Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Bittersweet December

I can't believe December has come and gone!

We packed our December with some very fun events:

Kate was "Mary" in her preschool Christmas program

We spent a great weekend at my in-laws with my husband's side of the family.  My husband has 1 brother, and he and my sister-in-law have 2 boys the same ages as our boys, and the sweetest little 6 month old girl.  The boys have so much fun together, and Kate immediately took on the role of taking care of her new cousin all weekend long.  She is in LOVE! 

We got home just in time for Christmas!  We had a wonderful Christmas morning:

We surprised the kids on Christmas with a trip to Atlanta to see our Clemson Tigers play in the bowl game on New Years Eve:

One of the highlights of our Christmas was this doll my mom gave to Kate.  She was SO excited to have a "Mei Mei" doll until she has her REAL Mei Mei.

Kate and Mei Mei went everywhere together.  They slept together, shopped together, ate together, ... you get the point.

Watching her with her doll was...well... "bittersweet".  So sweet to see her being so nurturing, but bitter because I don't want to see her carrying around a doll, I am ready to see her with her sister.  And really, that is how things felt all month long:  bittersweet.  We had such a great holiday and so much fun all being together, but yet, someone is missing and I can't help myself from feeling sad about that.  When we started this adoption, one of the things I hoped for was that we would not have to wait too long to find our daughter.  The waiting is hard.  Really hard.  But, as time has passed, I have come to appreciate the wait.  The wait is changing me.  It is changing my family. The wait is teaching me things.  The wait is helping us to prepare.   Every day, the love we have for this child is growing.  Every day, the longing we feel for her is getting stronger.  And that is all a good thing.  The wait is full of bittersweet moments.  But, you can't really appreciate sweet if you never know bittersweet.  I think it is a feeling I need to get comfortable with, because adoption itself seems all about bittersweet.  A family is found, only because a family is lost.  One woman becomes a mother, only because another gives up the chance to be a mother.  A child is given a second chance, only because because their first chance is taken away from them, for whatever reason.  Bittersweet.  

I do not want to wish away the next few weeks or months (or however long it will be), I want to live in the present and enjoy my family as it is each day. I want to embrace the wait.  I want to soak up the bittersweet moments, like this one,

so that one day, when my four kids are (God willing) together under one roof, I can really appreciate how sweet it is.
"Sweet is nice enough, but bittersweet is beautiful, nuanced, full of depth and complexity.   Bittersweet is courageous, gutsy, earthy." 

-Shauna Niequist 


  1. Your family is on the same timeline as mine is. We also were disappointed that we didn't get a referral in Oct or Nov. We found our daughter thru Asia-they are the agency used by orphanages with Pearl River and Half The Sky. I loved the agency we were with, but I just felt one day that God was leading us to look at other lists. The first place I went is the PRO blog, which led me to Asia. Within 24 hrs we had found our daughter! It was definitely God's hand that day! Let me know if you have any questions! I hope you get a referral soon!

  2. Well, with all those deep words I should find something profound to reply upon, but all I can think is... She is the cutest Mary EVER! Really, how cute is that girl of yours?!
    And personally, "I want to live in the present and enjoy my family as it is each day. I want to embrace the wait. I want to soak up the bittersweet moments..." Amen. To us all. Thank you!

  3. Your words are just beautiful, and one day your daughter will read them and know how much she was loved and wanted.I understand how hard this time is, we waited seven months for our match, which we just received in December. I can't begin to tell you how hard I found some months, I revisited my needs list several times, felt extremely guilty, saddened when we did not accept the matches of two files, I scoured other blogs, estimating timelines. All I can say is don't lose heart, there is a plan in all of this, and believe your daughter is out there and you will find her.