Sometimes in the midst of the ‘doing’ I forget to share with folks the tremendous impact of their giving, volunteering and support of our work.
From our vantage point we have seen families restored and supported to stay together; needs met for foster families in advance of receiving a child in need; families prayerfully considering adoption or bravely deciding to become a licensed resource (foster) family.
As the leader of Miriam’s Heart, one of my greatest blessings is to learn of a family starting the adoption process at the earliest stages by being able notarize applications and forms for them.
Each week we hear of the needs of our families and engage to help. Recently our mission and vision were changed by our Board of Directors to reflect what we have always done in function; Miriam’s Heart radically supports families who take action on behalf of adopted and foster children. We envision a world where children grasp their preciousness and families are restored.
This past month I was able to connect with a family in our Symbibazo Center that had recently brought home their internationally adopted daughter. My hope was to give mom a time of encouragement and rest and the kids time away together. I offered them a small craft kit of a fairy garden. Mom and I stole a few moments together while the kids sat to work on the garden. They carefully painted the tiny ceramic pieces and prepared the soil with seeds.
Within a few days of our gathering; we were hosting a meeting in the space I was sharing my heart with the team and talking with them about God delights in small beginnings. I glanced over to the new growth that took mere days within that fairy garden and was moved.
God was encouraging my heart with the same message.
Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…Zechariah 4:10 (NLT)
You see often our work is in the tiny unseen encouragement of a family like this past week.
We received a call from a woman who was looking for help for her two adopted children. She had heard about our backpack drive last year and hoped we would be able to help her with school supplies and backpacks this year. Because of our commitment to collect for NJ youngest children in foster care via our diaper bag drive I was not sure how we might be able to help. After praying overnight I reached out to my neighbors and asked them to help me to collect for these kiddos? Within one day we had a box full of gifts, cards, two new backpacks and school supplies for this family. We mailed it just in time for them to go back to school this past week! We received this message in response the care package they received;
May God continue to bless and keep each of you! May blessings continue to follow you coming and going! To each hand that prepared the box, Marvel, Claire* and I would like to say THANK YOU! To each person who sent warm wishes written on the card, we THANK YOU!!!!! Our hearts are overjoyed! Thank you for caring enough! You made a difference. We would love to send progress reports throughout the year to show our gratitude! Thank you for making it a great start to a new year!❤
You see it IS in the little things that impact happens. Our small, strategic and steady growth, your consistent support and our faithful devotion to our core beliefs. God has already given us His footprints to follow and God’s plan is a plan of healing, restoration and redemption. He too is moving in the little things. And as we draw closer to His heart lives are being changed and children are coming into families that are supported and prepared because of these little things. Things like backpacks, diaper bags and fairy gardens. And because of this, we are confident that even in the little things- the small beginnings- God rejoices to see the new work begin.
Elizabeth Occhipinti I Miriam’s Heart
*names have been changed to protect privacy