Wednesday, October 14, 2015

I Know What Joy Sounds Like

Happy Birthday, S (clearly first thing in the morning)!
Two days ago, S, our oldest son, celebrated his 12th birthday. He celebrated in Ukraine, a world away from his awaiting family. Today, K, our oldest daughter celebrates her 14th birthday. It is really tough to be so far away, but that ache seems amplified on the big days. 

Happy Birthday, K (M had to leave early for work)!
Lucky for us, God hears our cries. Do you remember the lady I told you about who is adopting her son from the same orphanage? Her name is Carla. Well, not only did she deliver the necklaces and letter for us, but she did a few other lovely things for our kids (and us). First of all, she offered to shop for a phone for our kids while she was in Ukraine. Apparently, phones are quite a bit cheaper outside of the US. Carla was able to get a great deal on the phone, so she had a bit of money left over. When she found out it was S's birthday, she went shopping again and bought some legos for our boy. Shortly after delivering S's gift, she discovered K's birthday was today. Carla went out again and shopped for K for us. When she finished, K even had cake! I can't even begin to express my gratitude. A woman who was a stranger to me a few weeks ago, has such love for orphans-- especially my three orphans--that she is happily making trips to and from stores in multiple towns to help me deliver my love across the world. Wow!

So, back to that really big gift (as if the others were small potatoes). This morning, when my caller id showed a few extra numbers, I got chills. Yep, I got a call from Ukraine. I could actually hear the joy in these kids' voices. Artem was sick today (in the infirmary), but I was able to speak with S and K. I loved hearing their sweet voices mixing with mine. We were able to talk for a few minutes before the phone needed to be charged, and made plans to talk again. So, so good!

My high school counselor was amazing. Every time he called (even into my adulthood), he would comment at least once in the conversation that he could hear my smile coming through the phone lines. Today, I understand that even more. He was absolutely right, you CAN hear smiles! What a gift.

As I go through my day reflecting on this, I am so inspired to look harder for little ways that I can spread joy in this world. Ways that I can love others selflessly, just as I have received. 

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