Sorrow and Joy

I like to set goals, I like to get things crossed off list's and I like to see things come to pass. Back in August when we received our referral, after the initial elation, I started to calculate how far away his birthday was. At that point he was just 8 months, although a far,far stretch I hoped to be able to reach the goal of at least meeting him by his first birthday. When we started the process (Nov 2013 marked 3 years) I said over and over that I wanted the baby home by his first birthday. You miss so many "firsts" when adopting internationally and my goal was to have them home so I would not miss that milestone.

It became more apparent as time went on and the process changed and morphed into something so different then what it was when we started that having the baby home by the first birthday was unlikely. But when we received the referral I still clung to the possibility since we had 4months to work with that it could happen. By the end of September I knew it wouldn't. Today was my little boy's first birthday, I type with tears streaming down my cheeks. I really, really wanted to meet that goal, to cross it off my list and to see it come to pass. It did not.

I have been a bit of a mess since the beginning of this week, in reality since the start of December I have been emotional. It's not like I didn't know in Oct or Nov that he wasn't going to be home but when December hit, the month of his birth, I took it hard. I have kept myself very busy this week, only broke down maybe once a day and even this morning when I woke up, I thought I might make it without too many tears...WRONG. Ron and I prayed this morning before he left for work and it was then, when I started to pray that the tears came and have been coming off and on all day.

I don't really know who I am crying harder for, myself or for his birth mother. One year ago today she gave birth to a beautiful,healthy son. While I'm sure the baby weight has been lost, the stretch marks have begun to fade and her stomach is once again flat the scars she carries in her heart were torn open again today. I have no idea the pain she goes through, after all I will be the one that gets to hold him soon and spend my life watching him grow and flourish.  I think of her often and especially today I cry for her.

I got a card today and it said :  

There's no quick way through life's crummy stuff. It takes however long it takes. But there are friends who'll muddle through with us and laughter to help us forget for a while. And sometimes a little grace shows up where we least expect it.

We received some of that grace today. It came in the form of numerous text and calls form friends and family to wish my boy a Happy Birthday. It came in the flowers sent from Ron's parents as they are out of town, letting us know they were thinking of us and him. It came from a friend stopping by with a gift for our son, and from family gathering around us tonight for dinner and to sing him happy birthday, open some presents and eat some cake.

Although there is sadness for the separation that exists, there is also joy in the celebration of his life. There is joy in the fact that soon we will meet him and then not long after we will bring him home. There is joy that half way across the world my ONE year old sleeps safely and happily with generous and kind people that are taking good care of him. But mostly there is joy in Jesus who extends His Grace day by day, hour by hour and minute by minute if I need it.

I so wish I could have held my boy as we sang Happy Birthday tonight but I have Hope that soon my goal will be reached!

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday dear Charlie
Happy Birthday to you!!