Anyone who has lost a loved one knows how holidays are, for some reason, even harder in the absence of that loved one. The emptiness of their chair at the table, the longing to hear their laughter with the rest of the family, or the desire to simply know who they would be at that moment if they would still be there...it's tough stuff to deal with. In the same breath, holidays are still wonderful despite the loss. Still being surrounded by family at the same table of the empty chair, still having memories being built with laughter, and still celebrating whatever the reason is behind the holiday...holidays still bring immense joy. The collision of these opposing emotions creates...well...a hard holiday.
I've experienced holidays such as this just the same as most everyone...holidays where a loved one is absent due to loss. What I was not prepared for, however, was how similarly hard holidays would be in the process of an adoption. It was not a loss of life I was grieving this Easter, but instead, an absence of life. Nora's life. Easter was a hard holiday because Nora wasn't with us yet. It was also a great holiday full of beautiful and fun moments with my hubby and kiddos. It was an awkward junction of both hard and wonderful. It left me in tears off and on all day long. I kept imagining my four kids together all dressed up in their Easter best. The boys looking so handsome and the girls...well...beautiful. At church I stood crying during the worship songs just longing to have a beautiful little one named Nora in my arms with her satiny dress flowing all around her. More tears came as we took communion as a family and prayed for God to bring her into our home soon. It just made me sad knowing Micah and my arms were still empty, my kids were still without their sibling to play with, and Nora was still not being loved on how I desire her to be loved on. I was overcome with the grief that I was loving and dreaming and wishing for Nora to be with me in such a deep way and yet she was still in Haiti having no clue I even care really. I just ached with a longing for her to know she was in my thoughts and in my heart.
I decided to email our director to let her know how much I was missing Nora that day...it's the only way I feel a bit of sanity, I guess. Just knowing I let someone in Haiti know that little girl was being thought of and loved on from afar. I asked Rachel to give Nora a big hug from her Mama. I got a reply a few days later indicating Nora was "so adorable these days". I bet she is. She also said she wanted to send me pictures of her but figured I had already gotten enough pictures of her from others so she was not going to. Ugh. Are you kidding me? I would take a photo of her every hour of every day if I could. It's just hard for others to understand what it is like to have your child living in another country apart from you. Getting a new photo of Nora every few weeks has been amazing for sure, but no, it's not enough to keep this Mama content in the process. I will always be longing for more until she is actually in my arms.
My heartfelt prayer is still for God to be moving as fast as possible with our paperwork in Haiti. I know there will be more holidays to experience with no Nora before bringing her home, but if those holidays can be a shortened list by obedient prayer you better believe this Mama will be knocking on the doors of heaven! By next Easter, Lord, I really want a little girl in my arms all decked out in her Easter best with the rest of her siblings...and you know what, Lord? I think she'd look pretty awesome in her Christmas best as well so You can move as FAST as You possibly can and I'd be okay with that! : )
As I said before...the holidays are hard because it is a mix of such opposite emotions...I've mentioned my heartache, but it was met also with such joy for the loves I already have in my arms. I thoroughly enjoyed a day relaxing at home with my man and my three children. They are truly a blessing!