For us the holidays will be more meaningful than ever. As all of you know we have had quite a year! Although our newest family member brings us tons of joy it has been a rocky journey. Looking back on the year brings me mixed feelings. Yes, I feel joy, love, and all the good things, but also a lot of pain, doubt, and tragedy. My pregnancy was not a time full of blissful anticipation, there was a lot of pain and worry. I remember envying surrounding pregnant women at Babies R Us as I registered or watching families with young kids running and playing outside and feeling like my life would never be that carefree (which is foolish of course! Who is to say that these people never had any of their own problems!) At one of my showers I remember my Aunt Kathy telling me that you've got to pray for strength because Satan tries to rob you of your joy. She doesn't know this, but those words really resonated with me. "Robbed" was exactly how I felt. In fact, it was consuming. There were times when I felt so robbed and entitled to what I didn't have that I would forget about all the miracles that God was doing in Carson's body, all the prayers and support from my surrounding community, all the mercy God was showing us, and all the things He provided I never even knew I needed.
Even today it's easy to slip back into those familiar feelings of doubt and mistrust. I don't know what Carson's future holds, and what issues we'll need to overcome. But I do know that being thankful is not circumstantial. It's a choice. Will I decide to feel robbed of things I think I deserve? Or will I choose to be thankful? When you focus on the blessings you realize just how thankful you can be.
Through Carson, God's gift, I have new convictions and passions. He has shown me a world that Carson's story can bless. God is good. This year I am thankful for so many things.
Photos taken by photographer, Ashley Malefyt. Check out her adoption journey at savingolive.blogspot.com