In December of 2011, we bought an extra stocking for the mantle. That stocking symbolized a decision to adopt. It hung on our mantle, like a public display of the beginning of our adoption journey.
We had no idea how long the journey would be. We still don’t know.
In December of 2011, we hung that stocking and said, “We are adopting a little boy.”
In December of 2012, we hung that stocking again. It was a bittersweet time. The entire process of adoption from Ethiopia was slowing down, in every agency, in every case. Secretly, in our hearts, we had been hoping that we would be much closer to having that little boy home for Christmas 2012. As the holiday came closer, we knew there was just no way. The monthly conference calls with the adoption agency began to seem like waiting pep-talks, sprinkled with warnings to be ready to wait even more. We still didn’t even know who the little boy was or where he laid his head.
In December of 2012, we hung that stocking and still said, “Maybe we will have him home next Christmas.”
We usually decorate for Christmas right after Jeremiah’s early November birthday. This year, I could barely bring myself to do it.
But, we did.
And, it was fun.
A few weeks ago, we hung the stockings…all seven of them.
With eyes glassed over and teary, I hung that stocking and said, “Maybe we will know who he is next Christmas.”
We’ve been praying for our little boy, for the documents needed to allow him to be adopted, for his birthparents, living family, caregivers…
We’ve been praying.
Still, in December of 2013, I sat on the couch in the living room, staring at the seventh stocking. Another Christmas without knowing anything would be tough. Not unbearable, not hopeless…just tough. The Lord worked it out so that my daily devotional would include Habakkuk 2:3 (NET).
"For the message is a witness to what is decreed; it gives reliable testimony about how matters will turn out. Even if the message is not fulfilled right away, wait patiently; for it will certainly come to pass--it will not arrive late."
We prayed and prayed that God would work on our hearts as we waited. We prayed that He would help us wait patiently. And, we thanked Him for the assurance that it would certainly come to pass…and for the reassurance that it wouldn’t be late.
This past week, we received a call from our Family Coordinator at America World, then emails, then calls, then more emails.
This week of December 2013…
We saw his picture!
We read his given name!
We cried over the great losses that he will grieve over the rest of his life.
We know who he is!!
We continue to pray.
We are praying that we will have him home next Christmas!