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The sweetest gifts of all…

I have A LOT of faults (serious procrastinator, always—ALWAYS late…but I REALLY want to be early, hate cleaning, serious daydreamer and believe it or not…I have a REALLY hard time expressing my feelings…just to name a few). BUT I do have one strength that amazes my hubby and it’s my mad skill for remembering gift givers. Must mean that one of my love languages is gifts…although I think I’m more so on quality time. LOVE me some quality time. Anyway, Rich and I have this really funny game we play where he can pick up ANY item in our home and I can tell him who it’s from, what the occassion was…or where I got it and when. It’s truly funny.

So…say when we’re making stew—I pull out ladel and I’ll ask the hubby, “Know who this is from?” He ALWAYS responds, “Oh no, here we go!” And then I reply, “It’s from your great-aunt so-and-so.” It’s funny when he doesn’t even know some of his own relatives and I just remember who it was from. But…I have to tell you–I think of his great aunt EVERY time I dip soup. EVERY. Single. time. And I love that:). So…that just might be one of my favorite random things that I actually can do!

These past few weeks, we have gotten a few gifts for our Isaac–and I have to say, that I’m not only so thankful for the gift itself because this journey has been one of the most instrumental journeys in my own walk with the Lord…but I’m so thankful for the giver…because each of them—has been a part of this journey in a very special way. I have sat on the floor as I opened each gift and just been overwhelmed by those who have encouraged, supported and loved us…many people friends that I HAVE NEVER MET! AMAZING.

These little gifts are the sweetest of all…because they are from those who have been along for our journey—and many…we have also been along for theirs. And when it comes to adoption…the ride is unbelievable…but it’s never easy.

Someone told me at the beginning of our journey, “Andrea—get your thick skin on girl. Adoption isn’t for the faint of heart.”

For those of you starting your journey, let me say that again: Get your thick skin on girls. Adoption isn’t for the faint of heart.

This is what you CAN’T expect. Don’t expect it to be easy. Don’t expect those you THINK will support you to support you. Don’t expect others to always “get it” or “get” how you are feeling. Don’t expect people to treat you as if you are expecting. Don’t expect your church to support you. Don’t expect everyone you love to be on board.

BUT this is what you CAN expect. Expect that you will be changed. Expect that your immediate family will grow closer in the process. Expect that it WILL BE WORTH IT. Expect that Lord will provide. Expect that His timing will be perfect. Expect to be anxious…and to struggle with being anxious for nothing…but expect to feel the peace that surpasses all understanding. Expect that you will NOT BE ALONE…there may not be others in your neighborhood…or even close by…but there are hundreds all over the country being called just like your family to go down this road. Not only will the Lord carry you through and BE WITH YOU THE ENTIRE TIME AS YOU CRY OUT TO HIM…but He will bring others to join you…walk with you…encourage you…and love you. It might not be your family on earth…as badly as you want them to be part of your journey—it might instead just be your ETERNAL FAMILY that He brings along for this leg of your journey. And expect some of your dearest, life-long friends to be met over blogs and on your agencies listserv…and never underestimate what God can do in those friendships! Expect to be BLOWN AWAY by these friends…their love…their generousity. Expect when things to get hard…and you really need support…expect the unexpected…like complete strangers to be the ones that serve you, encourage you and even financially help you. Expect to see the gospel in ways you have NEVER before…and expect to see God, Himself, in ways you never have before. And it will be through many of the friends you never even meet…that you see Him shine through…

And there is going to be absolutely nothing SWEETER than sitting in Isaac’s nursery when he is home and looking around at the things that lay around it…and you can bet that funny gift of mine remembering every gift and which if from which giver will melt my heart as I hold my little love! Remembering how the Lord provided…how He is my heavenly Father…and how He orchestrated every last detail.

I just received another sweet gift in the mail from my dear friend Rebecca who is also adopting from Ethiopia and also using AGCI, our agency. Rebecca is another one of those unexpected friends. She is one of my unexpected gifts as she has encouraged and prayed for our family like you wouldn’t believe. When I’ve been to weak and anxious to even pray…this mommy has prayed for us miles and miles and miles away. She made this sweet, soft blanket herself and this will be one thing I pack with me to take with us to cover him at night as I remember His faithfulness and sweet frienships He has provided…
Just like Richard makes fun of my mad gift remembering skill, he used to make fun of me making friends through my blog and on our agency listserv. But when I’m sitting on the floor opening a gift and tell him all about the person who sent it, their lives…where they are from…that Rebecca like our family has 3 kids, lives up north…and he sees what joy it is for me to bond with other mommies…he is beginning to get it and doesn’t give me a hard time anymore.

Thank you Rebecca for this precious gift!

For those of you beginning an adoption journey and feel like you haven’t connected YET with other mommies, I encourage you to be active on your listserv and commenting on other adoption blogs. God has provided an amazing community of mommies out there to support and encourage you. ALSO…if you live in the Atlanta area and you would be interested in being a part of an adoption fellowship group–please email me through my contact page! Wish you all a happy Mother’s day!!!

Jenn - May 8, 2010 - 1:17 pm

Wow…that is beautiful! What a huge blessing these people are in your lives! Everyone is so excited to see Isaac HOME!!


Megan - May 8, 2010 - 3:45 pm

LOVE this! And so true, you can expect the unexpected for sure! Some of the most generous donations have been from people I barely know.

melissa - May 8, 2010 - 6:27 pm

Hey, I was wondering about the fellowship…we need to have an event soon. It would be neat to hang out with other people around the Atlanta area that have the same heart for orphans as we do. We could meet at a park and have pot luck dinner. I know you have a lot on your plate, but maybe we can start thinking about it. Thanks for reminding me! So glad to be on this journey with you!

Alison - May 8, 2010 - 10:29 pm

Oh my goodness, I am in tears, thank you so much for sharing that! We have just now started our adoption process…application approved with AGCI on thursday…and that was so good for me to read! I know that my blog friends are going to be so special to me…they already are…they are the ones that God used to inspire me to adopt!! I am so thankful!!!

Jenny - May 8, 2010 - 11:29 pm

so beautiful! you’re so right… it’s not for the faint of heart! i don’t know what i’d do without all my adoption buddies… you all are the greatest!

Shannon - May 9, 2010 - 12:50 am

Thank you for the encouragement as we are just beginning the journey! Love the quilt….how beautiful~ Happy Mother’s Day!

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