Gifts of Grace {Christmas 2013}

For the sake of documenting our story, I want to remember the little blessings that the Lord has used to give us comfort and hope.  The holidays, for obvious reasons, were the most difficult for us to face.  We had so many hopes and dreams planned for that season. There were “My First Thanksgiving” bibs, and matching Christmas cousin pajamas.  There were plans for pictures that we never got to take, and we were really looking forward to playing Santa.  Instead, it was a season of mourning what we were hoping for, and trying to let go of something that we felt like we lost.
The sweetest Christmas gift was having my twin brother fly in from S. Korea to surprise the entire family!  It was such a joy to finally get to spend a Christmas with him.  It’s been too many years in a row that he’s been deployed during the holiday season!  Having him and his precious wife around was like glorious comfort food for my weary soul! Whenever we are able to get everyone together we usually refer to the gathering as “Better than Christmas…”  Well this was the Christmas to beat all Christmases.
My tiniest gift of grace this year we lovingly call our Tiny or Amelia Jane.  She is my sister’s fourth daughter.  She is our miracle baby, (you can read more about her story here), but she is my little reminder that joy can come from pain.  Amelia was born in September, right in between when we found out we’d be selected by a birth mother, and when the baby was due to be born.  Her timing (and testimony) are nothing short of Providence.

I found out that my sister was going to be adopting a baby before we got ours, I was a little disheartened at first. That sadness quickly faded to excitement when I realized that our babies would be so close in age, and would forever be best friends.  We even got several matching outfits for them to wear together.  Despite the outcome of our adoption placement, the Lord knew exactly what our family needed, and He especially knew how to protect my heart.  I know my sinful nature well, and had Amelia joined our family any earlier or any later, there might have been a little bit of bitterness in my heart.  Not that I would love her any less regardless of when she came into our lives, but I’ve been down this road before with my sister’s third daughter.

We found out that Atalie was joining our family just a few months after we had our miscarriage in 2009.  In my solitary moments with God, I did not handle that news with grace.  I was angry at God, and selfishly bitter because I was ready to be a mother.  Atalie burst into our lives and has left us all speechless with the joy that she brings.

Amelia Jane has done nothing short of that as well.  The Lord knew exactly when to place that Tiny miracle in our lives so that we could fall madly in love with her.  He used her severely deformed body show us His Grace and Mercy.  All I have to do is look at those sweet chubby cheeks and I’m reminded that His plans are not my own, and how desperately I need a Savior.

Those two reminders sitting in my husband’s lap are evidence of how far He has brought me in this journey.  Despite my selfish tendencies, inconsiderate thoughts, and shameful anger the Lord has brought joy from my pain.  He has given me comfort and hope.  This past Christmas season was hard to face, but was surprisingly redeemed with beautiful gifts of Grace.

When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer. Psalm 94:19