Last Saturday, I had the honor and privilege of meeting (in person) two friends I have come to know since we started our adoption in Kyrgyzstan. Ann is one of the dear 65 families who have met their little ones, wait for them with every second of their days and love them more than life itself from 7000 miles away. Trite as it may sound, I have often thanked God for only letting our hearts get as invested as they did in Kyrgyz before the country closed because I'm so saddened for those families who have waited 2+ years for their children. Not pictures on a referral email--their CHILDREN. Children who have families and homes waiting to shower them with love and forever. It's just so sad.
Jengish is an amazing young man who has dedicated his life to service of others. He works with people that many of us in our pampered lives would consider unworthy and untouchable. He looks for them, purposely putting himself in not so great positions just to help them and lead them to lives so much more fulfilling. He is such a great example of loving them like Jesus loved them and I have loved being able to call him a friend.
So, meeting up with both in Richmond last Saturday was a great day. Admittedly, I was having a rough week. Umm, lets make that two weeks. Heck, let's make it 16. My point is that Richmond was a two hour drive and drive time is think time and think time is not great time.
But it was worth it. So worth it! I was sort of embarrassed--born and raised in Virginia and I felt like such a loser because I couldn't remember much of Virginia history AT . ALL. (I had my trusty phone with me, though, so I was able to supply answers eventually.)
We had lots of fun photo ops (Ann and Jengish are real photographers...I just depend on my trusty green "A") and just a fabulous time getting to know each other (more)!
Ann told me that after Matthew died, a group of the waiting families wanted to get a tree or something like that for us to remember Matthew. I cannot tell you how touched I was by this. Actually, if truth be told, I was overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by the kindness and compassion of relative *strangers* who wanted to do something special for me and John and our sweet baby boy.
Believe it or not, we came across a nursery right near the place Jengish was staying and after we dropped him off, we stopped there. I had no clue of what to look for--significantly overwhelmed. Ann and I started looking and just had no idea so we decided to ask one of the ladies there. I asked her for something that might flower in the fall, or at least be pretty to look at, and she showed us a couple of things. For each thing I asked how it looked during the winter (winter has officially become my most hated season EVER) because I didn't want anything that looked dead/dying. I have enough memory of that as it is. She then took us over to some beautiful camellias and said that they were evergreen even when not blooming. Then she said, "And they have beautiful flowers that start blooming in December."
Well, that was it. Ann and I looked each other, I started to cry and we both got goosebumps. Blooming in December. Just like my little Matthew would have.
I'm crying as I type this. John and I have been planning a memorial garden in a particular part of our yard so that we could have things to remember my mom and his dad and our grandparents. I never, ever, EVER dreamed I would be planting something to memorialize MY SON. My newborn son.
My heart is heavy.
But it is also encouraged. Encouraged by the support that we have in so many different people and venues. Encouraged by the blooms that I'll see every winter and remember how loved we are and how loved Matthew is. Encouraged that it can't always be this bad...and when it's not, I'll be able to look out the window and see those flowers and smile...at the memory of special people and the memory of my beautiful baby boy.
Thank you Waiting Families...our hearts have been so blessed.