And I mean it.
I want to begin by apologizing for not writing more often.The last year has been … busy. In the last 12 months, I have passed eight (EIGHT!) kidney stones. I’ve had double exploratory breast surgery. (Don’t worry: Everything is fine.) I have also made a major career change, quitting my job to launch my own writing and editing business. This was a huge decision that felt, in so many ways, as if it were being made for me. We’ve chosen to dive in, head first, with a good amount of flailing and inelegant kicking, so that I can be more flexible for the kiddo that is coming our way. And I’ve been so grateful that through all of it, our friends and family have supported us a thousand percent.
As for adoption news, well, in some ways, there isn’t much to write. We are, still, waiting. We hope to be finished with our home study by the end of the summer. We, with the help of my incredible parents, completely renovated our back yard in the last few weeks. It is now warm and welcoming to adults, kiddos and dogs alike. I love to just sit in my little Westside oasis, smelling the lemon verbena in the breeze. It’s heavenly, and I cannot wait to teach my kiddo about the magic of gardening.
And even though it feels as if there is not much to tell, we feel that lately we’ve been working harder than ever to bring home our Little Shope. Our dear friends have held a garage sale for us, full of furniture and furnishings and trinkets donated by friends and friends of friends. I have so many thank-you notes to mail out. This sale helped us raise more than $1,000 in about 8 hours. Even our bank teller was impressed! Plus, our friends have donated so much stuff that we will have another garage sale in July. (Seriously, we have items we didn’t even get to put out last time!)
It’s this constant theme of generosity that about does me in. I am reminded of of one of my favorite verses in the New Testament. It is a reminder to me that this kind of selflessness matters to God. I know what is has all meant to Matt and I, but I love knowing that God sees it too.
Luke 6:38 says, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (NIV).
That blessing, that promise, is for you, friends. You have been so generous. Not just with your money or things. You’ve given us constant encouragement, prayer, good thoughts, hugs and words and silence. You’ve given abundantly, generously. And we see it, often through grateful, messy and hot tears. God sees it too.
Even as I want to use this space to offer my gratitude, I want to also use it to ask a favor. I thank you for loving our Little Shope, someone we have never met. And I want to ask you to extend that same kind of love to the little ones everywhere who as yet have no home. There are 147 million orphans (or so). Since October, about 47,000 kids have walked into America with nothing and no one. They are kept in holding areas, crammed in like socks in a drawer. There are kids who have loving parents but who still struggle with loneliness, with anger, with mental health issues, with rejection, with extraordinary poverty, with hunger. And there are kids who are in your path who need a mentor or a friend.
I am asking that even as you pray for us or for your own kids, you pray for and defend these ones too.
Thank you, loved ones.