I was struggling with the fact that we are staying here without knowing who would show up when we needed someone. There is a fear in moving away from family and starting a new life away from those familiar faces. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I feel like I am on a wheel of going to work, coming home, walking the dog, cooking dinner, sleep and start over again. I tell myself that there is no time for friendships or time to go out and make them. I also think that it takes years to develop lasting friendships and I just want to skip over the awkward stage. The women that I am around on a continuous basis are the ones I have grown to rely upon and open up my life to. This also means that I am opening Jordan’s life to these select few.
These faces might seem like ordinary and unknown people to you, but they have become a family to me. These people are the ones that made a surprise party happen for Jordan when I didn’t have a spacious home. These were the ones that encouraged me through this program. They gave me the push I needed to continue wood burning and praying. When I lost family members, these were the ones who purposely took walks to pray for our family. When I struggled with the thoughts of where to live, disappointing others, or being frustrated, they listened. When I needed a break from second graders, they gave me adult interaction.
It was my birthday last week, and a few days before I had a low moment of wondering who should show up when life happens (while living here). Jordan said, “you have no idea how many people care about you.” I didn’t know why he said this and little did I know that he had been planning a surprise for weeks. After a class full of homemade cards were delivered, flowers brought to my desk, and mailed presents were at my door, I honestly said that I had a wonderful birthday. People filled my screen with “Happy Birthday,” voicemails waited for me, and emails were sent my way. Everywhere I went, people were spreading their kindness.
If that wasn’t enough, I got home and Jordan had the last surprise. We got in the truck and kept driving until we reached the restaurant with a table full of these dear friends I wasn’t expecting. I had some friends that couldn’t be there, and I have no doubt of them being able to show up when I need them. The amazing part was that Jordan made a memory and also gave me such faith in knowing that God provides people that will be there. When I walked in, I felt so loved by those in front of me. I couldn’t be thankful enough for taking time out of their day to celebrate my special day. I’m thinking that I am going to like living here in Atlanta and I know being with Jordan also means that I am home. Who has become your unofficial family?