As I continue to research Ethiopia, one thing that's struck me so profoundly about their culture is the level of thanks they offer for what, in our world, would be considered the smallest of things. They have a square on the sidewalk to sleep on at night, and they give thanks. They have an opportunity to eat one meal a day, and they give thanks. They have the ability to raise their children instead of offering them life through an adoptive family, and they are forever grateful. It's very humbling. I read about an orphanage where the kids made tether ball sets out of socks filled with dirt, and then I looked into my backyard to see the tether ball set our kids have which had been taken apart and was waiting to be put back together again. These things are, in our world, taken quite for granted. We want a tether ball set, we buy one. (Or, in this case, are given one as a gift from Grammy and Poppy!) But nevertheless, the children in Ethiopia are given a pencil and they feel as though they've been given the world. The sense of gratitude they possess has truly inspired me.
Many know that George seems to favor David lately. And by "lately," I mean for the last several YEARS! It's hard for me to get a hug or a kiss from him. It's impossible for me to get him to sit on my lap. So today, when I was handed his thanksgiving box made at preschool with a slip of paper inside noting for what he is thankful, I was fully prepared to see "Papa" written on that paper. Imagine how my heart melted when, instead, I saw, "My Mommy." And then, he had dictated four things for which he is thankful and his teacher wrote them down. They were, "My Mommy," "cookies for lunch," something I can't remember, and "My new baby sister from North America...I mean Africa." I do just love that kid. But I didn't give him cookies for lunch nor do I know where he came up with that idea!
I'm off to get the other kids from school, and I think that this afternoon we will take a bike ride and spend the day outside. All of us. Not them outside while I'm working. I will give thanks for the gift of these children and the weather and our wonderful neighbors and the cool breeze and just spend time with all of it.