Sunday, August 19, 2012

Alison

If you know me in real life or have read this blog very long, you've heard me talk about Alison. Friendship with her was one of the greatest gifts that came out of our Rwanda adoption. From the first email, we've found kindred spirits in each other. (How blessed I am to have yet another friend who loves Jesus, writing, reading, orphan care, and baked goods? Seriously!)
(We meet in real life after months of emails-October, 2010) 

During the long wait for our daughters (Alison brought home Avivah the same time we brought Laina home), God's mercy was so evident in giving us each other. We talked and speculated about all the details surrounding our adoptions: wait times, personnel in Rwanda, who'd received approvals and who was likely to next. We hauled each other out of the depths when the days were hard...or sat in the ashes together. We found we were alike in more ways than just our Rwanda adoptions. In each other, we found this: "Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one." (C.S. Lewis)

The night we got our referral, Alison was ON THE PHONE when I tried to call her (how dare she?!). When I finally got through and told her our news, she rejoiced--though her referral hadn't yet come.

And then day we finally stood, together, behind the blue gates, holding our daughters...it was the amazing answer to so many prayers.
(how we dreamed of this!)

Although she's not on the adoption journey along with us this time, Alison gets it. She's quick to empathize, sympathize, and pray for us. She's walking with me again. What a gift.
(in our "Rwanda Mama" t-shirts, at the first Created for Care adoption retreat)

So, although she's busy raising three kids, homeschooling, and helping her husband with his business, Alison used her time and talents to help us bring our baby home. She started an ice cream sandwich business! During the months of June and July, Alison sold (really tasty, delicious) ice cream cookies to her community in Pennsylvania, and proceeds went to our adoption and the funding of our Rwandan friend Peter's schooling. (When I was in Pennsylvania two weeks ago, I tasted one of the leftover ice cream sandwiches. Oh my goodness, it was good!) She made so stinkin' many cookies! And she started a blog to spread the word about it. (Though the cookie sale is over, go check out the blog anyway. It's so cute!)

She raised a significant amount of money for us, and for Peter. And did it all with sugar. 

Wow.

Thank you, Alison, for being ready to do this with me again, and for giving your time to help us. It shows us that you're with us. That you believe in what we're doing. That you are waiting for, praying for, and loving our child with us. Thank you for your tangible expression of love. 
(In Ethiopia. I think there's room for one more baby on that couch, don't you?)


These are three of the people who have helped us thus far as we've raised money to bring home Baby Brannon #4--and by highlighting these three, I don't want to overlook the others. Kristen, who helped me make necklaces, Jason and Kelly who helped us with our garage sale, many people who shared our fundraiser on their FB pages, and this isn't even counting the many people (including the above!) who have given money. We have been blessed. Stay tuned for one more post tomorrow.

2 comments:

Adrienne said...

Oh, I was SO hoping that Alison was going to be highlighted today!!! :) It was fun to see the pictures of you both before Rwanda :) She is a totally amazing woman that loves the Lord with her life, I am honored to know you both!!!

Alison McLennan said...

Aw, shucks...I don't know how to respond to this gracefully! I hope you know I've been as blessed by being a part of this adoption as you may have been through my cookies. I love you. I love all my Brannons. Including the one(s) that's still growing in your big, beautiful Mama heart! :)