Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Reflection {11 Months Home}

With a stroke of the clock, we bid farewell to 2015 and welcomed in the fresh promises of a new year, unblemished and free from any strife or struggle.  Our family has enjoyed a long week of "break" from school, work, and lots of the day to day responsibilities that can so easily distract us.  With this extra time, I found myself frequently reflecting on many things.  I found myself often thinking, "this time last year...."  This time last year we were fighting hard with the NVC over the importance of a name, sweating bullets over Article 5 drop off and pick up, and painfully crunching numbers over Chinese New Year shut downs.

For our family, 2015 ushered in so many changes for our family.  We brought Hannah home.  We experienced the joy of adding a daughter and sister and navigated brokenness.  We saw a child face difficult surgeries and yet still blossom before our eyes. It was a year we had long anticipated when we submitted that application back in July of 2013.

As I've pondered all that 2015 meant for us, all of it has been good--warm thoughts and meaningful moments--yes, wrought with a fair share of challenge, but all of it worth it.  As I've tried to step back and look at things from Hannah's perspective, I realize that she is likely ready to bid 2015 a final farewell.  It was a hard, hard year for her.  She left her homeland, said goodbye to the only people she had known as family, flew thousands of miles around the globe, and was planted into a southern American family where she not only had to acquire a new language and new tastes, but she was put through two incredibly life altering and hard surgeries.  We see there is good.  We see there is promise.  We know her outcome is secure in our home, but Hannah?  2015 was marked with deep and tragic loss, gut wrenching pain (both physical and emotional), and so much brokenness.  So much tragedy.  So much hurt and pain and deep sadness that could only be expressed through heated and lengthy tantrums and bouts of screaming.  She was so uncertain (and still is to some degree) about her place, her spot, in this family of hers.

As we look ahead to 2016, I pray there will be more peace for Hannah.  No more loss, no more tragedy.  May the cobwebs of doubt and fear continue to clear and may the fears of abandonment continue to fade.  This month we will celebrate one year of knowing Hannah, of feeling her weight in our arms, of navigating her needs, of making her a daughter.  You can expect much from me over the course of the next month, as we approach the time of a whole year of knowing Hannah.  There are many more thoughts and reflections swirling.

2015 was a beautiful mess of tragedy and loss laced with redemption and love.  We've watched Hannah emerge from all of what we threw at her over the past 11 months.  It is so hard to believe we are nearing one year of knowing her as our own.  Each day is a day further from tragedy.  May we all welcome peace in 2016.

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