For me, the true spirit of Christmas is about taking the time and space to reflect on God’s love for us – a love so great that He would come to live among us. Emmanuel . . . GOD WITH US. It’s a profound and comforting notion.
This Christmas, we will be reflecting on the blessings God has given us. It’s impossible not to consider our journey, as Christmases past were such difficult markers of the long wait to complete our son’s adoption. And yet, in those times, God was still with us.
We anticipate a joyous Christmas this year. Our family is complete, our lives are full of blessings. Still, the memory of difficult holidays is fresh.
Christmas was not always an easy time for us. We have spent a lot of holidays over the past ten years being tentative. We've spent Christmases grieving over not being parents, or wondering if THIS would be the pregnancy that made it to full term. We spent years wondering if our first child would be a permanent member of the family, or just a foster child whose face joined ours in several years of holiday cards.
And then, we had three years of knowing Kembe was our son, but not knowing when he would come home from Haiti. We have much to be thankful for this year, and we don’t want to take it for granted.
At the same time, we know that others in our world still struggle. Some are struggling with basic human needs. With both extended families, we will be foregoing gifts in lieu of making donations to those in need this season. For several years, we’ve given gifts that give back from the World Vision Gift catalog, and we will be doing the same this year. For us, giving back is the hallmark of the true spirit of Christmas.
This post also appeared on Kristen's blog RageAgainstTheMinivan.com