In 12 years of marriage we have had many different tables. Our first apartment was in the basement of a home in Wheaton, IL. We didn’t have a designated dining room, just a small, two seater table in the living room. It was where we shared our first meals as a married couple. If we had family or friends over, we sat on the floor or the couch. Not ideal, but it worked. Our second home, the first we actually owned, had a lovely dining room. But furniture is expensive, especially after buying a house. For this home we used a black table and black cloth chairs we found on the side of the road. This table traveled with us from Illinois to Pennsylvania. It stayed with us through our first two rental homes in Pennsylvania. We then bought our second home in Waynesburg, PA. This home came with the dining table of the previous owners. Two years later that table traveled with us from Pennsylvania to Mississippi where it sits in our dining area today.
In 12 years of marriage we have never purchased our own dining table. We have always had our meals at hand-me-down tables. Each one has a story that goes with it. Many memories have been made at each of these tables. Not just by our family, but each previous family before us. We have eaten, worked, cried, laughed and prayed at these tables.
Each time we think about getting a new table, we realize that our children are young and a new table would just get messed up and that we would miss the character and memories of the battered and scratched table we currently have. The blue paint stain from the canvas I worked on to calm my nerves the night before our daughter, Elliana, had her first hand surgery. The water stain from a morning of water color painting with Micaiah. The scratches from little ones learning to use forks for the first time. The dents from moving that table across the country to a job we never thought we would take. We think about the many dinners we’ve had with new people that are now dear friends. So much of our story is engrained in that table. It is beat up and it is beautiful.
But…..the table is not full.
On a day to day basis we have one empty seat, and when we sit down for meals I always have a desire to fill that seat. Carl and I have spoken many times about my desire to have a full table and this conversation has always turned to the subject of adoption. A child we don’t know, but already love, will fill that seat someday.
So here we are. On our journey to fill that seat. We have three beautiful children and now feel the call to act on the adoption plans we made many years ago. God has burdened our hearts in the best way possible. He has called us to love His children by bringing one of them into our home to give them a permanent seat at our table. This road will be a long one filled with unknowns and waiting. We believe that God already knows who will fill that seat. We just have to wait and trust His timing until we can bring our child home and have a full table.