This post is a little overdue, but I wanted to take some time to share a little of our Christmas last weekend. It was a beautiful holiday for us, full of surprises from our families. Plenty of quiet planning and secretive conversations had been buzzing through phone conversations & FB messages in weeks leading up to Christmas I'm sure, and we were oblivious to all of it. My sister and brother-in-law sent a special message in their Christmas letter, prompting people to purchase our fundraiser T-shirts (which BTW are still available!) for their loved ones. Anyone who's ever written a Christmas letter knows that open space is valuable and hard to come by, and yet our adoption was included! Thanks Bri and Troy for including your nephews in your annual letter, that was really special to us!
At JT's parent's house Christmas morning, we were given some very sweet gifts in preparation for our little boys: children's books, playdough, a super cute future halloween costume, and a very unique photo album. This special photo album is voice recordable. JT's mom explained that she thought we could fill the pages with pictures of us and use the voice recorder to record messages to our sons. We'll be able to take it with us on our first trip to Ethiopia and leave it at the orphanage when we have to return home. The nannies at the orphanage can show/play it to our sons until we return for them (after all the paperwork has been completed by the government). We're hoping it will help with voice and facial recognition while we're away from them, so it will be an easier transition when we return to bring them home. Such a sweet gift, one to be treasured forever...you can cry at the thought of this gift, we both did!
Another surprise were 2 PSU footballs for our sons...given to us by a Michigan fan! Now that's a real surprise!! ;)
The day after Christmas we went to celebrate at my dad's parents' house, which is our annual tradition. Within the hour leading up to driving to my grandparents, my mom is always frantically wrapping all the gifts that need to be taken over, this year was no different. After dinner, we all went into their living room to begin opening up our presents. As my sister was passing out the gifts that she and my parents brought, and as I was passing out the gifts we brought, my grandma started walking toward JT and I with a box. She was reading something directly to us; we were both caught of guard by the change in atmosphere and stopped what we were doing to listen to her words. She explained that the entire family had decided against buying gifts for each other this year. They decided instead to give the money they would've spent on gifts to us for our adoption expenses! We were stunned...no words could accurately describe the appreciation we felt. Incredible, selfless love was handed to us in the form of a gift. One that we will be forever grateful for.
I feel like we keep saying "thank-you" but it seems those words aren't strong enough to cover all the thoughtful gifts that we've been blessed with this Christmas. Love and hugs to our families always, we don't know where we would be without your support. Thank you.
Oh--and one more surprise...the gifts my mom and sister were frantically wrapping (and later handing out) were all fake! Inside the gift boxes were old magazines and odds & ends from my parents house! hahahaha!