The only Christmas tradition we’ve stuck with so far is our ornament tradition. We buy one ornament each year to represent the past year.
Shortly after deciding to get approved for a domestic adoption and long after we’d worked hard to make progress getting our internationally adopted sons home, we took a trip to Chicago to see Damien Rice. We stopped at the Crate & Barrel and Land of Nod Outlets there, two favorite spots of ours. We walked through Land of Nod but just couldn’t justify buying anything more for these three children not yet in our home.
We went to Crate & Barrel next, and I wandered the aisles separate from Dan. We weren’t yet considering our ornament for the year, but I found a small container of ornaments in the Christmas aisle. All the ornaments were light blue wooden feathers, except for one… a bright orange tipped arrow.
The metaphor from Psalms of arrows in a warrior’s quiver as children from God has been significant to us. The Scripture heading for Psalm 127 is commonly “Unless the Lord Builds.” And we have believed all along that He will build our family when and how He sees fit despite all of our striving and planning and aching and longing.
2014 has been a year of much work on God’s part. We passed a huge milestone in our international adoption process in February, and we spent significant time advocating for our sons through contacts with various government entities. We prayed throughout the year about starting the domestic adoption process, and we took the steps to be approved in October.
Despite all this, we’re looking at another Christmas without these sweet children — two we know and one we don’t — in our home. But we have so much hope! We trust He will bring them into our home not one day before or one day after He has planned. We can relax in this truth, and we can remain excited to see how He will fill our quiver with arrows.
So, I found Dan in the aisles of the Crate & Barrel Outlet to say, “Dan, I think this is our ornament for this year.” He nodded and smiled. This Christmas our 2014 ornament hangs bright toward the top of our tree.