Thursday, December 15, 2011

10 Things I've Learned in the Past Week.

1.)  I can exist and function at a sub-par level on less than five hours of sleep a night.


2.) Bandit enjoys Christmas.
And what I mean by that is that he enjoys injesting all things Christmas.


From last count, we're at five ornaments eaten.


If offered, he also enjoys Christmas cookies, cakes, candy..... If not offered, he will sit two inches from you in hopes something will drop out of your mouth.



3.) I've learned that after eating said Christmas items, they normally come back up around 3am on our carpet.  In large chunks.


4.) I've learned that it is possible to get really excited when your baby does a Number #2.  Especially if he hasn't since the previous morning.


5.)  I've learned that those number #2's look really interesting.


6.)  I've learned we have a really special network of "grandmas" and "aunts" around us who have stepped in to help us out because our families live so far away.


7.) I've learned that my husband is a natural with babies. Especially the one who currently lives with us. :)


8.)  I've learned that it really is in everyone's best interest to finish the nursery BEFORE the baby comes into your home.  


As you can guess...that didn't happen in our house.  


Oh well. 


But it's almost done!

Thank you Pinterest for my nursery ideas! 



9.)  I've learned it is REALLY nice to have meals being brought to you every night.  If you know a family who just gets a foster placement or adopted child, PLEASE do this for them.  They'll need it! 




10.) I've learned that social media can have some really redeeming qualities.... like the many encouraging and sweet messages we've received about Baby "J" this week.  We are so, so, so grateful for your prayers and support.  Words can't express the love we've felt.  

Monday, December 12, 2011

One Year Later.

It's unbelievable to think we have been in the adoption process for a year now. 


It's also unbelievable to think that we don't have a referral yet. 


When we started this last December, the estimated time from start to finish was 8-12 months.  


We thought we'd been in Africa now, meeting our children. 


Instead, we still wait for a picture and for their name. 


We are close.  Three more spots to go. 


But we know from those ahead of us, the wait after referral is just as long. 


As much as a year before travel. 


It's hard to answer questions that are lovingly asked by our friends and family.  


We don't know when we'll get a referral. 

We don't know when we'll travel. 

We don't know why it's taking so long. 



I wish I did. 


But I don't. 


So I hold on to this promise that I was reminded of from reading the other day.  


"Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about the things we cannot see."  Hebrews 11:1

I'm holding on to the call that Brian and I believe God gave us toward adopting from Africa.  Right now it's just plain faith that God will finish what He started in our lives with our DRC adoption. 


The reality of the wait is disheartening. 


So we hold on to Faith.  


Faith that He is working even when it seems like He isn't.  


Faith that He knows our children. 


Faith that His timing is best. 


We are so thankful for those who are walking through this journey with us, praying for us, encouraging us, and spurring us on.  Forgive us when our responses are short to your questions. I wish we had more to share. 


For now, we wait by Faith. 


Choosing to trust that His hand is on this.  







Saturday, December 10, 2011

3 Years.

3 years ago tonight, I said yes to Brian as he bent down on one knee, asking me to be his wife. 


It's an easy date to remember, we had gone to dinner and come back to his house to watch the Heisman Awards, or so I thought. 


Until we stepped out in his backyard...  he had decorated the ginormous tree in his backyard. 




After opening a few gifts, brought me around to the other side of the tree, knelt down on one knee, and said a bunch of sweet things I wish I remembered. 


Then he hit a switch, and this appeared on the fence behind him....



Pretty impressive, huh? 





I got myself a good one!  

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

3

After quite a while sitting at #4 on the wait list for the DRC, we have finally moved to....








It's encouraging to have moved, because that means that a "blog friend" of mine who was at the #1 spot received their referral of an infant last week! 


This week marked the presidential elections in Kinshasa, where things have gotten a little turbulent.  We are praying for peace as the winner is announced and for safety for the little ones in the orphanages around the city. 






In other news, our little man turns four weeks old today! 




Our week in review: 



  • Brian changed his very first diaper
  • Even after that experience, Brian is still willing to change more diapers. What a good man! 
  • We are existing on less sleep.  MUCH less sleep, while both still working full-time. 
  • The dogs have gotten used to this eight-pound eating machine that makes weird, high-pitched noises.  They love to give him big wet kisses.
  • Coffee is my best friend.  Dark chocolate is running a close second. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Plunging

A few months ago, my husband and I decided to dip our toes into the world of foster care.

From September to November, we had been taking classes to be certified as foster parents. The original plan was only doing respite foster care, which is short-term care to help out other foster families.

Two weeks ago, our social worker called and asked if we would be willing to accept the placement of a two-week old baby into our home.

Gulp.

We knew a call like this would come....because God was changing something in our hearts about fostering.

He was making it clear that we were to be foster parents. Potentially for the long-term.

Gulp.

But let me make something clear.  Fostering is not what I ever wanted to do.

I didn't grow up dreaming to be a foster parent-- Longing for days when I would have children who had experienced trauma placed in my home.  Living with the unknown of how long they would be a part of our family.

Nope. Definitely didn't picture that for my future.

But a few years ago I made the decision that God's dreams for me were always bigger and better than my own.

So I laid my plans aside.

And we decided to do full-term foster care.  We plunged head-first into the pool of parenthood.

From childless to two-week old in a week's time.

Yup. Definitely not my plan.

But.....

We have the space. We have the time.  We have two dogs that love to give big wet kisses to small children.  And more importantly we have a lot of love to give.

Last Saturday, we welcomed a little baby boy into our home.  One week prior, when we accepted the placement, we had NO baby items in our house. NUH-THING.

Though we are in the adoption process, we are still a ways off from traveling. So we weren't prepared.

However, we have some pretty great people around us who stepped up to the plate and helped us get what we needed to welcome the little guy into our home.

  • Meals have been provided for the month of december.  
  • A friend came and put our baby furniture together.  
  • Diapers and wipes and baby items have been donated.  
  • Plenty of outfits have been given that make him the handsomest baby on the planet. (obviously). 

We are surrounded by the true definition of "community."

There is no timeline for how long we'll have the little guy.   Could be days, months, or years.

Since his tomorrow is not promised with us, we will focus on today.  We will love him, and kiss him, and give him the chance to learn what it feels like to be wanted.

We have been given such a gift for this time.  The ability to pour into a little human that otherwise would be in a very unstable environment.  What a privilege and an honor.

It's still not something I've ever wanted.....but I know it's right where we need to be......




****Because of privacy and safety issues, we can't share his name or pictures, but we'll try and share as much as we can about the journey!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

This is what happens....

When you attempt to take a family portrait with your two dogs using a self-timer......









Self-Timer + Two Dogs = Failure. 



Plan B: Kick dogs out of the picture. 





Sunday, November 13, 2011

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

We have a winner of the video camera! 

Ignore the fact that my husband looks slightly frightening with a bandana on his ENTIRE face and my highly irritating voice.... 

Thanks to all who donated! We raised $443!!!



Friday, November 11, 2011

Meet Bandit

the newest member of our family.... 


Thankfully Bandit and Knox have already become good buddies. 



Although Knox is not so sure about what to think when it comes to sharing his toys....



Thursday, November 10, 2011

A few more days....

To enter the drawing for this brand-new video camera! 



Each entry is $10.  

You can donate through the Paypal button on the right of this page, or by cash or check if you live in our area. 

Unlimited entries.

Additional entry if you share this link on your blog, twitter, or facebook page. 

Let me know by leaving a comment. 

Why should you enter?  

Glad you asked. 

ALL proceeds are going to care for the orphan. 

Half the proceeds will go toward our adoption fund. 

Half the proceeds will go to our friends Kaye and Toni, mother/daughter orphan advocates, who are raising money to go on their first international mission trip to care for orphans in Ethiopia. 

The deadline is 8pm central time this Sunday, November 13th. 

Don't miss out! 


In other news.....  Check back over here tomorrow, where I just might introduce you to the newest member of our family! 


Monday, October 31, 2011

This Could be Yours!!!!


Hey All, 

As you know, we had a yard sale a few weeks ago and raised more than $2,000!  Amazing! 

Some very generous friends of ours, the Gibson's, have donated a brand-spanking-new video camera. Instead of putting it in the yard sale, where I can guarantee that someone would have offered a quarter for it, we decided to have a little fun online! 



As I said, it's brand new. As in, never been used or taken out of the box.  It retails for over $350.  

And it could be yours! 

What's that?  You have a video camera already?  

No problem, if you win it... you have an automatic awesome gift for your office Dirty Santa Christmas party! 

No office Christmas party? Well, I have a feeling that you know a family who could use a video camera and may otherwise never be able to afford one. 

See? This is for Everyone! 

$10 per entry. 

As many entries as you want! 

Once you enter, you can get an ADDITIONAL entry by sharing this link on your blog, twitter, or facebook page.  After entering, post a comment letting me know you shared it and the link.  

 Here is where the proceeds are going! 

Half will go toward our adoption travel expenses. 

The other half is going to....

Toni, just your average high school girl living in Montgomery.... aside from the fact that she passionately advocates for the orphan.

She's pretty amazing.

And you can meet her at For the Least of These 

Toni has helped adoptive families in our church raise funds for their adoption. 

She's tie-dyed many, many t-shirts and made bumper stickers that have sold to families across the country.  

And she has donated all of the proceeds to families bringing home their children from around the world. 

Have I mentioned how awesome she is? 

Toni and her mom, Kaye (our yard sale Coffee Barista), are going on their first overseas mission trip this summer to Ethiopia to care for the orphan. 

They have to raise $5,300 in order for both of them to go. 

We want to help them get there. 

Please head over to "Donate" button on the right column to submit your entry. 

You have until November 13th! 

Ready. Set. Go!!!!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

What We've Been Doing...

I've been a little MIA from blog land for a while.... let me share a brief synopsis of what we've been up to!

1. Working.  When Brian and I got married two years ago, I retired from working.  I figured that since I'm older than my husband, and had been working in the real world longer than him, he needed to catch up and level the playing field.

Ok, not really.

But I did take time off to acclimate to our new home and to life away from everything I had know for the past ten years.  This month, I started working again full-time again at a non-profit organization that advocates for families.  Thankful for a job that cares about the community and helps us out with our finances.


2. Zip-lining.  Finally used the Christmas gift that I bought Brian last year.  Three hours of zip-lining through the tree-tops in North Georgia wearing a really cool helmet.  So much fun! Highly recommend it.



3.  Celebrating.  We had the privilege of having a young man live with us for the past few months while he worked on earning his GED and making decisions to would lead to stability.  He turned 21 while living with us, so we threw him a surprise party with his family and friends there.  So proud of you, Justin!



4.  Watching football.  Last weekend we headed to Knoxville to watch UT get slaughtered play LSU.  Love college football in October!

 










Then we headed to Atlanta to catch the Falcons game on the way home from Knoxville on Sunday.  My husband's dream is to visit every NFL stadium in the country.  Before any little ones come, we're trying to do as many as we can.....I've gently warned him that a 14 month-old won't do so well in a stadium full of 60,000 screaming fans.













5.  Yardselling.  We had a big ol' yard sale this morning to raise money for our adoption travel expenses. We collected donated items from so many of our generous friends.  I was praying that we would raise $1,000.  One of our biggest cheerleaders, Kaye, showed up at the CUH-RACK of dawn to help us by selling coffee and muffins.

At the end of the morning, we were amazed to see that between the sales and flat donations, we raised $2,000!!!  

Kaye, our amazing coffee maker/muffin seller/orphan advocate.  We love you Kaye! 

6. Waiting.  The hardest part.  We're still holding on to number 4 on the referral list and honestly, today was a little hard.  I've been planning on doing a yard sale since the summer.  I held out til October because I assumed we'd have our referral and know exactly who our baby would be....I'd be able to give specifics to people, show their picture, tell a little bit about them...  but instead, we sit at number 4 with no end in sight.  

Days like these I feel the strain of the journey and wonder when we will meet our little one face to face. 

I don't have the answer. 

But I am eagerly anticipating the day that I will.  When I can share with you that there are one or two less orphans in this world.  

God knows the ending of this story.  And that's what I'm choosing to cling to while sitting in the unknown.  



And until that day comes when we meet our sweet peas face to face, we're going to enjoy sleeping in on Saturdays, hitting up some NFL stadiums, and trying to be present just where we are! 








Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Yardsailing

That's what we're doing this Saturday.  




After doing two previous yard sales in Montgomery, I've learned that when you start a yard sale at 6am, expect your first visitors at 4:45am.  


It's intense bargain shopping. 


All the proceeds from this sale will be going toward our adoption travel expenses. 


If you live in the area there are a few things I want you to know. 


1.  We'll gladly take any unwanted items off your hands. We are collecting things tonight and tomorrow.  


2.  We'd love to see your smiling face at the yard sale.  (but not before 6am.)


3.  We'd love for you to spread the word about the sale! 


If you live in the area and want to come by, email me at harrisleslie (at) hotmail (dot) com 
and I'll get you the directions! 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Game-Changer

This book....


was a game changer for me. 

I read it for the first time over four years ago.  Then I read it again.  And again.  In one week. 

The author, Beth, is an adoptive mom of nine who currently lives in Mexico caring for orphans.  

I love how she contrasted "refined faith," a term we most often hear in church, with her definition of "reckless faith"...

"Refined" can be defined as "cultivated" and "fastidious."  That kind of "refined faith" is the opposite of the Reckless Faith and I am writing about here. That sort of "refined  faith" is predictable and resistant to change; it pretends to know what God will do a hundred Sundays from now.  It is most comfortable with rules, consequences, and baby steps.  It likes control and people who agree.  It fears what it can't see.  A truly reckless faith, however, always expects change, and as a result, it's eager to risk more and fear less! A reckless faith knows there is more to the story, more we can't see, more than I experience now. It is hungry." 

She goes on to share about their lives in Mexico, caring for orphans and the families that had to give them up.  Her stories of faith were humbling and at the same time exhilarating. 

At this point in my life, four years ago,  I had been in full-time student ministry for years and was living fully on support of others as a missionary.  It was a job I loved and knew it was my calling for that time, yet in reading this book, something shifted in me.  I didn't know what to do with it.  But I kept saying to the other girls on staff, "I feel as though God is calling me out of my comfort zone..." 

I loved the book so much I recommended it to everyone and then lent it to someone.  I never ended up getting it back.  A few years went by and I ended up forgetting the name of the book, but I never forgot its impact on me. 

You can only imagine my excitement in the book store this past week when I found "Reckless Faith" staring back at me from the shelf! 

I read it again, amazed at where I am now in this crazy journey of adoption, and I can't help thinking about the route that God has taken to lead me here. 

I marvel at how He has used so many avenues to break through my fear of change and the unknown.  He has broken my heart for the fatherless.  And where as a few years ago, I may have found it a burden, I can now count it a privilege to advocate for the orphan. 

And I'm always up for recruiting more folks to join the cause for the orphan....  

I suggest you start with Reckless Faith.  But no, I'm not going to lend it to you. 


Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Reason

This weekend I attended a conference designed just for Moms.  I had been asked specifically to join a few other ladies from my church at this two-day event.


I wasn't sure why, but I felt like I should go.


In case you didn't know.  I don't have any kids.  So I felt a little silly attending this event.  


As other moms shared about the life with their toddlers or their school age kids all I could add was that Knox ate two bibles, a book, and some colored pencils this week.


Obviously, I'm in a different place.


A couple of hours into the conference I was feeling discouraged.  Though the information was good and was encouraging for so many of the women there, it just isn't wasn't where I am currently. 


As I sat in one of the break-out sessions, I prayed that God would give me something...just one thing, that I could walk away from the weekend with for the right now in my life.  


Not even fifteen minutes later, one of the speakers on the panel said something that spoke directly to an issue that Brian and I have been wrestling with for our family.   It confirmed what I had already felt God leading us to do.  


Love that. 


But.....He wasn't done. 


He's promised more than I can ask for or imagine, right? 


At the end of the session I happened to hear one of the woman state she had adopted from Ethiopia.  Of course, I had to trot on over and introduce myself to her.  I told her that we were adopting from the DRC, her eyes lit up and she said, "You've got to meet Carrie! She's coming to the session tonight and she just brought home her daughter from the DRC last month!" 


I have never actually met anyone who has adopted from the DRC.  Now, I have my amazing blog and agency friends who email back and forth as we wade through this process.... but I have never met a real, living, breathing human in person who has been through this crazy process. 


You see, the DRC isn't a warm, fuzzy place to adopt from....it's not a place that many families choose because of it's instability. 


To actually meet someone who has been through the wait and has traveled to the DRC to bring home their child was more than I could have asked for or imagined. 


Later that night, I got to meet and talk with Carrie.  Not only was this their first child as well, but they live only an hour and a half from us....  the first DRC family I know of in Alabama.  


There is a small percentage of families that have experienced adoption with the DRC...and God gave me face to face time with one of them. 


What. a. gift.  


Those few minutes with her were just the encouragement that I needed.  


For the right now.  


More than I can ask or imagine. 



 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Shopping and Adoption

Some wonderful friends of ours in Montgomery are helping us fundraise for our adoption! 

20% of your purchases from the Southern Treasures store inside the Curves for Women on Atlanta Highway will go toward our adoption travel expenses!

There are a ton of cute gift ideas and they are tax-free! 

This fundraiser will go through the Christmas Holidays, so please stop in and take a look! 










Wednesday, September 21, 2011

We've moved!



We are now number....





Woohoo!!!  

Last week, I put out a pretty, big prayer request about our referral. 

And mountains are moving...

Please keep those prayers coming!





 



 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

Fall is my favorite.


Montgomery, Alabama unfortunately only logs about 3 days of fall each year.


I refuse to let that deter me from enjoying every second of it.


Here is how I celebrate:



1.  Eating copious amounts of Candy Corn.


2. Watching football.  And lots of it.  Not that I have much of a choice- Brian just about cried with joy on opening day of football season.  Our TV stays programmed to football all weekend long from September to December.  (Go VOLS! Go EAGLES!)

3.  Brief bursts of craftiness.  As I've stated before,  I'm not creative or particularly skilled in the world of DIY.  However, there is something about the fall where I just get an itchin' to make something.

Last year, I made this wreath, inspired by my good friend Andrea, over at Babe of My Heart blog.




And... thanks to being exposed to the wonderful world of Pinterest,  I found how to make this very cute, very EASY wreath yesterday...


You need about 125 scraps of 7" x 1.5" fabric (I used five patterns), and a wire hanger as your frame. Tie each scrap in a basic knot.  Here's the original blog where I found it...

Since I didn't have any fabric, I headed to our local fabric store.  The total cost for me ended up being $6.  Not bad!

Trust me, people.  If this girl can do it....so can you.

I've now filled my crafting quota for the season.


So tell me, what are your fall traditions?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

And...we're holding...

Steady at #6. 


The first two months on the referral list spoiled us.  We started at #21 on the infant list in late june and by mid August we were already #6.  


I thought FOR SURE we'd have a referral by the end of September. 


But, we haven't moved in the past month. 


I'm not giving up though.  


A girl can pray can't she? 


And I'd love for you to join us. 


I'm going bold, folks.  


And it's totally against my nature. 


Because I'm a type-A realist.  And I'm a doubter.  And I don't like looking like a failure. 


There, I said it. 


If you don't know me personally, I have just made myself sound like a real winner. 


Back to my point. 


God is bigger than my realist/doubting/glass half empty self.


He's a miracle-maker.   


He's sovereign.  


And He's pretty big on prayer. 


So I have a question for you. 


Would you join us in praying for a referral by the end of September? 


Yes...I realize that is in two weeks. 


Here's the deal....By the end of September, two things could happen. 


1. We have a referral.  Which would be UH-mazing. 


2. We don't.  Kind of a bummer.  BUT...what we will have are a whole lot of people PRAYING about adoption. 


I've decided it's a win-win situation. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Good Things

1.  We have some awesome people in our lives.


Seriously.


The kind who sacrificially have given to help us with our referral costs for the adoption.  


We had over $12,000 donated to our matching grant.


Family. Good Friends. Fellow adoptive families. People we've never met.  People we haven't seen in over 10 years.  


We are so humbled by each and every donation. 


There have been some waterworks around here lately... just in awe of the ways in which God provides.




2.  Our friends, the Martin family, have been given clearance to head to China THIS WEEKEND to meet their new son, Joshua, and it couldn't come a minute sooner.


He is no longer an orphan (woohooo!!)  and will be given the chance to have his heart defect repaired by doctors in the U.S.


Please be praying for this family and for Joshua's heart.  He could not be going to a better home.




3.  Things have been a little rainy around here lately.... but rain brings some pretty beautiful sunsets...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Created for Care Retreat

That's right, I'm talking about it again.  Because I really think you should go. 

That's right....YOU. 

As long as you're female. 

Are you thinking about adoption? 

Are you in the process of adoption? 

Are you an adoptive parent? 

This is the conference for you.  


It's in a beautiful lodge near Lake Lanier, GA.   

And it's affordable. 

It's refreshing and encouraging. 

Connecting with other women in the journey.  Encouraging one another in the waiting.  Praying with one another through process.  

Learning about adoption and foster care and orphan care. 

Registration opens this Thursday,  September 1st.  Last year it sold out in 48 hours.  

For more information about the conference click here

For information on the specific breakout sessions during the retreat click here.

Hope to see you there!  




Sunday, August 28, 2011

Deadline

There are only a few days left to donate to our matching grant! 

We have been SO blessed by the donations of our family, friends, and strangers.

If you are still interested in donating, please click here for more information.

All donations MUST be POSTMARKED by September 1st.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to all of you who have donated!!!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

40 years...A Love Story

Forty years ago this week, my parents were married.  Their story started out much like other couples, a chance meeting, a budding romance, and eventually marriage.  It was what came after their wedding that was truly a unique love story


But first, back to the beginning...My parents were in the same physical education program in college.  They met when dad misspelled mom’s name on a sign, and she was sure to let him know it.  He thought she was cute and started pursuing her. She eventually fell for my athletic, muscular, funny dad.  After dating for a while, my father was drafted into the army.

In his mind, the sensible thing was to break up-- no need trying to make things work long distance.  Mom most definitely disagreed, and an argument ensued which involved a brick being launched toward my father’s head.  Though athletic, my mom is a lefty, which automatically garnered her with a tendency for wild pitches.  She fortunately missed, and dad left for the army. Somehow through letters and cards their love endured while dad was away.


They married in 1971 and started life as young newlyweds.  It was about a year into the marriage that my father contracted encephalitis, otherwise known as inflammation of the brain.  Though often fatal, my father escaped death, but was left with an extensive road to recovery.  After a lengthy stay in the hospital, my dad was sent home to recuperate.

He was no longer the man my mother had married.  My father, who at the time of their marriage was known to show-off his one-handed push-ups, could now barely get out of bed.  Neurologically, he had to learn most things over. 

My mother, still a newlywed, became a care-giver and a provider for them. While she went to work, my father recuperated and stayed with his sister-in-law and his three year-old nephew.  Most afternoons would find my father and his nephew watching Sesame Street, both of them learning their ABC’s and numbers.  

It’s hard for me to picture that dynamic.  Though infertility was a great possibility because of my father’s illness, I was born six years after he was diagnosed. By then, he had returned to work full-time, was again actively playing sports, and heading for his master’s degree in counseling.   

I never witnessed the years of devastation and heartache in my parents marriage. 

The years that should have been filled with adventure and young love that were instead eaten up by illness and recovery.  

The hopes and dreams that were lost. 

The days where my father dealt with being inadequate as a husband and a provider. 

The moments when my mother questioned whether she would get back the man she once married. 

I’ll never know the man my father was before his illness, whether he had different personality quirks or temperaments. I’m okay with that, because the man I have grown up with is the kindest and most gentle man I know.  He was and is fiercely devoted to my mother and to the Lord. I am so honored to call that man my dad.

My mom was and is the voice of reason and wisdom, much learned perhaps, in the early years of her marriage. She is a woman of integrity, honesty, and truth.  I am blessed to call her mom.  

Through the years, their love has only flourished and grown.  While my sister and I worried that mom and dad would be lost without us after we left for college, they found new hobbies and adventures.  In this year alone, they have done mission trips to the Dominican Republic, Florida, and New York. They’ve traveled from Maine to Alabama.  They are the still the best of friends.

I was privileged to have a front row seat to watch a love that had been forged out of fire. A love that stepped in to the flame; sacrificed it’s own hopes, dreams, and future, and rescued someone else. 

My parents did not show me a perfect marriage or a perfect love.  There was no way they could.  It was not the fairy-tale love of movies, but instead, the compassionate, loyal, and unequivocally committed love that can only be made visible through crisis and suffering.  For the past four decades, they have chosen to love through all circumstances.

In a world full of conditional love and marriages that end when the road gets a little rough, my parents have lived a true love story.

Thank you, Mom and Dad.