Good medicine

Two years ago this summer John and I met three other couples at a park. We were brand new to our church and so were these six.  All young couples, all awkwardly unsure about where we belonged in the midst of things.

Our church is big on "small groups" which is essentially a group of people with whom you can work through Bible studies and sermon series, meeting to pray and discuss.  Our small group was born out of coincidence: we were all new and we were all about the same age.  We learned about each other though the Small Groups Coordinator at church and decided to meet, with the children, at a park for a picnic to get to know each other.

The deal was we were all supposed to bring our own meat and a dish to pass.  The reality was that we were all so nervous about meeting each other that we all just at our own meat and potluck dishes while making small talk.  There were lots of uncomfortable silences.  John and I left that first park meeting wondering if the group would ever get together again.

We did.  And six months later we picked up one more couple to make an even 10 people in our group.

Over the last 2 year we have done life together. We have welcomed three new babies and have 3 more (including our little man!) on the way.  We have seen each other through job changes, health scares, surgeries, moves, and of course- an adoption.  We have laughed over coffee on many a Sunday afternoon and we have passed each others babies up down the chair aisles during worship.  We've brought meals to each others homes and shared drinks on front porches and back decks.  We've written hundreds of emails and texts.

Since that first awkward picnic, we've come a long way.

Even before John and I left for our court trip, our small group started dreaming about a celebration.  A night to breathe in the relief and the joy and anticipation of bringing our little man home.  A way to say, "We've made it!"  A way to revel in the gratitude of answered prayers.  A way to basically yell, "WOOO HOOO!!!"

That's what we called it: our "woo hoo!"  We went back and forth a bit about how exactly we could best "woo hoo" the crap out of a long year of worry and support and heartfelt prayer.  And it came down to Thanksgiving.  John and I are missing both our respective Thanksgivings- Canadian and American- due to adoption travel, so what we decided was to celebrate with a delicious, indulgent Thanksgiving feast.

Although they all wanted to make it a potluck, our small group indulged me in letting me cook the meal myself because let's face it- I need to keep busy these days! I need time to fly by and what better way to fly through a week than by planning and shopping and cooking a feast for 10?

On Saturday morning I slept in (only three more Saturdays to do that!) and then began my kitchen extravaganza at 11am, with John as my sous chef.

Pumpkin rolls.
Sauteed collard greens. 
Garlic-chive mashed potatoes.
Fennel-apricot stuffing. 
Turkey with sage stuffing. 
And (bakery bought) apple, pumpkin, and pecan pies for dessert.

A true feast.

 John's prayer of thanksgiving was followed with both an "amen!" and a champagne cheers.  And lots of eating.

 We have a lot to be thankful for.  The money raised, the adoption procedures completed, our big "da!" in court, but tonight- most of all- our friends.  Through the highs and the lows of this adoption they have been there.  These eight received our adoption announcement with joy, they listened to our complaints about the paperwork and the waiting, they rejoiced with me when I told the last January that I felt like I was falling in love with my son (even though I only had his picture).  They've prayed.  They've emailed.  They've brought gifts.  They've shared hopes and dreams for the future.  And tonight we celebrated every inch of that goodness.

With food.

With stories. 

 With laughter.

 With love.

Life is hard.  It is filled with drudgeries and sorrows and pains and grief.  There is much to weep over in life.

There is also much to celebrate.  There is hope and there is a future.  There is grace.  There is joy.

In adoption as in life, there are both the best of times and the worst of times.  People often ask me for words of wisdom when it comes to enduring the adoption process and I've begun to say the same one thing over and over again: celebrate every chance you get.  When you hand in your application or complete your home study or finally get that dossier together- break out the champagne and celebrate the heck out of it.  There will be enough reasons to hate this process; choose to celebrate the good moments.  Thank God for them.  "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones" Proverbs 17:22.  Truth. 

In the very hardest times of our adoption John and I have drunk deeply from the well of good medicine: from the well of good friends and deep laughter, of delicious food and a micro brew or piece of pie.  And of a Thanksgiving celebration on one late October eve. Good gifts from a very good God. 



  1. Your meal looks fabulous and I love that you were donning a scarf while you cooked :)

    1. Ha! Thank you! I put on my scarf in September and basically wear them through May. Love a good scarf ;-)

  2. Anonymous10/28/2012

    Hi-congrats on your upcoming "Gotcha day!" I ran across your blog today while looking at fundraising ideas for adoption. I am wondering if you just showed your income for the fundraisers etc on your personal income or if you had a non-for profit to help you with this. Thanks

    1. Thank you so much! Both my husband and I have complicated tax situations so we've always had an accountant do our taxes and who can now figure those sorts of questions out for us. I am not an expert, but generally if you sell items like I sell my jewelry it is taxable income but money received as a gift is not. Definitely ask a professional as situations vary!


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