Christmas at the Calvaresi house was bitter-sweet. Since Chad was on leave for the week, we took advantage of the time and had our fingerprints done and our child abuse clearances notarized. We have 2 visits from the social worker scheduled for next week and one more the week after to complete our home-study. Even though we’ve had to completely scrap the time-line we were hoping for, it is so exciting to be making progress. And being who I am, I have high hopes that our dossier will be complete by the end of January ;).
Spending so much time in the days before Christmas working on the adoption is where the bitter part of Christmas came from. We wrapped gifts for Ana-Sophia, our friends brought her adorable pj’s that hung in our living room window, and Chad’s Mom stuck a card made out to her on the Christmas tree. All around us were reminders that she is called to be a part of our family and those reminders all acted as daggers in the pain they caused because of her absence. Chad and I started the “3 gift rule” several years ago. Since Christmas is about Jesus and since he only received 3 gifts at his birth, our kids only receive 3 gifts from us. It is beautiful to watch them narrow down their lists to the 3 things that they desire most and then to watch the satisfaction and pleasure that they get from those three things on Christmas day. We never have to deal with frustration over gifts getting thrown aside and forgotten about. On Christmas night, Chad said that next year the “3 gift rule” is out the window. We’re going all out for that little girl’s first real Christmas.
ISAIAH 9:6 For unto us a child is born…
Perhaps the biggest happening for us on Christmas day is the celebration of Kira’s life. On Christmas day 1994, she came into the world and made us parents. It was the greatest gift we could have ever been given. She has spent the past 15 years making us immeasurably proud of the fact that we were chosen to be her Mama and Daddy and I can say with all certainty that we would not trade her for any other 15-year-old girl in the world.
We approach the end of the year watching our dossier grow thicker and counting our blessings. I’ve quoted Isaiah 43:5 on here before and as I wrote the letter that went out with our Christmas cards this year, I was reminded of its significance in our lives in 2009. From January to June, Chad was in Iraq and I was faced with the fear that my thyroid cancer may have recurred. Our summer was spent facing a move after only a year and with uncertainty about where we would actually live. We clung to “Do not be afraid, for I am with you…”. As soon as we found a house, Ana-Sophia came into our lives. It was then that the second part of the verse became meaningful. “…I will bring your children from the East, and gather you from the West.”
And just to make the year a little sweeter, Chad was promoted to lieutenant colonel and I finished college. Even though our daughter is not home yet, we face 2010 with the absolute certainty that we are blessed much more than we could possibly deserve.