I am humbled by the generosity of my friends, family and people I've never met. I'm amazed by the way Manno has touched so many lives already. I am in awe of the way God has woven all the details into a beautiful plan and constantly stunned that He has chosen me to be part of that plan.
My mother reports that the first sentence I ever uttered was, "I do myself". I don't doubt her because it is how I usually operate. I hate asking for help. I feel guilty and weak and inadequate. However, I love helping others. What I've come to realize is that people like being part of Manno's story. They like saying that they helped to bring this amazing child into his new family. They like helping me. And I am learning to stop feeling weak and guilty and to just start feeling grateful.
Last weekend, I received a gift in the mail from a woman who has been a huge support throughout this process. This painting was done by Jodi Queenan (another adoptive mom) and was sent to me by my friend, Gina. She said that when she saw it, she thought of Manno and me and wanted to send it to me. I cried when I opened it--because the painting is beautiful, because I can't wait to be 'flying' home with Manno and because the kindness of people I've never even met 'in real life' constantly surprises and amazes me.
Yesterday, we came home to find a HUGE package waiting outside of our door. I was sure it had been delivered to the wrong house but it hadn't--it was for us. I still had NO CLUE what could be in such a huge box but was eager to find out. When I opened it, I started to cry, again. (I'm not a crier.) It is one of the most beautiful gifts I have ever received. It was a chair from Haiti. Not a Haitian-style chair made here in the US or shipped here in large quantities to be sold to Americans. It is a chair FROM Haiti. My friend, Karen, asked her husband to bring it home on his last trip to Haiti. He did. And after lugging it onto three planes, explaining to the flight attendants what it was and carrying it through all of the airports, she broke the news to him that it was not staying at their house because it was for me. For Manno. Because once (ONCE) I mentioned that I would love to bring back a chair from Haiti for him to have at his desk in our house.
And then there is the gift I received from so many of you. I told you about a one-day fundraiser I was having through Delicate Fortress--a company run by one woman in her home who has a heart for women and children who are being trafficked. For one day, Delicate Fortress would donate 25% of all my sales to help pay for Manno's plane ticket home. The owner of the business (who is amazing all by herself and deserves a whole blog post just about the work she is doing) told me to expect to make between $200-400 for the day. She couldn't believe what you guys did. You paid for Manno's plane fare--$880! When the day was over, there were orders from 68 people--representing 20 different states!
I have learned so many lessons during this adoption but one of the most important ones has been how to accept the help and love of my friends. Thank you all SO much for every single thing you have done to help bring this sweet boy into our family. Every prayer, every kind word, every gift has meant one more step toward our family being complete. Thank you for being such an important part of this amazing journey.