People who have been through adoption call it a journey. Others call it the ride of a lifetime. They all have this look in their eye. Sometimes I cannot tell whether it is a Mr. T “I pity the fool” look or a Willy Wonka “you have no idea what joy lies around the corner” face. It’s probably the same look I give pregnant women who say things like, “I am sure my baby will be a great sleeper” or “we are not going to let this baby impact our social lives.” Sure.
Nonetheless we’re on the adoption ride. Our decision to adopt was made easier by the fact that we have a strong network of people who we knew would help us through the highs and lows. We’ve got loving families; great friends; a church community; and supportive employers. So blessed.
What we did not anticipate on this ride was the amount of “hitchhikers” we’d pick up along the way. Hitchhikers are the “strangers” who have joined our ride for whatever selfless motivation. Whether they are just a sucker for vulnerable children or passionate about social justice – we’re humbled and honored to have them along.
One of the first hitchhikers we picked up was Yessica from Bank of America. I’ll be honest – ever since our economy crumbled, I just don’t have a good vibe about big banks. But, as part of our dossier preparation, Patrick and I had to get notarized letters from our bank stating that we are in good financial standing. This was not easily done. I went to multiple Bank of America branches to find someone who would notarize this letter. Nobody could help…until Yessica. Yessica was not going to let me leave her bank branch until she had a solution for me. She spent a great deal of time with me. She hassled “corporate” until she got permission to give us what we needed. Right on Yessica.
This summer we picked up a gang of hitchhikers who happened to be our neighbors. Admittedly, when they first moved in to the rental house next door, I was not enthused about the prospect of our new neighbors: several men who drive big trucks (that would inevitably hit my kids) and run their roofing business out of their garage. But they were friendly enough and we’ve exchanged pleasantries in passing over the last year. Until our garage sale…all of a sudden they became the biggest supporters of our adoption and gave their time, energy, money, and home to our garage sale this summer. Who knew?
Our most recent hitchhiker we picked up this morning-this person remains anonymous to us. He/she in a stealth operation either late last night or very early this morning left an incredibly generous gift in a mysterious envelope on the windshield of our car at our home. The enveloped contained a very simple note that concluded with “love and God bless”. How amazing is that?
We love the strangers we’ve picked up along the way. They’re now part of our story. Part of our child’s story. With all of the ugliness in the world, we are encouraged by our hitchhiker’s’ small, simple acts of kindness.