I get to go visit my kids at Miracle Ranch for 10 days over Thanksgiving break! I leave this Friday, and I am so crazy excited. I don't think it's natural for humans to get as attached as I got to these kids last summer and then be forced to leave them.
The night before I left Miracle Ranch the kids threw a huge good-bye party for me, complete with food, music, balloons, and confetti. They even made super sweet cards and wrote letters. I was so emotional that night as I tried to reconcile the excitement of knowing that I would see my family again soon and the sadness and guilt I felt for leaving the ranch. One little boy saw the tears in my eyes and slipped away to his room. A few minutes later he came back with a little stuffed animal, and told me that I could sleep with it when I missed them. The other kids really liked his idea and soon my arms were overflowing with stuffed animals to bring home. At this point there was no point in even trying to hold back the tears. How could kids who have so little of their own be willing to give up one of their few possessions, just so that I could feel better? I don't know if I have ever felt more loved in my entire life.
(excuse the pic, I was clearly crying and my camera was on a weird setting. And yes, that is a baby under all the toys!)
Ten days isn't a lot of time, but I am going to treasure every second with the kids. It's impossible to describe how much I love them and how much they have taught me about life. They are truly an inspiring, resilient, loving, thoughtful, compassionate, hilarious, joyful, and incredible group of kids. I can't wait to wrap my arms around them on Friday!