How do you feel?

Nourished or undernourished? Alive or barely surviving?

A while ago, the emergency situation stoped being an issue of health or danger of infection. For our country of Romania, for our Cluj county. We are also such home bodies, and we enjoy our social distancing, that we don’t mingle much with others anyway. And for months we had one goal … waiting for our daughter.

You know, questioning everything is obnoxious for those questioned, but it’s a healthy exercise. And I say this from the exhausted land of parenting.

Ok, so what are we afraid of? What do we believe? And where do we draw our light, power, strength and direction from? As a parent, I realize I can’t have a script for every situation. But as long as I pursue inner peace and health, so long as I stay true to my belief and to my own Father, the mistakes I make in good faith, I find it easier to admit, to ask for forgiveness and reconnect, then to grow stronger from it.

After months of video chats, we went to see our daughter, We arrived early. And were nervous, eager, excited. Our daughter was expecting us. She was dressed up and ready. Before knocking at the door, she appeared from around the house. She stopped in her tracks. Narrowed her eyes. We looked at each other. I think she couldn’t believe her eyes. Then without prompting she ran to us squealing, calling us! There was a sweet, long tight embrace. It was natural and delightful.

After a few weeks of hope abounding, my battery was instantly low. I recharge on my own, and I push people away. Ever so subtly. But my eldest daughter would not let me off the hook. She demands her affection and attention. And I give credit to her perseverance in filling her cup.

I wondered how strange this is. To feel so low because of the absence of one daughter but at the same time not giving myself to the daughter I do have with me.

We worried about the distress of our kids, trying our very best to meet their needs, to stay positive, calm and collected, we actively worked on keeping their integrity of mind and heart… but as we closed a chapter, though highly anticipated, it still felt abrupt. As the emergency state ended, we saw more clearly our own brokenness and pain accumulated during these months.

At times, after we put Jackie to bed, after a trying day, we would look at each other and ask “do you have any new ideas on how to be a better parent these days?” I have to laugh at this honest question. We have always been so eager to share our input and ideas, we had an abundance of them, based on our own childhood experience, or the abundance of good books we both read and classes we attend.

I am now certain that this season has been uniquely challenging for us: the pandemic, the delay of the adoption, and the fact that we are expanding our family.

On top of this, we got involved with a slew of new projects, and we feel stretched thin, juggling many plates. The adoption process focuses us on this one priority. But we build as we go many projects awaiting, growing as life starts again.

We feel incomplete without Ivy. But we feel confident in God’s provision. This journey only helped us distinguish more clearly God’s love and presence. And for that we are joyfully grateful.