Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Because they have faces.......

This bill affects kids like my Gabey and our Marta (below), just a reminder...

Ok, you all know I don't do the politics thing...not really. Not here.
However, this is a political issue that is worth breaking that habit.

This bill needs support, it needs you all to contact your reps and let them know that it means something to you. This bill makes a difference, finally. This bill would keep families from getting stuck in the protocol snare that we did. This bill would bring families together, sooner. This bill would bring children home, sooner. This bill supports families. This bill makes an actual difference in our world, for good, not just for some pork barrel agenda. This is what the political process should be used for. So, contact your Senators, contact your Congressmen and women. Let them know that this bill is important to YOU.

And, once again, go to to the EACH site and sign up. McLane Layton is doing great important work. Help her make it happen! Read this, below, and then go do something to help.

Here's the press release, below:

Bill Introduced to Provide Citizenship Rights
to Internationally Adoption Children
of American Families


June 29, 2009 (Washington, DC) -- The Families for Orphans Coalition announces its support for the Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act (FACE Act) which was introduced last week in the Senate and House of Representatives. The FACE Act will allow American families to bring their internationally adopted children home as American citizens instead of as immigrants. The bill is spearheaded by Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and James Inhofe (R-OK) and Representatives Diane Watson (D-CA) and John Boozman (R-AR). The FACE Act simplifies the acquisition of citizenship for internationally adopted children and removes these children of American citizens from the immigration process.

The Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act addresses needed changes to the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 (CCA) which was enacted to provide automatic U.S. citizenship to internationally adopted children of American citizens. As it stands now, the internationally adopted child of a U.S. citizen receives U.S. citizenship once the child enters the U.S. to reside permanently. If enacted, the FACE Act would allow such children to acquire U.S. citizenship at the time their adoptions are finalized in the country of the child’s birth. The child would then enter the U.S. as a U.S. citizen with citizenship documentation in hand.

“Passage of the FACE Act will eliminate the need for an immigration visa for internationally adopted children and instead will treat these children as children of American citizens, not immigrants subject to immigration regulations,” said McLane Layton, President of Equality for Adopted Children (EACH) and a member of the Families for Orphans Coalition. “Additionally, the FACE Act classifies internationally adopted children as “citizens from birth” just like children born of Americans overseas, thus providing them with equal rights of citizenship, including the right to run for President of the United States.”

“Under current law, the type of immigration visa an adopted child is given to enter the United States determines whether the child receives U.S. citizenship upon entry. Those children who do not receive U.S. citizenship upon entry and whose parents overlook the bureaucratic steps necessary to secure citizenship for their children are often later denied scholarships, passports, and the right to serve in the U.S. military. Most tragically, some young adults who have lived in the United States with loving, American families their entire lives have been deported to their birth countries - places they have no knowledge or memory of – for committing minor juvenile offenses. Half the children adopted internationally each year currently enter the States on the visa that places them at risk,” said Chuck Johnson, a Coalition member and Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the National Council for Adoption. “The Face Act will resolve these issues and provide U.S. citizenship to all internationally adopted children of American citizens.”

The FACE Act also provides older orphans the ability to be adopted – children who were overlooked in the Hague Treaty on Intercountry adoption. “Prior to the Hague’s passage, children age 16 to 18 whose younger siblings had been adopted by an American were able to be adopted by the same American family,” said Terry Baugh, President of Kidsave. “The Hague eliminated all adoption opportunities for children 16 and over. The FACE Act will fix this oversight and expand the opportunity of a permanent family to all children up to age 18.”

The Families for Orphans Coalition was established in 2008 to support both domestic and foreign efforts that ensure every child lives, grows and thrives in a safe, permanent and loving family.
Marta, last summer.
This bill, if it had been passed, would have changed so much.
It still can, for so many others....



Sunday, June 28, 2009

Final Countdown Approach; Second Edition


It is Sunday. It is my favorite time of day on the beach: that quiet time between afternoon and evening when the beach empties and the sun lowers and the sand still has the warmth of the day running between your toes. I look out to the waves and watch my Little Man and Miss M on the boogie boards, still. And I realize that I have loved this spot in the world best since I was a child, their age. And I know that they will bring their children here, or I hope they do...and they can love it as a home for their heart to rest too.

And then it crowds back in: we are at week nine. We are in the final countdown. The cultures are done. The final final (? yeah, it confuses us too) report is due at the embassy and doc on Wed.

And so once again, we are in a final countdown to launch.

We will soak up our last two days at the beach, gathering up the calm and the soothing of the waves and the sand.....packing it to overflowing as best we can in anticipation of the rocket launch of travel across the world to our new daughter and family.
A dear blog friend pointed out to me that this is our last time together as a family of nine.
Soon, we will be ten, together.

Officially we have to wait to Thursday (or God forbid, Friday, again) to get the all clear to go.
But, we all dare to believe that we are going.

And so, in my mind I have the checklist forming:
Donations: packed, still, in foyer.
Marta's suitcase: packed, still, in foyer.
And then the list of to do's before we go.....it can expand at warp speed in my brain.

But not yet.
For the next two days, I get to dig my toes in the sand and soak in the salty sun.
I am deeply grateful for the time here, in this special place.
I feel the countdown approach but I am going to push it back to enjoy this last sandy time on this beach before our world changes in my arms.
Or, I will pretend to.....because inside, I feel it.
The countdown, it's beginning.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Time

Salvador Dali, 1931, "La Persistencia de la Memoria."

The adoption process is about so many things: desire, love, fear, courage, grinding paperwork, intrusive questions (official and unofficial), endurance, faith, hope, delight, joy, despair, physical stamina, finances, community..... The list can go on and on.

But what is glaring throughout the entire process adoption is the element of time.

Timing, in adoption, IS everything.
Most of us have lived through, in exquisite detail, the time issues that press and pull during the process: the initial thrilling phase of deciding to adopt, the daydreaming, the fantasies played out in a 'not too distant future." Then comes the excruciating paperchase, the hurry up and wait on CIS or the social worker or this form or that. Then we have the exhilaration of the referral; time stops, because it has been redefined into "before and after."

It is not only 'before and after' referral, however, because time has, seemingly, just changed. The waiting has changed. Now it has a new layer to it. Now you are counting the hours and living with your heart and mind in two very distant time zones: what you are doing and what your child (who has a face and name that your are searing into your soul) is doing. But you can sort of move forward in more precise preparation and know that court will come. It becomes a goal. After you pass court (hopefully swiftly) typically you have that giddy breathless rush of packing and arrangements and sense that time has sped up. It has become a speeding locomotive, rushing straight at you. And your heart beats faster at it's approach.

I know those kinds of time. I've been there. Done them. I know how to 'surf' those kinds of waves of rushing or bogging time. Now, I am in a new kind of time. It's odd to me. I've been quiet for a few days or so, cut back blog and facebook, because I am literally in "process" time. I feel a bit like the painting above: surreal and droopy and just......hanging there.

This is not my kind of time.

We are in week seven, entering week eight actually. And I know I should be starting to feel the wind of that approaching locomotive: time is gathering itself to rush at me. But still, I am still. I feel the wait. I feel the weight. And I don't know what may come.

And so, in this surreal wait time; uncharted by others as of yet (this tb culture protocal wait), I find myself slipping between things. I get very busy, it's been slamming busy actually. And even so, it's like two layers: the busy right here, do this now layer, and the set aside twilight zone "waiting" layer. Very split. Surreal. It's not that I'm blue or depressed or fretting (tho I've hit those often enough of late). It just so different. It's Time out of time....even as it is Time so swamped in time. And it's bizarre. And I don't know much what else to do except kind of muddle through it in my usual clumsy fashion.

It's a different, unique, new, not so great, part of the adoption process time. Maybe, as it gets more familiar or God forbid, common, it will be less strange. I pray and hope and will fight if I can for it to not become common and in fact for it to be abolished...for this tacked on last endless minute of the process to be revamped or, best, cut off. This is a clock I would love to smash. I know, such a whiny post. This is why I have been quieter. I don't mean to whine. But I think that since this is part of the new international, Ethiopian, adoption process for some....it's maybe worth talking about.

I know, someday I will understand how this delay, this surreal drooping time, will have been woven into our lives for a purpose. I believe that. But right now, it's hard to see. I accept it because I have no choice. But I still object to it. And it has, to be frank, thrown me into a weird state of stopped clock. The activities of any given day, from the most mundane laundry sorting to the most sweet and profound of my kids kisses goodnight or a quiet real talk with my teen son....they are functioning on two levels: the here/now and the filler. Not that the actions of the moment mean nothing, they mean everything...more so perhaps as I cling to their normal. But. It's filling time too.

Time has stopped or it has slowed into a Dali-esque droop. This wait. The end approaches and my head and stomach can feel it. I now have three clocks: real present time and activity, eight hours ahead for my daughter's time, and the culture countdown clock. Their hands have been independent, circling on their own cogs. Soon, soon, I hope those clocks will merge. And then perhaps time will reset back to a new normal. I am ready for that time, now.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Novena, day nine

The Twenty-four 'Glory Be's’ Novena to St. Therese

“Holy Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit, I thank You for all the blessings and favours You have showered upon the soul of Your servant Therese of the Child Jesus, during the 24 years she spent here on earth, and in consideration of the merits of this, Your most beloved Saint, I beseech You to grant me this favour, if it is in accordance with Your most Holy Will and is not an obstacle to my salvation.”

After this prayer, follow with the 24 Glory Be’s, between each of which should be included this short prayer”

“Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.”

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Novena, day eight

The Twenty-four 'Glory Be's’ Novena to St. Therese

“Holy Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit, I thank You for all the blessings and favours You have showered upon the soul of Your servant Therese of the Child Jesus, during the 24 years she spent here on earth, and in consideration of the merits of this, Your most beloved Saint, I beseech You to grant me this favour, if it is in accordance with Your most Holy Will and is not an obstacle to my salvation.”

After this prayer, follow with the 24 Glory Be’s, between each of which should be included this short prayer”

“Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.”

Monday, June 15, 2009

Novena, day seven

The Twenty-four 'Glory Be's’ Novena to St. Therese

“Holy Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit, I thank You for all the blessings and favours You have showered upon the soul of Your servant Therese of the Child Jesus, during the 24 years she spent here on earth, and in consideration of the merits of this, Your most beloved Saint, I beseech You to grant me this favour, if it is in accordance with Your most Holy Will and is not an obstacle to my salvation.”

After this prayer, follow with the 24 Glory Be’s, between each of which should be included this short prayer”

“Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.”

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Feast of Corpus Christi

It's the feast of Corpus Christi: the Body of Christ.
It's one of the greatest Mysteries of the faith, capital "M" mystery again...one of those that boggle and baffle the mind. One of those you belief or you don't. Period.
I do.

It's the Eucharist. The body of Christ. It's a gift, a sacrament, it's utterly holy and sacred and, at the same time, the most intimate thing on earth.

I can't do this justice of course. To read more about this, with historical support, go here.
To read a good piece on how to bring together your mind, heart and senses on this, go here.

All I know is that I like thinking about connections a lot. You know that. I like that whole connected relational brought together linked adopted bonded sense in (my) life. I see it so many places that it gives me chills if I stop to think about it. And that is what I find to the utmost, mindblowing, heart zinging way in the sacrament of Communion and the Eucharist: the most intimate connection and unity that can be. Ever - in this world. And I yearn for it and reach for it and I sink into it with relief and gratitude and wallowing comfort and gratitude.
And I don't understand it with my mind.
But my heart and soul know it's more real than anything else.
John 6

"Institution of the Eucharist," painting by Nicolas Poussin

Novena, day six

The Twenty-four 'Glory Be's’ Novena to St. Therese

“Holy Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit, I thank You for all the blessings and favours You have showered upon the soul of Your servant Therese of the Child Jesus, during the 24 years she spent here on earth, and in consideration of the merits of this, Your most beloved Saint, I beseech You to grant me this favour, if it is in accordance with Your most Holy Will and is not an obstacle to my salvation.”

After this prayer, follow with the 24 Glory Be’s, between each of which should be included this short prayer”

“Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.”

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Novena, day five

The Twenty-four 'Glory Be's’ Novena to St. Therese

“Holy Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit, I thank You for all the blessings and favours You have showered upon the soul of Your servant Therese of the Child Jesus, during the 24 years she spent here on earth, and in consideration of the merits of this, Your most beloved Saint, I beseech You to grant me this favour, if it is in accordance with Your most Holy Will and is not an obstacle to my salvation.”

After this prayer, follow with the 24 Glory Be’s, between each of which should be included this short prayer”

“Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.”

Another Day Older, Again!

Well, today is my birthday, again!
I am 47 years old today. Whew.
Since this seems to come around every year, I can't really justify any big ol' post about it.
It's another day. Another day older and another year to claim.

Last year's bday.

And as I mentioned last year, here, I have always had this weird "go underground" sense about my birthday. "Don't make a big deal of it, don't tell anyone, you don't deserve the notice or the fuss" But I did finally realize that my children deserve the example of rejoicing in a birthday (not that they have much problem with that...but you know that particular oddness sneaks up on you...maybe at, say, age 32, fair warning!).

And I want them to be grateful for every year and day they are given: good, bad, frustrating, harried, stressful, electric, dull, full and overflowing. Every one, it's a gift. And every bit of my old body; it's a gift, even when I notice all the many ways that age is taking it's inexorable claim on me. I could go on, you know I do {But it's my bday so I'll give YOU a gift a spare you. You're welcome...}.

But here is what I choose today to think about: instead of the 'whats," (as in what's wrong, what's old) I prefer, if only today, to think of the "who's"....by which I mean the people who mean something or so much to me.

The connections.
That is where you find the riches of getting older, another day, another year.
With that in mind, there are connections that spring to mind today...
And while I would go on about my husband, children, family, friends....this is not an award show or a roast and I'm not Sally Field.

Today the connections that spring to my mind are of a ridiculously cute small boy, who is precociously potty trained (not that I'm envious, not me, no sir...) and has a smile that lights up a room (I think it's actually a combo of his smile and his beautiful mama). It's his bday today too, go give him a big bday shout!


Another connection, dear to my heart: Today is the feast of St. Anthony of Padua.

Painting by El Greco

St. Anthony is a saint that I have long loved. Not only because we share a special day, but because I have found him to be a comfort and a trusted saint to turn to for prayers. He was known for his kindness, his courtesy, and his deep humanity. His appeal endures even now in this modern age; and it's no wonder, really. Because in this modern age, what we lack the most in our postmodern harsh world is just that: kindness, courtesy, humanity.

Which brings me back to the whole point of this post. To mark another day, another year older. And with that, to remember the best part: I am happier now than ever and I seem to be happier each year I get older.
How cool is that?
This inexorable claim of time gives me my mother's hands, and now feet and hair. This added day, added year, also gives me more connections, more relationships, deeper ones. Love is the wealth in life.
And so, on my birthday, I have the best gift.
I know.
I love so many.
I am rich.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Novena, day four

St. Therese dressed in costume as St. Joan of Arc for a play put on in the convent.

The Twenty-four 'Glory Be's’ Novena to St. Therese

“Holy Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit, I thank You for all the blessings and favours You have showered upon the soul of Your servant Therese of the Child Jesus, during the 24 years she spent here on earth, and in consideration of the merits of this, Your most beloved Saint, I beseech You to grant me this favour, if it is in accordance with Your most Holy Will and is not an obstacle to my salvation.”

After this prayer, follow with the 24 Glory Be’s, between each of which should be included this short prayer”

“Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.”

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Shouting for joy for friends

SHOUT FOR JOY!!!

It's finally happened!!!
Go, see, congratulate the Fournet family, pop champagne, throw confetti, toot some horns.
We are doing cartwheels here!!!!

They deserve every bit of celebration, around the world....surely the saints and angels too are rejoicing for this great gift today.
They have waited over a year to pass court, enduring the disappointments and excruciating wait beyond what most of us could ever manage (certainly not me!).
And they did it with grace and steadfast faith.

I am beyond thrilled for them. This is big big news. Go, see, shout, congratulate them. I know, I want to shout for each person who passes court. But some, some elicit a louder whoop when they wait so very long and through such hardship. I can't help it, I hope their comment box simply overflows with joy. They deserve it. Yippee!!! Those babies are coming home!

Novena, day three

The Twenty-four 'Glory Be's’ Novena to St. Therese

“Holy Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit, I thank You for all the blessings and favours You have showered upon the soul of Your servant Therese of the Child Jesus, during the 24 years she spent here on earth, and in consideration of the merits of this, Your most beloved Saint, I beseech You to grant me this favour, if it is in accordance with Your most Holy Will and is not an obstacle to my salvation.”

After this prayer, follow with the 24 Glory Be’s, between each of which should be included this short prayer”

“Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.”

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Almost Wordless Wednesday

More summer:
...wheels spinning all around!

Novena, day two


The Twenty-four 'Glory Be's’ Novena to St. Therese

“Holy Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit, I thank You for all the blessings and favours You have showered upon the soul of Your servant Therese of the Child Jesus, during the 24 years she spent here on earth, and in consideration of the merits of this, Your most beloved Saint, I beseech You to grant me this favour, if it is in accordance with Your most Holy Will and is not an obstacle to my salvation.”

After this prayer, follow with the 24 Glory Be’s, between each of which should be included this short prayer”

“Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.”

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Novena begins today


Today I have decided to begin a novena. This novena is special to me, personally, because it is a petition for prayers from one of my favorite saints (I know, I have many favorites, but this saint is special): St. Therese of Lisieux.

I have written about St. Therese before, here, and there is much to learn from this young saint. But for today, I am putting up a simple novena. I have chosen a simple one because St. Therese was all about the "little way." Meaning, she knew that she was not able to complete grandstand acts of heroism and sacrifice. Most of us are not either. She was a cloistered nun, young and often dismissed or overlooked, even by her own sisters in the convent of Carmel. However, she knew that she could offer "little" acts of love. She strove to do even the smallest of things with great love, whether or not anyone ever saw them. Sound familiar? Yeah, our dear Mother Teresa has the same famous quote and heart for love. And you know, both of these women, on this track....they changed the world. You all know Mother Teresa and how she has made the world a better place and touched millions through her acts of love for the poorest of the poor. St. Therese of Lisieux has also influenced countless people by this concept of the "little way," and I would argue, by her prayers on our behalf.

I cannot make any grand heroic sacrifice or gesture to help my girl get home, or to make sure the resolution and reporting of this TB culture moves along simply and smoothly and swiftly. Goodness knows, we've tried. And tried. And will not quit trying. I'm still ready to talk to Michelle Obama whenever she's ready! So, since our big efforts haven't helped at all....I will do what I can in a little way. I will pray. I will hit up a dear wonderful saint to pray for us. St. Therese died of TB. I think that is a connection that means something.

So brace yourself, you know what's coming: nine days of novena posts. If you're inclined to pray along with us (for our intention for Marta and the kids stuck in this tb cutlure mess and a special intention for a friend and/or for any of your own private intentions), then, by all means, join in! If you're not interested...well, bear with me. I'll post some of the usual prattling as well.

So, here we go!

Simple Novena to St. Therese of Lisieux :
The first Novena is easy, and is most dear to the Little Flower. It is the Twenty Four “Glory Be To the Father’s Novena and there is a little story attached with this one. In this fashion, from the ninth to the seventeenth of each month (although it can be said at any time), those who want to participate in this novena, should add to those of their own, the intentions of all who are at that time making the novena, thus forming one great prayer in common.

Father Putigan, a Jesuit priest, began the Novena to Saint Therese of the Child Jesus on December 3, 1925, asking the glorious Saint for one great favour. For nine days, he recited the “Glory Be” 24 times thanking the Holy Trinity for the favours and Graces showered on Saint Therese during the 24 years that she lived on this earth. The good father asked Saint Therese that as a sign that his novena was being heard, he would receive from someone a freshly plucked rose. On the third day of the novena, an unknown person sought out Father Putigan and presented him with a beautiful rose.

Father Putigan began the second novena on December 24 of the same year, and as a sign, asked for a white rose. On the fourth day of this novena, one of the Sister-nurses brought him a white rose, saying, “Saint Therese sent you this”

Amazed the priest asked “where did you get this?”

“I was in the chapel,” said the Sister, “and as I was leaving, I passed the alter above which hangs the beautiful picture of Saint Therese. This rose fell at my feet. I wanted to put it back in the bouquet, but a thought came to me that you should have it.”


The Twenty-four 'Glory Be's’ Novena to St. Therese

Father Putigan received the favours he had petitioned of the Little Flower of Jesus, and promised to spread the novena to increase devotion to, and bring her more honour. In this fashion, from the ninth to the seventeenth of each month, those who want to participate in the 24 Glory Be’s novena, should add to those of their own, the intentions of all who are at that time making the novena, thus forming one great prayer in common. This novena can be said at any time, however.

The Glory Be is said 24 times each day for nine days, in thanksgiving for all the blessings and favours given to Saint Therese of the Child Jesus during the 24 years of her life. Start the novena each day with this prayer:

“Holy Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit, I thank You for all the blessings and favours You have showered upon the soul of Your servant Therese of the Child Jesus, during the 24 years she spent here on earth, and in consideration of the merits of this, Your most beloved Saint, I beseech You to grant me this favour, if it is in accordance with Your most Holy Will and is not an obstacle to my salvation.”

After this prayer, follow with the 24 Glory Be’s, between each of which should be included this short prayer”

“Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.”


Original icon by
Sr. Marie-Celeste Fadden, Carmel of Reno

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Feast of the Holy Trinity

By El Greco

Today is the feast of the Holy Trinity.
Now this is one of those Mysteries (one of the "Capital M" mysteries...by which I mean, truth that is just too big for our puny brains to fully comprehend): the Trinity.
But for a good piece on it, one that helps me just begin to grasp the concept and why today is worth a pause and thought or two, go here.

All I know is that I am grateful for the Trinity, I believe in the Trinity, because it just makes sense in a way - even though it scrambles my mind at the same time.
But.
Love needs to love Someone and their love is SO much, SO intense, that it creates a whole 'nother being: Love. That's just cool. Again, Fr. Ranier Cantalamessa says it best (being a preacher to the papal household and all):

"In every love there are always three realities or subjects:
one who loves, one who is loved and the love that unites them."
Holy Trinity Icon.
Go love someone and celebrate!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Summer Saturday

While mom cleans and reorganizes some out of control closets (pantry!)...this is what kids do on a summer Saturday....
Compare toes, grin, squeal, holler, play, squabble, laugh and most of all, RUN far from where mom might grab them and put them to work!
We love summer.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Leap of faith

Ok, jumping in again....
Closing our eyes, holding our breath...
SPLASH
And buying tickets tonight (By which I mean, reticketing and paying a bundle more) for Addis.

July 4.
Embassy, July 8.
We hope.
We pray.
This is a blind faith ticketing.....no new news.
Just travel dates for first embassy appointment after the 8 weeks of sputum culture.

Please please, pray we travel then, and bring our Marta home.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Hope in wait

Some days it's hard.
Waiting.
Some days, not as hard, and life feels almost but not quite regular.
Those days there is a frisson of "Almost there...just half a bubble off plumb."
Then, some days it's harder still.

Last Sunday was Pentecost, as mentioned, I love Pentecost.
Because it brings the Holy Spirit: Grace, Hope.

Hope, spiritual hope, makes my heart skip a beat, or two.
It is a kind of dance.
A flutter of hands, to grasp, hold fast, squeeze tight as if it can be captured and kept.
Extend, let go and toss it back up in the air so it can shimmer down around me.
Filling the room, the air, my prayer, my breath, my heart.

Yesterday we got another photo of our sweet Marta.
And her face simply shines and sparkles.
She is laughing.
Dare I hope, her smile is bigger, her eyes dancing, more now than months ago?
Could it be us {yes, I'm so vain}?
Could it be simply being healthy again?
I don' t know, but I know that they said she is a reader. Me too!
And somehow this news makes my heart skip a beat, silly I know.
But it's a connection, when one is so desperately needed.
It's a floating glitter of hope.
This is why the wait is so hard, for all of us maybe.
Because we can't see our children, the path before us, the unknown.
That's why these updates and pictures are so treasured, poured over, every last pixel perused, every letter analyzed.
We yearn to see, we yearn and grasp for hope.

But, today, I ran across this.
And I saw, "Ah."
And it made my heart float a bit, my hands open...(this is for you too, Jen):

...Now hope that sees is not hope.
For who hopes for what one sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.
In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness...
From Romans 8

So.
I wait.
What I yearned for, hope.....
In a way, I've had it all along.
Because I wait.
I hope in this wait.