June 24, 2017, we got on a plane and left Costa Rica. It was one of the saddest moments of our lives, second only to the loss of my sister and her husband. 365 days have passed and we too often have let the circumstances take more away from who we are and who we were as a family before we came back to the states. Tonight we gathered, cried, and sat out on our roof, and we talked about how we can take back our narrative, be light, have joy no matter our location, no matter how foreign this place feels, and continue on no matter how difficult things can be. And they can be very difficult.
We gave our kids permission to be sad, and took a moment to manage their grief and ours, which doesn’t happen as often as it should. But we also told them to remember who we were, and how we lived free and bold and how we must get back to that. On our roof tonight, we declared ‘enough’. Yes, we’ll have hard times, and misunderstandings and we’ll question ourselves and we’ll keep going to therapy. But enough of a narrative that whispers ‘what if’ and enough time has already been spent on being angry and losing hope. We are free to let go of all the expectations we are not meeting and likely won’t, and free to tell anger and fear to take a hike, and free to love even when we get pushed away, and free to hope for great things even when we can’t see evidence of things going our way. We can do this and we will. We will love fiercely our family of eight and they’ll love us, and we’ll accept that it takes as long as it takes. And that’s ok. But God’s in the business of doing the things we can’t. We will keep trusting that healing and redemption are on their way, and we’ll try to live like we’re banking on it.
You can’t really cram over three years of your life into a 4 minute video, but we tried. It’s hard to watch for our 5, but we wouldn’t change anything either. I think we’ll continue making some lovely snapshots of our family of 8, and it certainly will be beautiful too.