Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Upside of Down

After Christmas, I bought a new Christmas tree. We have begun having our tree and related paraphernalia in the basement so it doesn't overtake the house. The result of that, is that the main level has no tree. And that's depressing to me. So I stalked out the sales and bought a new one.

Being me, I couldn't wait until next year to put it up. No sirree. So two days after Christmas, I put up a new tree.

Our main tree, the one in the basement, is our family tree. It has multi-colored lights and all sorts of homemade ornaments on it. It also has mine and my husband's ornaments on it from growing up. I get teary-eyed every year reading the labels penned by my grandmother decades before.

But our new tree is 'fancy'. It's pre-lit and has snow, ice crystals, red berries and pine cones on it. It's like we went out to the forest on a snowy day, cut down a tree and brought it inside.

So the couple of weeks around Christmas and New Year's, we enjoyed our new tree. I love it and think it was an excellent purchase.

But invariably, trees have to come down, lights have to be turned off and the house has to be un-decorated. And therein lies the rub.

Now, our old tree, the un-fancy, un-pre-lit one, squishes up every year and goes right back in the box we bought it in.

But not the new tree. Oh no. Not even one section of it would fit back in the box. When I tried, I and the carpet were both covered with fake snow and ice crystals.

My point in this long tale is this: even the most beautiful gifts have a downside. For us, being on this side of adoption often feels like the downside. It feels like we are the ones who have done the most work, made the greatest sacrifice and that now, someone else is enjoying the fruits of our labor.

But even this side has its benefits. Even this side has its blessings. And I don't want us to be so caught up in our pain and focused on our own wounds that we miss it.

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