I decided I would be leaving it up UNTIL HE COMES HOME! :D
Then in mid-February I thought maybe it might confuse the little guy if he arrives in July and we have Santa Claus ornaments hanging on a tree in our living room. :D But I liked the idea of having the tree lit for him, as a reminder that he is truly in our hearts and we are devoting each day to bringing him here. I decided to try and incorporate something that would be familiar to him and make him smile when he saw it.
So... I removed the "really Christmas-y" ornaments, I left Angels and a few others on the tree and started making my own Colombian chain garland (like we did in second grade) out of strips of yellow, blue and red paper. (Their national colors).
I started writing on each link of the chain the names of each person who has helped us in some way get one step closer to creating our family. It may be the social worker who worked on our home study, the notary, someone who contributed to our auction, someone who wrote a reference letter, someone who made a financial donation, someone who was a moral support to us, someone who helped me with an application or a translation, or just answered questions about their own experience... the list goes on and on. I have counted over a hundred links so far (I purposely make them very small).
And I have LOTS and LOTS more names to add!
I love having this tree lit every night as I work on grant applications, or even when I'm doing my homework or just cleaning the house... it brings his little presence here and I am constantly reminded of the reason I am so exhausted and the reason I feel sometimes I can't answer one more question or address one more envelope.
I become re-energized just a tad and I smile and say a prayer for him. I pray that his sweet heart is somehow being prepared by the great orchestrator of this entire crazy plan. I say a prayer that he will know we are there to love him and that he will be able to trust us even though we have no way yet to communicate with him.
I pray for this process. I pray for the many people and organizations involved. I pray to be led to the right grants and funding sources. I pray for all the other families going through the same process and for each child who does not have someone fighting to bring him/her home yet.
And I pray for each link. I pray that each and every person who is a link in our chain will be blessed and know of our sincere gratitude. I pray that each link will have the desires of their heart and that their family will be a happy and complete one as well, whatever that means to them individually.
This might sound like a silly idea but it is my way of remembering him and letting him know that even before he was part of our family, he was truly part of our lives. And its my tribute to each of you for helping accomplish a miracle in our lives.