Lovin' Love Day.

I've always loved Valentine's Day. Ever since I was a little girl. Mom would always have a special outfit for me to wear to school. I'll never forget the red a-line corduroy dress that buttoned down the front that she made for me that I wore on Valentine's Day in the 5th grade. I also beat a boy at arm wrestling that day in front of our whole class....oops. Perhaps not the most discreet of my actions, but hey, I was strong and I was challenged and I rose to the occasion. I also have a special memory...I believe it was Valentine's Day in the 2nd grade, you know, back when bubble suits as we called them were a HUGE deal. Mom bought me a black one with little pink flowers on it and it even had a ruffle around the waist! For real...I just KNEW I was a hottie that day. Yes, I totally rocked those white lace-up Keds with it, too. And probably pink socks. And most definitely pig tails. And even aside from the outfits, those little cheap Valentine cards=wonderful. Moving along to middle school age Valentine's Day when I had that boyfriend I wasn't really allowed to have since I couldn't date until I was 16. Let's just say that was funny and I totally ate that whole box of chocolate all by myself. And how many gals get to say they've had Valentine's Days with their husbands since high school? That's just a cherry on top to the mighty good man I got. I'll never forget the Valentine's Day in college when I was student teaching at an inner-city Christian school in Chattanooga and brought little Valentine treat bags for the class. One of the most precious little boys ever stood up and said a blessing for me that went something like this, "Our dear most gracious heavenly Fatha. We do thank Thee for bestowing dese Valemtimes on us from Miss Sarah. Thank you fo bringin' her to us. In Jesus Holy Name we pray. Amen." Now THAT was one of my most favorite V-Days ever. Then there was the year Daniel and I listened to Norah Jones and slow danced and he gave me that beautiful diamond cross necklace. And last year he left at least 10 cards all over the house and car for me to find and hunt throughout the day. He'd written a page in every one of them. And this year? My sweet Daniel Isaac wrote his own initials in a card he dictated for Daniel to write for me that read, "Mommy, You are my Valentine. I love you soooo much. Thank you for making me hot chocolate and giving me those yummy vitamins. Love, Daniel Isaac and Noah David." Melting Mama heart. And my husband...wow. Really? I get to be his best friend, life partner, lover? He's so much more than a dream come true. He's the best daddy and husband and there really aren't words to describe all that I feel and know about him. And with Daniel, it just keeps getting better and better. I love being married to him. I love parenting with him. I just really love him.

Anyway, that's just a tidbit of my fabulous Valentine memory reflections. I could have (and maybe should have) researched the origins of Valentine's Day and given some insightful snippit, BUT bascally here's how it goes for me: I love a day that's declared to celebrate and declare LOVE. I'm addicted to love....giving it and receiving it. And oh how I long for and strive to love like Jesus does. So purely, so passionately, in truth and unconditionally.

And speaking of love....the love in my heart is growing and swelling for the baby who will one day be ours. I cannot wait for his/her first Valentine's Day with us. I can't wait to tell him/her how our love for him/her started so early and how I loved talking about him/her and dreaming about him/her and planning and hoping. I cannot wait to share how God, in His perfect love, adopted me into His family...I had nothing to do with it. Just like our sweet baby was born and made no choice of his/her own in his/her abandonment or placement into an orphanage, BUT (and this is a huge BUT) God in His beautiful plan chose US to get to LOVE him/her forever. To adopt him/her into our family forever and ever and ever. And the love our baby will receive....ah, just brings tears to my eyes thinking about it. FLOODGATES of love that have already started trickling and leaking and spilling and then once he/she is home....WHOOOSH!

Happy Love Day. Let's make every day love day.



Although I have multiple hilarious quotes from Daniel Isaac and several hysterical stories of my two little lights...I will save those for another time. I am really thinking about the baby we will adopt tonight....well, all the time and just writing about a sample of my thoughts tonight in our quiet home while my boys breathe deep, slow sleeping breaths.  I wonder...  

Will it be a boy or a girl?
Will it be more than one?
How old will he/she/they be?
When will we see him for the first time?
What will his given name be?
What will we name him?
What will his story be?
Will he be crying at night in the orphanage?
Does he have siblings?
What is his birth mama thinking and feeling?
Has he been conceived?  
Where will he be born?
What will be the day that I hold him for the first time?
Will my eyes ever dry in thinking and praying for this precious child?
What will the 24+ hour flight to and from Uganda be like?
What will we do while we're in Uganda?
What will my boys think about a foreign country?
What will it feel like to have baby home at last?
What will his/her birthday be?  
What will we do for their birthday party?
Will I ever stop staring at my children...all of them?
Will this overwhelming sense of gratitude for being on this journey ever cease...I hope not.  

I don't have any answers for my questions, hopes, dreams....I imagine many different scenarios, faces, paths.  And for those I am deeply thankful.  The greatest gift of all right now...

"My frame was not hidden from you 
   when I was made in the secret place, 
   when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 
 Your eyes saw my unformed body; 
   all the days ordained for me were written in your book 
   before one of them came to be." (Psalm 139:15-16)

And my response...
"How precious to me are your thoughts, God! 
   How vast is the sum of them!" (Psalm 139:17)

He knows.  He cares.