An Extra Place at the Table


As the Christmas holiday is closing in, it is a time of mixed blessings for adoptive families. Many of us realize so clearly how very blessed we are, and with that realization comes the reality of how many are out there that aren’t so fortunate. We think of our child, whom we have come to love in our heart and ache to have them with us – especially at Christmas.

When my husband and I were in our first adoption process, it was harder to find the joy in the holidays that year knowing that there are children who are out there without a parent’s love, sometimes even the most basic needs such as food and shelter, much less a gift under the tree. So that year, at our Christmas dinner we began doing things a little different, and started a new family tradition that we have since continued.

Eleven years ago we sat an extra place setting, partly in honor of our child who couldn’t be here with us that Christmas, but also to represent all of the children out there waiting. This tradition represented a promise to ourselves that we would try to not forget this feeling, but we would as a family continue to do something about the situation. Even now, if I am hurried and forget to set out the extra place setting, one of my children will remind me!

That year became a turning point in our lives. Adoption is now a part of my family every day. My prayer for all of you this Christmas season, is that this is only a beginning for you as well and that you will continue to impact lives through your adoption – giving new insight and courage to the many who will follow in your footsteps.

Merry Christmas!

Photo Credit

Lydia Tarr works as the International Program Director for MLJ Adoptions’ programs in Bulgaria and Ukraine. She is the adoptive mother of four children from Ukraine and was recognized as a 2013 Angel in Adoption by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s (CCAI) Angels in Adoption Program.