I do love a surprise and did I ever get one this week. My sweet neighbors threw me a celebration. It all started a little over a week ago when my friend Stephanie so casually invited me over to do coffee over spring break. Sounded simple enough. She is a social butterfly and always opening up her home so I didn’t think anything of it. In fact, I was looking forward to it all week. Thinking that it would be just the right thing to do on the last weekday of spring break. So, the day before she called to confirm that I was in fact going to be there. In retrospect, a bit fishy if you ask me but honestly my mind is in a zillion different places at one time so I didn’t give it a thought.
Now, Friday morning comes and I get all decked out in my cute Africa shirt from Whitney. The phone rings and Stephanie asked if I could bring over coffee creamer, sure no problem. Then she tells me she is just finishing feeding the baby so could I give her ten minutes. That should have given it away. She normally doesn’t care about that but again, the mind all over the place thing.
Ten minutes passes and the kids hop on their bikes and we make the two-minute walk. I see a van, a stroller, nothing out of the ordinary. Go to the door, go in and SURPRISE my neighbors were there to celebrate. Food, decorations, gifts…what a treat.
The coolest gift was a team effort. My friend Kendra’s parents lived in Ethiopia several years ago. When Kendra heard our story she asked if they would donate something to us that they had brought back from their time in Ethiopia. So cool, right?! It gets better. Stephanie went around to the neighbor kids and traced their handprints on to colored paper, cut them out and stapled them to colorful straws and turned them into a sweet bouquet to welcome our baby girl into the neighborhood. How cool is that?!!
Of course, I cried. All these hands, all to welcome our daughter.
To say that I was touched by this would be an understatement. Every time I look at that vase I am flooded with emotion. Not just because of what my neighbor friends did for me but because what it shows me. That we are completely embraced by our community, friends, family. That our journey has touched others. That baby girl is so loved and we haven’t even held her in our arms. I am so humbled by this journey, that God would call on us to follow Him in this way. That others show us so much compassion. We are blessed.