CAFBCCFF6D

Christmas From Nothing

Posted on Posted in Life Lessons
Please share
Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest0Share on LinkedIn0Share on Google+0Share on StumbleUpon0Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

CAFBCCFF6D

 

My Honda Civic was jam-packed full of gifts. The trunk, the passenger seat, and back seats were occupied from the floor to the roof. I made my way to the co-op they lived in feeling a genuine sense of accomplishment. From the day I finished my degree that December until that day I had filled up my car, I worked tirelessly to get as much as possible checked off their Christmas lists. I came with household goods, non-perishables, and gift cards. When I went into their home for the first time, I was surprised to see what was before my eyes. Incidentally, it was in keeping with all of the rich lessons I’d learned throughout my time with her.

For as long as I live, I will never forget the day I first met her. It was a rigorous process for us to finally meet. I had to pass a criminal record check, then fill out and pass an invasive questionnaire. Then, there was a thorough background check followed by an intrusive and expansive interview in person. But, I got there. And there I sat on that winter day. Everything about that day was juxtaposed. In the middle of the rainy winter, in the biggest classroom I’d ever been in, she came in. I’d never seen or met anyone like her. For seven-years-old, she was tiny. Her hair was just growing in after being shaved from lice. Wearing an oversized summer frock that certainly had been handed down from a woman, I approached cautiously. “Do you like to bake?” I asked. She didn’t respond. I urged her once more, “Would you like to bake together?” Her huge dark eyes looked confused. “What’s bake?” her uncertain voice asked. She didn’t know what I was asking her. “Cookies,” I continued. “Would you like to make cookies?” Her eyes danced. Not only was it the first time I met her, but it was the first time I saw her fire. Though it just briefly danced through her eyes at that moment, both the sparkle in her eyes and dynamism impressed upon me and marked the beginning of a life-changing relationship.

Our “sisterhood” evolved over those next few years. We baked, painted bird houses, and created clay creatures. We talked of Hannah Montana and all things Disney. We actualized mini dreams in our weekly hour together. Each time we met, she impacted me more than the week before. She was spunky, a dreamer, tenacious. As a young grade schooler, she shot straight from the hip. She said exactly what was on her mind and had a loyalty and love for her family and friends more steadfast than I’d seen in people three times her age. Each time we met, I couldn’t help but think of how foolish I was when I signed up to be in the program as her big buddy. I went in thinking about how much I would be able to give her and here she was giving me insights and teaching me to look at life more fully.

A pivotal point in our relationship was the day I got a phone call telling me she and her brother had been put into foster care. To the best of our program facilitator’s knowledge, our relationship was over. Grief-stricken doesn’t adequately describe my feelings. I feared for the impact the apprehension had on her and her brother. I scrambled to find them. I don’t remember how I got in contact with their social worker, but I pleaded my case to continue our relationship. It took much longer than I would have liked to hear back, but I got the call saying that they would love for me to take both her and her brother every week. I drove almost an hour each way to see them, but it was worth it. Though my little buddy’s heart was broken, missing her parents, her attitude was one of perseverance and her demeanour remained full of spunk. Every day I picked her up, she had an offering for me. A little bar of unopened soap, a candy given to her that she had saved, a drawing, her spirit of generosity was beyond moving and only became stronger once she left care and returned back home.

I thought I was bringing them everything they needed for Christmas, how little I knew...

 

Their first Christmas back with their mom and dad, I decided to do my everything to give them everything I possibly could. I had just finished the last four classes in my bachelor’s degree and was already overworked. Nevertheless, I felt compelled to give back to the little girl who continued to have such an impact on my life. This little girl had a depth of character that exceeded most. When my family, extended family, loved ones, church members, co-workers and perfect strangers rallied to give them clothing, toys, iPods, toys, crafting supplies, grocery gift cards, Christmas decorations and food, I found the energy within myself to collect, organize, and wrap. When I entered into their home, humbled at the generosity those in my life had shown a family that meant so much to me, I was very much under the opinion I was bringing Christmas to them. However, when I went in, I found a small tree, homemade decorations on the walls, and a handful of presents under the tree. The love between the parents and their two children could be described as nothing less than bountiful.

Though I certainly contributed to their gifts and food that year, I didn’t make their Christmas. And just as I didn’t make their Christmas, I wasn’t the only one contributing to our Big Sister/ Little Sister relationship. In all of my years with her and her family, I mistakenly thought I would be the one giving so much. In the end, what I got in return from my little buddy was far greater.

If you like what you just read please click to send a quick vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs- The best mommy blog directory featuring top mom bloggers

 

Take Time Link Up

The Holidays are such an exciting time of year to share stories, ideas, and sentiments of the season. If you are a blogger that has a post on this theme, please see below for our link-up!

Welcome to our link-up! We are so happy to have you! Here are your hosts:

12188501_10153642593130126_1192212884_n

Good Enuf Mommy

Follow at

Facebook: Good Enuf Mommy

Twitter: @GoodEnufMommy

Pinterest: @GoodEnufMommy

 

12201052_10153642592780126_701961757_n

Mama by Fire

FOLLOW AT

Facebook: Mama by Fire

Twitter: @MamaByFire

Pinterest: @MamabyFire

 

12204794_10153642592970126_2093043646_n

Parenting from the Heart

FOLLOW AT

Facebook: Parenting from the Heart Blog

Twitter: @ParentfromHeart

Pinterest: @ParentfromHeart

 

 

This Month’s Theme:

Featured Posts from Last Month: 

Love Notes on My Sidewalk by Mosswood Connections

I love this idea from Mosswood Connections about displaying gratitude right on your front walkway! This was a wonderful literal reminder of all the things you and your family are grateful for. What a perfect exercise to partake in with your kids!

Sometimes I’m Not Grateful by Mommy A to Z
Love this honest post from Mommy A to Z! A wonderful reminder as parents to make sure our own actions are mirroring the values we hope to instil in our children.
Gratitude with a Twist by Kate and Smalls

If you have a blog post that fits with our December theme link it up with us throughout the month of December! We’ll be choosing a weekly featured post to add to our group Pinterest board! Don’t forget to read the rules carefully! More interaction = more fun!

Rules:

– Make sure you follow your hosts on social media (bonus if you this link up a shout out!)

– Please leave a specific blog post link, not just your home page

– You must comment on the one post before your own and a minimum of two other posts of your choice. Remember that genuine interaction and positive comments benefit us all!

– Make sure to check back throughout the week for new posts!

 

Rules:

– Make sure you follow your hosts on social media (bonus if you this link up a shout out!)

– Please leave a specific blog post link, not just your home page

– You must comment on the one post before your own and a minimum of two other posts of your choice. Remember that genuine interaction and positive comments benefit us all!

– Make sure to check back throughout the week for new posts!

 Loading InLinkz ...

Please share
Share on Facebook0Pin on Pinterest0Share on LinkedIn0Share on Google+0Share on StumbleUpon0Tweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

17 thoughts on “Christmas From Nothing

  1. Alana, I am practically sobbing. What a beautiful story! What an amazing relationship with that little girl. You must know that you’ve made an incredible impact on her and her family too. Wow!

  2. This post was so beautifully written. What an incredible story about how reaching out and pouring into someones life can be such a blessing and truly change yourself.

  3. What a beautiful story. I’m sure you made such an impression on that little girl. Do you still participate in the big sister/brother program? I think I may want to join.

  4. Wow…I don’t even have the words to properly respond to this post. What a beautiful heart you have. I can see it in every word on this page. She was truly blessed to have you in her life, I believe by divine intervention. Life has no such coincidences. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

  5. I read this from start to finish in awe. At the end, finding out who the little girl was and how you come to know her brother as well as she, I had tears in my eyes. This was beautifully written, from start to finish.

  6. What an absolutely beautiful, well written gripping story of friendship. How insightful you are to be the one taking a lesson in the true meaning of giving.

  7. I am in tears reading this. I’ve known since the day I “met” you on Periscope that you had a huge heart, and this just adds to that point! What an amazing story.

  8. What an absolutely beautiful story, Alana! Children truly do have a gift for teaching us. She sounds like an amazing little girl. I was a Big Sister for many years, and I think about my Little Sister often. She was an incredible little girl with some fairly serious health issues, but she had such a positive attitude toward it that was very inspiring. Thank you for sharing your story!

  9. This was beautiful. It sounds like you guys had a wonderful relationship, and I’m sure you both taught each other so much. She really sounds like a strong, resilient little girl, and I’m sure the fact you fought to stay in her life made a real impact. You’re amazing!

  10. What a touching story! It’s so strange how the littlest of things or in this case littlest girl can teach us so much.

  11. What a beautiful touching story! Children sometimes teach the most valuable lessons. Thank you for hosting a fabulous link up party as well. It is my first time participating.

Leave a Reply