In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Maci-Our Little Walking Testimony

A year ago from right now, Dave and I were in Ethiopia, meeting Maci for the very first time.  We have officially known (and I say "known" lightly) her for 365 days.  Yesterday, I was telling her this little piece of trivia, which led to a sacred moment in time with her.  I asked her what she remembers about meeting us for the first time.  She said she remembers Daddy playing with her.  When I asked her if she remembers what they played, she said, "I remember playing chase with Daddy."  Wow - she really does remember! Often times Maci is a little parrot of Leah, so I don't always get thoughts that come straight from the heart and mind of Maci, but yesterday was different.  She disclosed memories and their accompanying feelings that only she would know and feel.  Playing chase is a memory that we have never reminisced over. Dave and Maci would play peek a boo and chase around the cars that were parked in the courtyard.  It was quite a sight, with her apparent lack of gross motor skills and her head to body ratio.  I love that she has this memory of Dave that is her very own.

Our sacred moment didn't end with that memory, though.  It was an entry way into a talk about the things that make her heart sad.  It was the first time, she expressed how sad she was to leave Ethiopia.  Last March we watched, with concern and panic, this grief when she came home, but she has never articulated it with words before.  She continued to address other things that she was sad about, but then she ended with, "but I'm happy that you take care of me."  The statement left me breathless. Humbled.  Even kind of like I haven't done enough.

Naturally, I am still dealing with a lot of questions about the timing of Dave's death.  I mean, what in the world?  We agonize through a horrific adoption journey, finally bring Maci home and then Dave dies 9 months later, leaving me to raise three kids alone?  I mean what in the world?  Three is just exponentially harder than two and Maci takes A LOT of energy.  And in addition to that, doesn't Maci deserve a father?  She and Dave had a special connection.  Even one more special than the one that Dave had with his two biological kids.  Maci didn't have a father in Ethiopia, so she thought that Dave was the end all, be all.  Nothing special happened in a day that she didn't say, "I can't wait to tell Daddy." Even yesterday, I gave her a piece of chocolate and she said, "I'm going to share this with Daddy, when he gets back from heaven."  She made Dave feel special, and Dave made her feel special.  I mean, what in the world?  How has this really happened?  It's so wrong.

Sorry about that, I just got going.  That is not the point of this post.  The point is that Maci Meraf is our little beacon of hope that explodes all over this house, all the time.  While she takes mucho physical energy, she gives all of us something that nobody else can give.  We've seen her loose a parent (and one she never knew).  We've seen her grieve GREAT loss. We've seen her tiptoe through healing. We've seen her invite love in. We've seen her heart grow. We've seen her infectious joy infect us and others. We've marvel at her resilience. We are floored by her love of life and all it has to offer. And we love her so so much.  Thank you Jesus for Maci.


Monica said...

Blessings and prayers to you Holly and to sweet Maci! May God give you an extra measure of strength and grace today as you parent your fragile little family.

Christy said...

I have been one of those that has read your journey since we decided to adopt from Ethiopia a year and a half ago. I have hung on every one of your words and you have taught me so much about adoption - the ups and downs and what we might anticipate. We are now just embarking on the next phase and waiting for a court date to go and meet our little boy. My heart was soooo sad when I read your recent posts. I truely can not imagine what you must be traveling through. You are such a strong woman and thank you for allowing us "strangers" to learn from you.

Justine said...

I am so sorry for your loss and for Maci's. I lost my husband nearly 10 years ago, when we were both 32. At the time we had a 2 1/2 year old and I was 8 months pregnant with my daughter. I have since brought home a son and a daughter via international adoption as a single mom. My newest addition is 2 1/2 and just came home last month. She has done some heavy-duty grieving which brought back memories of my oldest (now 12) grieving for his daddy when he was a toddler. It is so tough. Really tough. But God is faithful and will give you the strength and grace to make it through each day.

P.S. I'm not sure how I found your blog. I think maybe we have a mutual friend who pointed me to it, but now I don't remember. I blog (occasionally) at and I have a large list of scriptures under the "grief" tab. Holding on to the Word is the only thing that got me through the rough parts. I am praying for you as you walk this road that no one should have to walk.

Linette said...

That little Maci! She is a "testimonet" to be sure. You know what? YOU are too! You, in the midst of deep, deep grief, are choosing THAT which matters most.

Carissa said...

This post brought me to tears! I love your heart Holly, and I love your honesty. Its so sweet to envision Maci holding onto a piece of chocolate for her dad, and so heart-wrenching as well. It does feel wrong, what you are going through, what the kids are going through. Praying for you on this difficult journey. You are an inspiration to all of us!