Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Elves of Christmas Present, or Adoption of a Different Kind

Elves come in all shapes and sizes.  I'm not a real elf, but I got to play one on Sunday when I helped to deliver gifts to some local families in need.

Northern Virginia is a big place, with an equally big (massive, if you will) Down syndrome population.  A group of Ds parents from my town and a few of the surrounding towns decided to "adopt" two families from the Down syndrome community here in NoVA this year for Christmas, to brighten their holiday with gifts and necessities.  With the help of my friend and Parent to Parent coordinator, Heather, two families were found.  And trust me when I say that these two families were definitely in need

Hard times for most people mean something completely different than the definition these families know. 

We're talking about parents who dread the discovery that their children's feet have grown because it means they have to buy new shoes.

People who have a roof over their heads...just.

People who have little more than the love they feel for their families, and few "frivolous" personal posessions.

One family didn't have a Christmas tree.

When asked what they wanted most that we could provide for them as gifts, the humbleness of their basic needs brought tears to my eyes.  Shoes.  Warm clothes.  A chicken and a bag of rice.  Really, this put things in perspective for me, as I would hope it would for anyone.

I won't say much about the visits to the homes of these two families, as their anonymity has been assured and I don't know who reads my blog.  But I will say that they were all lovely people who love their children.

We are very fortunate, indeed.  I know I end my posts frequently with statements of gratitude for the things I have, the opportunities I'm afforded and the joys I have in my life.  We don't have a lot, but I'm so glad for the opportunity to help someone that has significantly less.


Kelly said...

I personally can appreciate the ending to your posts!! Blessed and fortunate are WE!! Happy Holidays, my friend!!

Jenny said...

Experiences like that really do put things into perspective...Great post!

Zoey's mom said...

"Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend... when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that's present -- love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure,the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience Heaven on earth."
~Sarah Ban Breathnach

I love this quote and I always love the way you end your posts!

Rochelle said...

Thankful that you were able to help others, humbles us all the time.

Anonymous said...

Just came across your blog through being added on your facebook friends. It is so refreshing to see someone like you who is reaching out to help other families in need. Giving is what it's about and you've done such a good thing!! Keep on sharing the love.....