Saturday, December 19, 2009

On This Day in History...

Okay, I started this last night, and I got the title typed. Then I just tuckered out and headed to bed. So it should actually read, "On Yesterday in History". But I don't feel like changing the title now.

"This Day" refers to the 19th. The 19th seems to be significant to the Cloud family for a couple of reasons.

You see, two years ago, on December 19, we brought home our fourth child. After a week long stay (which felt like much, much longer), we returned to the USA with our Guatemalan son in our arms. Our family was and is complete (as far as we are concerned...God may have His own plans). It was such an emotional day. We had been in Guatemala for a very long week. Our son was a complete delight UNTIL bedtime. Then he was awake every couple/few hours. That is hard in itself (and totally not necessary for an eight month old but a habit he had developed in his foster home). In a hotel, it is even harder to deal with that crying, run on little sleep, etc. It was a very expensive trip (on top of the other adoption expenses); flying at Christmas on very short notice plus hotel stays during the holidays are rather pricey. It was of course just a week away from Christmas, so throw all of that stuff that needed to be done into the mix. Plus we missed our kids like crazy. We hadn't been away from any of them that long. We were actually supposed to be home on the 18th but unfortunately our little guy's visa was a complete mess (errors) and we had to wait an extra day to get it fixed. Oh, how I cried when that happened! But finally on the 19th, early in the morning, we boarded the plane, landed in Houston, where child 4 became a citizen (as soon as his feet touched the ground...that was at McDonalds in the airport I think), then finally landed in Northwest Arkansas. One of my favorite memories was walking out of the security section of the airport to find my parents and our other three kids waiting for us. We were finally together. Sigh.

December 19, 2008, had a totally different meaning to me. That was our last day of school before Christmas break last year. That was also the day that Mark ran home to get something for me for school and found "uninvited guests" robbing our house. They actually ended up only getting away with a couple of cameras, an MP3 player, and a little cash (one camera was returned). Unfortunately what I feel was taken that was much much more valuable was the sense of security. I couldn't sleep for weeks on end without waking up over and over, hearing sounds, etc. We have a security system now and that has helped a lot. However, there is still a distrust (in both the integrity of how your Christmas card/pictures might get stolen off your front porch) and a leeriness of our legal system. For instance, on Friday, our last day of school, it was actually the 18th, but I found myself on edge all day, waiting for my phone to ring. We had our Christmas singalong assembly at school. It was hard to sit through...last year I cried through the whole thing (had just found out the news). What bothers me even more though is the effect it had on one of the kids. The others don't seem to be aware or really that affected. But for our oldest daughter, her world was rocked. And I hate that. It has to happen in life. I just wish it hadn't happened so soon for her. We don't talk a lot about it, but if it ever does creep into our conversations, she is usually the one to bring it up. It is still very much in her thoughts and fears which just crushes me as a parent. I feel like I failed her. It was my job to keep her safe and secure. And I didn't. :(

This year, and this will be another post, December 19th was the day we finally were able to celebrate our oldest's birthday (since we had food poisoning on his actual party day). I am not sure I want to find out what December 19th holds next year...


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