Two years ago I celebrated my 40th birthday. Surrounded by friends and family in a house I’d bought six years earlier, in many ways my life was everything I’d ever wanted.
My 30th birthday was spent in New York City with my sister and a friend. Many tears were shed. My desire to be a mother, through adoption, seemed impossible. Leaving my 20’s behind, I felt like time was running out. Aside from God’s promise, there was no hope on the horizon. It didn’t look like anything could change.
Then it did. I began fostering, miraculously bought a house, defied all the odds and adopted four children. This was everything I’d longed for at 30.
As 40 hit, I had it but life was rather bleak.
My oldest daughter’s struggles continued to cast a dark cloud over our family. Added to that was the reality of managing four children on my own. There were unforeseen obstacles that had me looking for another house. It seemed like a partial solution to a complex problem. I didn’t really expect life to get better. Just more manageable. That’s all I had the strength to hope for.
After that 40th’ birthday party, my sister suggested a complete change of scene. I was desperate for something so we travelled five hours to an unknown land. Driving off the ferry onto Wolfe Island for the first time, my oldest daughter’s anxiety went from a 20 (out of 10) to a 6. She breathed a sigh of relief. The newness of the place didn’t launch her into uncontrollable rage. She played at the park with her siblings. Raine didn’t need to be separated or put in time out. While on the island, she could cope with life in ways she couldn’t elsewhere.
Eight weeks later, we moved to Wolfe Island.
There have been incredible highs. As well as soul wrenching lows.
When I turned 41 last year, my youngest, Branch, kept telling me, “Get ready! The baby’s coming soon.” Impossible. How could a baby be added to our family?
Today, on my 42nd birthday, I’m carrying a baby who came to me in August. We are living on Wolfe Island in a house that seemed impossible to get. Living a life that, for a very long time, felt absolutely impossible.
Two years ago, I couldn’t even imagine where we are now. Living on nearly 3 acres in a house that in so many ways is perfect for us. We’re on an island accessible only by ferry which adds a degree of romanticism to travel. I have a baby who brings absolute joy to our family. The black cloud has lifted. It’s not perfect, but life is good. There’s hope not just on the horizon but pressing into our everyday.
Having my birthday in the onset of spring always reminds me of how changing life is.
Even in the harshest of winters remains the certainty of spring. Life can change. Morning can dawn after the darkest of nights. The impossible can become reality. It can happen. I know. Life can change for the better. We can change. We can move. We can heal.
And until that change – subtle or drastic – comes, there is hope.
Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope…..