24 May MMXVI
Feast Day of Our Lady of China
I am in labor. I have labored for hours and hours on end before awaiting the birth of a child and I recognize this feeling…not in my body this time…but in my entire being.
This labor sensation is familiar to a mother of six children already. This cornucopia of emotions. This tangle of anticipation and anxiety. This panic over the checklist of have I packed enough? Have I prepared enough? Have I prayed enough?
Yesterday we received notice from our adoption agency that China has granted us travel approval to journey there and to bring Song-Felicity home. Jimmy happened to be home for lunch when we received the news. He received the notice first and, this time, he is the one who informed me that I was entering into this final phase of laboring for our child.
Throughout this journey I have frequently rested in the prayer of a particularly precious heavenly friend, St. Teresa of Avila. She is credited with prayers that are both plentiful and profound and I love many of them. But through this journey, the one that has resonated with me most is her prayerful plea, “Hover over me, God.”
Perhaps because it is so concise that I could manage to utter it all of those late evenings that I was up and sleepless with anxiety over the fact that my heart was completely captured by a baby that I have no legal right to mother yet. And perhaps because the image this prayer invokes is so comforting and lovely…one of a concerned parent being summoned to comfort His uncomfortable child.
Whatever the reason, I am clinging to it even more during this last stretch of my “expecting”.
“Hover over me, God.”
Hover over Jimmy and me and our precious uncle who is joining us on this journey across the sea to our daughter…to Your daughter.
Hover over our children who will remain home awaiting us to return with their sister. Hover over their days and their nights, over their waking and their slumber. Tuck them into your cloak of Paternal protection. Surround them with safety, happiness and holiness during this time that we are apart from one another.
And, yes, hover over the hearts of our four legged children, too, God…the ones who will least comprehend that Daddy and Mama will return to them.
Hover over the sea that has separated us from our China baby…the sea that we will be traversing toward her soon.
Hover over the orphanage where Song-Felicity has returned to await us. Hover over the nannies and the health care workers and the director and the children who are there waiting with her. Especially hover over the parents You are calling to these children who have not recognized Your still, peaceful prompting yet.
Hover over our daughter’s China family. Console them in a way that only You can in their selflessly loving decision to surrender her.
Hover over her foster family who has cared for her during the time and the space that it has taken for us to get to her.Hover over their selfless hearts that are certainly grieving her absence from them now.
And, mostly, hover over Song-Felicity as she awaits our arrival, God. Fill her with a spirit of anticipation that surpasses any anxiety and protect her from any feelings of abandonment. Hover over her heart as You prepare it to receive us.
Hover over Song-Felicity and over me, God…hover over this mother and this daughter who are both Your children, as we finalize our labor toward each other.
Please, Hover very closely. God.