today we celebrated two little girls. two little girls who have absolutely no idea they were being celebrated. two little girls who hardly know what a celebration looks like. there were frosted cupcakes and pink punch and there were presents -- oh boy, were there presents! these little girls on the other side of the world, both in chinese orphanages, have no idea what awaits them. i watched my dear friend, meritt, open amazing gift after amazing gift -- one girlie-pink-princess-ey thing after another and all i could think was, they have no idea!
they have no idea about these puzzles, and tutus, and dishes and shopping carts and play cars and bath toys and books. they have no idea that their mother and older sister sat in a sea of pretty pink and purple this afternoon. but what is more, they have no idea about the amazing family waiting for them. the incredible family counting down the days. the beautiful family praying for them -- loving them deeply already. the toys and clothes and fabulous stuff is wonderful -- but the family -- oh, now, that is what really matters. that is the true gift. soon these two little girls who know only life in an orphanage will know the touch of a mother and the arms of a father and the laughter of a sister and the tickle of brothers. soon these girls will know what it means to sit at a dinner table and climb into a bubble bath and color chalk butterflies on their driveway. soon the light footsteps of these toddler girls will echo in the hallways of a home and their laughter will spill out the open windows and, come night, their heads will fall heavy on soft pillows in a room of their own. soon. soon. soon. and not soon enough.
oh, i write this tonight and i can feel the longing inside my own self. i am only the friend. only the hostess of a shower. only the maker of that pink punch, but i know. i know what it felt like to anticipate. i remember well the expectation and the eagerness as we grew closer to our bella. i watched meritt and macey open these gifts with bright smiles and excited hands and i couldn't help but remember my own shower for bella. my own two girls unwrapping and exclaiming and dreaming... and all of it overwhelmingly beautiful. and now she is here. now she is miraculously home. as i sit here and type tonight she is sound asleep under the slanted roof of her white paneled room, a stuffed bear tucked under one arm and a quilt pulled up close. somehow that surreal shower became the reality of a tiny girl who easily calls me mommy. a little girl who greets me in the morning with her warm hug and wet kiss. tell me there isn't a miracle in this. tell me there isn't a plan. tell me God isn't good.
so today, on this perfect, sky blue and sunshine bright day, a few of us gals threw a shower for two little girls across continents and oceans -- maggie and mary henley. your pictures hung from a chandelier along with the words BELIEVE, HOPE and JOY. each woman gathered today at the shower BELIEVES God has a perfect plan for your lives. we know your HOPE (and our hope) is in Him alone. and it is with confidence, we anticipate the JOY of your arrival and JOY of your future.
these forty-some women at the shower today celebrated you girls with delight. and i want you to know, there wasn't one of us present who wouldn't drop everything and rush to china tomorrow -- bagless and shoeless and ticketless, if we could. we can't. there is a process --- a procedure -- a little more paperwork. but, girls, know that there are countless people tonight joining your family in prayers and dreams and in great hope. knowing, full well, that the day will come and in God's perfect timing, you will come home.
(psst...and there are some pretty cool things waiting for you --- oh, and not to mention, a very excited new friend named, bella.)