Opening the mailbox, I see the envelope with the familiar blue logo on it. Like that scene in "A Christmas Story" where Ralphie gets his decoder pin in the mail, I excitedly grab the envelope, grabbing and squeezing to try to get a sense if it's a letter from one of my babies, or just a notice.
Today's a good day.
It's a letter.
For a little over a year now, my husband and I have been sponsoring kids through Compassion International. We have a boy in Ecuador and a girl in the Phillipines.
I hurry into the house, ripping open the envelope as I walk. I throw my keys down on my dining room table and plop down in one of the chairs to read. It's a letter from my Filipino baby's mama. Ara just turned 6 years old in January so her handwriting skills are still developing. Her mama writes to me for her, with the help of one of Compassion's volunteer interpreters.
"Thank you so much," she writes, "for Ara's birthday present. She was so excited to go to the Compassion store and pick out her birthday gifts. She chose a new dress, underwear, shoes, and bread."
I read the sentence again. There it is...I was right the first time. Bread. For her birthday.
At the top of the page are little drawings scrawled by little brown fingers. Little baby hands that should be plunging gleefully into a chocolate cake with thick pink frosting and tearing into birthday presents covered with Barbie wrapping paper.
Instead, she's reaching for bread.
My husband comes in and the words come fast and hot. "She chose bread!" I say...my voice thick with tears. My husband comes and reads the letter. Silently he shakes his head. He looks away, eyes shiny and gives thanks once more to God for what we have been blessed with.
I hang the letter on the refrigerator which is full of food, some of it wasting away.
My heart is wrecked. I turn away and do the only thing I can do at the moment.
(If you would like to learn more about Compassion International, or are interested in sponsoring a child, feel free to click on the button to the side of this post. Thank you in advance!)