Over the weekend my family graciously helped me move into my new home--a new home that is both old and new, unfamiliar and yet completely familiar, strange and quirky and yet comfortable and known.
Full of memories and ready for new memories.
My new home and my grandmother's old home.
Since my grandmother moved out of her duplex and then since her passing, my parents have rented the house to various strangers and now have generously made space for Hannah* and I to make our first home together.
I'm living on the opposite side of the duplex from which my grandmother lived--a perfect mirror image which causes all the newness of a new home to be squished together with all the oldness of old memories. I've felt again the same closeness to her I've felt in recent weeks and have entwined those feelings with the hope and anticipation of Hannah coming home.
Halfway through the day on Saturday, my sister asked me if she should put something in "Hannah's room."
I hadn't allowed myself to call it that yet. All day telling people to put it in the "middle bedroom" or calling out, "It's in the middle bedroom." Could I let it so freely roll off my tongue as she just did? Could I call it that? Could it really be Hannah has a space? A space and not just a box in the corner full of things already bought for her and already made for her--bought and made and waiting?
I practiced it a bit and tried to follow my sister's good example:
Hannah's room. Hannah's room. Hannah's room.
It sounds strange and too impossible. It sounds too real.
All the praying and hoping and the steps taken and the steps being taken, but this is something real and tangible and hers; even piled with boxes and things we don't know where to put yet, it's hers.
And I want to call her and tell her, "It's here. It's waiting for you. A room being prepared just for you."
And I think of Jesus telling us, "My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am" (John 14:2, 3).
And I dream of going back to South Africa and taking her to be where I am, and I dream of being where Jesus is, and I marvel at the story being written over our lives.
I think of my anticipation in the coming back and taking home and I imagine Jesus' anticipation. I think of how close and near I am through the miracle of Skype and international phone calls and letters and packages and yet how far, how much is yet to be done for our family to be as it should be--whole and together. I think of how Jesus is very near and yet coming and his nearness will be unparalleled with the nearness we now know.
Who am I that this story gets to be written over my life? Who am I that I get to be mother to such a precious little girl? Who am I that Jesus would love me with such anticipation?
In a few more days, the social worker will come for my second home visit and then all the paperwork will be complete and the next wave of waiting will begin--waiting for the completed home study report to be issued, waiting on countries and courts and waiting on a day when I'll be told it's time to come back.
Waiting with anticipation.
The anticipation both unbearable and completely worth it.
*Hannah is a pseudonym. In order to protect her identity until she is fully and legally mine, I use "Hannah" in all posts regarding my one day daughter and her adoption.
Read more about our adoption story:
Far, Far Away
Superfluous Smoke Detectors and All