A question every adult asks around this time of year.
In the past, I have tried to meet every need, want, care of my girls. I am so guilty of completely over-indulging in the wonderful Christmas season. Which seemed like a good idea, except every year the day has ended with crying, tantrums, screaming, and fighting from over stimulated, extra tired, little girls not quite understanding what we are celebrating. They are/were missing the point. I was missing the point.
But not this year...
Now don't get me wrong, my girls are still getting their roller skates from Santa, but we have completely scaled back. Way. Back.
My daughters needs are met here in our warm two story home in San Diego. There is food in our fridge and avocados on our counter. There is hot and cold fresh water coming out of our faucets, jackets hanging in their closets and a mommy and daddy that love them more than life itself.
What do they need... there is never a time that we can not afford to buy them new socks or shoes. There is never a time that we can't afford dinner. I mean things get tight but there has never been a time that God hasn't provided.
He has provided my husband and I jobs. Jobs that support our growing family. And for that I am so grateful.
"How are you? I miss you. What do you want for Christmas, Alex?"
2 days later I receive a response through Ukrainian Facebook.
"I cold. I want shampoo."
The same question was asked by me as a message to Yana. The response I got,
"I too miss you."
She didn't even ask for anything for Christmas. There has been so many times in her life that she has gone without, does she not even know what to ask for? Or is it she doesn't want to be disappointed if the item never comes?
They live in a world I will never know. In a world where Head and Shoulder Shampoo is a luxury.
I spoke to Vlad, a boy adopted 7 months ago. He told me he would wear 3 pairs of pants and many shirts to keep warm during the winter. And many nights to cold to sleep.
I am sending a box, 29 lbs, filled with winter gloves, coats, Oreos, head and shoulder shampoo (Alex's favorite), almonds, peanut butter pretzels, deck of cards, floss, tooth brushes, tooth paste, deodorant, razors....everything that we take for granted. Everything that we buy in bulk at Costco, and most of it just sits in our cupboards.
These everyday items are gifts to kids across the world, to kids that do not have a thing that is their own. Shampoo is a luxury to them.
It makes me stop and think how truly blessed I am.
Adam and I are a little more focused this year. A paradigm shift from the previous years.
I have swapped Elf on the Shelf with the Truth About Tinsel this advent season.
We decided that instead of Christmas gifts, we are going to build family memories. It sounds so much more fun than just opening presents they will play with for a week and then leave in the toy chest. (This is our last Christmas as a family of four, so lets make it memorable).
I really feel called to give back.
And during this time of year, it's so easy to give...there are so many opportunities.
Every store I go into has a bell reminding me of God's glorious grace, and the fact that I am in a position to give to others. So cool.
Also, I love those shoe boxes, and the fact I can track them! The girls have tried guessing where our deflated soccer balls are going to go. They think Ukraine.
Oh, not to mention those Angel Trees, they get me every. time. Seeing a sweet kiddos name hanging on a Douglas Fir, I have to take it off and see what they want. I loved having the girls pick out things for an 8 year old boy who likes action figures and Lego's and wears a size 7/8.
The girls still do not understand that receiving does not need to be in excess.
"I want. I want. I want." is a phrase that is oh so popular in their 3 and 5 year old vernacular.
I pray that they learn to be satisfied with all they have, and not feel the need to always want more.
It's crazy, walking through stores with them is like a scene from Finding Nemo. "Mine. Mine. Mine."
Someday they will get it. I hope.
Adoption Update...so we didn't make the December 10th deadline. Frustrating, I know, but everyone who says adoptions take forever...they are very right.
We are currently doing a Adorn for Adoption jewelry fundraiser. A fellow mommy, who has adopted from the same orphanage has graciously offered to sell Chloe+Isabel Jewelry on our behalf. All proceeds go to bringing Yana and Alex home. Please check it out, all purchase made through this link will fund our adoption. This fundraiser ends Monday December 8. Order now and get it in time for Christmas. Jewelry Fundraiser.
And as always if you feel called to help, donate here.
Lots of love,