It's been raining for about one hundred days here in Haywood County. That's an exaggeration, obviously, but I'm feeling a little dramatic about it. How much rain do we really need, after all??
My parents' new property has some drainage issues which they have been successfully addressing with french drains and other landscaping things I don't really understand. However, in this amount of rain, everything everywhere is a swamp. They have this plywood "sidewalk" around the house for us to use so we don't stomp on the baby grass that's coming up where they have put out seed. On Monday we were joking about it being more of a floating dock than a sidewalk.
This weekend marked one year since my brother decided he had walked with us as far as he could and went on ahead. The one year anniversary is something I've been dreading because I wasn't really sure what to expect. It occurred to me on the Wednesday before that even after we get through the weekend, he's still gonna be gone. That sucks.
In our family, when we aren't sure what to do, we have a party. So we decided that we would say "to hell with it" and have a huge, gigantic, blowout birthday party for Sara and Robin at the farm on Memorial Day. That way no matter how we felt, we'd be together and with our people.
Everyone in the family got to make a guest list. We ended up inviting about 60 people, and almost everyone made it. Good thing my parent's house is finished and ready because, the rain.
Having a party was totally the right decision, mostly because of who showed up. Our people came and brought food and hugs, just like they did a year ago, but this time with smiles. We sang Happy Birthday and wore leis and ate cupcakes and drank beer. We celebrated some of what Adam loved most: his sisters. In the middle of the rain, we filled my parents' new house with laughter.
Grief is so much like this endless rain. It just keeps coming down on us out of the sky, building up on the ground so that even when the sun comes out for a minute the ground is slippery, treacherous, with mud so thick you could walk right out of your shoes. But our people, our friends and family and people who pray for us, they bring Jesus with them right into our homes and they have laid out plywood for us all year. With their help we have found safe places to rest and get our bearings in this new swampy place. And the baby grass is still growing.
So on Tuesday night a really cool thing happened: we had 30 of our closest family and friends come to our house for the kick off meeting of the coolest adoption fundraiser we are going to do all year. It's called the Both Hands Project. Here's how it works:
Our family finds a widow in need of help around her home. We assemble a team of friends to complete a Both Hands Project. Then the team (including us) sends out letters to family and friends asking them to sponsor us for one day, as we work on the widow’s home. All funds received will go toward our adoption expenses. It’s just like when someone asks for sponsors for a 5K race to benefit a cause.
This idea has been done over 750 times around the country already, with astounding results. We just love that we get to be a part of something that will help our family and daughter, but will also do good in our community.
Ms. Joyce works as a ministerial assistant at our church. Earlier this year, her father died after being in failing health for some time. He left her a home that is in need of some TLC, and we are so excited to be able to help her in this way on Saturday, June 30th! Our project has a website where you can read more details and even donate! Click the button to visit that site.
We had the team meeting on Tuesday to get everyone together for the first time and give out information. I had my pep talk ready to encourage our team to collect those addresses and get the word out. What I didn't count on was how encouraged we would be by having all those precious people in our living room, speaking words of blessing into our lives and praying for our daughter. It took my breath away.
After an hour of dreaming and planning and hugging and coffee, everybody went home to finish out their Tuesday evening. I looked around at the huge circle of now-empty chairs and thought:
"I just can't wait for her to meet you all."
Josh and Emily
We hope that by sharing our steps, challenges, and milestones of our adoption, you will see yourself as part of the community we hope to build around our child as she grows up.