Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Two Years Home!

It's been awhile...again.  This time it's because I just haven't had it in me to log on and write.  I have been buried under the weight of a great burden, and it has prevented me from being able to share the joy that surrounds me -  the joy that comes from my children, my blessings, my LIFE - even in the midst of trials.  I want to document Bear's first birthday, Halloween, everyday little things that bring a smile to my face when I look back and read them months and years later.  And I will document them.  I will get to it.  They will be long overdue but that's okay - they will be there waiting, prompting the children to exclaim as they read the lines and pour over the photos just as they do now, "Mom, remember this?  It was my FAVORITE!".  That's why I like to share here.  I have several reasons for writing this blog, but ultimately, it's for them.

So I have a lot of catching up to do (as usual!), but for now I will share this, because THIS simply does not deserve to wait another minute in the drafts folder.  It deserves to be revealed for what it is: God in all His glory declaring His love, mercy, and grace to the those the world has cast aside. 

Two years ago this week, Bella and I made the 30+ hour trip from Ukraine to Hawaii, and we were greeted by the rest of the family and many dear friends upon our arrival. I was exhausted from the journey, elated to be home, drenched in sweat after walking through Honolulu's open-air airport in boots / long sleeves, and never happier to grab my two year old son and hold him tight... a real whirlwind of emotions for sure. Bella had made the trip like a champ, laying across the two seats we'd purchased for her on each leg of the flight, and she landed on American soil with a huge smile on her face. It was to be a smile that has never faded - through broken bones, surgeries, emergency shunt replacements, and therapies it has persisted. Though she surely had no idea what was in store for her that night the plane touched down, or even what words like "home" and "family" truly meant, she trusted that this was going to be a better life. I have often talked with her eight year old sister about the fruits of the spirit, and tonight as I sit and think about what I'd like to tell people about Bella, that is what comes to mind. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." (Galations 5:22-23). Bella, you embody these traits perhaps more than any other person I know. It is difficult sometimes to imagine how someone who is so physically limited and so dependent on others can be happier than everyone around her. Being your mom for the last two years has taught me more than I could have possibly imagined. It has humbled me, stretched me, and shown me all the ways I fall short in my desires to get everything right. And in the midst of the shortcomings, the greatest lessons have been revealed: wake up every single day and pray for the things I need, praise for the things I get, don't be afraid to accept help when it is offered, don't be afraid to ask for help, don't pursue perfection but rather peace of mind, and make sure to LOVE the people you love. Every day. Thank you for being the joy you are, Bella - you touch people's lives. We love you!