When “the professor” is out
it means the cul-da-sac is now a playground.
When our front yard looks like a Wal Mart bike lot ….
it means the neighborhood discovered the zip line.
When these little guys fill our garage with sweet chirps ….
it means spring is definitely here.
When these are essential accessories ….
summer is right around the corner.
When knees are more bandaid than skin …
it means we are seldom indoors,
… and when we can go from this
to this …
to this …
in 30 seconds time, then we are TWO!
Yes, we have entered birthday season here at the Rush house. Havi kicked it off with a “puppy” inspired party.
So my baby is two. I want to smile and cry about how fast our time with Havi has flown. If you haven’t met her she is difficult to describe in 500 words or less. I can say that you are missing out. Of her 24 months on this earth, we have been within arms reach for 19 of them….and have loved every minute.
“For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” Psalm 100:5
I finally finished a short video of our trip to Ethiopia. View it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tc_UWXzjYxY
(make sure you pick the 720 p option on the bottom of the video to see it in HD)
One year ago today… isn’t it a special gift to be able to remember? Jay and I sat around yesterday and played the, “remember what you were doing when…” game about July 2nd, 2009– our referral date. I knew God was using the waiting period in our adoption to grow a hole in our hearts He would fill with our child. I didn’t know just how big that hole had grown or how quickly love poured in until we first laid eyes on little Havi one year ago. The events of that day play in my mind like a favorite song. I love thinking about the giddiness and butterflies that came with the call and looking, for the first time, into the big brown eyes of our child– beautiful, perfect, breathtaking- but still, such a mystery to us. Now, though, I know the little person behind those eyes. She is a Daddy’s girl except when she wakes up scarred at night. She loves swimming pools and lullabies. She hates vacuums and sugar cookies. She calls me “Mama.”
our referral pictures
At 14 months I am amazed that so much personality can fit into one tiny human. Havi is full of spunk, smiles and fits of laughter but she also has some attitude which serves her well as the youngest of four. She is in that strange in-between-stage where she is old enough to get into every bit as much trouble as the other kids, but not quite old enough for actual consequences. Today after retrieving my cell phone out of the toilet, again, I was tempted to wish she was a little older. However, I know from experience that Havi-land will not last long and while here I need to enjoy, laugh at, and soak in this fleeting stage…
After almost nine months as an adoptive mom I am getting use to hearing the same comments as I am out and about with the chillins. I have been surprised how overwhelmingly positive the majority of the comments people make are. And even the “negative” comments are usually not meant in a negative tone but are just the result of people not knowing what to say and therefor saying the first thing that pops into their head. There is one question that has been bothering me, though, and each time my answers are getting a little less patient and a little more, I don’t know annoyed.
(does this scenario happen to anyone else?):
me: trying to get through the checkout line while the kids examine and remove all the candy and gum from their boxes
grocery store employee: “is she adopted?”
me: deciding if should pay for the pack of gum Isaac licked or put it descretely back, “ummmm, yes she is.”
grocery store employee: “Isn’t it really expensive?”
Really? —- is that really the first thing that comes to your mind as you are starring at my beautiful daughter? I have answered this question in several ways. But I continue to be miffed that a complete stranger would deem it an appropriate thing to ask. This question bothers me for several reasons.
1. Havi isn’t old enough to understand or care about the stupid things people say in front of her yet but she will be and what she will hear is “was she expensive?”
2. No one looks at a new car someone is driving and ask them if it cost them a lot. No one asks people what they paid for their house or how much they spent on a haircut. How does this question pass as tactful?
3. God has not laid adoption on the heart of every family, but if he has laid it on your heart- is expense really a valid deterrent? Can you really say, “that is just too expensive” no matter what figure appears on the bottom line- even if you must take out loans and borrow money? Aren’t you are trading something you cannot keep anyway for something you cannot loose in a sense. And what about my adoption into God’s family? What did it cost? It cost Jesus everything- he didn’t think twice about it…
When the same people who raise their eyebrows at the expense of an adoption, feel absolutely comfortable financing %100 of the brand new chevy malibu in their driveway we know our country is up-side-down.
Friday marked the fist anniversary of Havi’s arrival into this world. It was a sweet sweet day- not one I will soon forget. We spent most of the day getting ready for her party and singing bits and pieces of “Happy Birthday”, which she loved. I can’t imagine our world without this little one in it and a whole day celebrating her was such a privileged.
With the celebration came a twinge of sadness. The realization that we were not there the day she came into the world and somewhere, across the globe there is a family remembering this day as well, is in the front of my mind. The details of her birth we will likely never know. But I can merely speculate the heartache that must have come with the decision to relinquish a child with only a hope that something better awaits. I wish they could see her. Know how loved she is and how thankful we are to them for the gift we were given. However, I can only pray God would shower them with His peace on this day and a saving knowledge of Him so that one day we will meet.
Here is a year in pictures. I am so so thankful I have one representing almost every month of her first year. How she has changed. How we have changed….
Havi’s birth certificate picture. It is the first picture taken of her that we have- taken somewhere between birth and 2 mo….. it melts me.
One of our referral pictures
3 mo …
5 mo. (in Ethiopia)
8 mo (don’t know how the drool made it to her forehead…)
12 mo (in her new fav position of standing on her head) …. more to come
All the documents are completed and the papers are signed! Havi is an official citizen with a passport and a birth certificate. I feel like the last 5 months have flown by but at the same time it seems like she has always been here. I have been reading a book about adoption that I will recommend as soon as I am done with it…. It is making me think a lot and clarifying some of the nagging I have felt since returning from Ethiopia.
I have felt, over the past several months, that we brought home more than a 15 lb bundle of brown eyes and curls…. unknowingly Havi brings with her an awareness and conviction that will not go away. Her very presence tells a story of the millions of little children who do not have, who are not found, who don’t know love. I see the mother that gave us the most beautiful gift when Havi looks into my eyes. I cannot forget the beauty of Ethiopia because it lives with us- in a little high chair at the edge of the table. As she approaches her first birthday we know that so many of Ethiopian babies will never reach theirs. She is my daughter, she is a piece of our family and she is loved unconditionally, but she is also a little ambassador to all she meets. We cannot sleep in our comfortable beds or walk through the grocery store without feeling some of the burden for those who will never know such comfort and ease. Many who have traveled far to bring back children will attest that they are never the same, though outwardly things may look the same, they are changed, different, heartbroken and hopeful, but no longer strangers to life outside our American middle class bubble. God has brought Havi into our home to be loved and complete our family but He has also brought her here to stretch us and change us more into His likeness, to trouble our hearts with things that trouble His…
at Havi's dedication last week...