It’s a cool but sunny November day here in Northern California. Beautifully colored leaves are falling off the trees with generous leniency at each mild gust of blowing wind. People are out buying Thanksgiving decorations and supplies. Christmas shopping has begun. It’s a huge change in scenery for us, seeing as we just returned from the hot and humid tropical weather of Papua New Guinea where we were visiting my sister, brother in law and their three delightful boys. We were gone for three weeks, and what a glorious trip we had. We left for Papua New Guinea pretty much putting our adoption on ‘hold’ – as it would have been nearly impossible for our adoption specialist to call us where we were, and almost as difficult for us to receive any emails from her. So, we left on our trip with peaceful hearts, trusting the Lord with each mile further away we got, and thankful for the opportunity to visit my family and see a little bit of what their life is like living among a tribal people group.
When our trip came to a close, saying goodbye was harder than expected. My older sister Elizabeth (2 years older) and I share a very special bond, and have for years. We’ve written volumes of long emails back and forth to each other over the last decade. We talk as often as our budget will allow (it’s not cheap to call to Papua New Guinea!). When we get to live near each other (this happens about every four years when they come back to the states on ‘home assignment’) we make every effort to live life together as much as possible. Although this wasn’t the first time I’ve had to say ‘goodbye’ to my sister, I realized that it wasn’t getting any easier with practice. In fact, saying goodbye was getting harder. I had looked forward to this trip for such a long time, with months and months of planning and buying plane tickets, and now, well, it was at an abrupt ending. Time to head back to the states, where we would once again be separated by thousands of miles. I couldn’t stop the tears that came that day we said goodbye, but as my sister and I prayed together, we thanked the Lord for our sweet friendship and sisterhood. I rejoiced in having such a precious sister who cared so much about me and who labored over me with her prayers on a consistent basis.
Upon arriving back home at our house, weary from being up all night and from switching planes FIVE times, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there was much joy and thankfulness in my heart after what felt like a few days of intense sadness. I walked by the room we had set aside to be our adopted baby’s room. For various reasons, this room has invoked sadness in me throughout the months we’ve owned our home. When we first bought the house, the room was empty and it was a constant reminder to me that we didn’t have children. Then we started filling it with various baby items (like a crib, etc), and occasionally I felt sad that said ‘baby items’ were not being used. Then my nephews came for a visit and stayed often overnight in that room (in sleeping bags, on the floor) before we returned them to their parents overseas. I thought I would be sad to see the sleeping bags still remaining on the floor when we got back, since it would be a reminder that it would be a LONG time until I got to see them again. But for once, as I peered into that room again, I did not feel a sense of loss — rather an intense emotion of joyfulness registered in my heart that I can only attribute to the Lord’s doing, and a determination to finish decorating the baby room in preparation for his or her arrival.
So, I got to work on the room.
I found this little sign ‘home’ at World Market the other day; I couldn’t think of a wall hanging with a more appropriate slogan for a newly adopted baby! I can’t wait to look our new baby in the eyes and say, “Welcome Baby! We love you so much!”
I got this shelf on the wall at Ikea and put up a few of the children’s books that Elizabeth sent home with me from her own bookshelves in Papua New Guinea. They are books her children have read and loved much, but have outgrown. She hopes we can read them to our children someday. I think I’ll put up a few pictures on the shelf, too.
And so now our little baby’s room is mostly decorated and waiting for the next addition to our family. I don’t know how long the wait will be. But it is with a grateful heart that I write these words.
This brings me to a close. I hope you are having a Happy Fall!