Sunday, October 19, 2008

and then came October...


For as long as I can remember, I have always loved this month. The way the air would change and become cooler, the nights that came earlier as we ate soups and wore sweaters, the beautiful leaves on the trees, the thought of the holidays just around the corner... there are many lovely things about this autumn month.

One year ago today, something else happened which gave me and so many others a whole new and even more wonderful reason to love October. That something came in the form of two small blonde-haired, blue-eyed, beautiful children. Our Faith and Jason.

I once heard a quote that said "waiting is a wonderful thing." Is it? Some might say no. But, through these past six years and everything that has happened in God's perfect providence, I would have to say it is. Of course, the actual waiting itself is sometimes misery, incredibly hard and heart-breaking. But oh, when the desire of the heart is finally granted, then, THEN all the waiting is worth it and makes that moment so much more sweet.

The wait was, indeed, long. Years of waiting, wanting, hoping, praying, trusting in the Lord through many moments and days of sorrow for these people I loved, especially Jessica with her desires of a nurturing heart. But I think the waiting began again in earnest the day when they became certified to be foster parents. There was so much hard work and preparation put into such a short time to reach that point, and then... it came down to one phone call. It would only take one phone call to make them parents for the first time, someone telling them a child needed a home.

How well I remember the day the phone call came. I was at home, spending a quiet afternoon, when there was a knock on my door. When I opened it, Jessica was standing there, out of breath from running down the block, with tears in her eyes. She must have seen the questioning look on my face, for the first words out of her mouth were "We're getting a little boy. They called." And then, oh, the rejoicing. We hugged, we cried, we jumped up and down, we hugged and cried some more. In that moment of pure joy I don't think either of us thought for a second that in a mere short month we would all be saying goodbye to that same little boy. Christopher came, he was loved and cared for immensely, and then he went.

It is still hard, in some ways, to think of the day he left, even though it has been softened by seeing how it fits so perfectly into God's providential plan. I thought my heart would literally break as I watched Jessica pack up the final belongings of this little boy she had come to love so much, as she gave up her short, sweet time of motherhood waited and prayed for so long. But even then, she trusted. By His grace, she was able to say "God is good", even though I know her heart did break again and again in the days and nights that followed without a child in their home. There is certainly everlasting strength in the Lord for those who trust in Him. (Isaiah 26:3-4)

Thus, the waiting began again. It was even harder this time for Luke and Jessica. They had tasted what it was like to be parents, to care for a child and love a child. They knew beyond a doubt, because they had experienced it, that they wanted a child in their home, to raise and love to the glory of God. We had all seen them as parents, admired them as parents, rejoiced with them as parents, and we, their family, all knew too, more strongly then ever-- they needed a child. So we all waited some more. Prayed some more. Hoped some more.

And then came October.

I'll never forget the first time I saw them, that afternoon one year ago. After a whirlwind week in which Jessica (Luke just so happened to be out of town for business that week) had accomplished more than anyone would think humanly possible once she found out about the opportunity to take these two children into their home, I went to her house on a Friday morning to help her buckle two car seats into the back of her car. And then I watched her drive away, on the way to pick up her children. What a swirl of emotions I felt, and my heart, thoughts, and prayers were not able to leave her or those as-of-yet-unknown children for one moment that day. Later that afternoon, I was more than thrilled and excited to get a phone call from Jessica; she needed something... I think maybe it was baby wipes. I don't really remember, but I was practically out the door before she finished asking me. I was going to meet my niece and nephew!

As I walked down the hallway to what had been designated the kids' rooms, I was shocked at how nervous I was. But in that moment when I stepped into Faith's yellow bedroom where she sat playing on the floor and she looked up at me with a smile on her face, my nervousness disappeared and was replaced by joy and a longing to hug this little girl. I didn't, not then. She didn't know me yet, and I didn't want to scare her. Then, in the next moment, a small tow-headed boy ran out from the room next door, his face alight and eager at the new discoveries he was making in this different place, his new home.

In the year that has followed that wonderful day, much has happened. Faith and Jason have grown and changed so much in so many amazing ways. Of course, there have been LOTS of hugs since then, and kisses, and playtime, and laughter and cuddles and memories of all sort. It has been nothing but a joy to be "Auntie Talia" to my Faithie and Mister Jason who I love as much as my own children. My heart smiles and rejoices each time I see them with Emma and Annabelle, enjoying sweet childhood together and growing together as cousins and friends. Watching them love on the rest of their wonderful family, seeing how Faith and Jason have become such a part of everyone that you could never think there was a time when they weren't here; knowing that their love and knowledge of their God is growing each day under faithful parents... it is all a blessing beyond measure.

It hardly needs to be said how much I admire, respect, and praise God for Luke and Jessica and who they are as parents. Because the past year, while wonderful in many ways, has also not been easy, especially for Jessica. Social workers, biological visits, court dates, record-keeping of all sorts, stress and worry, not to mention simply getting used to being a mom to not one, but two active children who had never truly been parented before!! Wow. But she is amazing, her husband is amazing, the other people who have supported and encouraged her are amazing, and God is amazing. His grace was always sufficient, and the truth of "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phil. 4:13) was shown again and again in these circumstances. I have learned much, SO much, from her.

And so, one year later-- another year of waiting and praying, hoping for the day when these two children could be theirs and all of ours forever-- October is here once more. This time, it brings with it certainty. A new and different kind of rejoicing. The end of one long and often difficult journey, as well as the beginning of a beautiful new one, as Luke and Jessica stand in court with THEIR children.

On October 24th, mere days from now, Faith and Jason's adoption will be final. My eyes fill with tears as I write that, tears of joy and happiness. And my heart is too full in these last days before this long-awaited event to even express the joy, the emotions, the thoughts which have been filling me up. This simple little post does no justice to any of the experience. I can only say how much love I have for these dear ones of mine, my sister and her family... how much gladness and thankfulness. And I can only close with this: PRAISE GOD. For His everlasting grace, for His perfect plan which caused all this to happen. He is good, indeed.

October! What a sweet, sweet month it shall always and forever be to my heart.

"Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass... Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him..." (from Psalm 37)


*CPA* Su said...

Talia~If I wasn't sitting at work right now reading this, I would have been bawling! I was totally holding back all sorts of tears! You, my friend, are such a huge blessing to me (and so many others around you, I'm sure) when you express your strong faith so wonderfully!

Praise God that He has answered Luke and Jessica's longing prayers. I am so thrilled for them, I know from talking to her years ago at the CU that she has always wanted children. And I can only imagine how tough these years since have been for them. Please tell her that I am so happy for her!

P.S. And tell her she needs to start a blog ASAP so we can watch these little cuties grow. =)

Kourtni said...

Amen, to everything. I'm so excited for Friday. Everytime I think about it, I get those little excitment butterflies in my stomach. See you there. ;)

Megan said...

Oh! What an incredible job you did at making us feel like we were THERE for all of this. Wow. I am thrilled beyond belief for your entire family- especially Jessica and Luke, and those 2 precious ones who God's blessed so much!

The Thompson Family said...

When we saw Jessica at the Marketplace I got a glimpse at what a wonderful mother she is. Faith and Jason are both precious and it sounds like you all love eachother so much! I'm so happy that this whole process will be over and their life as a family will legally begin (I know they've been a family since day 1). What a beautiful tribute!

Lisa said...

Oh I am so, so, so excited for them!

I remember standing in Jessica's kitchen post- Christopher and pre- Faith and Jason. You were there too. I was lamenting about the fact that we had basically given up on having kids of our own. She told me how being a mom was so rewarding, much more than working. It was something I could not even comprehend. And then Jillian came. I've often thought about that night and what she said to me this last month (Jillian will be one month old Oct. 24th).

I am just so happy for her!!!

Ruth said...

Oh Talia, that is such wonderful news!! The adoption process can be so scary - like laying your heart down on an open road and hoping it doesn't get trampled. And it is such an amazing thing when you can breathe that sigh of relief at last, knowing that you won't ever have to say goodbye, to let go of these little ones that you have fallen in love with, or wonder if they are happy and well fed and well loved.

Please, pass along my congratulations!! And thanks so much for sharing! =)

Steph Corwin said...

This is such a beautiful post. Gosh how quickly a year can go by. And how much can happen in one year! I just remember how profoundly sad Jessica was after Christopher. And then to hear the news of Faith and Jason. It's really just so perfect, and I'm so so so glad I can be there Friday for it all :)

sarah marie p said...

What a sweet and thoughtful post! Yay for Luke and Jessica -- and Faith and Jason too, of course! So exciting that the whole process will be complete and official so very soon! That's so wonderful!

Lydia said...

It's all so wonderful! I'm so extremely grateful that everything has worked out and they will finally officially be a family!
I'm so glad that I was able to meet Faith and Jason. They were lovely! I've been praying for them and it's all so fantastic!
I hope that party on friday is great!

Sunny said...

Jessica has taught me so much by her example and faith (and oh how I LOVE how her daughter's name is a constant reminder of this whole journey of theirs) and you've summed up the entire story so well on your blog. I cannot wait to be there on Friday and celebrating this most wondrous occasion! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Let's party! :)

Band of Brothers said...

I cried through this entire post. I had to finish it in my room so John would not think I was a complete basket-case. That was such a beautifully written post, especially with all those verses. Praise God! And you sound like the sweetest Auntie on earth!

wishcake said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful story! What an amazing experience for everyone is so wonderful when things come full circle and you realize that everything that has happened in the past had been leading up to this moment. I love hearing things like this, because it only reminds me that all these little bits and pieces are simply part of the grand plan.

I need to be reminded of that alot. :)

This story touched me alot, too, because my family did foster care for years. It's actually how we were blessed with my two youngest sisters! A handful of children came and went throughout the years, but Nikki & Lindsay were meant to stay - and right from the beginning, they just belonged. Adoption can be a long process, but so incredibly worth it.

Thank you again for sharing this! It was so inspiring, and makes my heart just burst with happiness for Luke & Jessica. (And those verses fit just perfectly, too!)

Andrea said...

Talia, once again your eloquent way with words has brought such joy to my heart. Amen, praise God for all his glory. Daily I think of all of you kids and I am so grateful to have you in my heart and life. Your constant faith has inspired me on more than one ocassion to expect more of myself. Luke and Jessica are blessed to have Faith and Jason and to have you and Jeremy. I know you truely did feel the sorrow, the breath taking glee and all the emotions in between during this past year. I can't wait to see you all on Friday. And again, you need to write a book! Please!

Hugs to all - Andrea

Jerusha Abigail said...

such a beautiful post! you're so incredibly sweet. i am so very thrilled for Luke and Jessica to be able to have their own sweet children! and after only seeing Faith and Jason once i know that they must be dears! what a wonderful day friday will be for everyone who's gone through this all with them!

Design Gal said...

What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing this!

Happy Halloween said...

The title should have been "be prepared to cry your eyes out!" That was precious Talia. I am so happy for them and I hope the stress can take back seat now and they can just enjoy every second!

lorieloo said...

I'm crying.....=)

happy tears. And tears of thanksgiving. tears of overwhelming awe for all that the Lord has done.

to HIs name be praised=)