Andrea and I delivered the gifts we'd collected for those children at the substance abuse facility yesterday. What a wonderful experience that was! This is my trunk, about half of what we collected. We had split the loot Monday night at work and agreed to meet in Macon yesterday at noon and drive over together.
The first thing I noticed about the place was how beautiful and peaceful it was. I guess I expected some clinical white concrete building. I don't know. I really don't know what I expected, never having been in a drug rehab place before. I just know I definitely didn't expect a beautiful homelike building with river rock trim. I didn't expect it to look so cozy inside either. Sure, there was a reception counter where we had to sign in as visitors but there was also a huge Christmas tree in the foyer and delicious smells coming from the kitchen/dining area. After all, though, we did get there at lunch. They were having ham and scalloped potatoes. Some of the girls who live there call it a prison. Well, it's the prettiest, nicest, cleanest, most peaceful prison I've ever seen. And, trust me, I've seen 'em.
Most of the children were either in daycare or school so we didn't get to meet them but we met all of the moms and the administrator told them who we were. They'd already been told what we were doing. They were all so thankful and appreciative and a few of them came up to me and personally thanked me, hugged me and one of them handed me her baby! The one-month-old boy that I also sponsored (I ended up sponsoring three children!) and I was so happy to meet him! :) Now I know who's going to wear those warm teddy bear pajamas that I bought. Andrea and I really got attached to these children the last three weeks and we were so excited to see this baby and the little two-month-old baby boy who was also there. He stayed asleep the whole time, though, no matter how hard I tried to wake him up! He was not at all interested in hearing about Santa Claus.
We unloaded our cars and completely filled up their conference table. The door to that room stays locked so our secret is safe. Santa will be delivering our gifts on Christmas Eve, just as he should.
We left a disposable camera for Christmas morning pictures. I sure hope they remember to take them!
Those girls are blessed to have that second, third, fourth, hundredth chance and to be able to keep their children there with them. I've been praying for them all ever since I heard about them but now I can put faces to their names when I ask for strength and courage for them to defeat the monsters that hold them.
I left there feeling really, really good.