I have one of those gadgets on my computer side bar that randomly circulates photos from my vast collection stored on my hard drive. Lately, this photo of Candace has been showing up a lot. It was taken about a week or so after we got back to the United States.
This picture is almost painful for me to look at. This is the face of a child who is trying desperately to please someone she can't communicate with, she doesn't know and who is making her wear this horribly ugly dress (in her opinion... I myself thought it was adorable.) Tom and Emily were away for an overnight trip to Iowa State for orientation, adding some uncertainty to the mix as far as the twins' minds were concerned. I was trying to take pictures of the twins to use on adoption announcements, and after about fifteen minutes of trying, I think we were all in tears.
This is about when it sunk in to me how challenging these girls were going to be and that our family was forever altered in a drastic way. It was a very low moment, and there were many more over the next months.
It has now been not quite two years since the twins were added to our family, and we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our son. I think we are all more prepared this time. How couldn't we be? I am a little afraid. But I also feel stronger. Most of the time, my pictures of Candace these days look more like this one:
It was a long hard, journey to get to this point. It is still an upward climb... not just for Candace and me, but for Sarah and Tom and all of our family. There is still pain to manage and understand. It was, and is, so worth it. I am grateful to God for setting us on this path and giving my life a new purpose. I am eager to embrace Feyissa Thomas as my son and to continue to work on just being a family, all of us together under God.