Christmas has always been an important time for me, a milemarker in a sense. I like to see where I am each Christmas, and how far I've come. I can never forget solidifying my bond with my best friend over a Christmas spent in DisneyWorld when we were 16, or finally getting to know my older sister over Christmas when I was 19.
And I look back fondly on all my Christmases with Nik, from the first in 2002 when I finally met his family after dating almost a year, to this one, the first Christmas where we can say "kids" instead of "kid." Granted, I also met him right before Christmas in 2001, freshmen year in college, and he attempted to talk to me at a Christmas party then but I stuck with those I knew the whole time.
In 2003 we went to my sister's together, me driving 12 hours straight from NC to NH, then 2 hours more the next day to get to ME. I still wish Nik had had his license then.
In 2004, 5 years ago today, we became engaged (through negotiations, not proposal, which my husband says he'll always regret as he'd hoped to propose).
In 2005 we had our first Christmas as husband and wife and were looking forward to 2006, when we'd surely be first time parents, or at least pregnant.
This is when Christmas truly became important. Suddenly, my own childlike wonder at Christmas turned into a need to share Christmas with my children. I watched other families with small children or women with pregnant bellies and I envisioned the future. I hoped and prayed, but more than that I just planned. Because surely, we'd be pregnant soon.
In March it didn't happen and I knew that there was no way I'd be delivering a healthy baby before Christmas.
In May we found out Nik was infertile.
In June we looked into foster-adoption.
In July we were turned away due to our ages.
In August we settled on VietNam.
In September we settled on Kazakhstan.
In October we settled on Ethiopia and sent in our application.
In November we were doing our homestudy.
In December I cried and prayed and hoped and wished and tried to envision us with a child in 2007. It was different from the year before, when I envisioned us sitting in church with a sleeping baby. This time I envisioned one or two Ethiopian children seated beside us, big enough to sit by themselves and watch the service.
In 2007 we spent Christmas Eve in the church nursery. There was no way in Heck Paxton would sit through a church service.
In 2008 we had a repeat. And I was hoping again. We were hoping again. And praying. Surely, by Christmas 2009, we'd have KIDS.
And here we are today. Paxton woke up a 7am, the longest he's slept since Ambrose came home by more than an hour, which I suppose was his Christmas present to me (though I was up at 5). He's napping now and will be up soon.
And there's Ambrose now, who fed every 2-3 hours last night then went right back to sleep and is now sleeping peacefully in my Moby D, smiling from time to time. He laughed hysterically at my parents house. I suppose that was his Christmas present to me.
And I have my wonderful husband by my side, who cooked me my lunch and entertained me with a fun video game and is now quietly reading a book while I blog. Because blogging is very important :)
Words cannot describe how I feel, though I think "blessed" or "lucky" can come close. Just feeling the weight of a healthy baby boy or listening to the long run on sentences of my once-language-delayed 4 year old delight me. And I've been having trouble getting to bed on time lately entirely because I'm having too much fun sitting up and talking to my husband. Yup, almost 8 years and 2 kids later and we still enjoy each other's company just the same (more in fact).
Now on to putting away the laundry and finding a spot for all the new Christmas gifts. And making Nik hurry up and finish that video game of his (Assassin's Creed II, veeeeery good) so I can get to Persona 3 FES. A mother's work is never done :)
Lily in a loafing barn
4 weeks ago