But this year is different. I may celebrate in the same, simple way, but there will be something different about this New Year's Eve. 2016 was an amazing year and I never want to forget a single moment, but 2017 could be the year I bring my baby home. There's no guarantee. There's no sure way of knowing, but there's hope - so much hope.
I haven't given an update in awhile - so allow me to catch you up (spoiler alert - I am still waiting):
Early in the adoption process, I read a lot of blog posts of women telling how important the nursery was for them in the long months of waiting. A few months ago, I thought that it would just be harder to have it ready while waiting, but this room has been very good for me. Sometimes I just sit on that ottoman and pray or I stand in the doorway and imagine the day that I get to really use this room.
I hope that this wait will make the less pretty days a little easier - when this room full of dirty laundry, smelly diapers, a crying baby... when I'm wishing God didn't ask me to do this alone. I hope on those days I can clearly remember how it feels to stand in the doorway praying for this baby all the while knowing with absolute certainty that I am following God's plan for my life.
But Month Three was the hardest so far. It was all sinking in that this process could take years - that I might have to stop counting in months and start counting in years. But in a small way, I feel like I get it now - I know how to handle this new normal. This month had some really deep valleys for me that were hard to come out of. Valleys that I couldn't make better, but I just had to survive. I've learned that while that is not fun, it's not bad either. Not every hard thing needs fixing, sometimes you just survive and that's good enough.
This will come as no surprise, but I'm going to say it anyway - waiting is hard, waiting sucks, waiting is exhausting. But as much as I don't want to admit it, waiting is necessary. I wish I could fully explain why it's necessary, but I'm not sure how. I just know that it's been necessary for me. I've been fighting battles over the past 3 months that I've needed to fight to build my strength and faith.
I've needed to submit my profile and not get picked so I could learned to love a child and mother that I have never and will never meet - and to learn that it's ok to give your love and not have it returned. It's taught me to pray and love deeply, no matter how hard it is when I'm not chosen. I've learned that I can't truly open myself up to love if I can't open myself up to pain.
But as always - in the midst of everything hard, there is God. Even when I've been more than frustrated with him, praying whiny prayers and feeling so lost, He's showing me that not only is he making this path - He is walking it with me.
I bought that little penguin a few weeks ago. It's the baby's very first Christmas present. They may not exist in this world yet, but they are so very real in my heart.