We received a Christmas card from a friend and on it he wrote, "Wow! What a year for you guys." Yes, it has been quite the year. When I think about 2008 I can not ignore the fact that a lot has happened. It has been a year of tremendous growth and learning for all of us. Some of you have seen me at my weakest and it has been humbling and at times embarrassing. I am thankful for those of you who have held us up in prayer, cooked us meals, spoiled my children when I had no energy left, brought good food, diet Dr. Pepper, and kept me company when I was isolated in a hospital room with my baby (Yes, literally isolated. When they found out it was salmonella they taped our room off and everyone had to dress in gowns.), cried with me through all of the ups and downs of this adoption, sat with us through what seems to be never ending court hearings, and above all not deeming me crazy when I have hit the breaking point.We have depended on friends more than ever this year and we are so grateful for them.
While thinking this all through I am making a list of all of the things we learned this year. Here goes.
We have learned...
-Complete strangers on the other side of the Continent can be so kind and giving. They can set you up for a 3 week stay while going to get your baby and taking care of you the whole time. Giving you a free place to stay, a car to drive, trips to the hospital in the middle of the night when you were learning your way around, dinners at incredible restaurants, etc. Most important, God used them to keep our child safe and protected. For that we will forever be thankful beyond words.
-Going to a tropical climate in the winter makes the following winter seem unbearable.
-Even though 3 attorneys, a judge and two adoption social workers say your adoption should be a piece of cake, still prepare yourself for the worst. It happens.
-Friends are the best.
-I love being with my children.
-My husband is my earthly rock. He makes me laugh when I think I can not laugh anymore. He tells me to get over it when I need to hear it. He is the best father ever. He rarely gets angry. He knows my limits and does his best to keep those limits from being tested.
-I love being with my husband 24/7. His working from home has been the best!
-When birth mothers choose to put a baby up for adoption instead of aborting them the law becomes against them and they loose their rights. I am convinced that until this changes we will not see a major drop in abortion.
-Hearing the 2 yr old brother say to the the 5 yr old brother "You are my best friend." and then watching the 5yr old give him a hug is just plain beautiful.
-Having my 10 year old son say, "Mom, I want to take you out to dinner and work on the way I treat you" is the best gift ever.
-God loves my children more than I do.
-We serve a sovereign God who is never surprised. I need to remember that more often.
-Never to take a group of 200 to Washington D.C.
-A new baby and high maintenance dog at he same time goes way past my limit.
I could definitely go on, but I will stop here. This year has been one to remember, but not only for the stress. God has humbled us, He has sanctified, and He has taught us to rely on Him.He has proven His faithfulness so many times. Those are some pretty great things to learn.