About a month ago, I got a phone call. "Hello, Alison? We would like to include [your foster kids] on our Angel Tree. Can you email me their interests and clothes sizes?"
Last week, we received the gifts.
Tonight, we went through them to see what the kids got (all the gifts were wrapped, so we had no idea) and decide who would give them what. (What's from Santa, what's from us, what can they give each other...)
All I have to say is, I never knew I would one day be the recipient of Angel Tree gifts and had no idea what to expect, but I was completely blown away. I almost cried several times tonight going through those gifts. People are so generous and kind. I felt the need to write them a letter but don't - won't - know who to give it to, so I'm giving it to you. If you have ever donated money, participated in Angel Tree, or taken food to a canned food drive, this is for you. If you haven't ever done anything like that, I encourage you to try it sometime.
Dear angel who picked my angels off a tree,
I wish I could give you a hug. You have no idea how much we think of you. Going through the gifts you bought my children tonight, I was amazed by your kindness. You didn't give the bare minimum or focus on needs. You went above and beyond. You bought her clothes, but not just any clothes. You bought adorable clothes in her favorite color that she will l.o.v.e. You read that he likes football and Nerf, so you got him a Nerf football. Then when you saw that he also needed a long-sleeved shirt, you got him one with a gigantic football on it. You saw that each loves stuffed animals (how did you happen to get both *our* kids?) and got the same one for each but with different hats. Do your kids forget which toys are theirs, too? YOU SHOP AT NORDSTROM and got them more than one outfit each. You gave him a Lego set he's going to die for, and it wasn't five dollars. How did you know that her favorite thing to play is grocery shopping + cooking? I didn't even think to write it on her tag. You didn't pick something up at the dollar store or settle for a t-shirt. You are so kind. Maybe you knew what to get because you understand what it's like to need at Christmastime. No matter who you are, you truly are an angel. I will never forget you.
Our whole family
"...Not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with - here, now, every day. Indeed heaven never seems closer than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people so good and so pure that angelic is the only word that comes to mind." - Jeffrey R. Holland
Stories give you a way to see things. A way to understand the events of your life.
Even if you don’t realize it while you’re hearing the tale.