Sunday, December 02, 2007

Advent and Waiting

TO DO THIS ADVENT

#1--Wait in a frenzied fashion for the birth of our Lord.

That's not quite what I had in mind, but somehow that's what it seems to wind up feeling like. Advent is not the peaceful, quiet preparation for the illumination of the world with the Greatest Light ever known, but rather a litany of baking, parties, shopping and visiting.

Don't get me wrong, those are all fun parts of my pre-Christmas calendar; but they are the side dishes, if I can keep my focus clear, not the main course. Last year, exactly one year ago today, we welcomed home our two Ethiopian born children, which put an end to a waiting that was so tangible it sometimes hurt. This year, we are all beginning our anticipation of Christmas together, but I can't help but miss (just a little bit, mind you) the visceral feelings that last year's waiting offered. It was a small, but effective glimpse into the reality of what years of expectation of the King, trust in the darkness, must have felt like for the Israelites.

Especially, it seems, this is true of those who still wait. And I know they're out there. I remember them when I see the face of an orphaned 10 year old girl, who is brushing away tears as her "segment" on the Waiting Kids video begins, while the voice in English says, "She's just a little emotional. She's done this several times before." It's in the voices of parents with referrals whose children, whether 10 or 10,000 miles away, cracking when they wonder, "Will they be home this Christmas?" In the parent whose child is alone, estranged, detached who longs for reconciliation, and for the child who feels the same. The mothers who wait expectantly, quite literally, to welcome the new soul they carry, and for their children waiting for them in heaven, whom they never *met* in this life.

And yet, in their suffering, they are blessed. Their waiting allows for a most precious, intimate chance to unite with Christ, turn their sorrow to Him and be ready--truly ready--this Christmas to accept the gift in the manger. And God-willing, I will remember, if only vicariously, what it means to truly wait for that which matters most.

Matthew 5:5. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Beati qui lugent quoniam ipsi consolabuntur

7 comments:

Life in Fitzville said...

What a beautiful heartfelt post. It was 2 years ago that we were having our big wait. Pipo was so, so sick, and we just prayed he would be home for Christmas... that he would just make it home at all. I think every Christmas, a little piece of those emotions will always come back to me.

Life in Fitzville said...

Back again... and just so you know... we set up our nativity complete with lights today, and there is a beautiful soft snow falling outside, kids are in bed already, and I posted that comment and then sat here while the enormity of it all hit me. So here I am all teary eyed and emotional now all thanks to you!

Becky said...

Beautiful post and yes, I'll be praying for you this Advent season too. Happy one year homecoming to T and H!!!

Faith said...

It seems hard to believe that a year can pass so quickly and yet contain so many wonderful memories. H & T have become a wonderful part of my "extended" family and I remember last year's anticipation very well. As we prepare for the joys of Christmas it is always amazing to stop and wonder about the blessings the next year will bring.

Jamie Carin and Claudio Romano said...

Beautiful post! I have never waited for a beautiful adopted child to finally come home, but I am now in the countdown stages for my first child who we have waited 4 and a half years for. We have celebrated advent and Christmas together for 4 years wondering if we would ever be sharing it with a child. So I do know the feeling for sure...and we still have about two months to go!

BTW we also set up our nativity scene yesterday and the pics are posted on our blog! I promise you won't be disappointed if you go over and take a peak!! We think it is our best yet.

God Bless
Jamie

Eileen said...

Oh, Jane, this was so beautiful. The wait for both of our little boys spanned the Advent and Christmas seasons, but I never really made the connection before. Thank you for making it for me.

Jena said...

Jane this post brought tears to my eyes. Thank you- especially the line about parents and children wanting to be reconciled. Who knew the Spirit could minister so tangibly over the internet? Thank you.