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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

close to my heart

I can't believe our Bryan is going on a mission! He'll be gone for 2 years - serving in the Philippines.

A year or so ago, while reminiscing on the miracles that brought Bryan into our family I wrote this:

It was early in the spring of 1994. The four walls that were meant to provide sanctuary now held my heart captive. Beating out of control, my heart whispered a silent plea. I willed the unuttered prayer to break free of the four walls and to find audience at the throne of a merciful Father. The miniature chairs held our bodies as our souls anxiously paced, communing identical hopes and worries. Grasping onto Brad's strength, respite arrived in the form of a memory.

I fairly danced into the room, my 4-year-old daughter hanging onto my skirt as she skipped along, her golden curls bouncing with anticipation. My eyes took in the child-friendly artwork on the four walls as I skated the perimeter. Brooke immediately gravitated to the miniature chairs and began "reading", legs crossed, to her "students", the numerous stuffed animals. It was like Christmas ... Not only were we picking up the very best present ever, but we were the keepers of the big surprise secret. In walked Guam Social Services personnel, one of them with a brown little bundle. My twitching arms could not be stilled. Outstretched, like magnets they drew the babe in and became his sole covering. Brooke flew off her chair, abandoning her obedient students for a glimpse of her brother. That day peace flowed from the four walls.

That was over a year ago. Our minds skittered from one thought to another; now justifying leaving Bryan at home, now chiding ourselves for not having the attorney present, jumping from comfort to chaos and back again. The past year had been one of anxiety. Pushing the evil whisperings of doubt as they'd creep in, we simply could not prepare for the worst, as some had advised us to do. Once parental rights were terminated, the selection process took a turn we'd never imagined. They wanted to take Bryan and place him in a family with darker skin. As our motionless bodies occupied seats meant for children, our racing souls darted through thoughts. The minutes dragged, feeling like marathon hours that we could hardly endure. My cracked voice broke the physical silence with a half whisper, "Are you praying?". The spoken words triggered other physical responses. The tears that began as a trickle soon became a heavy stream. My palms, moistened with nervous sweat, began to shake like the tremor of a quake. Just when I felt like my body would involuntarily bolt, the door creaked and thundering footsteps cut the silence. This time when Guam Social Services entered the room, instead of carrying a little brown bundle, they held our future. Her voice rocked the previously quiet room, booming over the pounding of my heart. "We've decided to place the baby permanently in your care. We'll continue our monthly visits .....". Her voice trailed off as Brad's arms encircled my shaking body. My heavy tears turned into sobs as the four walls once again held the best present ever. It was like Christmas all over again. It was as if I'd seen the walls break loose as my whispers escaped like twinkling gems of gratitude being caught and carried by angels to His throne.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

12 comments:

  1. What a wonderful post.....you are an inspiration to me!!!

    Wishing you a wonderful day!!!

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    1. Thanks Jocelyn - it's so great to have you back!

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  2. Safe travels! I'm sure it will be a great experience.

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    1. Thanks Michael. It's hard to send him off, but one of those *sweet* sad times, you know?

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  3. *tears*

    If you don't want to reply, I understand, but is your handsome son of Chamorro descent? When we were on Guam in December, a young man who resembled your son was in the President's Club (Continental Airlines), and I remember thinking, "I wonder if..." Obviously he was not your son, but I breathed a prayer for him anyway. =)

    And now he's headed back to the Pacific.

    Uh-oh. More *tears*.

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    1. Hi Sweet Kelley! No, Bryan's not Chamorro. He's 1/4 each Japanese, African American, Caucasian and Filipino. (thus the gorgeous face!) Thanks for the prayers ... and it's our hope to pick him up when his mission is over, with our entire family, then take a little trip back to Guam. Will you still be in the Philippines?

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  4. Love it, Denalee. You are a wonderful, loving mom and I know that YOU are one of Bryan's greatest gifts in his life, as he is in yours. What a wonderful missionary he will be!

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    1. Thanks Rebecca - that time of our kids growing up happens so fast! And I am so proud of Bryan that I can't even wear anything with buttons - they'd all pop! You're invited to his missionary farewell talk on Sunday the 29th at 1pm at the Burkholder Bldg. Love to have your family there :)

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  5. Adoption is an experience all its own. Bless you for being the wonderful mom of a wonderful son!

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  6. What a happy ending! I'm so glad you were given your lovely son. May God be with him in the Philippines. May he grow in grace and in the knowledge of God and be a blessing to those in need.

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  7. what a beautiful story. Your whispered prayers certainly were answered. He is a handsome boy, with some wonderful experiences ahead of him. Can't wait to hear all about it as time goes by.
    I can't remember if I told you...(cause I seem to repeat myself sometimes, old age?)
    I had 3 son's serve missions.
    One in California
    One in New Zealand
    One in Equador.

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  8. A precious thing...FAMILY! You are an amazing lady. A blessed story, thank you for sharing. Cheers SpecialK XoXo

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