Some really amazing things happened on Monday - I got to meet family I have been dying to see.
I got to know Jessica and Matthew around the time their Elias was born, and these beautiful people came to me, opened their hearts and let me be a part of their family. We call, we Skype, we text. We share our good times and our rough times. They've seen me on camera without makeup and barely talking, and they love me like I'm peppy and easily heard.
They love the way I love. With everything they are. And when you're hit with that kind of acceptance you are never the same.
I'm not the same.
On Monday, Jessica walked right through my door and hugged me, and it felt to me like she just finally came home. I don't know how else to explain it.
And THESE TWO. Oh my soul, these two sweet babies that I've been loving through a screen on the computer. They pulled up in the parking lot and Elias' Nana pulled him out of the car seat… I waved from the window and he put his hand over his mouth as if to say, "She's real!" and I melted. I got hugs and kisses from the cutest boy and then snuggled sweet Adeline.
My own personal version of heaven.
I'm going to get more pictures from Jessica and promise I'll do a post to bombard you with every photo there is to show… but right now I want to introduce you to some other family I got to see on Monday.
This is my sweet Mariela. And I love her with all my heart, too.
While Jess was here showing off her babes to me, Matthew is in Bolivia for World Vision. And a few months ago, around my birthday, he and Jess called to tell me they wanted to do something special. They wanted to let me choose a child to sponsor in the village Matthew was going to visit.
And my heart chose Mariela. This beautiful 10-year-old girl, who comes from a big family with two brothers and six sisters, is now going to be helped because of Matthew and Jessica's choice to sponsor her with World Vision.
According to World Vision, the program will help provide Mariela and her community with school supplies and new classrooms, as well as clean water and ongoing medical care, improved nutrition and hygiene. Her mom will learn job skills that will help them increase their family income and raise the standard of living, and through Christian witness she will have a chance to know the love and grace of God.
And she's going to know she is loved and cared for, by God and by me, because I'm going to write to her and remind her all the time.
Mariela loves to draw and play with dolls, just like every other ten year old… but she faces hardships that no ten year olds I know could imagine. This is a gift to me as much as it is to Mariela, and if you have it in your heart – if you've felt that nudge to do more – follow Matthew's journey to Bolivia and consider sponsoring a child, too.
It's a choice I know you'll never regret.
You can't have too much family to love.