’m sure Martha Stewart would have shaken her head at me.
Eight months later (February 2014), I pulled into our driveway, and Ben’s car was there—too early in the day to be good—and he met me at the door. He led me up the stairs right by the pictures to tell me the news in the privacy of our bedroom. And when we walked back down the stairs as different people forever changed by our loss of her, we passed her picture—the sweet little portrait by her brother hanging there at the bottom with bent corners—and it was the beginning of a thousand stings.
Seasons have passed since that day. And Our Comforter has been leading us slowly through the moments, His mercy new each morning when I open my closet and see her unopened birthday presents there that I can’t seem to move, His peace overwhelming as her bed walked out our front door, His strength sufficient for each difficult occasion, His love steadfast as we wondered and wrestled and searched for what to do now.
And last Tuesday, His faithfulness was great as He made our next step evident. After months of grief and questions and a steady stream of closed doors and failed possibilities, we made the first step in moving forward in our adoption process.
I drove to a meeting Tuesday night, and my shoulders felt lighter than they had in months. We had just gotten off the phone with Amy, our dear, God-sent adoption coordinator who has compassionately walked the journey of bad news and grief with us the last eight months. She has prayed for us and worked tirelessly to find options for us … and this day she had some.
And they were good.
We have yet another uncertain and possibly long journey ahead. We will share more as we have more information to share. For now, the door is closed on the country from which we were going to adopt Aida, but other doors have opened. We celebrate that we are making forward movement after a long time of feeling stuck and directionless.
Sometimes I forget that with every movement toward something, there is movement away from something else.
But I remembered last Tuesday night. Eight months later (October 2014), I pulled into our driveway again after my meeting. Ben was working at the table, the kids tucked-in upstairs but unwilling to go to sleep without my goodnight kiss. And as I started for the stairs, I saw it. Her picture on the bottom step, fallen from its place on the wall. The visual metaphor was almost too much. The weight of that thin piece of paper on the floor took my breath away. I picked it up and tried to hang it back up but it fell right back down. I tried once more with the same results. I sighed deeply, and as I carried her picture up with me to the kids’ room, it occurred to me. We will move forward, move on but never without her. Never failing to pray for her, never forgetting her, and never the same—all because of our journey of 18 months where we called her ours. Our Aida.
He is slowly changing our perspective so that while we hurt, we are also grateful that we get to be the Mom and Dad she will never know, continuing with her for a lifetime, praying over our Aida a continent away.
And now we begin a lifetime of praying for our next child.
What a privilege. What a joy.
Would you pray with us for our next child? Would you pray for another pair of shoes?