As I lay here in my bed this early morning, I again have some of the same overwhelming feelings I have had many, many times since our adoption story began. The feelings come when I wake in the night for unknown reasons, or after I've been awoken by one of the kids coming to snuggle. They are strong, full-bodied and difficult to put words to, but I will try:
You see, in those quiet moments where there are no distractions, my thoughts often turn to YOU. Those people who prayed this boy home from Russia, those people who so generously and humbly donated their hard-earned money to help us get to this point of completeness in our lives.
I play over and over in my mind not only the general feelings but specific events that all add up to INCREDIBLE and MIRACULOUS. Envelopes left at our door anonymously. Letters and gifts sent in the mail by people we've never even met. Friends who, upon reading our situation of having to stay weeks extra in Moscow, quietly send their support in the most generous of ways.
I think of that incredible woman and mother who spoke up to spread the word about "Arnold," writing a whole blog series about his situation and sounding the call across the Internet that there was this boy, tiny and special, who needed a family, who deserved so much more than the future ahead of him.
Because of her, another mother saw and made an unthinkably large donation to his adoption grant. Again, I can only imagine what that must have felt like for her, to mail that check and hopefully know that it would mean the difference between fear and certainty for this family to step out and say "we can do this."
I think of those first few weeks after announcing our intention to adopt, and almost immediately friends asking us, "how can we help? We know this is expensive and we want to do something." I think of that yard sale, OH that yard sale. I still look at those photos of tables upon tables of donated items, many from friends, acquaintances, and some even from strangers who quickly became new friends. That day was a perfect storm of goodness. There were envelopes again in those early days, left by friends who wanted no recognition, just desiring to do what they could to help this child find a family.
I think of the playhouse fundraiser started by a woman who had never even met us and another who had only just become a new friend. Hours upon hours of phone calls, painting, hammering, coordination, selling tickets, all while caring for their small children at home. I knew there were people like this in the world, but having them so close to me was astonishing and humbling to watch. And how blessed I was to get to know these women better, to laugh so hard together I cried, and then having tears later just thinking about their generosity.
I think of each and every one of you, those I know and those I will never know because of your anonymity. I want you to know that it is often you I think about in those rare quiet moments. And I know it will always be this way for the rest of my life, for I have never witnessed so many miracles, so much GOOD, in my life and I realize it is a rare and very special gift to have witnessed.
It is because of you that I took an opportunity to travel to Africa, with such a desire to physically make a difference in another persons life. It is because of you that I have made donations to other adoptive families, no matter the size, because I KNOW how $5.00 feels like $5,000.00 when you are in the thick of things.
I think of you. And I just wanted you to know.