Bring Me A Honey Bear

We had our first successful satellite phone calls to Ghana yesterday. Robi said it is incredible there and he already wants to bring some of the children home with him. He also said he is anxiously anticipating Leah’s reaction to all of the children. He thinks she will be in heaven. In the short conversation he only made one request, “Please bring me a honey bear!” (You know, the plastic bear-shaped jar full of honey?) Two days in Ghana and he can only think to ask for honey? It makes me feel a little more confident that we are bringing enough to eat and that we have thought of most everything we might need.

I can’t believe that only a few months ago I was telling Curry that I wasn’t sure when we would be able to go to Ghana. We had the desire, but we did not have the money and I wasn’t sure where it would come from. I told him, when we get the money we can go. In my mind I imagined receiving a $20,000 check in the mail and saying, “Ok! Let’s do this!” But that check didn’t come 😉 With fingers crossed and not much more than faith, I committed to go on a smaller scale. Only Leah, Aaron and I would be going with Curry, effectively cutting the cost in half. The “magic check” still didn’t come and we began making requests contacting businesses, family and friends. Within 5 days we had $6,000. This was real, so real that I purchased the first three tickets.

Derek realized we were really doing this and he expressed how much he would love to go on this first trip. (He and Alex had been trimmed out of it when I thought we could only go if we “go small.” Adding Alex and Derek required SOHI to bring another member as well. Suddenly we were no longer past the financial halfway mark. One step forward and two steps back, it seemed. It was frustrating, feeling like I had to do this on my own. I soon realized I didn’t have to do this on my own. The holidays are notoriously a time of giving and many of you gave. You submitted our Signing Time Foundation for corporate donations and we received some. BLOGS began popping up supporting our cause and asking friends of friends to donate. Instead of giving gifts to one another, neighborhood Christmas parties made donations. Your children sent dollars. Parents sent checks. An after school sign language club sold hot cocoa at their elementary school as a fundraiser raising over $300.

It may sound crazy but there were times I would look at the balance sheet in frustration and wonder, “How are we going to raise another $6,000?” It’s crazy! I was so focused on what was left to accomplish, rather than recognizing that we had already raised twice that amount. Thankfully, I was able to stop and see it as a metaphor for how I view so many things in life. 2/3 done, and I can only think about the 1/3 that is not yet done. (sigh) We are silly humans, aren’t we?

Last night we hit 100% on the Chip In and you guys are still donating!!! I love it! See, I forgot to factor in Paypal’s fees (blush) Together, you and I have raised over $16,000. Remarkably only $4000 of that came from businesses or corporations. I am sitting here typing in a pretty humbled state. Completely in touch with generosity, contribution and making a difference and clear that those things are as important to all of you as they are to me. It is awesome for me to be part of a community like this. Many of you shared how you are happy to donate in light of how Signing Time has touched your family’s life. Thank you for sharing that. It allows me a glimpse into the real difference that Signing Time continues to make in so many lives.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. I woke up this morning and looked at Aaron and said, “I don’t feel so good!” He said, “I feel kind of sick too.” Then we started laughing as we both said “I’ve got butterflies!” In the past few days I was also able to see that I really do not think ANYONE can take care of Lucy as well as Aaron and I can. I have had to work through that one too. You should see the care manual I have left for my brother and his wife, LOL I think it’s 10 pages.

Today we have been packing the last minute things. Can you believe I almost forgot to pack a hair brush?? Leah and I would come home with dread locks! I bought a travel Scrabble board, I love Scrabble and the tiles lock into the spaces so no slipping around! I picked up the 3rd Traveling Pants book and stashed it in Leah’s backpack, because the one I got on ebay hasn’t arrived. More importantly Leah’s green skirt DID arrive in the mail yesterday. Aaron finally found sandals! (It’s been 20 degrees here in Utah, sandals have been tough to find.) AND today I bought TWO honey bears, because I figured if that is ALL Robi wants, I want one too!

Until next time… whenever that may be…

~Rachel