Friday, December 9, 2011

Celebrate me home

I try  not to be very emotional nowadays.  I do really try.  Not b/c I don't want to show emotion but b/c I have two daughters that need me to be strong and emotionally intact in order to help them heal.  As the days pass, it is more and more evident of their rough life and the emotional toll it took on them.  Healing is happening and differences are very clear.  Even to our neighbor.  But, I do need to make sure they see me as the confident one. Emotions need to be expressed at proper times where they can understand it.

That is why the other day I was trying.  Thankfully, it was night and we were in the van.  I didn't reach crying but could feel the eyes welling up and emotion taking over.  See, on the radio came the Christmas song Celebrate me home.  First line is 'home for the holidays.'  I realized then that they were ALL home for the holidays.  Every single one of our kids.  No one was waiting in an orphanage for us.  No one was spending another night alone w/out us.  No one was wondering what was taking us so long or where we were.  Why?  Because they were home w/ family.  Only on this night, they were in the car w/ family.  Driving to church.  Every single time we'd pass a house w/ Christmas lights they would scream w/ delight.  Summer would yell "mama, mama!!"  As if I couldn't see them.  LOL.  All the while, the thoughts of everything we had been through the past few years, all came to a head.  The emotion of it all.  It was all worth it.  Everything. 

On the way home, Celebrate me Home played yet again.  Same thing.  Smiling faces (though teens were mad in the backseat b/c they were hot) and oohing and ahhing about the lights.  It was just very pleasant.  Very.  We were going somewhere else & even the new Bulgarian kiddos were singing along w/ Jingle Bells and attempting Rudolf.  I'll have another post on the newness of things for orphanage kids.  For now though, I just had to share that they are all indeed HOME for the holidays.  It just has many emotions with it. 

The other day, homeschoolers were coloring posters.  Got them at $5 below.  Cool new store here.  Logan was asking what things were and we were explaining it.  He kept saying no Santa in Bulgaria.  No gifts.  It hits me every time we adopt.  These kids have not had a Christmas.  Most likely, none have gotten presents for their birthday either.  Some of my kids remember getting an orange as a special treat for Christmas or something of that nature.  But not gifts.  I mean really, what orphanage could afford that.  So, Alex was trying to explain to Logan that we do get gifts here. They go under the tree.  Logan, just kept saying no.  So, we pulled out the albums.  I truly wished I had recorded this. The look on Reni & Logan's face was priceless.  They simply could not believe that these children received gifts. They looked at the piles in the pictures.  Still just stunned.  Pointed to themselves and I just said yes.  Screams of joy that I'm sure was heard a few houses down.  They were elated.  It was something so simple a concept but one they could not wrap their minds around.  It was all I could do to hold it together.  They will get their first Christmas here for sure.  Christmas Eve Service at church, making cookies & putting them out for Santa, and going to bed w/ great anticipation.  If I could afford it, they would have a grand Christmas.  This one will be wonderful, trust me, they're home.  I can barely stand the wait to see the look on everyone's face Christmas morning.  All ten, together.   Our first Christmas as a forever family.  All the pain of waiting and wondering is slowly fading.  Not forgotten, but fading. It really makes you appreciate what you have in front of you every single day. 

The other day, in the van(no, we don't spend all our time in here, I promise), Irina & the kids said turn it up.  Playing on the radio was Feed the World.  They KNOW the meaning of this song.  They know what it's like to live w/ practically nothing and then have what seems like everything to them.  They have a house, a family, clothes, food, & even toilet paper. I say that b/c I know for a fact one of my kids' orphanage used to use newspaper for the kids as toilet paper.  I know b/c one of my kids reports how they got in big trouble for trying to take the caretaker's toilet paper.  They said the orphanage kids were only allowed to use newspaper.  So, my kids understand the meaning of this song.  They know the gifts under the tree are not just gifts.  They have meaning to them.  My kids do not take things for granted.  I think this is directly related to the life they had.  My kids enjoyed our trip to Myrtle Beach one year that was a gift just as much as they enjoyed the gifts other years.  When you listen to the words of some of these Christmas songs really listen to what they are saying.  Think about the kids left behind.  They are real.  I know.  I have ten of them at my table.  They tell me stories of how life used to be.  So, when I hear Alex explaining to Reni & Logan how they will get gifts this year, it chokes me up some.  When we hear Celebrate me Home and listen to words of some of these songs as the new kids are cheering over the simple pleasure of Christmas lights, I do get emotional inside.  They are here.  For those waiting, it will happen.  It's an awesome feeling.  Today is three weeks home yet feels like we've been home forever.  We truly are celebrating them home this Christmas and every other day for that matter. 

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