Saturday, January 9, 2016

Piling my Rocks of Remembrance

There's a quiet hush of calm spread throughout our home tonight and the world just outside these four walls as snow falls swiftly and coats the ground.

Everyone is now finally home, resting quietly or sleeping in his or her own bed.

Everyone except me.

It is finished now.

This journey of international adoption that began almost two years ago to this date, was completed with the touch down of the airplane at O'Hare International Airport, establishing our newly adopted daughters' American citizenships.

It's finished.

Just like that and not just like that all at once.

I'm awake still because I feel like there is much to be remembered. Much to be marked. Much for which to give thanks. 

I feel like I should take off my shoes and stand in awe, much the way of Moses did when the Lord said to him, ""Do not come any closer. Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground."

Like I should be making a marking of this holy ground with rocks of remembrance because there's just too much to not remember.

So I'm sitting in the glow of the still-fully-decked Christmas tree that I promised I wouldn't undress until John and the girls arrived home from our third and final adoption trip, and I'm remembering, I'm marking the ground with rocks of remembrance in the way that I know best -- through the weight of words and story.

I'm building an alter for the Lord here and now so that the generations that come after me can go back and say, remember when God ... I'm marking the holy ground.

I'm remembering how two years ago, almost to this day we said a terrifyingly difficult and exciting yes despite all of our fears to embark on the journey of adopting internationally our first host daughter after we fell in love with her during a period of four weeks of orphan hosting.

I'm remembering the twists and turns of orphan hosting and how endlessly and crazy we loved {still love} that girl, and how that love fueled us to navigate all of the requirements and paperwork and the costs, how it thrust us forward into choosing faith over fear.

I'm remembering how when we first heard news that our first host daughter said no to adoption God gave me a song right away and it said, "this is just the beginning of the beginning" and how that certainly was so very true.

I'm remembering the way my heart just about pounded through my chest when my now-good-friend-but-then-stranger Renee told me and my husband about the girl she just had hosted and how she was advocating to find her a forever family, and when she told us about her and her little sister, we just knew they were our daughters, and loved them fiercely before we ever laid eyes on them let alone held them in our arms.

I'm remembering how we hosted our now 14-year-old daughter for the first time and just four days after she arrived she told us what she wanted most for Christmas ... and how God certainly delivered on something we just couldn't do on our own. Something only God could do.

I'm remembering how our first host daughter came back into our lives after months of silence, and how I sobbed the kind of tears that come from the kind of answered prayer that's most like breathing life into something you were sure would never breathe again.

I'm remembering our "failed" adoption that actually wasn't quite a failure because it resulted in a beautiful, solid relationship with our first host daughter, and how our relationship has led to the interweaving of more stories and more hearts.

I'm remembering the day we put our now 14-year-old daughter back on a plane to Latvia, feeling like my heart might just fall out of my very chest and how could I let her go when I knew in every piece of my heart that she was meant to be with us.

I'm remembering waking every morning for four months begging God to bring us our referral so we could go to our girls ... and how when it finally came, he prepared my heart with a song -- "there's no such thing as impossible."

I'm remembering how our oldest daughter cried tears of joy when we told her we were coming ... and how I cried tears of joy when I saw them walking toward us, our oldest decked out in her American flag scarf and our youngest sporting pigtails and the chubbiest of cheeks, for the first time amid the crowds in a Latvian shopping plaza.

I'm remembering the way our boys fell in love with the girls so quickly, and how even when it was hard, they kept working, kept moving forward, kept loving because, as my oldest son would say, "all kids deserve a family."

I'm remembering the first time our oldest daughter prayed at dinner time and completely unprompted thanked God for giving her "an awesome family who loves me so much."

I'm remembering how our community showed up big and loved bigger; I'm remembering what they could have done but what they did instead.

I'm remembering how our two daughters are faith with skin on, and how my husband has been a reflection of the crazy-wild-forever love of our Father.

I'm remembering how two of our local friends were so moved by God's prompting after following our stories that they embarked on their own hosting journeys ... one family in the midst of bringing home two girls from our oldest daughters' home town and the other family hosting our first beloved host daughter, setting the stage for the most beautiful stories of mercy and grace and love to unfold.

And I'm remembering how when the Lord first invited us to this place He gave us a verse that we didn't quite yet understand ...

In the quiet of my home, when all has been said and all has been done for this adoption process, I tap out the words on this screen, I pile my rocks of remembrance

and I etch those words into the alter and I write them on the tablet of my heart

"Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:20


  1. One of the greatest, scariest verses in the well lived out in your HIStory. I cry with joy and marvel at the goodness and perfect plans of our loving Father.

  2. hyacynth, how WONDERFUL. prayers of blessing and celebration for your family. rejoicing with you.


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