This Christmas finds us very thankful for two little blessings playing on our living room floor. We started praying in April that Noah and Nora would be home by Christmas, and God in His grace brought them home by Thanksgiving. When we were in the hospital last week because of Noah experiencing some heart failure, we weren't sure if we would be home by Christmas. But once again, God was faithful and stabilized our little guys heart (you know, by using our amazing doctors, nurses, and meds :)).
My heart aches for the parents with children in Russia trapped in orphanages because of the adoption ban. These parents have longed and prayed for their little ones to be home for Christmas, just like us. Many even met their little ones. We're still praying that God will break down those doors, but that doesn't take away the heartache those couples feel this Christmas.
It's a challenge to draw my little ones closer, a reminder that every giggle- even every cry- is a privilege to hear.
And as his Daddy throws Noah up in the air and I hear his giggles coming from the living room, my heart feels a little weary even while filled with gratitude for these sweet sounds and this immeasurable gift. I am aware that this may be Noah's first and last Christmas with us. We don't know what the future holds for his heart. We don't know if surgery will be successful. I don't like to think about it. Most of the time it doesn't even feel real when we look at our silly boy. How could his heart be sick?
But when we feel weary, we find strength in God's joy. Knowing that He can look at all this heartache and be characterized by joy. He looks at all the broken things- the parents saying goodbye to their children, parents longing for children a world away and having no way to get to them because of one man's decisions, spouses splitting apart, the hurting and lonely hearts, all the brokenness- and He can have joy. No doubt these things break His own heart, but He can see the much bigger picture. He knows the final outcome, the happy ending. He knows that Love wins. He knows how it's all going to work together for good, even when it doesn't look that way now. And how it's all working together for good in this very instance because Love already won.
And isn't this all a reminder of how this world isn't really our home? Of how, like the faithful in Hebrews 11, we are longing for a better country- a heavenly country, our real home.
But right now, to me, Heaven feels like the life of a little boy. That's the deepest longing of my heart right now.
I know it's so much bigger than that, but that's where my heart is at right now. I love that we have a Savior who wants us wherever we're at right now and frees us to be honest with Him.
This tiny five and a half year old boy is a daily reminder of why our Jesus came- to heal broken hearts, to heal a world broken by rebellion, to make all the wrong in the world right again. Noah's heart is a reminder that this isn't the way things are supposed to be. Hearts are supposed to work correctly. Parents aren't supposed to have to make the kind of decisions that could change their world forever.
But Jesus is making all things new. He's making the whole world right again. He's preparing a home for us where goodbyes will no longer have to be a part of our language. And that's why our weary hearts can rejoice this Christmas. It's what gives us hope for the future.
We're moving forward in faith that our sweet little guy will be with us for many, many years and many, many Christmases. We're working on physical therapy in hopes that he will walk one day, doing occupational therapy in hopes that he will feed himself one day, and planning what to get him for his birthday in hopes that we will be celebrating together . And whenever the weariness sets in, we're working hard to set our eyes on the Lord, on His joy.