Christmas 2012

I so wanted to post a Merry Christmas picture from us, but we can’t seem to ever remember to charge the camera battery.

We had a really nice Christmas with my family this past weekend filled with food, laughs, more food, some drama, and a home movie.  This year, since we were foregoing gifts, my sister and I suggested that we do something fun together instead.  I was thinking – go see a movie.  My dad decided – make our own movie.  Complete with scripts, props, and sets we acted out the movie It’s A Wonderful Life.  Yes, it’s recorded.  It will be hilarious in about 10 years.  For now, it’s slightly embarrassing.

We had a lot of fun doing it, and by the end, we threw out the scripts and were improvising scenes based on memory.  My dad hung up floodlights from the roof so that we could shoot scenes outside and hand-painted a grave for Harry Bailey.  We don’t mess around.

BB was a great sport after he was cast in the demanding role of George Bailey.  He was amazingly wonderful at impersonating Jimmy Stewart.  My mom gave an Oscar-winning performance as Ma Bailey, and my sister added some much needed sound effects.

The no gifts for Baby Bean rule turned out it’s fair share of drama on Christmas morning, but we came home relatively unscathed.

I’m not sad the holidays are over.  While we did our best to put on smiling faces, I think these were by far the hardest set of holidays we have ever experienced.  Three years ago I had a miscarriage a few weeks before Christmas, and while that was not fun, this was so much worse.  Earlier this year I swore I would boycott the holidays if I was still childless, and I sort of regret going back on my word.

The holidays are always rough because expectations are so high.  You are supposed to be happy!  It’s the hap happiest time of the year!  You’re not allowed to be sad.  If you are sad or grumpy, you ruin it for everyone.  You’re a grinch.

This year, I felt an extreme amount of pressure from everyone around me to be happy and excited about the baby.  To get over the sadness.  People are uncomfortable with continuing sadness and grief.  We don’t like those negative emotions.  Think positive.  Think positive.  A silver lining must be found.  As soon as this baby comes, all will be well.

Why are we so uncomfortable with these feelings of sadness, anger, grief, fear?  It can’t be because they are unfamiliar.  Everyone I know has something to grieve over.

The fact is that we are still grieving.  No disrespect to Baby Bean, but 2012 will always be about those three babies that we didn’t get to bring home.  This Christmas, for us, was a time of mourning.  We were supposed to be home with our family of 5.  There were three missing cousins at Thanksgiving, and there are empty stockings over our fireplace.

I know that people want us to be happy.  They want us to look forward, accept their gifts, talk about how fun it will be next Christmas, but we aren’t there yet.   And frankly, I don’t really want to be there.  I want it to be ok to be sad.  I want people to respect that our broken hearts are still in Congo.

People were upset with us this Christmas because we didn’t want gifts for Baby Bean.  I get it.  We are weird and not doing things in the way that everyone wants and expects.  I get that it’s annoying when people make weird choices that you don’t agree with – I spend most of my life bossing people around.

The fact of the matter is that I just donated the last items of clothing that we had for the kids.  We still have bunk beds up because I can’t quite give up the dream that there will be bodies to fill them someday.  The room isn’t decorated for a baby.  We still call it “the kids’ room.”  I just finally worked up the nerve to sort through the photos that my friend took down before we got back from DRC.

The tears are still flowing over here in 2012.  2013 may be different.  I can’t say for sure.  Does anyone ever really get over a broken heart?

BB memorized Rev. 21:1-4 this year.  I love it.  I could hear him recite it every day.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus.  Come!