11/27/12

Settling in

There's a word my Dutch descended family uses frequently: gezelligheid. It's a word that doesn't really have an English translation.  It's a word that encompasses everything cozy and peaceful.  It's a word that envokes hospitality and making your company feel at ease.

As a child my mom would set out our afternoon tea on the weekends with cake or cookies and call to my dad and the kids, "Come be gezellig with me!"  In the footsteps of his mother before him, my dad would turn on classical music and we would sit around the coffee table, cozy on our couches, dipping our cookies into our tea cups and sharing stories together.

Gezellig is the warmth of a fire in winter, sharing a blanket with a friend on the couch, and wrapping your fingers around a hot coffee.  Being gezellig was the ever sought after goal of my parents and all their friends during my childhood.

This week, being gezellig is our goal too.  We are settling in to new routines and making peace with our new roles as mama and papa and son. We are getting cozy as a family.

We are enjoying the wonderment of our son as he sits so quietly in his stroller and takes in our neighborhood. We are delighting in his blissful laughter as he experiences the newness of his life:

swinging high at the park,


exploring the new playground equipment,




and watching, mesmerized, as the park's ducks waddle by.




Today we introduced him to the height of gezelligheid: the Christmas season. After years of dreaming about experiencing the holidays with our own child, we are drinking deeply from the well of at long lasts. At long last, we decorated together, set up the tree, and took Arie to his first ever Christmas parade. He is wide-eyed and curious through it all, taking in every new experience with awe.




We decorated the tree dark and when it was fully dressed I stood on a chair to capture the moment when John turned on the lights.  He watched with silent rapture and gingerly reached out to touch the ornaments.  Everything is new and everything is beautiful.


His papa held him up to place the angel on the top of the tree.  Tonight John said to me, "I had these ideas of what it would be like to be a father but I didn't think it would really be like I imagined.  So far, it is.  It's awesome."


Yes, we are waking up with Arie in the middle of the night and struggling to figure out what he wants to eat.  We are drinking more coffee than usual and calling, "Not it!" for diaper changes.  But we are so happy with our little man. We are reveling in the newness of it all.  After the years I spent longing for a child, I am living in deep gratitude for the precious gift of our long awaited child.  The days are long but the years fast, as the saying goes. Let me love the long days and look back at the fast years with satisfaction for a life well lived, in gratitude and joy.

Waiting for the parade of lights to begin.





Jesus is the light. Amen.

Blessed gezelligheid for the holidays.

xo

25 comments:

  1. You got a lovely picture of Micah. It nearly made me cry!

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    1. He was so sweet; as the float went by and he saw us he was tripping over his emotions calling, "LET ME SEE HIM!!" about Arie. Hahaha it was adorable. Love his excitement for us!

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  2. It is amazing to me to read your words. They capture so much of my heart. The longing, waiting, hope fulfilled and deep satisfaction. I was never able to communicate the depth of my emotions during that time. It was all so raw. When I think about the season of my life I say my heart was broken and Lincoln crawled in and my heart healed around him.

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    1. I am all teary eyed reading his Darlynn. I love what you said about your heart healing around Lincoln and I know the feeling. xo

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  3. "... we are drinking deeply from the well of at long lasts."

    So beautifully said. Congrats to you and your lovely family. What a precious holiday gift.

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  4. Our son came to us at 18 mo and so much of what you write is how we felt! Things are so good now and I know they are and will be for you!!!!

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  5. My heart is happy for your family! Arie looks so content in your arms. You are blessed to have him as he is to have the two of you!

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  6. Amen. Drinking deeply from the well of at long lasts. Here's to a wonderful first Christmas as a family of three and to many many more with sweet Arie!

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  7. Just a stranger stopping in after seeing your pictures on Birth without Fear. You guys are amazing. Your hearts are beautiful and just reading about your journey has made me tear up. I wish you and your family many blessed years.

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  8. Aawwww, he is GORGEOUS!!. A boy from Russia would be my dream.......*going green* LOL. A HUGE Congratulations on your Son!!. I wish we were proper friends and then I could send him a little something. Anytime you want to just tweet me @ShamemeAdams!. Lovely time for you!!. Send him a cuddle from me!!. xxxx

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  9. I love love love reading your words! I love your outlook and spirit and the photos. I love seeing how at peace and happy Arie is too. He is so young but it seems like he shares your 'at long last' dreams fulfilled peaceful gratitude. He is beautiful.

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  10. Wow, just wow! This afternoon a 'LIKE' on Facebook led me to a Board on Pinterest which led me to your Blog. My afternoon and now evening have slipped away reading your amazing story. I cried twice and wanted to high-five you at least a dozen times. It took me a while to read as my own little boy was about. As a parent of a toddler I am sure you are fully aware that any task must be completed in parts and is never completed quickly. :) Between playing with my son and your story this has been an uplifting day. You gave me a new appreciation for being a mother. Don't get me wrong, my heart is overfilled with love for my child, but my journey to parenthood pales in comparison. What strength, love, and FAITH you have. The details you considered and the exhausting effort you put forward. Wow. Like I said, I will appreciate being a mother more because of you. I am not a women of beautiful words so I simply say thank you for for your story!

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  11. LOVE the photo of Arie watching the ducks! He is such a cute little person! And the photo of him and John putting the angel on the tree... tears came to my eyes! "The days are long but the years fast"... Sometimes I take my own 2 girls for granted -- the last couple of days (and nights) have been rough with them, but seeing the world through Arie's eyes makes me want to not give up and to try harder to enjoy the little moments with Ellie and especially Abby (who is about Arie's age). Thanks for a great reminder this morning! Have a blessed day!

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  12. It brought tears to my eyes to read that John finds being a Papa to be so wonderful. What a great gift to be a parent! So glad you are settling in well and getting out a bit to enjoy the festivities too! Did you manage to cut your little man's hair? ;-) If so, you win the prize in my book! I never dared to cut my boys hair yet!

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  13. Yvette Suurd-van der Burgt11/28/2012

    Thank you for sharing your life with us, sometimes total strangers. I was moved to tears reading your blog. Recognising the road of trying and searching for others ways to fullfill your wish to raise and guide a child in this world.
    And even though God granted us a wonderfull gift with the birth of our daugther Annemarie in November 2010, I can feel with you in your yourney.
    I wish you Gods blessing for your family. And, being Dutch myself, all the gezelligheid, for Christmas and the whole year around.

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  14. Wow. That 4th picture (the one just before looking at the ducks) captures the entire perfection - the raw, real, joyful perfection - that is your journey and son...he is so handsome! Thankful that you continue to share your story. It blesses so many.

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  15. Beautiful, beautiful post. So incredibly happy for you.

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  16. I am so captivated by the photos you posted! The one of Arie looking at the ducks is priceless, as well as the one where he's helping his papa put the star on the top of the Christmas tree! Melted my heart into a puddle! I was at the Parade of Lights last night too... although further east down the road. (I can tell where you were from the stores in the photos.) I'm so glad that you had a great time and that Arie handled the crowds and these new experiences so well! He is a remarkable little boy! SO precious! And it is so clear how natural this transition is for you & John as well... he's your baby! And you are amazing parents! :) Thank you, as always, for sharing your story!

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  17. Found you through Pinterest. I am an adoptive mom too. 6 yrs of waiting - then our daughter. A yr later a surprise pregnancy for our son. And now, 10 years after that... I am 20 weeks pregnant. Your posts... your story... I am dissolved in tears. My sweet boy had the same winter coat your Arie has.

    I felt the longing rise as I scrolled through your park pictures. And then it hit me. And I broke. I get to do this again too. No longing now, just tears. Tears of immense gratitude. Gratitude completely drowns the longing, and it is washed away. I am so happy for you. When you say you longed for years, I know that. I feel that. The words "I am so happy for you" don't even begin to encompass it.

    I pray blessings upon blessings for your family. The easy blessings, and the faith for the hard blessings. There is such an adventure ahead of you. Thank you for sharing your journey.

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  18. Hi! My friend turned me on to your blog because she thought of me when she saw your "maternity" waiting pictures. Beautiful. We are a family built through adoption through foster care. Although we had been waiting for our family to start for almost ten years, the actual "waiting for a kid" part was non-existent. Our older boys chose us, and then our littles appeared with less than a days notice.

    Thank you for being such a beautiful example of what love can do. :)

    Blessings!

    Hannah

    BTW, my blog is www.stubbornfishtales.com

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  19. Hi sweetie! I also found you through pinterest. I am so happy to hear about your new baby boy and your new long waited roles as parents. My husband is Russian and I speak Russian. We are currently in process of adopting two kids from Russia. We also went through infertility ourselves, but always wanted to adopt. Our adoption seems very surreal and far away. I guess in a way seeing your photos with your baby boy makes me feel like I can taste a little bit of what is coming to us. I have dreamed of being a mother for over 7 years and to finally find myself playing that role will be one of the biggest joys in my life.
    Thank you for sharing your story. I am so happy for you guys!!!
    Blessings to your and your little family! :)
    Yuli @ yuliconversations.blogspot.com

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  20. he is so beautiful! and I love the idea of gezellig.. amen to that!! We all need that in our lives and I love seeing you share this with Arie.

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  21. Your new son is adorable. What a blessing for him that God placed him in a Christian home with loving parents at that! I just found your blog and am lovin' it. :)

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  22. Anonymous12/01/2012

    I stumbled upon your blog about 3 months ago. Though I have never met you, likely will never meet you, I rejoice with you in bringing home your precious son. He is beautiful, and blessed with such amazing parents. Congratulations! Your posts move me to tears of joy for you and your lovely family. Christmas blessings!

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