The last three weeks have probably been some of the hardest to endure since we returned from Russia. I thought it couldn't get any harder, but with important dates come tidal waves of emotion for which I cannot prepare my heart.
I'm a therapist.
I know about dates and the significance they play in the grieving process.
Only we cannot grieve.
We are stuck.
We're in this weird suspension between the best and worst case scenarios. It's such a difficult place to be. If I knew that Kirill was never coming home, I could fully grieve the loss and move forward through the pain. Or, if I knew for sure he was coming home, I could wait in joyful expectation. However, I know nothing of what the future holds. Only God knows. And while that thought comforts, it doesn't take away the pain of the here and now. And while we are suspended, life moves forward...
Easter...it came...and it was harder than I thought. I had decorated for Easter right around Valentine's Day. You know how when you decorate for a holiday and before you know it, the holiday is over and it seems like no time as passed until you're taking down the decorations? Well, I wanted to get my Easter decorations up as early as possible for that reason...because by the time it was time to take them down, I thought Kirill would be home! I love Easter for so many reasons. Of course I love it because of Christ's resurrection. I also love it because of the symbolism of new life and new creation. I love the spring. I love renewal. All of these things were going to be even more meaningful because of Kirill.
Then court happened.
I thought I could handle Easter. I thought I was ready for the tidal wave. I bought Easter treats for Clayton. I made plans for Easter lunch and an egg hunt. I was going to celebrate Jesus' resurrection despite our sadness. But I couldn't. And I didn't. Instead, we sent Clayton to church with friends and I spent the day in my closet floor, clinging to Greg, crying out to God and letting all of the pent up emotion out. It wasn't pretty. But it was necessary.
But the dates kept coming. The very next Sunday would be Kirill's 5th birthday. Greg and I prayed in preparation for the date. We knew it would be HARD. Harder than Easter. We prayed for strength. We prayed for distraction. We prayed for it to be a better day than Easter Sunday.
Clayton's birthday is also in May, just 11 days after Kirill's. He had asked to have his party on Kirill's birthday. In his 5-year-old mind, he and Kirill are "twins". He keeps saying that they are twins because they are both born in May and they are "just my same age" as he says. It's so cute how he says it..."We are adopting a brother and he's going to be just my same age!" So I couldn't say no to him when he asked to have his party on May 1st! We decided we would turn a day of sadness into a day of celebration.
Then the tornadoes hit. April 27th. I was in my office, which was approximately 200 yards from some of the worst devastation. I saw things I cannot unsee and heard things I cannot unhear. Physically and materially, we lost nothing...except cable and Internet for a few days...but our city was forever changed. Many people were without the most basic of needs. We busied ourselves with caring for others. May 1st was the Sunday after the tornado, so we called off the birthday party. We spent the day with a family who lost everything. Literally. They couldn't even find a piece of paper with an address to prove their residence in the debris that was their home. It put everything into perspective for us.
Life is unpredictable.
It can be gone in a second.
We will trust God. We will live for him alone. We will trust not in our own understanding.
And a week later, as Mother's Day approached, I did not dread it. I had a fantastic day. I know that God is sitll God. I know that I am going to be the mother of Kirill one way or another. I will see him in Heaven no matter what happens on this Earth. Whether or not he comes to be a part of our earthly family, he's a part of our family for eternity. I thanked God yesterday for his birth mother, who we learned so much about in our court proceedings. I prayed for her and the hole that she must have in her heart after giving up a child. I prayed for her to have peace and for her to know in her heart that Kirill is loved more than he will ever know. That he is being pursued by a family who wants him so badly and who has the ability to give him a wonderful life. That we will not give up until we have exhausted all of the avenues afforded to us by his country to adopt him.
We have made it through some tough dates lately. We also know that there will be more. Namely, May 24th when we appear before the Supreme Court in Moscow. I humbly ask you to pray for us as we make our final preparations for court.
When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
This is my command—be strong and courageous!
Do not be afraid or discouraged.