I met Di years ago when she and her husband moved from Ohio to our little neighborhood. They moved in a few houses down from some good friends, and we all had dinner together and got to know each other better. Di is this fantastic raven haired beautiful woman, married to a very loud almost equally as awesome red haired man. And they were just fun and fascinating people to get to know, all on their own.
But, we met them shortly before their lives were about to forever change. They had been trying for years to have children. When they moved they went through the foster to adopt program, and shortly after we met them they got a phone call offering them, not the one or two children they had signed on for but a sibling set of three, ages 18 months, 3 and 5. Two boys and a girl. They had a very tiny window of time in which to answer the question, "Will we take these kids in, or will we not?" They made the decision that would change the lives of 5 people forever.
Imagine going from having no children to having three of them overnight. Imagine that they are not sweet little innocent and mostly quiet babies, but rather three growing, loud and nearly wild children, who have their whole lives been taught not to trust anyone. Who have been neglected and abused and removed from homes not once, not twice, but three times. Di and JR were overwhelmed, yes, BUT determined to be the ones who CHOSE to love those kids and keep them safe. I watched in amazement as they began to get to know their kids, to find their footing as parents, to fight FOR the kids that they were given. To show them over and over, we are not going anywhere. We will not abandon you. We will not hurt you. And we will not let others hurt you. In short, to teach them the love of God lived out on a daily basis.
It has been a long and incredible journey for this family. They moved to California years ago, and nearly broke my heart. I miss them and their transparent honesty in my life so much. I miss each one of their kids and their distinct and amazing personalities. They each have so much to over come. But, when you see how far they have come. It's a testament to the love of God and faithful hearts. The barriers that have come down around these little hearts. The freedom they walk in compared to what they knew before. It's just so beautiful. It's not perfect, and it's not finished, but it's one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed in my life. Because the best kind of beauty is hard fought and covered with the marks of imperfection.
So, anyway, Di ordered a pair of shoes from me. We went through the process, and she chose a blue green floral fabric. It was one of those pairs of shoes that I start on somewhat blindly. I didn't really know what I was going to do for a flower, since Di isn't a bow person. (Had I had my way, a navy bow would be sitting on those shoes.) But, it was one of those pairs of shoes that I enjoy so much, because as I meander down the creative process with them, a vision starts to form and I end up happier with the result than I ever would have imagined.
The flowers ended up like little navy pansies, which happen to be one of Di's favorite flowers. I love them bunched up in a little bouquet. And when I was digging through my beads trying to find beads for the center, I found perfect little turquoise ones.
So soon they will be winging their way to California. And I hope that the will bless Di a fraction of how much knowing her has blessed my life. I love you, Di!