I have hesitated to compose this post. I feel like it could be perceived as attention or sympathy-seeking. I don't want people to feel sorry for us. In fact, if you feel inclined to comment with some form of "I'm so sorry", although I know you really mean it and I appreciate your sharing our sorrow, I want you to instead leave a comment of praise to God for our suffering. Please don't take offense to that request...we are so blessed by your thoughts and prayers. But we KNOW that God is making us perfect in our weakness. So we will continue to endure any pain that comes our way by praising him and allowing him to heal us. We are blessed to be children of God and our suffering is making our faith stronger and our relationship with God more complete. First and foremost, every circumstance of our life should be lived for Christ, be it pleasant or unpleasant in the worldly sense of those words. To live is Christ and to die is gain. Greg and I keep reminding each other of that daily as we walk this difficult path we find ourselves on for this season of our lives. In the midst of our suffering, there is joy, hope and peace. There really is...I'm not just speaking Christianese.
Still, the suffering is raw. It is painful. There are times when I collapse in tears. I miss Kirill so much. I replay our last visit with him and wish I had kissed him one more time, savored his touch and his smell just a little longer, taken more pictures, told him how much we loved him just one more time before we walked out of the orphanage.
And then there are reminders that punch me in the gut with no time to prepare or shield myself from their emotional blows. Like ripping the scab from a wound and exposing the raw tissue once again. They come out of nowhere and they reduce me to a heap on on the floor.
There's the afternoon last week when I picked up a load of clothes from the cleaners. As I unwrapped the plastic covers I found the jacket I wore to court. I sat in my closet and cried as I remembered the last time I wore it and the horrible feelings of loss associated with that day.
There's the afternoon that I picked up Clayton from school and he told me they had talked about birthdays. He realized that Kirill's birthday was coming up, but Kirill wasn't going to be here, and they couldn't have a joint birthday party like we had planned. He cried and asked me over and over, "But WHY mommy? You said Kirill was coming home. You LIED to me." We both sobbed all the way home as I tried to explain to him that mommy didn't lie, it just didn't turn out the way we expected.
There's the alarm I had set on my phone weeks before we left for Russia reminding me to add Kirill to our medical insurance after we got home. When I saw the words on the screen of my phone, I had to brace myself against the wall as I cried out to God for strength to make it through the grief.
There's the text I got from someone who couldn't have know what happened, asking how Kirill was doing now that he was home. It took me a full 24 hours to find the words to respond.
Even as I sit here typing this, tears are streaming. Clayton is watching Saturday morning cartoons on Qubo and "Willa's Wild Life" is all about a bear from Russia. Clayton is repeating Russian phrases to the t.v. He should be saying them to Kirill...he should have a brother here watching cartoons with him. Sigh...
I wallow, I cry, I hide under the covers, I beg God to take the pain away, to work a miracle, to bring Kirill home. And I hear his voice saying, "I love Kirill more than you. I know your pain. I see your suffering. Trust me. Seek me. Listen to me. And know that I AM GOD...and you are not."
Then I get up, thank God, and ask him for what I need to make it through the next day, hour, or minute. And you know what? He always gives me just enough. And really, what else can we ask for?