One year ago, I met K and M. I held them and kissed on them. I played with them and made plans to bring them into my home. One year ago, I thought we were almost at the end of our adoption journey. I bought clothes that were just their size and packed a suitcase for the trip that would bring them home. One year ago, hope filled my heart.
This has been difficult week for me, complete with tears. I’ve revisited our trip multiple times through pictures and memories.
The sound of K’s cries every time we left her still rings in my ears. I can hear her sweet voice as she calls me “Mommy” and reminds me, in broken English, that she wants to go home with me. I remember her smiles as she pointed to each of her “new” sisters in photos and spoke their names.
I remember playing with a room full of toddlers. They climbed on me constantly and desperately wanted someone to love them. A few days after leaving Ethiopia, we learned about a mix-up with our boy J. I remember the tears and then the peace that followed as we opened our hearts up to M.
One year ago, I knew I was ready. One year ago, I was confident.
A lot can happen in a year.
When we first heard of the problem surrounding our adoption, we were told to wait. Things would return to normal. We just needed to be patient. We waited and waited and waited.
Disappointment and discouragement gnawed at my confidence throughout the wait. Doubt and worry floated continually in and out of my day.
One year ago, I couldn’t see the mountain that stood directly in my path, but my Father could. Not only did He see it, but it He lovingly designed it just for me. He knew I needed help.
The slippery path that caused me to stumble and fall. He taught me how to get up and continue on in spite of the pain. The crevasse that seemed too deep. His hand lifted me out of the darkness. The point where I nearly gave up and turned back. He encouraged me and showed me which steps I needed to take.
One year ago, I had lessons to learn. The past year has been full of heartache and struggle. It has not been easy, but I have grown. One year ago, I was a different person.
A lot has happened since my visit to Ethiopia. The circumstances of our adoption did not change, if anything they grew worse. But peace and hope have grown steadily in my heart. Patience is becoming my friend. When I look back over the year, I see the difficulties but I also see victories that grew from them.
I do not know what problems will appear in my life tomorrow. I don’t know what kind of turmoil will rise up on my path. But, just like one year ago, I know I do not walk alone.