Something pretty significant happened a few months after our very first gotcha day. I can count on one hand the key things that happened over the course of the next year that helped us survive. I use the word survival in all seriousness, I don't take it lightly and it's not an exaggeration. That first year will be forever etched in my brain.
We are nearing our second full year together and the years have been like night and day...literally, night & day! We knew 100% that we were supposed to adopt our precious three kids. Did that mean that we knew what living as a family of seven would be like?
One month after we transitioned we also moved into our current house. It seems insane that we would attempt such a thing after trying adjust to our new family but we knew that the space we would gain would be totally worth it in the long run. Our church family was so supportive and right by our side. Friends helped us move all of our belongings, helped to watch our kids during the big moving day and the week after so that we could unpack, helped clean our old home once everything was moved out, and brought us a few meals a week for the next few weeks.
We are so thankful for each and every person that helped us during that time.
It was a little over a month after the big move and I figured all of the help was coming to a close. How we were going to make it through that time I did not know except, "but God!" Then my friend told me something that literally changed our lives. She had been organizing the meals for us during that first month. Some women had been brainstorming how to help once the dust had settled so to speak. Four friends had decided that they were going to continue making meals for our family. "Cool," I thought.
In my head I thought how amazing this help had been and how a few more weeks of this would be heavenly.
Then she told me, "we want to bring you meals for ONE YEAR."
I feel like a moment of silence is the only thing fitting right now.
Ya'll SERIOUSLY!?! I can think back to that moment and still feel my heart filling, my mouth unable to speak and the tears flowing down my face. Four of our friends had decided that they were each going to bring us a meal once a month so that for a full year, one night a week dinner would be covered.
We decided which night of the week would work best Do you know that for that entire year I didn't have to think twice about what my favorite day of the week was? It was Thursdays...hands down, no competition...it was Thursdays!
I could clean up the kitchen from lunch and it stayed clean until dinner was served! All of the other days the kids would ask "what is for dinner?" Every day I wrestled through thinking, I have no clue.
However on Thursdays I knew, the kids knew...dinner was coming and it was going to be delicious!
Sam and I have often reflected on that first year and how much those weekly meals made a difference in our lives. It was so much more than food. Honestly, I didn't care if they brought us mac & cheese. Whatever it was it meant that I didn't have to think about dinner that night and could take a few moments to grasp all of the other million little things that we were trying to walk through.
Not only was it a few extra moments to put my head on straight again, but it also meant that we knew 100% that people supported us. Most weeks simply knowing that my friends had driven up to 45 minutes to get to us because of rush hour meant more to my heart than the delicious warm food that they brought. It was always encouraging to see their smiling face and the hug that they gave me before they left many times brought me to tears once I closed the front door.
Those meals encouraged us to keep going...to keep fighting through whatever the current challenge was.
Maybe like me (before we adopted) you too might have thought that people who adopt have superpowers. Can I just say that, we don't. It isn't something that you can figure out ahead of time. It isn't something that you can research and have all of the answers for ahead of time. You simply have to take the steps forward to walk things out. It is so important to go into it with eyes wide open. The challenges are new with each passing day. It can be so hard but at the very same time SO GOOD.
With confidence I can say that the support of God, friends and family literally helped us survive.
I've thought many times how wonderful that experience was to receive weekly meals. It could be used in so many situations. To support a family who has experienced great loss, to help a family who is without a job, to make a difference in the life of a single mom. It might be just what someone needs to believe that life isn't going to always be this hard and that someone believes in me.
It is a gift that could change a family's life forever.
As we draw near to the holiday season what is one gift that you have received that has changed your life forever?
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