The last few months were rough as we prepared to say goodbye to big sister and little sister- a double goodbye. Leading up to it, I found myself lying on their beds unsure of what life would look like without our beautiful, inquisitive, and most loving, five and eight-year-old. I tasted a rubber band one morning- a little surprise left in my coffee mug by little sister, so life looks undeniably different now. Coming home to a quiet house, spotless without their clothes on the floor, no toys on my desk, brings a stillness that stings. But we can do hard things, right? I’d like to believe that we can.
As best as I can, I prepared their little hearts for the transition into their wonderful adoptive family while also trying to process the feelings of my own mama bear heart. And the most heart wrenching mission to gather the memories and treasures my daughters had gathered on the way and try to fit them all into their luggage. But as we made room for grief, we also made space for joy. And looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Our last few weeks were filled with giggles, snuggles, and yes, some tears, as we embraced these two more beautiful girls into our family all while we geared up to say goodbye to our own. We hosted a birthday party for our little niece, Kiyomi, who turned three. We also had our babysitter’s sweet cousin, Kiki, in town during her term break. Close in age to our own daughters, our last few weeks together turned into an extended moments of laughter, playdates, and celebration. And then, a goodbye. A bittersweet farewell that comes with joy that our daughter’s finally get the stability and security they rightfully deserve and the pain of saying goodbye. What I’ve learned is that Kiyomi and Kiki are deserving of my love, right here when I felt like time with my daughters was slipping through my fingers. And so, with all my heart, I held on to my belief that love goes beyond the constraints of time and there’s enough love to go around.
In the (almost) six years that we’ve been married, Jabez and I have built a life that we love. One that makes space for everyone- just as you are. At our table, we embrace each other and everything that entails; from joy to heartache and everything in between. In our family, we don’t run from pain and shut out the world. In our home, we make space for both laughter and tears- a beautiful dichotomy. We celebrate with others even as we navigate grief on our own. In that while, our family grew to twelve and we ended up having the most memorable time together! Yes, there were moments when we felt the weight of tiredness in our hearts and body but then we would pause and rest. And as we opened our hearts to love, we didn’t anticipate the waves of love that were about to wash over us. We celebrated their joy and they leaned in to our pain; for love fills you to the brim and then pours over.
We celebrated our daughters never having to move again, while acknowledging the challenges that come with the transition. We celebrated Kiyomi turning three, and cousins meeting for the first time. We celebrated Kiki’s term break and the many firsts she had before she heads back to her home in the mountains- like tasting spaghetti and popsicles. We celebrated meeting big sister and little’s lovely parents. At the same, we acknowledged the pain that came with packing their bags and adjusting to a new schedule that doesn’t revolve around them. Beneath this blend of rather intense feelings, extravagant and abundant love runs deep. And joy that doesn’t come from our circumstances rather from the love within us that spills over. So, here’s what I have learned on the way. It is a gift to love someone and there’s never a bad time for it. And you might be surprised by just how much you needed it.
“The most precious thing you can give someone is your time, Chika, because you can never get it back. When you don’t think about getting it back, you’ve given it in love.” -Finding Chika