There will be a day with no more tears
No more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place
Will be no more, we’ll see Jesus face to face
But until that day, we’ll hold on to you always
It has been a weary season in my life recently. I’m tired. I’m tired of being tired and weary. I’m tired of four-digit, monthly invoices reminding me that our daughters are still in an orphanage 7,000 miles across the globe yet they’ve been legally ours for 13 months now. It is very likely, apart from a miracle, that we will have waited two years by the time we bring our girls home. Two.Years. I long to be with them. I long to hold them and sing to them and weep with them for all of the time we’ve lost. In the past two and a half months we’ve missed yet another birthday for all three of them. Our sweet twinsies turned 3 in January and Hannah turned 6 last week. Clothes hang in their closet, empty pillows remain on their bed, and two car seats and a booster remain latched onto the seats of our 12-passenger van, which seems like major over-kill for this current family of five.
I’m 21 weeks pregnant now. Climbing into our big van is getting increasingly difficult; four months from now will be just plain comical, if not a little dangerous. God is so good in the midst of life’s storms. This miraculous pregnancy has served as a sweet distraction to our seemingly endless wait for our daughters. The weekly progress and little milestones that one forgets about after seven years of infertility have been cause for great joy. Our oldest son turned 11 on February 20th. On that day, all five of us filed into the doctor’s office to find out the gender of our sweet little tie-breaker baby. Everyone crowded around my belly and the little black and white screen. The doctor said with a smile in her voice, Well boys, I know you were prepared for three sisters, but how about four?? IT’S A GIRL! My eyes remained glued to the screen. Are you sure? Are you serious? After three boys, I truly couldn’t imagine my uterus housing a baby girl, but there she was on that tiny little screen. We’re going to have a daughter. We’re going to have four daughters. This little girl has really thrown me for a loop. I had the worst first trimester of my life. When I wasn’t sleeping I was either hugging the toilet, trash can, or curled up in the fetal position in bed wishing I was sleeping. Thirteen or fourteen weeks brought major relief and my energy slowly returned. Now I’m just passed the halfway point and I’m an emotional basket case. These girl-baby hormones are no joke. The window of time in which my doctor feels comfortable allowing me to travel to Africa is quickly closing. It doesn’t take much, or sometimes anything at all, to bring on ridiculous tears that I can’t stop. I don’t think I’ve ever felt quite so out-of-control with regards to my emotions. We’re taking it one day at a time over here. We’re doing well playing catch-up on our school work and we look forward to the summer months when our reward for finishing our school work is several hours by the pool.
I’ve come to realize that the remaining wait to bring our daughters home might not feel so urgent if it weren’t for the pregnancy. We have prayed throughout the entire pregnancy that God would bring them home before Annie Rose’s arrival. (That’s baby’s name: Annie Rose.) It isn’t looking very promising and that breaks my heart. In reality, what is six more months of waiting? It’s been 18 months since we first set eyes on them. Six months will surely fly by. I also realize that no matter which month we’re able to bring our daughters home, there will never be a day in Annie’s life that she won’t remember having three big sisters. Our new life, new family, will begin when we’re all under the same roof. I suppose I will continue to pray that we will be celebrating this coming Christmas as a family of nine, all together at last. Hopefully, this time next year, all of the waiting and hurting, stress and tears will be but a distant memory and we will be able to say, It feels like our family has always been this way. It feels like they’ve always been here.
Our house will be messier and louder. There will be more dishes and far more laundry. School work will be a challenge. Successfully leaving the house will be a major accomplishment. Meals will be planned down to the minute because goodness knows you have to stay on your A-game when feeding seven young children. I’m so thankful for friends who have been able to travel to our daughters’ country and assure us that they look wonderful, happy, and healthy. They’re being loved and very well taken care of. We are so grateful for our agency and the staff at the transition home where our girls have lived for the past nine months. Wow, it’s been nine months since I saw their faces in the person for the first time. I’ll never forget that day for as long as I live. Hannah’s sweet little raspy voice and the bossy tone in which she uses when she speaks to the younger children. The innocent smiles of pure joy on Zoe and Ameris’ faces as we sat on the swing and they said over and over, I love you Mama. The twins were clueless when they were taken from me to return to the orphanage after spending a week with their new mother. They smiled and waved ‘bye-bye’. Hannah was a different story. She wept, she pushed me away, she hid from all of us. When I was finally able to sweep her up into my arms, I kissed her bald head over and over and promised that Papa and I would return very soon and bring them home forever. I sure wish soon had been sooner than now; sooner than the fall.
Our friends and family have played a vital role in carrying us through this tumultuous journey. Although it hurts that our daughters are not home yet, it is invaluable to us that so many still ask about them every week. They are not forgotten. They are loved and longed for by more than just the five of us. Your love, encouragement, and support will never be forgotten. Our airport day will be here very soon. I can just feel it.
There will be a day…