19 December 2012

the same, but different

This Christmas.

Things are different this year {IN SO MANY WAYS}. And yet, somehow the same.

Our family has grown by two!  After such a long, long wait. 

Last November, I thought our child(ren) would be home by Christmas.  I just believed they would be home.  Our caseworker had told me about a sibling set and I had even spoken to their foster parents.  I hadn't seen their faces.  {Thank you Jesus}. And as the days turned into weeks and November dwindled with not so much as a phone call, December began to feel heavy.  I had also hoped for a very special baby to be able to come home from the NICU by Christmas.  God knew these deep wishes in my heart, even if I wasn't that comfortable admitting just how desperately I wished for them.  He knew.  And as that first week of December dragged by, I spent more and more time in prayer - or really in quiet brokenness, because I didn't know what to pray.  And He met me there.  He always does. I can't put my finger on it, I don't have a beautiful image to give you, and I am not even certain it will make sense...but He gave me peace - the kind that goes beyond understanding.  And my heart knew my child(ren) were home... my heart had made a place for them, and God would fill in the details when the time came.  Our caseworker called around mid-December and told me that sibling set she had mentioned was in a different county now, but she was certain "2012 would be our year!"  Somehow her words were enough.  And that sweet baby wasn't yet able to come home for Christmas, but God told me He was faithful even in that.  While my heart was still heavy, it was also hopeful.  I left some Christmas decorations up longer than I normally would - a stubborn hope that our child(ren) would be coming any day.

January 11, we got the phone call that we had been matched with our boys.  And I felt like it was Christmas all over again.  Weeks later, sweet baby John Buckley was discharged from the NICU.

Oh what joy to wait on Him, the Giver of all good gifts!  This year had some bumps along the way, but there were many, many moments to celebrate as our family grew from 4 to 6.

As this Christmas approached, we considered not setting up our Christmas tree at all.  Our babies have one speed- GO!  They are healthy, active, inquisitive toddlers and we couldn't be happier about that.  We put out our nativity sets... the nicest one is a little further out of reach than it has been in the past.  We put out a tabletop tree in the kitchen and our little light-up Christmas village buildings too.  By December 1, though, we decided we should put up our tree too.  The big boys chose a few of their ornaments from their boxes to hang way-up-high, non-breakables only.  We bought a box of shatterproof bulbs to hang too.  Our garland covers the top 2/3 of the tree.  I put out the wonky tree skirt that I had made years ago.  A lot of the same, but still different.  It looked nearly perfect ;)  ...until the babies discovered they could drag that silly tree skirt all over the living room.  Or wear it like a cape.

Thankfully, Dayspring had chosen me to receive the No Greater Love Than Jesus- Reversible Tree Skirt from their Redeemed Christmas line.  I was a little over-the-top excited when it came.

It really is the perfect fit for our tree.  And nobody can wear it like a cape because it ties securely with two ties - which is two more ties than the tree skirt I had made years ago. 
 Its reversible which is all-kinds-of-fun.  I am especially fond of the side that says, "no greater love than Jesus."  I can't think of a better reminder for beneath the tree.
Most days Lincoln and Franklin spend some time lying under the tree while their big brothers are at school. And most of the days, if I am quiet and listen, I am reminded that God brought these gifts home to us at just the right time.  He redeems the waiting time.  He loves so deeply, so carefully, so intimately.  At Christmas, I am thankful for His love and overwhelmed by His good gifts. 

It's helpful to have it spelled out right there like that - because sometimes I forget how truly blessed I am, how deeply my Redeemer loves.

***Dayspring sent me the tree skirt for free (awesome, right?) but the opinions about it, are all my own.***

P.S. the tree skirt is on sale right now.  Big time.  Click here to check it out!


  1. I love the "newest" decorations under the tree!

  2. So cool! Your tree looks so festive.