This past weekend, I did a crazy thing.
I didn't set out to do it.
I didn't walk into the store plotting my crazy. I didn't walk down the aisles looking for crazy on the shelf.
It was a simple shopping trip with the goal of finding and purchasing the last few Christmas gifts on my list.
But then I saw it...a beautiful box set of A.A. Milne's original Winnie the Pooh stories.
I saw it, and I thought of Hannah*.
I thought of the night we - her, her Oasis Haven "family" and myself - sat down together to watch the latest Winnie the Pooh movie.
I thought of how we all snuggled into the couches and laughed with glee at Pooh and Piglet and Tigger too.
I thought of how we talked about it for days afterward.
I thought of how we believed together in the magic of the Hundred Acre Wood and a silly old bear named Pooh.
And then I dreamed.
I dreamed of snuggling close with her at bedtime and visiting Pooh and his friends and the Hundred Acre Wood again.
I dreamed of sharing a giggle and a laugh with Roo and Kanga and the silly old bear.
I dreamed of bedtime prayers, hugs and kisses goodnight, and a soft, "Momma, can we read some more tomorrow?"
I thought and I dreamed, and the crazy thing was set in motion.
I did not come to my senses until I was at home in a pile of gifts and wrappings affixing a gift tag to the package: "To: Hannah, From: Momma"
Amanda, you have seriously lost it this time. Who will open this present? Will you just undo the wrapping yourself? Give it to Mom or Dad? One of the children to open for her? Have you lost your senses? If you don't open it, what happens when the tree comes down and all of Christmas goes into storage? Seriously, what then?
But still it sits there - under the tree, next to packages addressed to her cousins and her grandparents, the reflection of twinkling lights dancing on its bright red bow.
The worst part is the crazy thing, it happened again and then again.
Now three gifts are wrapped and under the tree...waiting.
I can't explain the crazy thing I did. I don't know what impulse overtook me and wouldn't let go.
Maybe the slowness and the waiting of adoption got to me a bit. Maybe the thought of a gunman and all those mommas with all those packages wrapped under their trees never to be opened made me long to feel a little closer. Maybe I'm hoping somehow she'll know, she'll feel deep inside, that on the other side of the world is a tree watching over gifts picked with love for her.
Gifts which sit and wait.
Perhaps that's appropriate.
A tangible metaphor for the wait and the anticipation of adoption. Something good and special and exciting which quietly waits for the receiver to come and collect and hold them close with joy.
Waiting and dreaming and believing.
And again, I think of the Christ child and all the waiting and all the slowness. Of the promise of adoption as sons and daughters. Of the promise of kingdom come and a fulfillment of the covenant. Of the promise of a place prepared and an intercessor to speak on our behalf. Of the promise to be made a new creation, holy and blameless in his sight.
This is something I have believed and is worth believing. Even in the pain and the longing and the lament of waiting.
I'm not certain yet, but I think once Christmas is done, the ornaments boxed and stowed, the pine needles vacuumed and the leftovers eaten - I think I'll put Hannah's presents away, maybe set them on her bed to do their waiting there.
When she comes home, we'll celebrate Christmas in July - or May or August or whatever month - and I'll tell her a story of how they waited for her. Of how they sat under the Christmas tree dreaming of her. Of how they waited and longed and hoped for the day she'd come home, rip away their wrappings and love them.
Perhaps that night, we'll snuggle into bed and turn the first pages and giggle at a silly old bear named Pooh.
*Hannah is a pseudonym. In order to protect her identity until she is fully and legally mine, I use "Hannah" in all online activity regarding my someday daughter and her adoption.
Please consider helping us raise the last bit of Hannah's adoption fees:
1. Buy a t-shirt from AdoptionBug.com.
2. Buy coffee from JustLoveCoffee.com.
3. Send a check to Oasis Haven US: (Your gift through Oasis Haven US is tax deductible.)
PO Box 28362
San Diego, CA
*Please write "adoption support" on the memo line.