Wahoo! Such a fun Christmas–I might venture to say the best one yet.
“Well Hello Finley…What would you like for Christmas?”
“I would like a Christmas present…”
“Ok, well, what do you want for your present?”
“A monster truck with squishy wheels.”
After dinner on Christmas Eve, we pulled up The Nativity Story on the iPad, the condensed version, for which they had 1001 questions, but loved it.
We opened three presents Christmas eve. It was a brand new expereince for J, and still very new to Maria and Elijah, only once before had they experienced Christmas in a family. It’s pretty magical to share Christmas with children who live in such joy and wonder, it’s so contagious–a gift.
After the dentist last week, J and I stopped at a store and she was enraptured with these pink light up shoes…”WOW!” she would exclaim and bat at them each chance she got to see the lights dance as she squealed in response. In Ph they don’t wear shoes, only flip flops, but when I checked the price, $35, I told her to put them back, “Sorry babe.” I called Andrew, “We can’t, right?”
But the earth stopped moving when the girls opened their Rainbow Looms. After we put the boys down, I told them I would help them, “No problem!” I told them. Then when I looked at the directions, I was like, “Aaahhhh crap…” thinking this would end in a frustrating mess….
Turns out, they rocked at it. And love, love love them. So do I, total hit. Looming like crazy up in here.
The next day, we headed to Grandma and Grandpa’s for breakfast and stockings, etc. J soaked it all in.
They tested out Papa’s new board, it was a keeper. #CaliforniaChristmas
That afternoon while the boys napped, Maria and I made a cake for Jesus’ birthday. Scratch that, Maria made it. I mentioned before that Maria’s confidence has really sky-rocketed since J has been here, and what would have been overwhelming before is now doable, fun–a great accomplishment. And truthfully, it was the best cake we have ever had.
The girls helped decorate together, “PINK! For Jesus!”
Finley decorated a cupcake, “For baby Jesus.”
“Jesus wants to share with me,” he said as he took a bite. “I make it for him, and he wants to share with me!” he exclaimed.
We tucked the boys in, and had the girls get ready for bed, for which J was not ready. Something had been stirred up in her that day, and we were reminded that sometimes holidays bring back hard memories for orphans, and remind them of the searing loss they have in their lives.
Hurt is sometimes so deep, it is hard to express. It takes God within us in that moment, to transcend our expectations and feelings, to push aside our natural response to see the hurt, and respond accordingly. And when I wanted to close a bedroom door instead, I pulled a sad, pouting mad child into my arms, despite a weak protest, and she cuddled down deep and cried. And cried, and we rocked and rocked, and the pounding of my heart calmed as I stroked her cheek.
“We love you,” Andrew told her, while furrowed brows and a broken spirit melted into a weak smile, enveloped in arms that care.