We have now entered into a new year and it couldn't be more welcome. Usually I get a little sentimental about leaving one year behind and transitioning into a new year, but this year I really don't feel much of that. 2012 was hard. In fact, it has been the hardest year of my life and the hardest year of our marriage, which is saying a lot as our year in The Gambia wasn't always easy. Everyone says that the first year is the hardest, I completely disagree. The first year was full of bliss and newness, by now (we have been married 4 years) we have faced some of the tough issues. I know that's nothing in comparison to many of you, but we have also had to face issues that many couples don't have in their first 4 years. Our marriage has had to withstand, frustration, anger, grief and disappointment to name a few. It hasn't always been easy, but we are still strong and in love, it's just a different love than our first year. It's been tested and our vows have held true. At this time last year we were still dealing with the disappointment of our failed IVF, but I was convinced that by this time this year we would parents. I had no idea of the pain and darkness that was ahead. The first half of this past year was a really dark time for me. The second half was better, but there were still days of sadness as there will continue to be. For those of you who have only known me since this journey began, I'm sorry. Hopefully some day you will know the old, happier me.
But we have begun a different journey, an exciting journey. A journey we are still trying to figure out and unsure of where it will lead, but it is a journey of hope, of good things that God has in store for us. We are still healing and returning to the relationships we once had with God after our times of anger, hurt and darkness, but the fact is we are returning.
We don't know what this next year will bring or what it will look like, but it has to be easier than this past year. Now don't get me wrong, 2012 wasn't all bad, and God blessed us more than we can imagine when it came to meeting our basic needs and more. We never went hungry, we always had shelter, clothing, heat, and work. We have wonderful families that we were able to to have beautiful time with. But 2013 is full of new possibilities. Elias is returning to school this month to get his computer network technician degree. We are so excited about the doors that this path will open. We are beginning this year in the waiting stage of adoption, which means we could meet our child this year. We have already raised some funds, which means we have a head start on that process, which we will continue throughout this year. Undoubtedly we will face challenges this year, but this year is starting in a much more positive place than last year and we enter it with hope. Thank you for your continued love and prayers and please keep praying as we face a new year and new unknowns, but also new hope.