Hoping to someday find M's brother adopted in the U.S. -
Myckola Oleksandrovych Markov - 8/26/2003

Friday, December 23, 2011

Our Christmas Story

Mariah's "Gotchya Day" is December 27th.  That's the day her daddy broke her out of those green orphanage gates and took her away, an orphan no more.

Phillip spent December 25th in Ukraine in an apartment in Kharkiv Ukraine.  We skyped him from his parent's house and I fought back tears the whole time.  That wasn't how we had planned Christmas.  We thought we'd be home with our new child before Christmas and instead we got to spend it with our family on two different continents.

This song really spoke to me. 

We were just ordinary people living ordinary lives, but we heard God's call from halfway around the world.

Yes, it was a strange way to add a child to our family.  People asked us why more times than I can count. 

Sometimes we asked, "Why me?"  We aren't special people!

Somewhere along the way though, we realized that it wasn't about us; it was about her.  I think it was when we were sitting with her at the orphanage playing on the floor with her and she started rocking back and forth that it really hit me how much she needed a family.

When Phillip was back in Ukraine after our 10 day wait finishing up paperwork to bring Mariah home, I imagined a joyous airport reunion complete with our family, church family, and friends.  I imagined how wonderful it would be for Phillip to see a large group of people waiting to greet him when he returned home with Mariah.  I wanted pictures of that moment to show her how loved she was and how wanted she was.  I mean we had spent over a year completing paperwork and 6 weeks in a foreign country adopting her!  It had exhausted us financially, emotionally, and physically, but here was the end.  Here was going to be the moment that made it all worth it.  THIS would be the day she'd touch down and become an American Citizen.

When Phillip and Mariah landed at Dulles on December 29th there were 4 people to greet them.  Myself, Wes, Wyatt, and my brother who I asked to come along to help me find my way to Dulles.  As it ended up that night, I got lost leaving the airport in the dark and my husband who hadn't slept for 3 days drove us all home.

Where was the joyous celebration!?

I struggled with this for a long time, and I will be honest, I still do.  A year later; that still hurts.

But this year as we are coming up on the celebration of Jesus' birth, I realized something that I knew but never really took the time to understand.

The Savior of the world was born in a stable.
Where was the joyous celebration?

God used ordinary people in a less than desirable circumstances because they were willing.

Was it convenient?  No.

Was it easy?  No

Did anyone applaud them?  No.

Why were they in a stable in Joseph's hometown anyways?  Why weren't they WITH his family?  I wondered about that...  Mary his pregnant fiance might have had something to do with that.  Maybe they weren't thrilled that she was pregnant before they were married.  "God told you what!?"  Hmmm....

Did any of that change the significance of that day?  No.

God's son was still born, albeit in a stable with no one around to help Joseph deliver a baby in less than sanitary condition even by Bethlehem standards.  No one offered congratulations or lined up meals for them.  Nope.
So... what's the point of this post?  Do I think we are Mary and Joseph?  Do I think Mariah is Jesus. 

Ummm.....  No.  Not even close.

My point is that I got hung up on human recognition and acceptance.  I hoped that people would understand the significance of what we had done and want to rejoice in what it meant for Mariah.  I had hoped that people would look at her and realize that there are thousands more, millions more like her that are waiting for ordinary people to just let God do something extraordinary through them.

I wonder what Mary and Joseph thought that night as they welcomed the Savior of the world...alone.  Did they realize the significance or were they just caught up in the moment of dealing with what it is to have a baby in a stable?  Did they know who Jesus would be and everything that meant?

Here we are a year later and I have wondered more times than I can count Why did God choose me?"  I am sooo inadequate.


I was willing and here we are.




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We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life; but those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,are carried on the wings of destiny; and placed among us by God's very own hands. --Kristi Larson