tax day

April 15.

Tax day.

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
my family treated me to lunch out at one of our favorite Mediterranean places, mom came into town, and we spent the end of the evening with our small group.  My day was filled with wishes for a happy birthday via phone callss, in person hugs, and facebook messages.  My gifts included gift cards for date nights with Ian, donations to New Day Foster Home's surgery fund, hand drawn pictures from my kids, and two delicious specialities from two of my dearest friends ~ mango salsa with chips and apple caramel cake.

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, RubyBrad, ZLQ

I've seen faces of some needing miracles for surgery or monthly sponsorship.  LydiaAlea, Maya, Lynn, Oliver

I've held some of them (still waiting for families) in my arms:  Eliana, Noah, JoelLucy

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.**


Laine said...

This post just game me chills! How neat to see how China has been in your heart for SEVEN years! WOW!
And I LOVE COMMAS!!!!! :)

And HAPPY LATE BIRTHDAY, sweet friend!!!! I'm SO sorry I missed that somehow!!!!!

Bridgette said...

Hi! I'm Bridgette and I have read your blog for a while now! Love hearing about your sweet family.

I have noticed you blog about sweet Noah a few times. He is so adorable. Can you tell me a little bit about what the process would be to request his file? For little ones that live at New Day, does New Day put potential families in contact with the agency that has the file for the kiddos?

We have one son, Beau, who came home from Korea in 2011. The process from Korea is so different from China, so I'm a little clueless about some parts of the adoption process from China.

My email is Also, I am only 29, so I assume I would have to wait until I'm 30 to even review the file. Do you think that is correct? Hoping little Noah finds a family quickly. He is just precious!

Thanks for any information you can provide! Sweet Noah just tugged on my heart so I thought I would inquire with you a little bit about the process.


anything but LoKEY said...

What a beautiful post Kristi! A Hap, happy birthday to you too my friend! So neat to look back and see all the places you were for all those past birthdays. I don't know what I am going to do when I am not waiting on a baby from China. ;)

Julie said...

Happy happy Birthday! Love that the kids wore coordinating outfits for your special day :)
And I get what you mean about not being in the midst of paperwork or some part of the process after so long. I'm wondering what I am going to do with all this free time...more like, free mental time.

Traci said...

Happy late birthday again... less than a year now... ;)
If only everyone had a chance to hold an orphan...

Glenda said...

I love your heart, dear friend! I fully believe that one day, when the time is right, the Lord will add to that comma and continue the sentence!

Heather said...

So true! Great post and happy birthday!!!! I'm so glad you had a special day with your many blessings. I know for so many adoptive parents that have gone and seen, forgetting those left behind is impossible. The children waiting in China and Kazakhstan will always be a part of my heart. I get it.

Mama said...

Oh, my heart is so full! I am blessed with wonderfully, caring adult girls (women). I am ready to go back to China for the comma!

Cindy M said...

Oh, I LOVE punctuation! And I really love commas!! They're my favorite!

p.s. I also love that photo of you and your crew! Awesome.

Nancy said...

Happy belated birthday! Love the comma before the period!