What a difference a year makes!
Last year this time, we were getting ready to host our first child from Colombia and our hopes were high that we could be her “family” and then she came and she spent Christmas with us and we fell in love with her…
we baked cookies and painted nails and sang loudly to Feliz Navidad (the ONLY spanish song we knew)…
we opened gifts by the tree and she hugged us a thousand times and expressed her extreme gratitude for the sparkly red dress we gave her…
we took her to visit my Mama’s farm where our horses lived and we rode horses and played in the snow and she finally found the courage to go to Spanish immersion school with our daughter and we were so proud of her.
It was 3 weeks of nonstop joy and laughter and heartache and pain as we opened our hearts and felt all the feelings and then slowly felt them close again. We asked all the “what ifs” and the “but Gods” and then finally a strange release, a surrender, a letting go.
I wrote this on my Facebook page on December 26, the day after Christmas last year, and and it pretty much sums up our journey with Denise:
and then she left.
Through tears and broken hearts we watched her walk out our sidewalk 17 days after she came. It was the saddest and coldest day of our lives when she left to go back to her country and we knew we weren’t right for her.
We didn’t know if we would ever see her again.
It was a painful goodbye to say the least and I cried as many tears as she did when we realized this was the end of our journey with her. I struggled more than I ever thought possible with this “no”. I wrestled and wept and wondered if we had done enough. She had wanted a family so bad.
I had no idea that already then there was a family in Georgia looking for a girl just. like. her. Enter Mark and Kumud Smith. They already had a family of 3 boys and wanted a daughter of their very own.
The following summer, Denise was once again eligible for the Colombian Hosting Program. She came to America for a second time through an agency called Kid Save, based in New York. She was matched with a family up there and in the meantime, the Smiths were matched with another child from Colombia. However as fate would have it, that child never showed up. There were problems with her visa among other things and she couldn’t come.
The Smiths were heartbroken.
In the meantime, Denise was headed into her second week with her second “host family” when they too realized that they were not the right family for her. That’s when the director called the Smiths. She asked if they would be interested in flying to New York to meet her.
Something told them they HAD TO do it and not even a day later, they were on a flight to New York.
They instantly connected and Denise ended up flying back with them to finish out the rest of her time in the states and to meet the rest of the family.
Finally, she had met her “forever.”
Fast forward to a week ago when I got a text message from Kumud, along with this picture:
“Today we adopted Denise!”
I cried the happiest tears I had ever cried, because I finally KNEW that we had done the right thing that day. Even though it was excruciating to say goodbye to “the child from Colombia” we thought we were going to adopt, our “no” was in fact, someone else’s “yes” and that’s all I needed to know.
sometimes we can’t see the whole picture and we can’t possibly predict the beginning from the end and so we must trust in something bigger, we must surrender to the greater purpose.
Here I am, in essence with NONE of the things that I was expecting a year ago…with not another daughter and not even a “prospect” of one and yet here we are. We never visited that orphanage in Nicaragua and we still haven’t adopted our ‘third child’.
In fact, I am 20 weeks pregnant with ‘him’. (another story for another time, ha)
But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I realize now more than ever, that sometimes the most beautiful things come when we haven’t planned them
and everything is made beautiful in HIS time, not ours.
(Here’s “Denise” with her new brothers. Her name has been changed to Naya, to match the rest of the family’s “N” names)
Doesn’t she look like she fits right in??