Saturday, December 04, 2010

December 3


Yesterday was chaos.  I took the littlest elf to the doctor, had six kids get off the bus at my house, made supper and went to basketball.  Then the girls and I went to a party.  A lady from our church invited them over to watch Christmas movies and play with her daughter’s doll collection.  Everyone had a good time.  Especially Abby and Maren who didn’t stop playing with the dolls even to eat!  And especially Grant and his friend who had the house to themselves girl free for the whole evening! 

I want to share this story with you.  It gave me chills just to read it!  My friend Stephanie and her husband Matt are Village Missionaries out on the East coast.  She’s sharing the condensed version here, but you can read what God is doing with their December on her blog too.

What A Difference A December Can Make

Christmas has always been a time of immense internal conflict for me. On one hand, it’s my favorite holiday. The tree! The decorations! The lights! The snow! The music! But on the other hand… In Michelle’s initial Do December Different post, she vividly described my heart toward December:

“So many people…despise December. They hate shopping and fighting the crowds. They spend too much money. They charge up their credit cards. They are obligated to spend $25 on Aunt Betsy because that’s what she spent on them…”

This is exactly what I hate about December, except we don’t usually charge up the credit cards, because I stay home as much as possible once Thanksgiving hits. For all the talk about Christmas bringing out the best in human nature (that’s a laugh on its own), apparently it doesn’t apply in-store. So several years ago, my husband and I decided that instead of giving to each other, we’d combine what we’d spend separately and get one thing we could both use and enjoy. We don’t have children, so we didn’t need to spend money for that. This year, we finally got my brother and sister-in-law to agree to no gifts for us adults. Woo-hoo! Less shopping! And I could do it all online if I wanted to!

We were sitting pretty, as Decembers go, until the Monday after Thanksgiving, when the phone rang.

After nine years of treating and grieving infertility, we’d chosen to adopt out of the foster system, knowing that as children age in the system, their chances of adoption drop exponentially. We’d seen God look down on us, His enemies, and sent Christ to die for our sins, that He might adopt us. We knew this was His road for us. But we also knew that meant school age children – no babies. It was a battle for me, but the Lord worked in my heart and we were excited to plan and prepare for older children.

We completed the paperwork/homestudy phase of the process at the end of October, and had settled in for a long wait of reading profiles and waiting for a county official somewhere to like us well enough to want to meet us. But apparently, God has different plans: the phone call on the Monday after Thanksgiving was THE phone call. The phone call let us know that two siblings were available in our home county (no traveling!) and their caseworker wanted to meet us as soon as possible.

ASAP meant the very next day, and the “interview” was no interview at all, but rather a face-to-face to hammer out details. Nine years of waiting and grieving, and God was finally doing what I just assumed was impossible, and had not even had faith to pray for: He was giving us children for Christmas.
And not only that.

The children God was giving us for Christmas? Babies. A 2-1/2 year old girl, and a 7 month old boy. I flew into the most confused emotional state I can remember: exhilaration tempered by panic tempered by faith challenged by the temptation to walk by sight. We had not planned for babies. We were not prepared for babies. We. had. nothing. for. babies.

Well, after we dealt with the panic, I flew into a flurry of making notes and lists. The snow flurries outside had nothing on me! We went out that very night to buy the supplies we’d need to child-proof our home. We decided on what furniture needed to be moved or replaced. I began a baby registry. (Even now, as I type that, I still stop and wonder: a baby registry! Us! Never would’ve thought.)

And now I realize that God has done a second impossible thing. He’s gotten me to Walmart between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and He’s gotten me there willingly.

So talk about doing December different! As I write, it’s December 4. Autumn still decorates our mantle. We’re still greeted by a “Happy Thanksgiving!” sign by the back door. Instead of our normal, 7 -foot Christmas tree, we purchased a small 3-foot, pre-lit tree. No other decorations or lights will go up. Who has time? God is giving us a gift. My children are coming home.

1 comment:

Peter and Nancy said...

Thank you for sharing their story! As our adoption is at a standstill, it gives me so much joy to read about others who are welcoming their children home! (And also puts our nearly 2-year wait into perspective when I hear about 9 years!)
Hugs to you and your sick little elf,