I would not have been shocked if our friends responded with "Um, sure, and can you help us with our bills too?" Or by sending us five bucks apiece. Because, like I said, WE decided to do this. How is it THEIR problem?
In the, oh, ten days since we started asking for help, various friends have:
- donated enough money to cover the finalization fees, and the re-adoption fees.
- gotten one of their friends--a stranger to us--to turn their moving sale into a multi-family garage sale with all proceeds going to us
- written letters for us supporting our application for a grant--letters, I add, that are heartfelt and persuasive and much better written than our actual grant application. If we get the grant, it's all due to those letters.
- offered us a bed for the girl's bedroom
- sent emails, invited us to dinner, taken us out for coffee, and actually REQUESTED that we show the adoption video and let us talk ad nauseum about the kids and the process
- offered sage advice on continuing fundraising, and in a few cases, offered to host specific events
- donated items for a proposed silent auction
- probably other stuff that I'm forgetting right now
- If we hadn't swallowed our pride and asked for help, we never would have known the full extent of our friends' love and generosity.
- People love kids. They love their own family, so they want us to have a family. They love their own children, so they want these children to have a home. It really resonates with them.
Our friends, however, see joy here. And they are not wrong. Children leaving an orphanage and coming into a family is joy. Would-be parents finding children to love is joy. I must stay aware of and supportive of my children's struggles, but I must also expect and accept joy, for them, for us. So I am grateful for the love, I am grateful for the generosity, and I am grateful for the reminder to be joyful.