Last year when we celebrated Diwali, we were about 3 months into our new adoption process. We were 3 months into learning about a new country and a new culture. We were 3 months into letting go of one dream and chasing after another. We were 4.5 years removed from the moment we initially began working toward the adoption of a son. Last year when we celebrated Diwali, we had just submitted the documents we needed to upload to be registered with India’s adoption authorities. We were only days into our wait for approval to adopt from India. Last year when we celebrated Diwali, the waiting seemed like it might never end.
But....we pressed on and we pressed into God. We celebrated “The Festival of Lights” in our own way, making it a celebration of light over darkness, good over evil, hope over despair- all characteristics of our Savior. We celebrated Diwali, knowing the only One who is truly good and the only Way to overcome the darkness of sin. We know who made the light, whose Word lights our path, and that we should reflect the light of the Son.
Last year when we celebrated Diwali, we believed that our son was out there somewhere. We believed that God knew exactly where he was at that moment, and we were hopeful that we would know where he was and what he looked like soon after that celebration. We spent time praying that we could celebrate our next Diwali as a family of 5 - even though that seemed completely impossible.
Now, here we are, celebrating as a family of 5, because God moved mountains and performed miracles. I will never stop telling the story of how God did in 5 months what was said to take 18 months or longer. Light over darkness. Hope over despair.
We kept our celebration pretty low key this year. I had big dreams of our first Diwali celebration with Judah home, but sick kids and crazy schedules forced us to keep it pretty simple. We also had to celebrate a couple of days late, but since “The Festival of Lights” can often last up to 5 days, I’m going to pretend that we were still on time.
The kids wore their beautiful, fancy Indian celebration outfits. I wore my kurta and pearls that we got in Judah’s birth city. Marcus wore normal clothes - because I couldn’t convince him to buy any clothing in India. (insert eye roll)
We ordered Indian take-out because a 1.5, 2.5, and 4 year old are a bit much to take out to dinner these days. We celebrated with butter chicken, rice, and naan. The very traditional dish of Mac ‘n Cheese was also on the menu for some of our pickier eaters. (We actually did eat Mac ‘n Cheese several times while in India...because we packed it in our suitcase!)
We made “rangoli” using a fancy kit that I ordered off of Amazon. Peel the stickers, pour the sand, get beautiful results. Surprisingly, there was no mess at all with our young kids, but they did need quite a bit of help. Marcus and I decided that we would do a couple on our own sometime after the kids go to bed because it was pretty fun and might even be more fun if we could actually choose our own colors of sand!
We also used glow sticks and candles as our celebration of light this year. I couldn’t get my hands on fireworks or sparklers, and we didn’t have much luck with the “floating” lanterns from last year (see last year’s post). Our children mostly wanted to blow out the candles like it was their birthday party, but we had a pretty epic glow stick dance party. Honestly, it was so much fun. It’s one of those memories that I’ll cherish forever: giggling, running, jumping, and dancing in the dark as a family of 5.
Yesterday also marked World Adoption Day. According to their website, “World Adoption Day is a day to celebrate family. World Adoption Day is a day to raise awareness for adoption. World Adoption Day is a day to raise funds to support families in their adoption.” Yesterday and every day, we celebrate the power and beauty of family brought together through adoption. We want to help raise awareness for the millions of children in the world who are waiting for their forever families, and we’re believing in a world where there is a family for every child. We thanked God for our beautiful son from India and prayed for the millions of children without families - in India and all over the world.
We wrapped up the evening by spending some time talking about the Light and praying for the true Light to be revealed in India - the light that only comes from Jesus. We prayed that people would go and tell and that people would hear and believe. (Eliza also prayed that the people of Hawaii and China would believe in Jesus too. I love her!) If you’d like to help spread the Gospel in India, I encourage you to check out Mission India. This organization empowers Indian nationals to share the Gospel through literacy training, church planting, and kid’s bible clubs. Any donation given toward Children’s Bible Clubs will be matched by Sonlight until November 14. $24 will send TWO kids to Bible Club for a year. YOU can help bring kids to Christ, plant churches where there are none, and transform whole communities with the Hope of the Gospel. Check it out: Mission India.
If you’d like to talk to me about the True Light of Jesus or about adoption, use the Contact Form and send me a message. I’m passionate about both, and I’d love to talk with you.