Chipper Christmas songs are grating to me this year; they feel so fake. The songs that grab me are those that are quiet and that speak of longing. The sad songs of Christmas. These are the songs that reflect the emotions we are experiencing. They help us process everything we are going through and provide hope.
This year, much like the last several, is not as joyful as we hoped and expected. Each year we have been hopeful that we will place a “Baby’s First Christmas” ornament on our tree. To have a child to celebrate Christmas with. Christmas Eve will mark one month since Jane’s due date. We know now that her name is no longer Jane. She is with another family, her family. This season was supposed to be filled with sleepless nights caring for our little girl. Our Christmas this year will be celebrated as dinks (Double income, no kids) once again.
The emotional roller coaster we are on is draining. The infrequent messages from our agency cause fear to rise in our minds. How long will we wait? When we do hear about a possible situation our hopes are lifted. We pray, asking God if this is our child. Anxiously, we wait. Days pass and then we read the message: Thank you for your willingness to be considered, but the Birthmother has selected another family.
Up and down; up and down. We do our best to cling to The Lord. We know he is sovereign and he has a plan. This Christmas, though, is not a celebration of Joy for us. It is a quiet time of sorrow. We continue to wrestle with the loss of Jane. For now, it is not getting easier. In many ways it is getting harder. Each placement that isn’t ours is a sad reminder of a little girl that isn’t ours.
I have to remind myself that we aren’t alone in our waiting. Spread throughout scripture are stories of mourning and waiting. Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Elkanah and Hannah, & Zechariah and Elizabeth. Even beyond waiting for children the nation of Israel waited. They waited for rescue through almost all of their history. They waited without knowing a timetable. They often waited in silence.
Kathryn and I are reading Behold the Lamb of God for Advent this year. It has been an amazing encouragement to us. For me, it has convicted me of my lack of faith and trust in God’s timing. It has also reminded me that our story is a tiny part of the large story God is weaving. Amazingly though, God is intimately involved and cares deeply about our story and is orchestrating each step of our path.
We have friends who have waited for their children. Who have cried out to God. Our story, of course, is unique and God’s provision looks very different for us. We are grateful for our friends and family who join us in lifting our future children in prayer. Although this Christmas isn’t what we expected we are hopeful and expectant. Sorrowful yet always rejoicing.