My great-grandfather, Storie, who Brighten is named after, marked timber for a living. All day, every day for years and years we walked the woods, marking timber. Everyday at lunch he'd eat a giant meal that my great-grandmother packed for him, drink a thermos of piping hot coffee, and laid on the toolbox of his truck to take a 20 minute nap in the sun. From everything I've heard about him, he loved his job, and he was good at it. Storie passed away just a few months before I was born, so I never got to meet him in person, however the stories I've heard certainly tell the tale of a man I would have loved to have met.
Sometimes I like to think about Storie, out in the woods by himself each day. I don't know what he used to mark timber, or what the timber was used for necessarily, but I like to envision him counting the time as he walked and marked. I imagine that he was somebody who had no need for a watch because he could tell the time by the sun; the way its light hit the trees overhead. I like to think him counting, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, as he stepped, stepped, stepped, hearing twigs snapping beneath his heavy boots and leaves crunching underfoot.
Storie's life seems kind of peaceful to me, as I'm someone who enjoys the anticipation of time. The weeks, the months, the years, they excite me with their new milestones and energy. This weekend we are starting year two of a family tradition - the Birmingham Parade of Homes. This may sound like an insignificant event, but for me it holds such a special meaning for me, especially this year.
Last year, my parents were trying to sell our childhood home. It'd been on the market for a while and they were growing frustrated. We were a few months into life on a new waiting list, and so far our time spent waiting had returned void. No new referrals, no offers on their house. We were all a little beat up. So, we planned a fun weekend going to look at fancy houses with new finishes and designs. We didn't mean to start this tradition on purpose, we all just really needed it.
A few weeks before that, Jason and I had begun talking about the possibility of beginning a domestic adoption that would coincide with our journey to Judah. We were tired of passing an empty room day in and day out. You could say, in Storie's terms, we couldn't see the forest for the trees.
When we settled in for lunch at a cute little neighborhood cafe during Parade of Homes, I finally mustered up the courage to tell my family what we'd been praying about. I was afraid people would think we were taking the easy road, or being impatient. People have been so supportive from the beginning of our international adoption, and I couldn't imagine if people weren't just as encouraging if we began another process. So, with shaking hands, I told my family what we were thinking about. They were so receptive and celebrating alongside us. It was then that I really felt like this might happen - I might actually become a mom, and maybe soon. Little did I know, Brighten was growing growing growing as the months ticked on by. Her birth mom was four months along, almost to the day as this conversation took place 12 hours away from her on the back porch of a little restaurant in Birmingham, AL.
Tomorrow my parents are coming in town and we're going to pack into my minivan, Brighten in tow on her 7 month birthday, and we'll head out along the Parade of Homes path. We'll eat at this same little cafe and marvel at the finishes of new homes, and we'll metaphorically mark a tree, because this is year two.
I'm loving counting the time, and each moment goes by we are closer to our Judah, we are experiencing life with Brighten, and I can feel the sun shine between the treetops.