Friday, December 22, 2006

What's So Special About This Christmas?

This Christmas our family is finally complete. This year there will be no “Waiting for Baby” ornament. Three out of the past four Christmases, we were waiting for a baby. On our tree, there is a “Waiting For Baby 2002” ornament as well as a “Waiting for Baby 2003” ornament. Those two ornaments chronicled the two Christmases when we were desperately waiting for a birthmom to choose us so we could finally add to our family after having 7 miscarriages in our attempt to have baby #2. There is no “Waiting for Baby 2004” because in 2004 we celebrated our first Christmas as a family of four, after a wonderful birthmom gave us our second son. What a blessed Christmas that was! Our son finally had a sibling that we had been unable to give him for so long. The dark cloud of infertility that had hovered over our family for the previous 3 years was gone. Our new sweet baby had filled our hearts and healed our hurt without even knowing it.

A year after our second son was born, we made the decision to adopt from Ethiopia. We were initially told we would probably have our baby home by Christmas. We had several unexpected delays that prevented that from happening. So, we also have a “Waiting for Baby 2005” ornament on our tree. This year and from now on, there will be no more “Waiting for Baby” ornaments. All of our children are home. Our family is complete and it feels so good. While I was trimming the Christmas tree this year, it felt a little odd to put those three ornaments on the tree. Some would say that’s in the past, that maybe I should put those ornaments away and just move on. For me they are a reminder that our 2nd and 3rd child were in our hearts long before they were in our home.

We also now have a lot to celebrate in our house at Christmas time. Two of our three children have Christmas birthdays. Our daughter will have her first birthday this Christmas Eve. Our oldest son will then turn 7 on December 28th. Those are a lot of presents to buy! Our relatives must hate us at Christmas time, though I must admit they have been so good about giving both a birthday and Christmas gift to my oldest son each year, so I am sure they will do the same for our daughter.

Now I look at our mantel and see the 5 stockings hanging. One for each of us. It looks so beautiful, so complete. This year as we celebrate Christ’s birth, I will also thank Him for the amazing gift of my three children that He has given me in three wonderful ways. One by birth, one through open adoption, and one from Ethiopia. This Christmas is truly special.