This Time Last Year
This time last year, I was sad, lacking hope, worn out from the wait, and my heart was breaking (as shown by the picture to the left). Why? Because on the other side of the world, my daughter was turning 2, and I wasn’t with her. She didn’t even know I existed, and there I was wishing desperately to be with her even if only for that day. I knew I couldn’t just sit and cry as her birthday came and went so I gathered my friends and family and threw a party even though she wasn’t home. It was amazing how my “tribe” surrounded me on that day with such hope toward the future and reminders that HE WHO PROMISED IS FAITHFUL!!
A few months later, we moved from that familiar place into the unknowns. It was then when we got “THE call.” The day had come, we were going to meet our daughter finally!
But today we set up the balloons, prepared the food, iced the cupcakes, and set out plates and napkins just like before except the guest of honor was in our midst. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. I was overwhelmed with gratitude that she was with us this time and though I cried again today, it was from joy and not sadness. I looked around at the “tribe” God had placed around us this year, every single one a new face but just as encouraging and loving of our sweet little girl. We even had family in from Texas, Kentucky and my best friend drove up from Alabama. It was a truly memorable day.
The theme? Balloons. To some that may not mean anything since balloons are a birthday staple. But to me it was a symbol of how far she had come. You see, the day she came home and we were greeted at the airport, she was given a balloon. In reaction to it she screamed, cried and tried to run away from that floating colored thing. But as time has gone on, and she has been exposed to much more, she has learned that not only are balloons safe but they are fun. So the balloons were symbolic of how far she has come in so many areas and a reminder that someday Jaydn will see her forever family as not only safe but fun too.
She was quite the ham today and willing to take the 3,000 pictures I made her pose for. She enjoyed pulling the tissue paper out of all the gift bags but I would have to make her remove the actual gift from the boxes since it was a new concept to her. She loved getting to blow out a real candle (instead of the ones from Jovies wooden play cake set) while everyone sang happy birthday to HER! She devoured her cupcake and was glowing from all the attention and laps she got to sit on all day.
She is quite deserving of such a lavish love that was being poured over her today. She continues to be a joy despite the hang ups of my limitations as a mom. I look at her and I am so in awe that she is indeed my “promised child” since I was 16 years old.
Like 1 Samuel 1:27 says, “I prayed for this child and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.” I am blessed not despite but within the difficulties of this post adoption road and its days like today that remind me that I am in a better place than I was this time last year.
I have been married going on 8 years to a worship pastor, a rock star, and the most involved and intentional dad I have ever seen! Together, we have the privilege of parenting three amazing children (Jaxon- 5 1/2, Jovie, 2 1/2, and Jaydn 2). Jaydn recently came to us through adoption from Uganda, Africa. We just moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, but I am a west-coast girl at heart. I enjoy photography, adventure recreation, and teaching high-school students about the most important decision they could ever make: to follow Jesus. I enjoy writing as a way to learn life lessons out loud because, most of the time, the right (wise) answers are in me somewhere; I just have to dig to find them. I am a firm believer that this life is not my own, so I try my best to respond to every opportunity that crosses my path to give of my life, my love, and my resources.