Let me start off by saying that I have been working on this post for weeks now. It's has taken me hours upon hours to get these words down and this post it not something I take lightly. This is my heart, written with passion, tears and an believable amount of humility.
I am a thankful person, at least I think I am. My life, at least up until lately, has always been easy. I've never been in need of anything. My parents have always been there. I don't remember a single football game (I was a cheerleader), softball game, badminton tournament or band concert my parents haven't been at. I always had more than enough "stuff" and never needed anything. Someone once told me I was "born with a silver spoon in my mouth", maybe I was, but my parents worked VERY hard to provide more for my brother and I than what they had. Yes, I got a car when I turned 16 and my parents even paid for my insurance. Never once have I taken any of the previous for granted. I am beyond thankful for all of it and my parents know that. Im sure, in my selfish teenage years, I had my moments of entitlement. Who doesn't? I'm sure I have forgotten to send my fair share of thank you notes. I am human. Despite my flaws, I do believe, I have ALWAYS shown gratitude.
When Josh and I decided to adopt Malachi we had a very realistic understanding of what we were "getting ourselves into." We knew it wouldn't always be easy, what ever is? We encountered those who thought Malachi would be a "burden and a mistake" but we also encountered those who whole heartedly accepted him into our family as our son. In the first few weeks after we brought Malachi home we struggled with the nay sayers. Our hearts ached for people to see Malachi the way we did. We KNEW he would prove them all wrong (and he has). What we never saw coming was the unbelievable amount of support we would receive over the next year.
Recently Josh and I were talking about Malachi and his heart surgery. We had decided to have Malachi dedicated in church the weekend before surgery. The dedication was beautiful. All of our family and friends were there to celebrate. We were over joyed and soooo thankful that so many people came out to show their love and support. Surgery ended up getting moved back a week so we were able to attend church one more Sunday. After the service a older couple came up to us and handed us $150. We have never seen them before and haven't seen them since. We have no clue what their names are or why they chose to give us money. I cried all the way home. I have never had the opportunity to give them a thank you note but my eyes well up with tears when ever Josh and I talk about them. Our thankfulness goes deeper than words on a simple piece of paper.
Then I think about Elijah and his heart surgery. We couldn't get into the Ronald McDonald house and didn't have the money to stay in a hotel for a week. We had a complete stranger from a church we have never heard of come to the hotel and pay for 2 nights. We have countless stories like this, of people stepping up to help, just because. They never expected anything in return.
Before we left for Boston friends of ours held 2 Benefits for Malachi. We were able to raise enough money for 2 trips to Boston. Family, friends and complete strangers got together to help not because they had to but because they wanted to.
Our gratitude is much like those who have chosen to help us along the way. We are not bursting at the seams with thankfulness because we have to be, but rather because we WANT to be. It's a choice we make daily, to be thankful for every situation in every circumstance. Please know that just because we don't say it daily or write it as often as we should, we are forever grateful for YOU! For sharing your love, your friendship, your time, your talents, your homes, your, money, your gifts, your wisdom and your life with us. From the bottom of our hearts, WE ARE THANKFUL!