I miss snow. I miss REAL Christmas shopping. I miss Christmas music on the radio, even the cheesy stuff. I miss that extra time you get around the holidays to just be around family. I will miss Christmas Eve service at my church at home. I will bum out when everyone is gathered for our traditional Christmas eve dinner and all the other parties and festivities that take place over the next week or so.
This year, it hasn’t felt much like Christmas. Not just because I can walk out of the house with short sleeves, but because we’ve had a really rough last couple of weeks. We’ve been hard hit with many new cases, most of which have been complicated and taxing on our entire staff. Being in and out of hospitals, grim prognosis, worrying about money for the upcoming year, corruption and countless stories about really ugly stuff happening within the world of orphanages and international adoption. It just doesn’t exactly put you in the Christmas spirit.
A few days ago I was even bordering Grinch status, which scared me because Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year.
But then I see the 17 year old Momma of triplets who lives with us not only holding down her own set of multiples but helping the other caregivers who are new to formula feeding learn how to care for their little ones and checking up on them to make sure they are doing it properly.
I watch the new 19 year old Momma with a 6 mo. old baby boy jump right in to the Abide family as she is learning tailoring, starting our business class and getting back on her feet.
I am blessed to see the caregivers both living on site and off site, forge relationships with one another as they are facing and overcoming similar challenges and growing into confident, capable caregivers.
I get to live right in the middle of all of this. Watching as these ladies transform. They are proving people wrong on the daily and I love it.
Many caregivers come to us withdrawn and with obvious signs of depression. We get to see them go from struggling to provide for their families’ even basic needs to entering a space where they get to identify skills, strengths and passions within themselves and pave the way for a new future for them and their kiddos.
And while I am sad that I won’t be home with my own family for Christmas this year. While I want so badly to escape and forget about the really hard stuff happening around here right now, I am thankful to be here to celebrate with the awesome and the crazy caregivers here at Abide.
This Christmas I am reminded of the gift that is FAMILY. That I am fortunate to be able to have a family I love so dearly that I ache to be with them during this time of year. I am blessed to be able to spend this holiday season missing them while I get to actively help preserve and keep families together so they don’t lose the very thing we all value most this time of year.
And what better gift can we really give than that?
I invite you to help us give the gift of family this Christmas.
As you cherish the traditions and holiday fun with your family, consider giving a gift in their honor toward our Countdown to Kindness Campaign this year. We have just reached our $11,000 mark and are working toward $20,000 !! We are more than halfway there.
You can donate here: http://abidefamilycenter.org/donate0.aspx
And when you donate, if it is a gift for someone else, you can print this and give it to the recipient:
Help us spread the word and be on the lookout as we complete more Random Acts of Kindness in the next week!