Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Kindness Snowball

I am guessing that you have probably seen the movie, Pay it Forward? It's one of my favorite movies. Mostly because of Kevin Spacey (love me some Spacey). But also because of the message. One person helping another who helps another etc etc until we all feel all mushy inside from all the helping and the kind and the smoosh.

Peace. Love. Happiness.

It all sounded great when I was watching that movie. I'd love to do more. Be more. Be better than I am. It's something to strive for, to try and connect with others on a deeper level. To give back not because you are getting something in return, but because you need to. It's a calling.

When we were in the process of adopting our first time, I was contacted out of the blue by a friend who had read our story. At the time, I was blogging about our journey through infertility as well as domestic adoption. She had read about all our ups and downs, which I had put bravely out on the page as a release.

She had read it all and, being a parent through domestic adoption herself, sat down and began writing us checks. Although she didn't know us at all and we've never met in person, this lady began writing checks to our family's adoption fund to help bring our daughter home.

Not only that, but we also began getting check in her mother's name, which meant she had shared our story and her mother had begun helping us fund raise as well. From across the miles, two women in Florida now began contributing to our adoption fund. From Florida a few hundred dollars turned into a few thousand dollars donated by this family we had never met.

When it came time for our daughter to arrive, we were surprised to find things bought off of our baby registry and delivered to our house. A stroller frame. A luxury diaper bag. All things we were not expecting in the least and most certainly not from a family we had never met!

A large part of our daughter's story was that this family helped us bring her home. Not because they knew us but because we had never met at all. They knew what it was like to sit and wait and be completely helpless during the grey period between when the hope of a child enters your heart until the time they are placed in your arms. We were exhausted and completely overwhelmed financially, emotionally, spiritually, and this family took it upon themselves to make themselves a blessing to us.

Their kindness snowballed after that. I remembered that family when I began working on our first ever Run for Congo Women here in our home city in 2011. Together with other runners and volunteers, we raised over 6K for Congo by putting on a 5K. During that time I thought of our friends in Florida who had helped us bring our daughter home and I thought the kindness they showed to us I MUST keep it going. I felt driven to bless others the way we had been blessed, and raising the 6K was just one way we could.

So we went on and sponsored a woman through Women for Women International for a year. And this was ANOTHER way we felt we could extend the kindness and blessings shown to us...................

We helped kids at a local school raise over $500 to donate to a homeless family for Christmas so they could have essentials and gifts under a tree.................

I began working with my friend Beth in creating a Give1Save1 site for domestic families to raise money for their own adoptions.....................

We pulled together a truck full of donations when a tornado hit our friends' hometown of Henryville, Indiana so that families could have the essential they needed when their homes were destroyed............

We began sponsoring a child through Tunaimi, a 1 year old, who was abandoned due to her family being unable to feed her due to extreme poverty. Our family began helping to make sure she was fed and taken care of on the other side of the world in Goma, DRC.................

When my husband was given a choice to take a bonus at his job, or to donate the money to a charity of his choice, for his 10 year anniversary at his company we decided to donate it to Tunaimi to pay for the tuition for children to attend school in eastern Congo...............

These are just a few things that we have been working on paying this kindness forward. This family in Florida, who we have never even met, has pushed us into new territory to actively seek out new ways to be present and willing to help others in their needs as well.

1 comment:

  1. that's a really cool story. what special people!