Sometimes I feel like I am a broken record on the blog. I don't mean to be, but somehow I feel like every third or fourth post is about how we are missing Inessa. I imagine it isn't news to anyone, but it helps me to get my feelings out on "paper". I know it doesn't change our situation, and I know it probably doesn't make for terribly interesting reading, but I still feel the need to get it out there tonight.
Our family is part of a church plant in our area, and we had our first Sunday meeting at the permanent location this morning. We've been meeting for several months on Sunday evenings getting to know one another, sharing the vision of the church, and getting a core group ready for the official launch in two weeks. Our kids all love going to this little church plant, including Inessa this summer. It is a very different style of church than we are all used to - for instance, the kids who are kindergarten age and older attend worship with the adults. While that creates some interesting challenges (like the week Jude whispered really loudly, "Is this almost over?"), for the most part Inessa, Jude, and Calvin really enjoy being in church with the adults. One Sunday Inessa volunteered with me in the baby room. She was in absolute heaven. There is one darling little girl who never seemed too thrilled to be in the baby room without her mom and dad, but that night Inessa and this little girl just clicked. Inessa could get her to smile and laugh. It was so sweet to watch! Today was bittersweet for me. It was such an exciting morning finally being in our space and tangibly seeing where "our" church would meet, but it made me miss Inessa terribly. This little church makes her feel welcome. She knows people there, and she is known. While she doesn't understand all that was preached this summer, I love looking through her church notebook and seeing the Scripture she copied from her English Bible or the pictures she drew of Jesus and our family. She belongs there. And I felt her absence this morning.
This afternoon we celebrated the birthday of one of our favorite friends, and while we laughed and played and partied and ate great cake, I couldn't help but miss Inessa again. She dearly loves these friends, and I know it will make her sad to have missed Hunter's birthday party. I am amazed at how many little things like that make my heart ache for her. It is the every day things that make me miss her - just sharing those little, regular moments that families have...stopping to get ice cream cones, choosing a birthday present, sharing breakfast with church friends. We are all ready to build our family history with her in it.
It is a little overwhelming to think about what lies ahead. We don't waiver at all about adopting Inessa, but as that reality gets closer, I realize this means two weeks of international travel and a lot of adjustment for all of us thereafter. I am starting to think through the practical aspects of going to Latvia and keeping things running smoothly here at home for the boys. I am not a world traveler by any stretch of the imagination, but I am excited to see Latvia and experience the country and the culture. The flip side of that is I have started worrying about the boys while we are gone! :)
The bottom line to all of this - the missing her, the overwhelmed feeling, the logistics - is that prayer is the best resource for where I'm at. I want to experience the joy each day brings me, whether Inessa is with us yet or not, but some days it is harder to do that than others. Some days I just plain miss Inessa.