It is a week of Thanksgiving for all of us and here at the Mission we have so much to be thankful for. But, the nature of what we do sometimes causes us some heartache as well. It comes in many different forms – watching people make the same bad choices over and over, watching them turn their backs on the people who are trying to help them and so forth. One of the worst is when we fall in love with a mom and her child (or children) and suddenly she leaves with them. Sometimes we know what happened to them, sometimes we still even have a relationship with them. But sometimes they just vanish and we are left wondering and praying that they are ok. And we miss them. And wait. And hope.
There was a little girl several years ago who was one of our favorites. Abruptly her mother left and took her. Quite a long time passed and we were left wondering. We kept praying and God answered because we got a call a few weeks ago from her because she was missing us too! She is now in the care of a guardian who agreed we could be in contact with our young friend.
And even better, I happened to be in the town where she now lives and her guardian let me see her. It was a balm to my heart to see her big smile and how much she’s grown. Even more amazing, one of my relatives is one of her elementary school teachers!
When I got home after seeing her that day, she called me. We chatted a bit. She reminded me her birthday is coming up. She reminded me who her favorite sport teams were. I got a good list for birthday/Christmas. She said she misses us. We miss her. It was a wonderful reunion.
This Thanksgiving I am thankful for many things, and a big one this year is the gift of being reconnected with this sweet girl and knowing she is safe.