I’ve been on a week-long trip for the past couple of days. Being absent from the girls has taught me something that I don’t know if I would have valued the same had I not been gone:
It’s taught me that they are now my family.
Whenever you have a family, those people mean so much to you. Those are the people that you know will love you, no matter what. When I was growing up, I knew that my family would support me and be by my side. Every time I went on vacation, no matter how much I enjoyed the trip, I would still miss them and their daily presence in my life.
These girls have so quickly become part of my family.
When I sit and ponder the fact that they did not have a family growing up, that is so unreal to me. Imagine not having that group of people to wake up on Christmas morning with you. Imagine not having them fight over who gets which school picture because they think you look so great in each one. Imagine not coming home to those open arms that want to hug you at the end of each day. These girls, who are all orphans, don’t have a usual family that most of us have and are so blessed by. But don’t get me wrong-they do have a family.
One of the big things that happens at the Beauty from Ashes center is that the girls become a family. Besides just learning how to perform family roles, they also learn to love one other as a family. Diana’s parents are like the girls’ parents. Diana and Corey are like older siblings to them. Amongst each other, they are like sisters. It is so unbelievable to me to see this connection. Moreover, I am so honored that they have allowed me, welcomed me, and loved me in to their family.
This realization hit me as I was saying good-bye for my trip. As we all didn’t want the hugs to end, I knew that although I’d only be gone for a week, these girls would be on my mind everyday. When I was gone, I kept my eyes out until I found the perfect gifts from them, and then sat outside by a tiny light to write them each a note to attach to their gifts. I can’t wait to give them hugs, see how they’re doing, and give them, my family away from my family, my love.