My fumbling feet traced the tile floor. Back and forth, back and forth.
My aching arms wrapped around him, trying to give comfort but feeling so powerless.
Hot tears streamed down his face. He cried out into the darkness and all I could do is sway with him in the cool room. All I could do was let my tears fall with his.
I ran my hand over his soft hair, the kind of tendrils and curls limited to little ones.
I breathed in his smell of custard and baby powder, wrapping him to my body, closer with each cry.
I’m not leaving. Ever.
In the complete darkness, I stood, travel-weary and heart-depleted, pleading with God.
This precious little one had gone through more trauma in a year than words can fathom, and now a stranger was trying to soothe him as he cried and ached for a familiar voice, a familiar touch.
I stood there in the dark room across a big ocean and I cried with him.
Adoption is hard.
I paced the floor and I wept with him, for his loss, for his confusion. I pleaded for healing and for restoration. The world seemed so big and I seemed so small and I wondered why I was here, holding this precious child. All the books and all the training and all the conversations and all the research and there I stood, red dirt caked in my shoes and he was scared and so was I.
He doesn’t remember me.
Just a few months before, I sobbed heavy, from-the-gut cries as I placed him back in the hands of nannies. Back in the hands of loving, strong, beautiful women who loved him and loved God. But they were nannies, caring for him was a job.
You have to go, they said. You’ll come back soon, they said.
He didn’t remember the diaper changes and the kisses and the giggles and the cuddles and the late-night soothing from a bad dream.
He was scared. He pulled his head back and arched his tiny back and his little cry echoed in the empty room.
I prayed God would hear him. Hear us.
That he would begin to weave our brokenness into a story called family.
That he would give me a way to love my child through the darkest hour.
That His light would flood every deep recess and that His light would break forth into a glorious unfolding. I thought of the star He sent to bring hope and peace and restoration and reconciliation.
In that dark room, I prayed for light.
As you know, that scared little baby and that scared little mama have quite the bond. In fact, it didn’t take long. The adoption process took some twists and turns and that little duo had quite a lot of bonding time in that little apartment in West Africa. They’re kind of inseparable now. Right now he’s cuddled up by his mommy, a curious and compassionate four-year-old, peeking at the glow of the laptop and upon seeing the graphics for the post, starts looking into his mommy’s eyes, singing twinkle, twinkle little star.
And as that mommy rubs her sons back, she knows. She remembers.
She remembers the darkness and she has seen the light.
He counts the stars and calls them by name (Psalm 147:4). When I had the opportunity to connect with (in)Courage and Dayspring and their beautiful new Everlasting Light collection, I jumped on it. I wanted to choose something I could wear upon my my neck, a visible reminder of the light that break forth in even the darkest times.
If you’re starting to look for Christmas gifts for the women you love, please consider this line of beautifully-made jewelry and home goods. The symbolism behind the gold chains and the dainty stars and the wooden starbursts point back to a Everlasting Light I know to be true.
Disclaimer: I received the gorgeous three-chain star necklace from (in)Courage and Dayspring. Affiliate links used when applicable.