This has been floating in my head for a while now. I am hoping that writing it out will help me let it go. The Christmas season can be a hard for me. Chris and I lived through adoption hell twice during this time. I know many more people have had to endure much longer waits. We knew that Matthew wouldn't be home before Christmas, and although that was a tough pill to swallow we made it through. We all know what happened less then a month later.... When we found Poose, we fell in love, and knew we had an excellent chance of her getting home before both her first birthday and Christmas. We had a plan, and God laughed. Hard. The months passed too quickly, we got hung up at every step. Minor delays, but delayed days add up. Finally after 100 day + of waiting in PGN we were out in mid October. No promises were made for Thanksgiving, but we were assured 100% travel before Christmas and birthday. We were ready to roll. I had packed and repacked her bags, and ours hundreds of times. We waited. Waited more. Her BC got hung in Mixco. They wouldn't release it. No reason, they just sat on it. Thanks for that. December came, and although small, I still held onto hope. Sang along to All I want for Christmas is you and inserted her name. December 19, tomorrow, is a hard day. We were submitted to Embassy. They closed for the holiday that year on December 20. Very quietly, hope closed the door. I cried, and cried, and cried more. This couldn't be happening. I turned off all holiday music. I refused to celebrate the holiday. REFUSED. That song, Soldier's Silent Night, the one about Santa who visits the solider, became a weapon. If we were out and it came on I buckled. All I could imagine was our daughter spending Christmas with nothing. Just like the solider. Cold and alone. In reality I know that I suffered more then she during that time. I know she had foster parents who loved her dearly and took excellent care of her. But, she was my daughter and belonged home with us. Christmas Eve I slept with her most recent picture on my chest. The thought of that night still makes my eyes burn. Other then loosing Matthew nothing could compare to that pain. We wouldn't get any news until January 8th. And, of course the minute she was finally in our arms I forgot all about the pain. But every Christmas season, I can feel every bit of that pain as if I was living it all over again. A big reason I keep extremely busy during the season. I had been better about it all these past years. However, it is no secret that this has been hard year for her and us. I think that is what is bringing all of this forward for me. I have so much built up...everything. I say it all the time that life shouldn't be hard when you are only 7. She has struggled so badly, and continues to. Thankfully, she does have a good team and we are seeing some improvement. I love this child. I. Love. Her. I would move mountains if that is what it took, anything to see her smile each day. We are getting more smiling days and for that I am very thankful. It is going to be a long process, and we are in for the long haul of it. We will continue to find the beauty of cloudy days. Just like rain drops on roses.