Sunday, October 26, 2014

grateful and guilty

There have been many events in my life that have changed me to who I am today. 
 In June my husband, two young daughters and I opened our home to 2 Ukrainian orphans for 8 weeks through a hosting program, Going into the experience, I was hopeful that we would be able to give them food to eat, dental visits, vision care and a warm bed to sleep in. What I didn’t realize was that our family was going to fall deeply in love with this 12 year old girl and 16 year old boy. 

These two children came off a 23 hour flight to a country where we do not speak their language with only the clothes on their back and nothing more. We had a community of people donate 4 trash bags of hand-me-down clothes for each child. When they walked into our home, the children were quite but when opening the closets in their OWN rooms, Alex (16) gasped as if saying, “these belong to me!” 
The children were in awe of what they had received in a short days time. 
Stepping foot on American soil, they quickly have a home, a room, clothes that are theirs, a refrigerator with food, but mostly parents and a family that loves them unconditionally. One that will not hit them, abandon them. They became a son and daughter.

Last night was our Casino night, a fundraiser that has taken away many restful nights for the past 3 weeks. Writing letters, soliciting myself, my family, our story, in hopes to raise money that will help bring two kids home forever. 

Seventy nine people came to the event, dressed up in Halloween costumes from a gum ball machine, mad hatter and queen of hearts, to appearances from the D.C. Comics super hero's. A beautiful night spent with people who have met Alex and Yana, who have only read about them and others who had no idea why they were there but heard there was booze, and an amazing bartender (and assistant).

Nineteen donated items were raffled, including a mini IPad, a dream dinners party,  Boo Hoo Crew Basket filled with CD's and a set of family T-shirts, an Arbonne basket, as well as seventeen silent auction items including Karate and Dance lessons for a month, 31 bags, photography package by Stacy Winters  and a week at a 3 bedroom condo in Grand Cayman. Incredible gifts, just given to us, to them.
Just one of 3 tables of silent auction items
During the planning of the event, I have had people in and out of my house. Alex and Yana’s rooms taken over by baskets, raffia, ribbon, and scissors, which are still all over the floor. (The last basket wrapped at 4:40pm yesterday afternoon and set up on the table at the 11th hour.) 
We were all working down to the wire.
 My friends, coming over to my house while I was at work Thursday and Friday to an empty house to print out labels and silent auction sheets, drink tickets...  Others coming over after 8 at night to until about midnight on multiple nights, after their three kids went to sleep. All to wrap baskets in a dark room with no lamp with me. Other friends calling and saying I have this to donate, or would you like this, it took over 12 hours to set everything up, but last night over 13 people helped clean up and we were all out there in an hour...So many hands made the night perfect. My friends have given their time this week and I cannot even explain the amount of love and appreciation.
I went home last night, exhausted. As I told the Lord thank you and reflected on my many many blessing, tears stream down my face. For me? I do not deserve the amount of love I am given. I do not deserve these blessing, these friends. How come I have all this?

Sometimes I feel so guilty. 

“But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability..” 
Deuteronomy 8:18

It is shocking, like a closet full of clothes to a orphan that has nothing. So much love can be humbling and overwhelming. I gasp, to catch my breath and to take a moment. I give it to God, all my guilt, my worries, my weaknesses, my shock, my praise. 
This is all for You, this is all for Your glory.  

“Not to us, O Lord, not to us, But to your name give glory Because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth.”  
Psalm 115:1

There are no words that will explain, the only thing I have is.... I love you guys and thank you!
______________________________________________________My guilt fades away, and a growth mindset flows through me.
 Alex and Yana are coming home as a son and daughter, to a place that barely knows them but will love them.  

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” 
Jeremiah 29:11

My beautiful mother

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