I know I've been a really bad blogger lately. It's been really busy, and Liam's gotten even busier and it's just a time full of memories, firsts, and really hard anniversaries for us. So, I have let go of my blogger guilt and decided to do what I can. :)
I will do an abbreviated version of what we have been up to in the last month....
My first birthday without Thao. It was harder than I thought. He was just so good at birthdays. He was an excellent gift giver. We did a lot of pretend birthdays with him. He LOVED to wrap up his toys and give them to us. I tried to convince him it wasn't my real birthday and he was offended each time. That memory is such a precious gift now. This year Jeff and the kids made it a new kind of special. I am not usually one to care much about birthdays but I needed some quiet time with my little family this year.
We had our first Thanksgiving without our little man. We chose to keep it as normal as possible, which means going to my aunt and uncle's house to join in the chaos. It was a bittersweet day, full of memories of our last holiday with Thao. I am so thankful for the memories that were shared that day, of Thao and the little airplane magnet, of him licking his cheesecake plate clean, of his sweet smile and the way his eyes lit up for food and of course, how he loved to go upstairs and play with the "big kids" (aunties, uncles, cousins, he thought of you as his best friends, age made no difference to him! ) I am thankful for meaningful conversations from that day, challenges to my heart, and peace that God brings. I am also thankful that people ate the asparagus that I took, because I love asparagus and it was nice to share. :)
We had the Wakeford family Christmas. Lots of people, food and fun. :) Lots of memories.
We made a trip to the PICU in Peoria. Reminders of our days there, last memories with him, the rollercoaster of emotion, the extraordinary staff, and how blessed we are to have amazing friends and family to journey alongside us in this, were overwhelming. It seems like yesterday. But it's not. It's very difficult to wrap my head around that.
We put up our Christmas tree with tears, smiles, Christmas music, and laughter at the new Christmas lights that turned out blue and hurt our eyes. After 2 trips to the store, we ate dinner and finished our tree. This year, all the ornaments were at the top of the tree. Liam didn't mind so much. He's a really good climber.
Ava was in her first Christmas program at church. She was awesome. :)
We *finally* got our license and finished our profile. Yes, we are adopting! Now we pray and wait some more. We are praying for God's leading and complete peace in our decisions, for the birth parents to know God's love, for all our children to have a gentle transition into having a new sibling.
We got to introduce my siblings to a new game = awesome bonding time. :) And we got to spend some time with great friends.
We had Christmas Eve at my Grandma and Grandpa's. In my whole life, I think I have missed it twice.
And my all time favorite tradition is on Christmas. We do presents with our kids, stay in jammies all day, eat, play and enjoy company when they come. We successfully kept this tradition this year and it. was. wonderful. Santa left a doll for Ava, an alligator for Liam and a dinosaur for them to think of Thao.
I can't tell you how much it means to us when we receive texts, messages, or notes telling us you are thinking of us and praying during this time. Thank you. Even though on the outside we are doing our normal, on the inside we are constantly thinking of our little boy. It never goes away. So, if you are afraid that you will remind us of our loss or you will hurt us in some way, don't be. I think of his snuggles first thing in the morning. Every time Liam carries his step stool around to reach sweet treats, every Sunday when we see his class, every time we see kids his age, every time I think about Ava losing her best friend, every time someone asks about homeschooling, every time. All the time. Please don't be afraid to ask us about him, or simply say you thought of us. It won't offend us or hurt us. It's safe to say, yes, we are thinking about him and yes we do miss him and yes, some days are harder than others. The every day is hard. The legos we didn't get to build on Christmas. The movies and late night baking I didn't get to do with him. We never had Christmas with all three kids. Yes, this is our first Christmas without him, but in some ways it's our second. We didn't have Christmas last year. He was unresponsive at that point. That is a memory that is hard to bear, but I am reminded through it all, to be thankful. "Let the peace of God rule in your hearts....and be thankful"
My hope is in Christ. Through all the scary things in this world. Through all the hurt. Through everything that doesn't make sense. My hope is in Christ. And I can keep living, with joy, even. All because of Christ. I pray that this blog encourages you. Helps you in some way to find your hope in Christ, because this world is uncertain and scary and crazy. But Christ is good and heaven is real and He loves us. :)