We have seen the highest of highs and lowest of lows this past week. It's been a terrible roller coaster of emotions that left me kneeling on the floor of the nursery, phone dropped in front of me, tears streaming down my face and an ache settling deep into my heart after learning some unexpected and hard news about the little one we've been waiting to bring home.
When we started the licensing process, my prayer, hope and goal was to have a child in our home by Christmas. So many people prayed for this to become reality and I believed that God would pull through JUST THIS ONCE to give me my heart's desire.
We learned about this little one on Halloween. A few days later, we were told he'd be coming to us the coming week. The next morning, we were told he'd be there that very day. Then a few hours later, we were told he'd be going to another home temporarily while a few formalities were accomplished for our file on our agency's end.
Then we waited. For weeks, even months we waited.
The season of Advent came.
I drank deep the lessons the Lord was teaching me about Advent. About waiting.
I learned that Advent brings an ache, a desire, a burden of things to come.
And in that time of waiting, I prayed.
I prayed like I've never prayed before.
I sobbed before the Lord. I yelled at Him. I bared my heart. I tried to make deals with Him (it doesn't work, just so ya know...).
I prayed that little one's name aloud over and over. I begged for God to put His calling on the little one's life. I asked God over and over that He'd bring him home for Christmas.
We hung a stocking for him.
We bought Baby's First Christmas ornaments for him.
We filled the wardrobe with little Christmas jammies and outfits.
There were toys waiting for him.
He occupied our home. He took up a lot of space.
Both God and the little one.
I have spent the last several weeks walking around feeling forgotten. Ignored. Discarded.
I felt like God had turned His cheek, refusing to hear my prayers and the ones of the many lifting up the same desire.
Today was a rare day of warmth and sunshine. I sat at my desk and listened to the ice and snow melt and pour down the downspout. The birds were singing, beckoning me to come out and join them.
So I put on my boots, my coat, my gloves. I popped in some gum and slapped on some Carmex. I downloaded some podcasts and donned my sunglasses and was out the door. We live 2 blocks from a massive park with many different paths to walk along.
And I walked.
As I neared the golf course, which is currently overrun in its off-season with geese (and goose poop), it hit me.
I wasn't forgotten. My desire wasn't ignored.
Our home was far from empty this Advent season.
It was full.
To the brim.
This little one inhabited our hearts. Our prayers filled the rooms. Our love for him swelled, the seams of our four walls bursting with the hope of him.
We may never see this little one. We may never meet this boy we love so very much. Oh, but the hope of him is as real as his flesh, his hair, his eyes. And that hope is what has filled our home. That hope has brought Christ near. That hope has made me a mother to this child I may never hold.
Much like the hope of a little girl I never got to meet first made me a mother.
And so hope will continue to fill our home. Despair is lingering, but hope wins. Every time, hope wins.
We will continue to wait. We will continue to hope. And we will continue to pray for this little one who has inhabited our home long before we even realized he was here.