I’ve sat down to write this post several times now…. but I simply cannot put it into words. I sit and stare at the blank screen and scroll through the pictures as tears come to my eyes. You see, our wait to bring Nell home was 22 months. Twenty two, long and painful, months. We watched families matched months and months after us travel and bring their children home when we still didn’t have a court date. We missed holidays, special occasions, everyday moments, and dang it… TWO birthdays. With a court date of June 13th, it was going to be nearly impossible to have Nell home for her birthday in July. Nearly. But you know that bible verse “… with God all things are possible…” yeah I held onto that one. Her birthday, and this post, it feels so sacred. So, so special, for numerous reasons. But the most intimate, I look at these pictures and know this day, these pictures… these were the moments of living a promise fulfilled. And that is a sacred space for me. A moment of knowing that a promise has been fulfilled, guess that is what Sarah felt like when she held Isaac for the first time, what the Israelites felt when they stepped into the promise land, and what it’s gonna feel like when our feet hit those golden streets of Heaven (or maybe we fly on them… whatever… it will be awesome)
One day, before we left on our first trip to Korea, I was in the car by myself. A line of a Casting Crowns song caught my ear….
The song is entitled “Just another Birthday” and you know a waiting momma who is on the verge of loosing it over missing “just another birthday”, well, it’s a hard and sad place to be.
The song closes with these lyrics.
Now I know, I know
It's not just another birthday
'Cause I'm here, she's here
And look how far we've come
Since you've called me, saw me
Held me and freed me
Thank you, Lord, for another birthday
And we'll be fine
We'll be fine
And that was it. I knew that it was a song sent straight to my momma’s heart. A promise that this “just another birthday” would be a promise fulfilled and “I’m here, she’s here” would be a reality. Even so much so that before we got our call to go get her, I booked plane tickets. Tickets that had us arriving back home BEFORE her birthday. Almost impossible, but I knew, I knew this promise was for me.
We arrived home on the night of the 18th. We went to bed, I tucked my daughter in her bed, in her room, in our home. She closed her eyes, the last night as a two year old. She woke up the morning of her birthday, her first morning in our house, her house… as a three year old. She was home.
Most of our family was still in town from her airport homecoming the night before, so they came over for a lunch birthday of cake and ice cream. I seriously have the best friends, and while I knew the personal promise God gave me, I totally didn’t plan for a birthday party… but my friends did for me! Cake, outfit, décor, balloons, gifts… they covered it all for me.
Birthday tradition, getting measured.
It also happened to work to be her homecoming measurement too!
And then presents!!!
And a girl who is in love with Pororo got a bag FULL of her beloved Pororo treasures!
A day full of celebrating all that she is. The fact she is ours, we are hers and she is HOME.
Finished the day with the candle in honor of her birth mother.
As she blew the candle out, I prayed the warmth of that little light could be felt in the heart of a woman on the other side of the world. That she would know that this girl, the daughter we share, that she was finally home. Home where she belonged. Home where she is treasured, wanted, and beloved. Where she has a momma who would traveled the world for her, a daddy who is wrapped around her finger, and two older brothers who will never let her date. Home with a family. Her family. Forever.
Happiest of birthday, my chosen daughter.