For millions in the US, it is a dreaded day as they scramble to finish up their taxes.
But I sorta like the day. For me, it's a pretty good gig. After all, in 1973, on tax day, I entered the world.
As birthdays go, my 39th was a good one.
I awakened to the pitter patter of little feet and had no choice but to smile when I opened my eyes to a very close up view of my youngest daughter who whispered, "It's your birthday Mommy. Happy birthday! Are you 39 now?"
After acknowledging that I was indeed one year shy of 40, I tried to roll over and go back to sleep. However the assault of hugs from four little sets of arms that followed made snoozing hopeless. Besides, who needs sleep when there's an adorable mob waiting to kick start your day with cuddles, cards, and handmade birthday gifts?
We went to church,
|in honor of my birthday they all agreed to wear coordinating clothing|
I was well celebrated.
And yet, in my heart, something was missing. At first it was difficult to put my finger on. Then I began to see. The past seven years April 15 has been spent focused on China, either finishing dossiers, anticipating travel, or still getting over the jet lag of a recent return.
[April 15, 2005 ~ I held most of our first dossier in my hand. I remember crying that morning when we realized that our immigration clearance to bring a child into our country ~ the last document we needed before our dossier could be sent to China ~ could be weeks or even months away.I also remember Ian giving me a bracelet with a heart charm that morning before I headed off to school.
April 15, 2006 ~ Waiting for word ~ any word ~ from across the sea to reveal who our first child would be. We were moving on with life, yet always waiting...
April 15, 2007 ~ Home just shy of two months, crazy in love with a baby girl named Kylie.
April 15, 2008 ~ received an email from our adoption coordinator that our dossier ~ the one that would bring us our first son ~ had been reviewed and that it would indeed head to China on Friday of that week.
April 15, 2009 ~ we got word from our new agency that they would accept us into their program to pursue the adoption of "Peyton." Also on that day, unknown to us at the time, a seven month old baby boy would be admitted to the hospital in preparation for his heart surgery.
April 15, 2010 ~ freshly home with Miss DQ. Missing her homeland already.
April 15, 2011 ~ spent in eager anticipation of yet another trip that would soon be coming to welcome Daniel into our family.]
With no immediate plans to go back, I felt almost out of sorts this year. Yet with as full as life is right now, as much as I love my four precious blessings, I had a hard time figuring out why I was so focused on their homeland.
Ian and I talked at length about it before I fully came to understand my feelings. You see, my children ~ my absolute delights ~ have changed me. They came into my life with a story that didn't start with with us. While the beginning of their stories doesn't wholly define them as individuals, it is always there. And that solemn bit of their past reminds me that there are hundreds of thousands more...
Perhaps this quote best sums it up.
“Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they're not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do, everything changes.” – Radical by David Platt.
I know some of their names. Rachel, Ruby, Brad, ZLQ
I've seen faces of some needing miracles for surgery or monthly sponsorship. Lydia, Alea, Maya, Lynn, Oliver
I've held some of them (still waiting for families) in my arms: Eliana, Noah, Joel, Lucy
While we may not be expanding our family in the immediate future, I will not, cannot forget those that are waiting...
You don't have to adopt to make a difference in a child's life. Each name above is a link to information about a real child at one of my two favorite places in China.
New Day Foster Home ~ Daniel's home for just over two years before he was part of our family
An Orphan's Wish ~ the foster home for which I volunteer
Go ahead. I challenge you to see the faces and learn the names. My prayer is that you will never be the same!
**In case you are wondering if our family is complete the honest answer is we don't know. One thing I've learned over the past few years is that His ways aren't always like ours. We aren't going to put a period if He is calling for a comma. Right now there is not anything in motion. But if He calls, we will follow.**