A few weeks ago I invited my family and a few friends over for a small celebration.
A celebration of government approvals and court dates and travel. A celebration of Hannah* home forever and always.
I laid out a simple spread of gourmet cheeses, crackers, fruit and veggies to compliment a specially saved bottle of wine - a bottle saved for this very moment. A gift from my friend Beth on the last day I spent in South Africa.
I said a small something. A small thank you. A small bit of joy for all in the room and all they did to bring the day to fruition. The help me be patient conversations. The help me not be nasty to these people who are holding up the process conversations. The Lord provide prayers. The Lord give us patience prayers. The rejoicing conversations. The lamenting conversations. The day-to-day, waiting grunt-work of adoption.
Then we ate together. We rejoiced together. We praised together.
We played board games and enjoyed cheese and wine and sparkling cider for my parents.
It was life together, well-lived.
And you were there too, dear reader. Right alongside us.
You were there alongside the social workers and lawyers, the grant agencies and all those government employees. Alongside Hannah's house mom and her "aunties" and the Oasis Haven staff. There with us in the fullness of my home, rejoicing beside us.
You didn't know it, but in that moment of celebration, you were there. You were there in my thoughts. You were there in my remembrances.
You with your encouraging comments. Your Facebook messages. Your tweets and your emails. Your phone calls and your prayers. You were there. Hallelujah, you were there!
In five days, I'll hold my Hannah in my arms once again - truly my Hannah for the first time and for always. And I know I will think of you. I will think of you, each of you, and I will pray for you. I will pray for God to bless you as you have blessed me.
Today my heart is full of you.
Thank you, dear reader.
Thank you, dear government employee, dear travel agent, dear FedEx delivery person.
Thank you, dear grant agency, dear social worker, dear lawyer.
Thank you, dear colleagues, dear friends, dear family.
Thank you, dear everyone.
*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.