Thursday, November 29, 2012

Heartbreak and a Christmas carol

I am heartbroken this week.  Since we started this blog five years ago, I've tried to be honest about all aspects of adoption, and this week has brought its share of heartbreak. 

First, I am so sad for Henry's family, as they had to say goodbye to their precious son in this life.  Truly, his short life mattered, and led to hope and redemption -- and forever families -- for other children.  You can read more about him here:  I hope you'll join me in praying for his family.

And some of you have also been following the journey of Urmila and her family.  Her family has been trying for nearly 4 years to bring her home, with roadblock after roadblock being thrown in the way.  After her case was dismissed in the state court system, her courageous family pressed on to the Supreme Court in her country.  Now, they have received the crushing news that she cannot come home to them.  The decision is final, and they are at a loss for how to go on.

I'm also so sad for Karen and Sarah, two friends of mine who have been waiting 4 years to adopt, and still have no referral and no end in sight.  Adoption can be uncertain, frustrating, confusing, and heartbreaking, both for the adoptive family and for the first family that lost the chance to see their child grow up.  Today, I am face-to-face with the reality of the sadness, fears, frustrations and injustice that can be part of adoption -- and part of this broken world in general.

Last night I sang one verse of "O Little Town of Bethlehem" as part of Anya Rashi's bedtime songs. It was the only verse I knew by heart.  This morning, I looked up the lyrics for the rest of the song, and they spoke life to me. 

It's a strange kind of Christmas carol that would mention "dark streets," "fears," "misery," "dark night," and "this world of sin."  But that's why we needed Christmas in the first place -- why we still need Christ, who can bring hope into even the worst situation.  And this week I am acutely aware of the need for redemption in this life.  I am clinging to the line "the dark night wakes, the glory breaks, and Christmas comes once more," and praying for the hope of the "everlasting Light" for my hurting friends.

O Little Town of Bethlehem
written by Phillips Brooks in 1867

O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

For Christ is born of Mary, and gathered all above,
While mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars together, proclaim the holy birth,
And praises sing to God the King, and peace to men on earth!

How silently, how silently, the wondrous Gift is giv'n;
So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His Heav'n.
No ear may hear his coming, but in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.

Where children pure and happy pray to the blessed Child,
Where misery cries out to Thee, Son of the mother mild;
Where charity stands watching and faith holds wide the door,
The dark night wakes, the glory breaks, and Christmas comes once more.

O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!


Brad and Renae said...

I know what you mean. It is so hard for me to understand how some adoptions go right through, others take a long time, but eventually come to completion, and like Urmila doesn't happen in the end. I too am heartbroken. This will certainly be one of those questions for Jesus in heaven. Why, oh why Lord?

Auburn said...

I agree. Words can't describe what goes into adoption for all the parties involved. Every bit of adoption has a very palpable sense of spiritual warfare. Since we began this journey, many times we've trembled at the enemy's work to keep orphans without a family. We share your grief Nancy,...and cling to hope.

Colista said...

Life is difficult to understand sometimes.

I too have been grieving for Urmila and her family this week.

So hard. So, so hard. :(

Miche said...

I'm so sad and disheartened about Urmila's court decision. It seems so very horrible and blind to what is best for her.

We are in the push to get our dosser documents all together and praying so hard for some grant money to come back to us, and we have no idea how we will make this work.

So wonderful and so hard all at the same time

No Greater Love said...

What a beautiful song....and so applicable. It is true...only Christ can break through the darkness... As for Urmila's case, the only thing I keep telling myself is He is still the Victor and Champion......even if on earth it just doesn't look that way sometimes...But because of Him breaking in on earth like He did, we can be assured the victory is ultimately always His. But it will be so nice to someday understand the greater picture with much more clarity than I see right now.

Camille said...

Thank you for this beautiful post. I have dear friends who worked for nearly two years to bring home two girls from Honduras, only to have the government change their status to some random classification that basically means they'll be orphans forever. It doesn't make sense. Praying for these stories and the thousands of others out there.