Best. Christmas. Ever.
Yesterday morning, our son came creeping down the stairs to be greeted by Paw Paw, Paw Paw-Pi'am (He still refuses to say "Grandma") Uncle Robb, Auntie Pam and a tree that looked like it had exploded with gifts. After having had his birthday last month, he was quite adept at opening gifts and understood that there were treasures wrapped in that festive paper. It did however take him a few times to understand that sometimes the treasures were encased in plain boxes under the paper. The first one he opened in which the box did not advertise the gift inside, he patted the snowman on the gift box, scrunched his shoulders, said, "Oh Boy!" and went for another gift. He needed a little guidance to open the box and find the coat inside. He got trains and trucks and play-doh and bubbles and books and clothes and Mickey Mouse and tracks and toys galore. After a few runs with the distinctively wrapped Chugginton Trains, he would scour until he found another, hold up his little finger and exclaim, "Un moh Choo Choo" (aka "One more Train" for the untrained ear) Every single gift was a new opportunity to be the happiest little boy in the world and every single minute was a opportunity for his parents overcome with new waves of gratitude that this Christmas looked so very different in every way than last Christmas.
With the new Russian legislation in the process of passing banning American adoptions for Russian orphans, my mind can't help but drift to how we felt this time last year and my heart can't help but ache for the 46 American families who very well may be the victims of the rash retaliation for some politics that are completely unrelated to adoption. I am not going to venture to explain even the limited understanding I have of what is happening except to say if you'd like to research it a little more, you can google the Magnitsky law. There have been a number of Russians who have been opposed to Americans adopting Russian orphans and my opinion, based on the very little information I have, is that this sect has been angling for a way to close the door on adoptions. One side of me keeps looking at the sleepy eyed little boy- who incidently is blowing his new bubbles all over my newly washed kitchen floor- and feeling an overwhelming sense of gratitude that, even with all the obstacles we faced, we have our son home and that this legislation does not affect that. There is another side of me that has a numb hole in my heart that this will probably mean that the door is forever closed on Roman, our other son in spirit if not in law. And then there is the side of me that is furious on behalf of the 46 American families who have already met the children they consider their own who may never hold those babies in their arms again. But most of all, there is the side of me that is paralyzed with emotion for those babies who may never have another chance for a mommy and a daddy and Christmas mornings. In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy and with the ban on adoptions looming in our future, when are we going to wake up and stop making the innocents the ones who bear the burden of responsibility for a world that is spinning wildly out of control?
As of this moment, the legislation is not in effect, although the Duma and the Upper Chamber have already passed it. On December 20th, even in light of the newly passed bilateral agreement between Russia and America, Vladimir Putin said he supports the bill but has not decided whether or not to sign it. I have been heavy hearted and prayerful and am asking for those of you who pray to join me. I am at peace that we may never see Roman again, but I am desperately petitioning the the One who can change hearts to soften Putin's heart so that next Christmas at least 46 more children will have the opportunity to wake up in their forever homes with parents who adore them and a future with more promise than an orphange could ever provide. Pray for these little ones. They are the victims of biological parents who could not or would not fulfill their greatest responisiblity and privilege. Pray that they do not have to be twice vicitimized for political manuevering.
The lyrics from the Christmas carol, "I heard the bells on Christmas day" have been running through my head for the last week. For some reason, I couldn't get passed
And in despair I bouwed my head
There is no peace on earth I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth goodwill to men.
This morning I woke up determined that I would take the minute to look up the rest of the lyrics since they had all but escaped me.
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep
God is not dead nor doth He sleep
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth goodwill to men.
I am grateful in a way that words are inadequate to express that we got to experience our Christmas miracle this year. And am filled with hope that the one who seeks to kill, steal and destroy will be silenced so that those who are walking the road we've recently walked will experience their miracle next Christmas.
"Let us not grow weary in doing good for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galations 6.9