The only constant is change.
Early Tuesday morning I said a hurried goodbye to my 27-year old daughter, Galina, as
she was walking into the airport terminal. She was catching a flight back to her home near Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, where her husband, Alan, is stationed. I don’t know when I will see her again.
For those of you who got to meet her this past Sunday, you may have noticed that she’s pregnant. She’s having a girl whose name is Zoe. Looking forward to being a parent is quite a change for Galina, as it is for all who are called to be parents. But it’s a change for me, too.
During her visit, we looked at old photos. Some were from the Russian orphanage. Most were from twelve years ago, when she first came to be with us in the States. I had not looked at those photos in years. It was a good journey down memory lane that made me remember the blessings of her adoption. An international adoption of older children is no cake walk –for the parents or for the kids. There were times we all experienced deep and internalized stress, followed by months and months of miscommunication, and additional seasons of doubt and worry. As we read in Ecclesiastes, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every
activity under the heavens." The photos were all of happy times. Just the
way I’d like to remember them.
Being a first-time mommy is no cake walk, either. Someday, maybe in another 27 years, Galina might have a similar trip down memory lane with Zoe while looking at baby pictures together. Maybe Zoe will be pregnant then and Galina will be preparing to be a babushka. I hope they will see smiling, happy photos just like I did this week, and forget the miscommunication, doubt, stress and worry that come with being a parent or the child of a first-time mommy.
I learn a lot about God’s relationship with us by being a parent and grandparent.
As parents, we get to see someone grow and mature. Some parents even get to see generations grow. The eye of God can see such things from the beginning of time – as we were formed in the womb all the way through to life after death. God sees great times and times of miscommunication and is with us during seasons of doubt and worry. Yet, when was the last time I sat down with God and opened an old photo album? My talks with God are usually about the present and the future. But God is the God of the past, too. I think sometime this week I’ll
intentionally sit down and walk through the photo album of my life with God.
Perhaps I’ll discover new blessings found in the past. But, I believe that even
if I don’t find hidden blessings, God the parent will enjoy the chat.
- Fr. Marshall