Unpredictable. Chaotic. Surprising. Arduous. Exhilarating.
It’s hard to sum up life these days. Life since…well my last blog post was just shy of a year ago. I never stopped blogging intentionally; life became full and the longer I went without blogging, the more difficult it became to imagine posting again. So here we are: a toe-in-the-water post. Nothing particularly inspiring or hilarious. Just life.
Rather than writing a history of the past year of my life (snooze), I think I’ll just leave you with two updates.
If you’ve been following this blog for long, you know Varun and I have been in the process of adopting a little one from India for 3.5 years. The short version of the story is that in August 2015, we were matched with a little girl, whom we’ll call ‘M’ for now. She is 3.5 years old, lives in Uttar Pradesh and enjoys chocolate and talking (love this girl already). We are currently navigating (sometimes adrift among) the remaining paperwork and *hope* to bring home little M by the late summer.
Due to Reasons, I can’t post pictures of her giant eyes and sweet smile, but trust me, she’s a cutie.
If you have sent prayers or texts or books or blankets or clothes or smiles or furniture or toys…or have in any way helped us to hold the torch of hope during these (sometimes bleak) days of waiting: thank you. They say it takes a village to raise a child; I know it definitely takes a village to wait for a child. Thank you: You have held our hearts above water.
Speaking of Water.
(This is a terrible segue). In early January, Varun and I were on our annual retreat, resting and dreaming about the upcoming year. As we lay sleeping peacefully in our B&B, we were startled to consciousness by our neighbour phoning us, frantic. “You have to come home! There is two feet of water in the apartment!!”. Thinking of the 6 years of adoption and immigration paperwork sloppily stored on the floor (I never claimed to be a gifted administrator), we packed up and sped home.
The entrance to the road we live on was blocked with firetrucks and ambulances. Hundreds of building occupants stood huddled outside the building, fighting in vain to stay warm in the cold January rain. Inside the building was mayhem: a fire standpipe had broken on the 6th floor, inundating the bottom 6 floors of the apartment with thousands of litres of water. Thankfully, our unit only had 2 inches of water, something that came as a happy surprise. Never mind that water was pouring into our bedroom through a crack in the ceiling; our paperwork was safe. We learned a lesson that day about expectations.
In the days that followed, Varun and I were showered with love and generosity. From coworkers who made us lunches to church friends who shared their homes, we received a torrent (so many water puns) of love and kindness. And it doesn’t stop with us! Our coworkers and church friends gave our neighbours bedding, room in their home, gift cards, meals…In a time of incredible stress and great need, our tribe showed up.
Next came fighting our landlord for fair compensation, emptying our unit and finding long-term short-term housing. So here we are, 5 weeks after the flood and exhausted and wealthy beyond imagining. We have been the recipients of so much love and grace. Are we weary? Very much: it’s been a long haul including the flu, colds and various pestilences. Are we loved? Immensely.
And The Plan. We sing a song in church that says:
And teach me humbly to receive
The sun and rain of Your sovereignty.
Each strand of sorrow has a place
Within this tapestry of grace…
(More water puns, ha ha!)
In this season of feeling like we see a lot of strands of sorrow and suffering, we have been gifted in seeing some of the bigger tapestry. The hotel in which we are currently staying is home to 188 of the 499 Syrian refugees who are newcomers to Hamilton. Our being displaced here has afforded us the opportunity to connect with and love on some of the most vulnerable in our city. Although we don’t have a ton of energy to spare these days, we’ve been able to connect these new friends with our Church’s ESL classes and host a social for some of the women and children.
So, all in all. Life has been nuts. Our adoption agency tells us we will bring our daughter home in “6-8 months” and our landlord tells us we can move back home in “2-3 months”. If ever there has been a time to roll with the punches, it’s now.