the very best, very worst day

Monday, April 15, 2013


Today is three years since my littles came home. I took three pictures that day, but only one was of Raniah. She cried the entire first day except for these precious napping moments I caught in the swing. I also grabbed a quick picture of Brenden when he fell asleep in the late afternoon watching a little TV. I can’t bear to look at the third picture, the other one of Brenden, and I doubt I’ll ever share it publicly. He’s not even looking at the camera, but the trauma is visible on him. Written straight across his face.

While these three years have been the best and hardest of our lives and while we believe with everything in us that both of our littles were meant for our family, that picture is the purest bit of evidence that all of the happy, glory moments we’ve enjoyed are a result of the worst kind of pain and tragedy. Adoption is joy and beauty and redemption, but before all of that ever happens, it is loss and brokenness and pain. For my family to be made whole, my children’s families were ripped apart by the worst kind of stuff this world has to offer.

When we tell Brenden about the day he came to live with us, we always call it ‘the very best day’. It was, you know. In spite of everything this whole journey represented up until that point, the damage had already been done in their little lives and in their family. We didn’t cause that. We didn’t want to happen; it was over before we entered the picture. Someday, our littles will process all of that part too. Those will be dark times, but I want the narrative of their stories to reflect this terrible, no-good, very bad, wonderful, beautiful, Very Best Day that they came into our home. This is the day their story started to turn around. This is the day this long road to redemption began.


I wish I could find this song somewhere online, but no such luck. I couldn’t even find the lyrics (which is why I can’t figure out one word). Today, this is the song of my heart, the prayer I’m praying over my children’s lives, and the breath that strengthens my frame.

Restoration is Your Song - Candi and Jonathan Shelton
(The link will take you to itunes, where you can listen to a minute and half of the song.)

though every change, in every season
we’re carried in your perfect peace
with tender grace and love abounding
you can cause the waves to cease

though we may find pain tomorrow
you reach out to catch our tears
and you make things new
you will right what is wrong
healing comes from You
and restoration is Your song

in winter’s chill and summer’s scorching
your arms embrace our weary frame
and in (refrain?) of pain and struggle
still our hope is Your sweet name

when all we know falls down around us
and we feel so far from home
your love will be our heart’s revival
you have claimed us for your own

and you make things new
you will right what is wrong
healing comes from You
and restoration is Your song

Amen, and may it be so.

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