Wednesday, December 8, 2010

the sixth stocking

every year we hang the stockings across the mantle on our fireplace as we decorate for christmas.  and for two years now, we've hung six stockings -- five for us, and one for him.  last christmas, i hung the sixth stocking with a heavy heart as i accepted that not only was he not going to be home with us for the holidays as we had hoped but that we weren't even close to the day when we would finally hold him.

we were over a year into the adoption process but what seemed like an eternity away from our baby. 

2010 has proven to be quite the year for our adoption journey.  if we were disappointed with the slow pace of 2009, we've been sometimes overwhelmed with the heart-extremes of 2010.  on june 26, judah entered this world, a child born out of unimaginable circumstances but loved by the mother who spared his life.  on july 30, we learned he would be ours.

i know this photo by heart.  i stared at it and several others like it for what seemed like hours when we got our referral paperwork.  his tiny five-pound frame, his bloated belly, his big brown's all etched in some sweet place in my heart.  he was ours.

but within a week, our agency had contacted us to let us know that he was sick.  it didn't seem serious at first, but within a couple of days, judah was fighting to take even his next breath.  on august 12, our family did what we had done every other day, and we prayed for judah's life...but even more than that, we prayed for god's glory.

judah died the next day.  august 13 will forever and always be a day of extreme emotion for me.  on one front, i lost my child that day, and unimaginable pain accompanies that loss.  several very loving and well-meaning people have said, "well at least you didn't have him home yet" or "at least you hadn't held him yet."  i totally get where they're coming from, but what you have to understand is that the lord had been growing an intense love for that baby in our hearts for 21 months at that point.  holding him or not holding him...he was as much a part of our family as i am.

the other side of that story, though, is that judah, by his death, was fulfilling the name we gave him in his life.  at the moment i learned that my baby had left this world, he was bowing at the feet of our savior doing what my soul longs for.  to praise

but there was another tapestry being quietly and intricately woven at the same time as this one.  on october 12, i remember seeing a different baby's face for the first time on my computer screen, and in a way, being afraid to fall in love with it.  even now, three months after judah's death, the tears fall freely.  but something happened when josh and i looked to see this baby's birthday.  yes, june 26 was judah's birthday, but as the lord would so sweetly have it, it was also the day that micah was born.

as the weeks have gone by, i've surrendered my guarded mind to my bursting heart, and i've fallen madly in love with the baby we've named "who is like our god?".  the lord has proven himself sovereign, faithful, loving, and merciful during these past two years, so a name that reflects the lessons of this journey seemed perfectly fitting.

so why all of this now?  this morning we received news of our court date in ethiopia.  in 56 days, we'll finally hold the baby we've prayed for for so long.  in 56 days, we'll be melting with love for the baby our arms have ached for for two years now.  yes, in 56 days, we'll meet our son, micah.

a couple of people we've talked with throughout the day have asked specifically what they can do for us as we prepare to travel.  and at this point, we really would ask you to be in prayer for logistics.  separating parents from children, dealing with multiple countries, languages, and airlines, and attempting to weave our way through seemingly endless red tape is enough to make a person crazy (crazier, perhaps).  our journey to this point has been anything but smooth, and while we're not expecting a perfect move from point a to point b, we are praying for peace, and we're asking the lord to quickly reunite our family (all six of us) for our joy and for his glory.

we'd really love to have a little one home with his stocking next christmas.  :-)

in love he predestined us for adoption as sons through jesus christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the beloved.
eph. 1:5-6


Giann said...

So excited! I got chills while reading this!! I cant wait to see him!!!

Brian and Jen said...

My heart is so joyful right now! Praise God for His grace and provision! Praying for your little guys here as they prepare to be away from Mommy and Daddy and praying for your little guy that is going to meet and be held by his Mommy and Daddy for the very first time!

Anonymous said...

How exciting!!! Not that I don't love to read your writing, but it was all I could do not to scroll to the bottom and skip everything in the middle. But, I was patient and with tear-filled eyes, I read the whole entry. The whole story just touches me every time I read any part of it. It is so fresh to me to know how you feel to be 56 days away from holding your precious baby. I pray that everything does go smoothly and that the countdown will pass quickly. I can't wait to meet him!

-Bethany D

Alicia said...

Allison and Josh...what an amazing Christmas miracle! We will be praying for all of you. Love you!!

Anonymous said...

a smile and tears are across my face as i read this. i love you all and will be counting the days down and praying until Micah is home with his Mommy, Daddy, Sisters and Brother. Praise be to God.

Lora Lynn @ Vitafamiliae said...

I am a mess. Love this. Love Micah. Love you.

Go and Tell said...

This was beautiful and brought me to tears. I SO understand the love you have for Judah and I have hurt for you over his loss. Can't wait to see Micah's face one day and we'll pray for the details of your trip!
Love, Meg

The Taylors said...

Absolute chills right now. Amazed at God's goodness and PERFECT timing in the midst of it all. Why do I continue to be blown away by Him when...HE'S GOD! By now I should know He's got this whole thing rigged. =o) We need to chat soon!!!!!

Debra said...

Allison...I can totally understand your love and loss with Judah. And how precious that God allowed him to be named, known, and claimed by a family during his short time on this earth. Is that not like our God? To give His children a name? and to claim us as his own? Did you and Josh not do that for Judah? and make Judah known to those around you? His little life was not in meant something and continues to mean something to so many. It is so like our God...who then brings you Micah....who has the same birthday?! whoa! and who gives you the name "Micah". Wow! and not only does God bring you Micah, but He moves quickly in doing so. All there is to say, in agreement with you, is "Who is like our God?"

Many prayers will be said in the days ahead for the "SIX Lewis Crew".....

Robin said...

you are beautiful. your family is beautiful. your devotion to the Lord is beautiful. i will continue to pray that the Lord will show His glory and beauty as you continue this journey. who is like our God, indeed.

Our Home said...

Wow! How God has woven this beautiful story together! Will be praying that the details are taken care of for you as you prepare to bring him home! LOVE the name~ Micah! Who is like our God?!!

Anonymous said...

I have no idea what it is like to loose a child. I have walked through it with close family members and still don't understand. I just know God is Greater! He will be glorified!...Rejoicing for both your boys on earth and in heaven. Like twins in the kingdom of God!