Thursday, March 28, 2013

Resistance is Futile

Dear Toronto,

Next week, you will receive a very special gift. You didn't ask for it, so I suspect that you are wholly unprepared for what you're about to enjoy. I don't intend to ruin all the wonderful surprises in store for you, but I have a few important thoughts for your consideration.

First, a fair warning to all your babies: you will be held, snuggled, kissed, bounced, rocked, sung over, and abundantly loved. You're about to meet the All-Mama who adores every child like her own, scoops them into her arms and wraps them up with pure delight. Thankfully, she takes care of the mamas, too, with endless gifts of encouragement and perceptive insight (often paired with humor, humility, and food).

You may think you know how to have fun, Toronto. But you're about to be proven wrong. You're about to acquire a family that challenges the very limits of defining "a good time" in every way and at every opportunity. You're going to meet three ridiculously silly and creative kids who will effortlessly make you laugh until you pee your pants.

You will be welcomed into a new home, a house you thought you knew but, with these new inhabitants, you are going to discover with fresh appreciation. In fact, you're about to find your second family, your new BFF, and a couch (or entire room) permanently available for you to crash on.

You are gaining a Servant-Leader who will install your washer and dryer, rewire your house, shovel your sidewalk, and give you the shirt off his back - and that's just the first week you meet him. Then he'll take you to a totally inappropriate movie and let you bring it up for the next 3 years in attempts to embarrass him (which it won't).

All-Mama and Servant-Leader, dressed to impress
Toronto, you're about to meet Jesus in an unforgettably beautiful family who will force themselves into your heart and show you all their ugly warts and still make you fall in love with them. You'll be wholeheartedly invited into their mess of chaotic kids, half-eaten food on the counter, and spontaneous joy. You won't really know what hit you or how much you'll change until they're bidding you farewell (possibly with song and dance) -- and then you'll finally take a breath, and say a prayer of thanks, and wonder if your family will ever be as generous or as hospitable or as unaffectedly awesome as this one.

So take lots of pictures, ok? Make loads of memories that involve booty-shaking and inappropriate remarks, honest tears and hard work. Try, if you can, to outdo them in showing honor to one another in genuine love.  Learn from their solid hope and persevering spirit. Then wrap them up in the finest trimmings you have to offer and send them back safely.

Toronto, I'm sending you the best.

Since I didn't ask for permission to post these mug shots, I'm protecting the names of the (mostly) innocent


  1. Beautiful words about a beautiful family. Love to you, and them too.

  2. Oh my Nicole. You have caused me to sob. What a beautiful true tribute.

  3. That was so nice and well written. They are an awesome family!