Do you remember as a little kid sitting with your parents around the dinner table for Thanksgiving and taking turns sharing what you are thankful for? Simplistic in nature, I always spouted out things that seemed so obvious - family, house, food, clothes...
I think all Americans are very aware that those obvious basic needs are not met in many third world countries. But as the twenty-something degree weather outside leaks under my front door and makes me shiver, it is still so easy to push that from my mind and stress about getting everything packed so we can travel home for the big Thanksgiving feast my mother is preparing.
Although I hate forgetting, for even a moment, how very blessed I am...sometimes I wish I could go back to that childhood naivety...because sometimes it just hurts too bad. It hurts to think that across the world my daughter might be suffering from hunger pains. That the woman that carries/carried her won't have enough blankets to keep her family warm at night. That my daughter could be sitting in an orphanage crying herself to sleep because she thinks she has no family...no one who loves her.
But even when she is finally home and in my arms...even when I can be sure that someone will always be there to soothe her fears, and keep her warm and fed...I still know that there are millions of children just like her...just like my daughter who need a home, who need food, who need a family. And it breaks. my. heart.
Sometimes it's so easy to see what we will be gaining through this journey...and even what our daughter is gaining. But let us NEVER forget the loss that she (and millions more like her) will have to endure before she gets to that point. And the loss that her birth family will experience. In that way sometimes I am thankful that it hurts...because that's what drives me to want to do more and to never forget. To make a difference, even if it is just one child at at time.
This Thanksgiving, I am still thankful for the same things that I have been thankful for year after year - family, friends, a home, food, warmth, shelter, love, my church, clothes...but this year, I am especially thankful that God chose to bring us on this journey!