Skip to main content

A reflection on the year

Last year
We are on vacation this week. Being in Cape Cod usually makes me wax poetic and reflect a lot.  This year is no different.  I have been thinking about the last year. Being here, at this moment, has brought up a great deal of memories.  Last year at this time, two days into our vacation, we got a call that our agency had gotten the hard copy of our LOA.  That is the moment in the adoption process where time finally seems to speed up and you are literally on the fast track to China.  Just a few more steps and a few more documents and you are boarding a plane to China.  For me, it was when the yearning to just get Felicity home got worse and I just wanted to be on the other end of those documents.  So, when we sat on  the same beach that I wrote LOA in the sand and posted for the world to see, the flood of emotions came back; but this time Felicity was right there with me. Smiling and swimming and falling asleep in my arms.  There was a full circle sort of sweetness and joy to it all.

This year

But it hasn’t been just remembering the events of our last vacation; I have been reflecting a lot on the whole year since our LOA.  The travel, bringing Felicity home, and her becoming a part of our family.  This year has been oh, so easy and natural, yet very unnatural and hard.  It has been one of the most tiring of my life and my emotions have seemed to reach new highs and lows.  I cannot quite put into words all that has happened this year in me, personally and spiritually, yet I feel I could write a book on all that God has shown me in all of the sweet and hard moments from the year. From the outside, I hope it all looks simple and seemless, yet this year is not what it seems on the surface.  Do not misunderstand me, most of the time, I would not say adoption and this past year have been hard.  For much of it, I think we have taken it in stride; all of the changes thanks to heaping amounts of grace and prayer warriors that have carried us through.  Yet, when I have sat and reflected on this past year over the last few days, I have realized just how tired and challenging, in an oh so beautiful, get ready for God to rock your world and an incredible amount of growth to come your way sort of way.

For the first time I think I am grieving what we gave up.  Our little family of 5 had hit the “sweet spot”.  The boys were older.  All were potty trained and naps were a distant memory.  We could pick up and go on a whim. The house, for the most part could be cleaned in moments, as there were no toddlers around to knock games off shelves, or rummage through the pantry and get food all over.  Dates with the boys were regular occurences.  I could get my workouts in with ease and run on the treadmill during the middle of the day if I wanted to.  I could call friends or stop by a friend’s house for a play date for the kids and much needed mommy chat time for me. 

Now, there is an oh-so-cute, yet oh-so-needy toddler who needs attention.  Who needs momma to lay with her at nap and bed time.  A little girl that goes on date nights with my husband and I still because we both have not left her yet, at the same time, and which, we know will be a challenge for her.  Toys and games and you name it get thrown around the home. She is a girl who has decided it is necessary to scream anytime mommy gets on the phone.  I have had to be much more careful about our schedule, or lack of, how much time we spend with lots of people.  I have had to watch Felicity's cues carefully and I have learned not to get too set with plans.  I want to do this parenting an adopted child well and not mess up too badly.  There are nights I stare at her while she is asleep and am so thankful to be her mom, but so saddened by that same fact.  Because, I shouldn’t be you know.  There is a woman who gave birth to my daughter that should be be the one who gets to hold her to sleep.  But we live in a fallen world.  And so, I do the best I can for the sweet girl whose life was forever altered three days after she was born.

2015 - Still not complete
As I sat on the steps in the warm sun today, listening to the boys playing a sophisticated game of cops and robbers, I realized all that we have gained and lost in the past year.  This year has been full of growing pains for the whole family and just when we started to exhale and breathe deep all that has been this year, we begin the process again.  Those pictures I took last year in this same place, and said “Next year, this picture will be complete.”  Well, it isn’t.  And that same nagging feeling of having a child across the world that should be with us now, but is not, is still here.  And we are in this beauty of the fulfillment of God’s promise of Felicity and this emptiness of missing Thomas all at the same time.  And I still hear myself saying, next year we will all be here. We will all be together. 

I wonder how we will all do with two years of the same growth and craziness. The same cocooning, and sleepless toddlers, and doctor’s appointments. The wonder and worry of attachment and bonding and another child being melded into our family.  I may not have the answers to all of those questions, but I do know one thing . . . . it will be worth it.  The sacrifice, the growing pains, the sleepless nights, the work for attachment, the conversations missed.  It will all be worth it.  Because there will be one less orphan in the world.  One more member of our family. One more smile to wake up to in the morning.


  1. beautifully written friend,
    oh how I can relate!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Gift (Our NFP story) Part 2

(You can read  Part 1 here

     So, by the time Andrew was 18 months old, we knew God was saying no to having more children at the time.  And, as mentioned before, He provided so much peace about it, that we knew we had discerned correctly.  Yet, even with that peace, I had to mourn the fact the we might not ever have any more children.  Yes, we were still open to life, of course, but from the time after Andrew’s birth, until today, we practiced NFP faithfully to avoid pregnancy.  And it took time to accept that we might not have any more children.  There were times when I would hold a friend’s new born baby and then go home and cry because I knew I might not ever know the joy of holding my own baby again.  We live in a community where life is celebrated and families are large.  Usually more than one friend is pregnant at a time.  In those early days, each pregnancy announcement was met with great joy for the friend, but often left me with an empty feeling.  I understood, in many way…

My verse for the year

But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.   Isaiah 6:48

There are boxes being unpacked in our home.  Boxes packed and meant to be unpacked in a different home, our new home, in a matter of two weeks.  

About two weeks before Christmas things changed.  Situations changed.  And what we were convinced was God's will just months before, seemed so unlike it now.  Things beyond our control happened and suddenly we were praying and we felt that the best and only solution was to walk away from this new house.  And at the end of  a week of uncertainty, anxiety and tension, once the decision was made to walk away from the house, there was a great deal of peace.   But, as the dust settles from the decision, even though we know it is the best for everyone involved, there is still sadness, still this sense of loss.  As we have prayed again and again, we know each of all of the steps we have made in this whole house journey …

On Waiting

This past weekend we went to a book party for a priest friend who had his second book Living the Beatitudes:A Journey to Life in Christ published last fall.  The party was hosted by another Catholic author.  And, after the cake was cut and people were sitting quietly, the host of the party began to speak.  He began to talk about how great this book is and how insightful so much of it is.  Then he began to share quotes from it.  And I felt as if he chose two of them for me:

"Waiting is the training ground of trust."

"Beauty is the crescendo of waiting"
Now, although we have this book and my husband has read it, I have not (sorry, Fr. B).  But that night, I sat with the book while my hubby and I sat down to attempt to watch a movie and I scoured the book for the above quotes.  Too shy to ask the host for the pages for these quotes, I skimmed page by page until I found them.  And after I found the first quote, I was confronted with line after line about waiting.  I read…