For those of you who do not know, I made a baby quilt for Sonya before she came home from China at seven months of age. At that season in my life, i had no idea that the inordinate amount of time I had on my hands to do such things without cessation was an absolute luxury I soooo took for granted. For you see, I had not yet become a mother.
Then six years ago, when Sonya was a little over one year old, I got the idea that we should adopt another baby girl from China. So...I went to the fabric shop and purchased everything I would need to make a second quilt for my second China-born daughter. When things didn't work out as I had wanted and dreamed, I grieved hard. For. quite. a. while. And held on to that fabric. Hoping and Praying that just maybe Randy would change his mind... Time passed, and before long, the fabric got stuck up in the closet all but forgotten about, for a little while anyway.
Then one day, I finally resigned myself to the reality that Sonya was destined to be raised as an only child, and i pulled the fabric from the closet. I showed it to Sonya and promised her when she gave birth to her first child (either through adoption or naturally, and of course let me qualify this by saying after she's married), i would make a very special quilt for my very first grandchild and it would be filled (heaping) with love, just the way I had done for her when she was a baby. Sonya seemed to like the idea, although because she was only four years old at the time of our conversation she couldn't fathom living away from home, so she asked me if she and her husband and children could live with daddy and me.
Of course, i told her that would be alright with me knowing full well when the time comes, she will not want to live with her mother and father. Try explaining that reality to a four year old, though. As you may glean, i didn't even bother to try.
Anyhow, here we are six years later, and i am using this very same fabric to make a second quilt for my second China-born daughter. Btw, Sonya knows we will be purchasing new fabric when the time comes for that baby of hers...
As I started sewing the squares together for Cassandra's quilt, never thinking for a moment that Sonya would need a new one until Sonya commented that when her little sister comes home i would need to take a picture of them together holding their quilts. I took a good, hard look at Sonya's tattered and worn baby quilt that she's been sleeping with and dragging around for seven years and i shuddered. Consider the implications.
How might that make Cassandra feel, knowing that the reason Sonya's quilt is falling apart is because it's been loved on for years by a child who has been home with her family since babyhood? And to see her newly made quilt which could end up in the end reminding her of all the years spent in the orphanage, with no family and no one in sight seeming to really want her enough to call her "daughter". Now, look at the flip side, from Sonya's point of view. Soon, very soon, that old tattered quilt she's been loving on and dragging around and getting caught in car doors will be nothing but a pile of shredded fabric, and she may just look over at her little sister with her new shiny quilt and think how absolutely unfair her life has turned out to be that she too did not get a new quilt.
Now, i must say Sonya's supposed future point of view garners very little sympathy from me, but i also don't want to cause some sort of unnecessary friction and distance between these two girls if i can help it. So...I told Sonya not too long ago that I would make her a new quilt as well. And her reply, "Oh good, now we can have a new start together!" So you see? Perfect!!!!
I am finished with Cassandra's quilt, thankful for that very needed time on my hands this week:
The butterfly fabric you see is a remnant from Sonya's baby quilt,
my motherly way of binding these two girls' hearts together.
(Btw, please do your best to ignore my toes that somehow
managed to get in the picture as well.)
Next, I laid out the squares for Sonya's quilt before I started sewing them together, all of which i am doing by hand in case you are wondering. I do have half of the front of Sonya's quilt sewn together at this juncture, but i do not have an up-to-date picture of the completed work. In any event, you can still get the idea of what it will look like when finished:
The fabric squares close to the middle that have an almost white background with a
blue design are also from Sonya's original quilt. If you compare the two quilts,
you will also find I used many of the same fabrics in both of them, yet they both have
some patterns of their very own to reflect their uniqueness one from another.
I feel compelled to show you Sonya's old quilt. Notice, if you will, that I did originally try to replace some of Sonya's old quilt squares with some new ones in a feeble attempt to hold off for a few more years the inevitable. My attempt in the end proved pointless and useless. Judge for yourself:
A fresh start it will be then! I like it!
Now onto other news.
Do you remember me mentioning that Sonya went away to summer camp? Well, this was a very special summer camp because at this camp she got to learn about Jesus from none other than missionaries, and you know how much Sonya loves missionaries don't you?
So I dropped her off on Monday, six hours round-trip and picked her up by noon on Thursday.
And did that little girl ever have a good time, receiving so much genuine, Jesus-filled love from so many adults and other children!
When I dropped Sonya off on Monday, I hadn't stepped out of the room for more than a few minutes to run to the car and upon returning Sonya had already shared with her camp counselor that she too wants to be a missionary. When asked where she would like to go, she said China. Pulling out of the drive at Highland Lakes Baptist Camp that Monday afternoon I immediately called Randy and told him, We made the right decision. Sonya is right where she belongs.
The following are pictures I took on Thursday when I went to pick Sonya up:
When I first arrived on Thursday, Sonya found a friend she had made during the week
and nestled right up to her. This is Betty Heacock. She is involved in children's
ministries at her church and finds herself often volunteering for such events
as this. How lucky the children are to find such a friend in Betty!
Check out Sonya's new tie-dye t-shirt! AWESOME!
Do they look like they had a good time together, or what?!
Somehow I don't think Sonya was starved for attention this week!
What do you think? Do you think I may be right?
Sonya, with her two camp counselors and missionaries - Rachel Fairlery
of Mississippi, 20 years old; Anna Faulk of Alabama, 20 years old;
and volunteer Maddie Holdren of Muncie, 14 years old
Sonya did indeed receive a great deal of love this week while away from her family, and she did receive many compliments for her good behavior, smiley face and general happy disposition. On the long drive home I reminded Sonya that the reason people liked being with her and the reason she made such a positive impression on them was because through her obedience to those in charge of her (namely her camp counselors), through her loving behavior, through her smiles and the sparkle in her eyes, she reflected Jesus to them, and that's really what it's all about when you get right down to it. Dear Lord, let me learn a valuable lesson from my dear daughter by modeling Your Love, Joy and Kindness to others as well as she does.
Moving on, you may recall me mentioning that Randy trained in Indy this week. I called him while driving on the highway and found out he was only ten minutes ahead of us so we planned without Sonya's knowledge to meet at a Marathon station at Exit 78. While taking the exit ramp, i told sonya I needed to use the restroom again and get another Mountain Dew. Just for the record, people, i normally do not drink Mountian Dew but it does seem to keep my brain alert when on the road for lengths of time.
The next few pics are of Randy surprising Sonya as we rounded the corner at the Marathon station searching for the restrooms. They say, A picture is worth a thousand words:
NEED I SAY MORE?
I am pleased as punch that God is affording me the opportunity to give to yet another little girl such a father as this! While some may consider my daughters lucky, I consider them Blessed.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for providing these girls a loving, kind and giving father on this earth to model to them the love, kindness and generosity of their Heavenly Father! No mortal words can ever convey my deepest and heart-felt gratitude to you for this! thank you! thank you! thank you! Amen!
Can I get a witness?