|Leah giving dad some love last Independence Day|
How do you thank someone who literally is responsible for you getting your child??? I suppose it is a lot like trying to thank the person who gives you an organ for a life-saving transplant, or someone who saves you from a fire. There really aren't words for those kinds of situations. I am counting on the wonderful human emotion of empathy-the ability to put ourselves in someone else's shoes. My angel in Colorado, I hope you can feel what it's like to be in my shoes, to feel the happy, grateful tears as they come at random times when I think about you and what you are doing for my family, and most importantly, for my son. I can't wait for the day we can meet in person-hopefully along some wonderful red-dirt trail near Moab :) Until then.....
A friend on a Facebook group I belong to full of adopting mothers who are adopting from the same country as us and also through Reece's Rainbow posted about the difficulty she has when someone tells them how "amazing" they are for doing this adoption. I have thought about that a lot today, because I have heard the same thing from many good friends and even strangers. I know exactly what they mean, too, because I used to be that person, looking at others doing something just as "amazing" and thinking to myself "wow, I couldn't do that, I'm not [insert appropriate adjective: brave, strong, enthusiastic, humble, faithful. etc] enough to do such a thing. But here's the thing-WE are not amazing, WE are not brave, WE are not full of some undying energy, WE didn't go looking for some super sacrificial way we could show our faith in God. HEAVENLY FATHER is the amazing one. HEAVENLY FATHER is making us brave. HEAVENLY FATHER knows we can do this, with his help and faith in us. He isn't helping us because we are perfect, he is helping us because he is perfect. We are just average people. I know that sounds sorta preachy and bible-thumping in a way, but it's true! And I believe every single person on earth has done or is doing some amazing thing that the rest of us couldn't fathom doing. I have a good friend whose child has a physical disability, and I have no idea how she gets through the day just physically, lifting him and bathing him and just seeing to his basic needs. But she is amazing at it. I have another friend who has a child who has ADD, and I have no idea how she handles the constant distractability, and the kind of patience that requires. But she is amazing at it. I remember overhearing some friends of mine commenting on me and my son who has Down syndrome, saying, "I don't know how she does it," implying I'm super human or that having Jake is some kind of big burden. Well friends, we all know that none of us are super human. We do what we have to do, sometimes even when it's not our choice, such as when a child is born with a disability, or sometimes because we choose to follow a path we feel is right for us. What matters is what we do with what we have been given. And I know you can relate when I say that sometimes, it is those great "burdens" (which Jake has certainly never been) that become our greatest blessings.
The point I'm trying to make is that I know your comments about being amazing come right from your heart and are so kind, but I hope you also see the amazing things about yourself. I know many of the people personally who are reading this blog, family and friends, and I can honestly say that each of you amaze me in some aspect of your life. The cool thing is, when we put together all this amazing-ness, we have one pretty awesome planet of people. And for that, I am so grateful.
I have recently been in contact with a family here in the Boise area who are a prime example of amazing: they have started an ironman team who race to bring awareness about Reece's Rainbow and the plight of orphans with special needs. They are in the running to win a spot to advertise their cause during the national televised coverage of the Kona Hawaii Ironman Championships this year (the mother of all Ironman races). This family was touched to do this after having their son, who happens to sport that extra chromosome, and after learning what happens to these kids in orphanages half-way round the world. What an awesome thing to do! If you have a moment, watch his video and vote for it so the cause we are so passionate about can help these children languishing in orphanages just waiting for their forever families! I promise you'll be touched, and besides, he uses a Journey song for the background music, so you know it's going to be good :) Best of luck Saturday at the St. George Ironman Brady, I know a lot of people who will be cheering you on from way up here in Boise!!