Last year, Brian wrote this post about birthdays. Last year, we had this weird experience of celebrating Jefferson’s birthday without him. We didn’t do presents or cake or anything like that but we chose to honor him in our own ways that day. It was a day filled with a lot of emotions: excitement for our boy (who didn’t even know about us yet), hopefulness that he was having a good day, sadness for our inability to celebrate with him, anticipation for the huge changes coming in our family, and complete wonder about how it was all going to come together. By the end of the day we kind of just wanted it over. It did, however, leave us with more drive and more fight to bring them home as soon as we could.
Last week, we were able to celebrate - all together - Jefferson turning 6. This year there were presents and cake and a very happy little boy to enjoy the day with!
The only expectation that Jefferson shared with us about his birthday was that there would be cake and candles. He actually didn’t seem to have any sense that there would be gifts (although he was more than happy to accept them once he learned that was part of the day!).
Funny story about the cake. The morning of his birthday he and I made the cake together. This was a very new experience for him and it was an absolute joy to do together. My favorite part was when I pulled the eggs out of the refrigerator, to which he gave me this dumbfounded look and said, “WHAT?!?!? There’s eggs in my cake?!?!”
Yes, my sweet boy, there are eggs in your cake. And you know what else? All of the work of this past year was absolutely worth it to celebrate with you on this day!
One line from last year's post said this: " [We] look forward to next year when, hopefully and God-willing, he will be blowing candles out at our kitchen table."
And here he is.
Apparently, eggs are good in cake.
It’s been a bit quiet from us here on the inter-webs.
We hope you understand. There has been a lot of important and time-consuming work here at home. It is good work, and work that is a privilege to do, but it is work.
The task list, however, is loud.
There are more appointments. More paperwork. More hoops to jump through. More correspondence with the government. Catching up on things around the house, at work, in life. Finding new rhythms with five (5!) children in the house, all who have needs and wants and desires. Navigating new family dynamics. Communicating in three languages.
Let’s be honest: the house is louder, too. There’s a lot of activity and not a lot of quiet spaces or moments.
But God is speaking loudly. He is using the time, and the tasks, and the new, to show us who we really are. Some things, He is affirming in us. Other things, He is politely confronting us on in the quiet of our hearts, inviting us to change, and using these circumstances to make us more like Him.
Sometimes we feel like we have gotten really, really far already. Sometimes, we’re reminded of how far we have to go. But we’ve only been back in the U.S. for about six weeks, and while some days are better than others, every day feels like slow, steady, quiet progress. And that’s really all that we can ask for. To be honest, we feel like it is going really well. That doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges. It just means our family is feeling more connected every day.
We are so thankful for all the continued support, prayer, and love we have felt since being home.
Life is good. In the quiet, and in the loud.
P.S. Here is a photo of Jefferson meeting snow for the first time. Claudia was less enthusiastic about the introduction...
We are Brian, Ann, Kennedy, Rowyn, and Silas. In 2018 we added Claudia and Jefferson to our family! You can follow along through this blog as we share our hearts and our tales of the process.