Christmas is a magical time of year for children and adults alike, with so much wonder and hope amongst us. Two years ago as we entered the holiday season, we were filled with our own sense of childlike hope, eagerly awaiting news about who our daughter would be. We hung a stocking in honor of our sweet girl, whose name and face we did not yet know, hoping that we would soon call her our own. To our surprise and delight, on December 21, we received our very own Christmas miracle…the referral of our little girl! Christmas that year was bittersweet…we were thrilled to know who our daughter would be, but also sad knowing that she was out there and couldn’t spend Christmas with us here.

This year will be our second year to celebrate Christmas with her. And do we ever celebrate! In the midst of the hustle and bustle, with too many parties to attend, too many Christmas cards to send, and too many gifts to buy, we remember how blessed we are because our daughter is home with us. We remember that there was a time when she was not included in our Christmas card. We remember when there were no Christmas presents under the tree for her. Every time we hang her stocking, we are flooded with memories of our adoption process, the wait to bring her home, and especially the hope that came to us four days before Christmas in the form of her referral. Yes, Christmas is truly the most wonderful time of the year.

This Christmas, if you have already brought your child home, hold her a little closer and count your blessings that she is home. And if you are still waiting for your child to come home, keep hoping and believing…you never know when your very own Christmas miracle might occur. Hold on to the hope that a day is coming when you will celebrate every holiday with your own little blessing…and what a joyous time that will be!

Happy Holidays from Austin, Brittany, Caleb, and Abby Shaver