We had walked in once before... before she was settled, before she had made it her home away from home. We were timid and searching, but the arches that reached to the heavens took us in, reminded us of our first family church home. On this morning, the first of December, the arches were graced with evergreen, banners and candles sang out of this waiting season, and the altar was covered in hope. Advent. It filled me in a way I have not felt in months. Filled me to overflowing.
Maybe it was the way the liturgies wrapped around my soul, a long lost memory that reached the surface and felt like home. It could have been recognizing her voice among the others in the choir... that sweet high voice that I know by heart. If I close my eyes I can still hear her small vibrato in the notes... and it almost does me in. It is still a balancing act, having her there and here, and knowing she belongs in both places.
There are many that have helped her carve out her place... offering rides and lunches, knitting lessons and friendships... all the while just loving like Jesus. It is no small thing to wrap someone's child into your heart, as if she were you own... and it was so special to reach out and thank them today. It made the trip worth every mile.