This Christmas is so very special to me. This is the first Christmas in over three years where our family is complete. No one is missing. Our daughter is home. After over three long heartbreaking years....my baby is home for Christmas.
When we put up our Christmas tree, each child has ornaments that belong exclusively to them. I add to each of their collections every year. Three years ago I held Sophia's first ornament in my hand and through my tears, placed it on the tree. I did not believe at the time that she had been born yet, but she was alive...a baby in China.
I placed my order for 2007. The ornament held great significance to me. Believe. I had to keep believing that my daughter was out there somewhere. That year I knew she was alive, I knew she was waiting in China. We were hitting road block after road block. The wait time was getting longer, we weren't allowed into the SN program until our LID was through review. I was in tears when I opened the box and saw the word 'Believe'. I put it on the tree, my second Christmas without my daughter. I prayed that she was warm, that she had a blanket and adequate food. I prayed that God would send someone to smile at her and pick her up.
Christmas 2008, we had hope. We were actively reviewing SN files. Our daughter was near, we just didn't know it. I placed another ornament on the tree. Eli and I prayed that God would send angels to keep his sister safe and to tell her that we loved her. I knew without a doubt that my daughter was alive and that I just needed to find her. I was begging God to bring our daughter to us.
Christmas 2009, I sat on the couch in front of our tree with tears pouring down my face as I took out three ornaments and handed them to my daughter. Choking back sobs, I watched her place them on the tree for the first time. My husband and sons just stood in silence and watched. There were no words, just an understanding of the impact of that moment. I thanked God that my baby was home.
TO YOU WHO WAIT....They say that you forget once they place your child in your arms. My daughter has been home since July and I have not forgotten. I have not forgotten the pain and the worry and the hole in my soul that only my daughter could fill. The anguish of the wait is still etched in my heart and mind.
My heart is with you this year. I know that many of you will be placing your "Waiting for" ornaments on your trees. God Bless you and your families and your children who you have yet to find. This year I will pray for you.