September 27th was a good day. My dad, although still critically ill, had made it through the crucial first 48 hours after his surgery. He was alert, talking and even making jokes with his nurses. We had hope that he'd pull through just like he always has. After all, he has fought cancer....twice... and beat it both times.
That same day, we got the news we've been waiting to hear for months....we have a court date for one of the girls. I was so excited I couldn't wait to rush back to his room to give him the news. I was able to tell him, and of course, he was so happy about it and even shared the news with his nurse that evening before I went home.
Three days later I lost my daddy.
The excitement and hope from 3 days earlier was completely gone. Losing him has been more painful than anything I could have ever imagined. My heart feels so heavy at times that I just want to curl up in bed and cry until it feels better. And it does feel better...for a time, then out of the blue it comes back and brings me to my knees.
During this time, in the back of my mind, I've been thinking of November 1st and that I am supposed to be in front of a judge in Uganda with our sweet P, hoping to finally bring her home to be a part of our family.
How will I fly half way across the world when I can hardly bring myself to get out of bed?
How will I go and leave my mom when she needs me the most?
I'll do it because I've made a commitment to P and G.
I'll do it because I told them I would be back.
I'll do it because my daddy thought so much of those girls and he would want me to. Heck, if he was here and well enough, he'd be on the plane with me.
I'll do it because my mom has decided that she will go with me :)
My mom, who has never been out of the country and hates to fly is going with me to Uganda to hopefully bring her newest granddaughter home. Isn't that beautiful?
As the fog of the last couple of weeks is finally starting to lift, I am beginning to see glimpses of joy and beauty again. The one thing that has stayed constant through all of this is the goodness of God and his mercy and grace. I've seen him hold other people up in times of tragedy and loss and prayed that he would do the same for me....and he has. There is great sadness and mourning for my dad as it should be. He was a great, caring, loving, sometimes ornery man, who loved his family well and he is going to be missed terribly. But in the midst of this there is a great peace that passes understanding, a hope of a better life.
As much as I loved him, Jesus loved him more.
I don't know why we had to lose him now. But I do know that God's timing is perfect and he can bring beauty and happiness out of the darkest situations. I know this because he is doing it in my life right now.
So tomorrow, I will wake up and get out of bed. I will cry and mourn the loss of my dad, then I will spend the day loving my children and my husband, checking on my mom and living life.
In three weeks my mom and I will fly to Uganda. I will give those girls a big hug from their papa. Hopefully soon we will have them both home and I can tell them all about their papa and how he was so excited for them to join our family and how he would tell anyone who would listen all about them.
God is preparing our hearts for something big. I know adoption is not for the weak (so I've heard), but I think after these last few weeks, I can handle just about anything that comes our way. Besides we aren't alone in this...never have been.
I want to live the rest of my life to honor the sacrifice that Jesus made for me....for my dad. How do you say thank you for that?
My answer? ....to love well. To have my life reflect less of me and more of Him.