dearest bella grace ~
grace. i'm so pleased we added that name. of all things we call you, grace is most perfect. each and every day our girl of grace. our girl of beauty. bella grace. beautiful grace.
one year ago tonight, i lay in bed staring up at the ceiling, in a land faraway. the next morning we would meet you. i wondered what this long, awaited day might bring. you, of course, and that seemed everything. but what else? what else might it unveil? we had planned and pursued and pondered for a full year. it seemed impossible to be on the cusp of such a moment. under blankets deep with anticipation, i lay. incredible thrill. stirred grace.
but i stared at that ceiling with a hint of fear and uncertainty. the sly what ifs began to whisper along the tired hallways of my head. subtle doubt began to creep in close and tight. what if something went wrong? what if something was wrong? what if you turned away? what if you were afraid? what if... wondering grace.
i fell asleep that night in china praying. praying and praying and praying. i prayed for you. i was worried about your confusion and your fear. had anyone prepared you? would you have even the smallest understanding as you shifted from arms of orphanage to arms of family. i prayed for grace. Lord, shower this tiny girl with great grace. allow her to know no fear, only a sense of being finally found. found grace.
but even lying there, on the other side of the world, with my swirling thoughts, i was certain. certain God had ordained every step of our journey. certain God had orchestrated every detail of your adoption. certain He had written your days...my days...our days together...in His book. lovingly recorded, before even one of them came to be. including tomorrow. tomorrow grace.
our first night with you was washed in the wonder of new child things. we sat captivated by the joy and delight of everything. bath and story and song and bed. we held you to us and whispered, over and over, our love. you fell asleep in your daddy's arms that first night. whispered grace.
a mere one year ago. tonight you sleep in a room down the hall. i listened to you climb up the backstairs just minutes ago. as you came, i heard your soft "good nights," to brothers and sisters - like you've been bidding them "good night" forever. it sure seems so. natural and normal and every evening. good night grace.
i heard you in your room brushing teeth and slipping into pajamas and giggling about something silly with daddy. like you've been doing these nighttime things forever. i heard a story read and a prayer prayed and a kiss given. and i came and joined you both. all cuddling on your bed. all marveling at the moment. all remembering this past year. and i sang you your goodnight song, amazing grace.
how could we have known a year ago what we'd feel tonight? it is too big. too vast. too deep. we are overwhelmed with our love for you, our bella-girl. overwhelmed with God's goodness. His faithfulness. His glory. His gifts. abundant grace.
soundly sleeping, i check on you. like i do, every single night for the sheer pleasure. not for worry, but for the wonder. to see our girl asleep and quiet and home. picture of peace. a corner nightlight casting soft shadows. still, steady, soundless. wordless, i watch for a moment more. mother and child and God. because in this quiet place, i know of His presence. silent grace.
and so tonight, i lie in bed staring up at a ceiling, again. home one year. here. you sleep softly just rooms away. and prayers are whispered deep with thanksgiving. hands and heart are full with sweetness dripping. moment is caught and remembered. treasured. and all of it... God's grace.