1, 2, & 3. Pam made us a fabulous book designed to add mementos and journaling and photos to record special moments to come. She also gave us a copy of a book by an author who was her own children's favorite, Jan Brett.
4. Beth made a special fanciful pincushion especially for our little visitors.
5. Stephanie created this delightful assemblage for us.
6. Lisa sent us these really fabulous (and heavy!) wooden blocks for building. Great for any age!
7. Wendy gave us a collection of wall-art flashcards, a cd full of childhood favorites, and a deck of activity cards. What a bundle of fun!
8 & 9. Heidi sent us a copy of the New Testament and a G.I.Joe doll. Her husband was a foster child in the 60's and he remembers with fondness playing with a G.I.Joe doll while he was there. That story made me cry when I read it.
10, 11, & 12. Cindy sent us a copy of her granddaughter's favorite book, the one that landed her the fabulous nickname of "Lovey". She also made two wonderful dolls and the most fabulous tuffet for storytime seating!
13. My friend Debbie's son, one of my favorite people in this whole wide world, returned home from school last week overjoyed. She'd just shared with him the story about what Rich and I are doing. At school that day they'd had a book-share. This sweet little boy picked up an ancient copy of Huck Finn just for us to share with our little friends. What a very good boy he is!
And that's what really astounds us about all of these gifts. You are all so sweet to help us prepare our lives and our homes for this great new adventure. The love pours out of every box we open, every card we unfold.
Before I went to bed last night I read a little of a book by Mother Teresa. I wanted to share with you a passage of what I read:
To children and to the poor, to all those who suffer and are lonely, give
them always a happy smile; give them not only your care but also your heart. We
may not be able to give much, but we can always give the joy that springs from a
heart that is filled with love.
The love and joy you've shared with us in the gifts and stories and encouragement will transfer to these little ones, I promise. It is fortifying for us, preparing us for the work ahead. We will give these children, these little faces that have seen so much already, we will give them our hearts. We will give them joyful smiles. And patience.
Lots of people have expressed worry about us...how will you be able to let them go after you've loved and cared for them. For certain it will be hard. But when I weigh it on an imaginary scale...our heartache at letting them go countered by the gift of love we will give them (that we hope will stay with them always)...well, the choice is ridiculously simple.
God always asks us to do more than we think we can do. He knows best though that we can handle it. I'm putting it in His hands.
We picked up the crib on Friday night (as well as the bookshelves Rich and I are gifting each other with for Christmas!). Here's an update of how the room is looking...
We worked all weekend preparing for the home inspection. I cleaned out all the of the kitchen cabinets and pantry, rearranging and tossing and cleaning. Rich put together the bookshelves and they are now flanking the television in the family room. I've almost filled them with books already. Rich will install the glass doors hopefully tonight and I'll snap a picture soon.
Today I have a whole bunch of orders to go out (Thank you! Thank you!) and then I think I'll tackle the coat closet in the front hall. I'm going to try to tackle one major project per day. Maybe a coat closet doesn't sound major to you but you've obviously not seen our coat closet.