My friends, Renee and JJ along with their two sons, recently adopted a sweet baby girl from Africa. Last weekend, their church gave Aster a Welcome home party! Renee extended the invitation to those she serves with at Proverbs 31 Ministries. Well, I should say she invited those who live in town. However, the email went out to the entire staff and team at Proverbs. Although Renee lives in North Carolina and I live in Tennessee, I wanted to attend the celebration!
You have to understand. I’ve prayed for this sweet baby for many, many years. I’ve seen pictures of her chubby checks which caused the “mom” in me to want to reach into the photo and hold her. So, when the invitation came out and even though I live 7 1/2 hours away, I couldn’t resist not going. I had to see and hold God’s sweet answer to our prayers.
I called my husband at worked and asked, “Are you feeling spontaneous today?”
“Why?” he replied with hesitance in his voice. “What have you got in mind?”
With as much enthusiasm as I could muster up I answered, “How would you like to spend the weekend in North Carolina?” From there I explained the party, my desire to celebrate with Renee, and my longing to hold baby Aster. He was in! He’s such a great hubby!
We decided to make our visit a surprise. I called LeAnn, my friend and our executive director at Proverbs to help me secure a nearby hotel. Once that was done, we were on our way!
The closer we got to Charlotte, the more excited I got! I couldn’t wait to see LeAnn, who was meeting us at the hotel and accompanying us to the party. I also couldn’t wait to see Aster. But mainly, I tried to imagine Renee’s response when saw me. I wanted her to feel my love and support. Boy, did she!
We didn’t knock once we arrived at Renee’s house. We simply walked in through the front door. The house was buzzing with people. We decided that LeAnn should walk in front of me and Pat would follow behind in order to make the most out of the surprise. It worked!
Renee saw LeAnn and instantly reached out with a welcome hug. That’s when she spotted me. With her arms still extended, she passed up LeAnn and embraced me. It was quite funny—not to LeAnn of course. Anyway, Renee hugged and kissed me and while exclaiming, “What are you doing here?!”
She took me over to Aster where I got to finish feeding her a bottle. She is SO precious that words are not sufficient! I was surprised at how alert she was from reading Renee’s emails from Africa. But love is a powerful antidote. There was no doubt that Aster was home, loved, and knew her family. Whenever Renee spoke, Aster would turn her head to find her mommy.
I not only got to feed Aster but play with her and changer her too. I was trying to soak in as much as I could. I knew it would be months before I got to see Aster again. But how could she forget me. I am her number 1 aunt because I drove the furthest to see her! Right?
Later that evening, Renee and her son Josh joined LeAnn, Pat and me for dinner. It was a perfect ending to a wonderful day of celebration.
Welcome home, Aster!