Brian says I run like a baby giraffe. (You're welcome for that visual.)
Despite my athletic prowess, it feels like we've been running a marathon with this adoption.
When we started, I hoped it'd be a sprint with the finish line in full view in less than a year's time.
That was a joke.
We've been jogging instead at a slow, slow pace.
Stopped a few times with some leg cramps.
Started running slowly again.
Stopped again for some water breaks.
Had to get back on the course after going in the wrong direction. Twice.
Running what feels like most of time uphill and against the wind.
But we are starting to catch glimpses of the finish line.
Motivated daily to keep running by the crowds on the sidelines who are cheering us on.
To say we've had a lot of supporters in this race is an understatement.
Many have run alongside us the entire way. Praying and encouraging us non-stop.
Others have been handing us sustenance along the way, keeping us going, making sure we've had what we needed to finish the race.
People have been there at different points of this long race, stepping in just when we needed them.
Helping us in so many different ways.
Assisting us in getting our background check and clearances processed quickly.
Providing baby items.
Sharing our story and our need with others.
Giving us wisdom and direction when we weren't sure if we could finish the race.
Reminding us why we were running in the first place.
So. Many. Cheerleaders.
I've just got to share some of them with you today.
~Becky, my friend from middle school, read about the DRC and the orphan crisis in some of my blog posts wanted to do something. So she decided that she was going to donate the proceeds from her garage sale in NJ last year to our adoption. I haven't even seen her person yet to hug her neck and thank her, so I'll thank her publicly by putting up this awesome picture of us from twenty years ago.
|9th grade- Becky second from left in the back row. I'm next to her on the right. Fresh off a spiral perm.|
~Tucker, friend from Montgomery and mother of three little ones under four, asked families to donate to our adoption instead bringing gifts to her two oldest kids birthday party. It's a tradition I'd love to incorporate with our family one day too!
~Allison, my sister and best friend who I do not get to see nearly enough, decided that she would use her talent as a photographer to help us fundraise. She spent all of last November (in the midst of coaching field hockey and caring for her little ones) taking pictures of area families for their Christmas card photos. Instead of paying her, she asked them to donate to our adoption. All of this was a surprise to us until she presented us a $500 check last Christmas.
~Toni, high school senior, founder of "The Least of These" ministry, which she created to help families who are adopting. She tie-dyes t-shirts and created "The Least of These" bumper stickers to sell with the proceeds going to adopting families. She helped bring this little guy home and she's helped us bring Tyson home.
~Kaye, mom to Toni, who showed up at 5:30 in the morning to help us sell coffee and muffins at our garage sale to raise money for the adoption. She's one of our biggest cheerleaders in this journey and she advocates for so many families that are adopting.
|Toni and Kaye in Ethiopia this summer|
~Friends (and strangers!) from Montgomery who donated items to sell in our two yard sales last year to raise money for the adoption, including a brand-new video camera that we raffled off on the blog.
~Jennifer, friend from Montgomery, gave 20% the proceeds of the sale of the goods in her Curves Gym toward our adoption. I wrote about it here last year.
~The hundreds of people who came to our Chick-fil-a spirit night a year ago and bought a combo meal, or some waffle fries, or a sweet tea. Every single purchase, no matter how small, has helped to bring our son home.
~The many, many friends and family that have sent us facebook messages, emails, and cards- encouraging us in the journey and celebrating with us as we reach each milestone in the process.
~Countless friends, family, and strangers who have donated so, so generously and sacrificially to our adoption fund.
I can NOT imagine us having to run this race alone.
Thank you for being our cheerleaders, our running partners, and our coaches.
Thank you for encouraging us, loving us, and challenging us to keep pressing forward.
Though our marathon is not yet over and there may be some more hills to run, the home stretch is near.
This baby giraffe and her husband can't wait to cross the finish line.
Sidenote: This will be the only type of marathon I run. I have no plans of physically RUNNING a marathon. Ever. Thank you very much.