Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Thank You

Guest Writer: Andy

I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up, my parents asked me to write thank you notes to those who had given me something.  In early years, it was actually more of a chore.  “Get your thank you notes written before you go out and play,” my mom may have said.

Ryan (my brother) and I wrote thank you notes to friends, grandparents, our own parents, cousins, aunts and uncles for birthday gifts, Christmas money and toys, small things and big things.  We even wrote thank you’s to each other!  

My parents were (and still are) master thank you note and card writers.  In fact, many of you may have received some sort of small note from my dad, or mom.  The notes are thoughtful and personalized.  After reading the card, you know and understand how grateful they are for whatever you gave them, or did for them.

However, your parents and my parents weren't actually the first people to write a thank you note.  And no, it wasn't an exercise they developed to torture their kids.  The idea of a greeting card, although very different now, is over 700 years old.  In fact, the Chinese celebrated their New Year by exchanging various messages, and the early Egyptians utilized papyrus scrolls to communicate and acknowledge one another.  

Mimi and I aren't nearly as good at writing notes to people who have blessed us.  In reality, we forget, we lose track, or we fall behind.  We cheat, and use Facebook, or texting to thank people.  What I am saying is if you received a handwritten thank you note from us last year, you’re extra special.  

No, but on a serious note, 2015 begins with so many people to be thankful for.  In 2014, you read our story; the one about the desire to start a family, infertility, the gift and opportunity of adoption, fundraising and the step-by-step journey of bringing a child home. As this journey continues, we are overcome with thankfulness.

First, thank you for reading our story, for listening.  Second, thanks for responding; for asking questions, for praying, for giving money, for being present, for sharing the joy along with the struggles.  Although we are still in the midst of welcoming Baby Salonen into our home, we take a moment and use this blog (yep, we are cheating) to thank you.  Below are just a few of the hundred ways God continues to use those around us to make the hope of having a baby a reality.

Fellow Adoptive Families:  You know who you are.  Whether we find you at church, in adoption/parenting classes, far away, on Facebook, or through other friends, we are grateful for your wisdom, experiences, time and stories.  Thank you for your inspiration and faith in adoption, too.

Prayer Warriors: Those that not only pray daily for us and the baby, but that remind us they're praying, too.  Thanks for helping us remember we must rely on God 100 percent.  He’s in control.  He, more than anyone else knows when, how and who.

Money Makers:  If you go back and read Mimi’s blog post from a few months ago, you’ll see the breakdown of what adoption costs.  Nope, we aren't buying a baby.  But, we are paying for the process.

This part is humbling for me.  Not only am I not good at asking for help, but I continue to learn how to receive that help when it's given.  Furthermore, how does a blog post, a Facebook message, or yes, even a thank you note do justice for what people have sacrificed and given over the past year?  How do we thank…

  • The family members who decided not to exchange Christmas gifts this year, but instead give us all the money they would have spent on each other?
  • The family business that donated a significant amount of money on behalf of both the business and the family, too?
  • The friends we haven’t seen, or talked to since high school, but sent money?
  • The friends and family of friends and family (who we don’t even know!)?
  • Over a hundred people for participating in our map guessing game fundraiser?
  • The friends who planned and hosted a poker tournament and invited their own friends to help out? And the family and friends who participated?
  • Our parents who have already done so much, but wanted to substantially help?
  • The friends who sent out emails, Facebook messages and letters to their own families encouraging them to support us?
  • The widow of a close friend who not only wrote a personal check, but gave directly from our friend’s memorial fund?
  • The couple who hadn't quite found a church to settle down in yet, and gave us their tithing money?
  • Those who have their own adoption expenses?
  • The friends that both own local, small businesses, but still gave?
  • The friend who donated a percentage of her own earnings from items she was selling to us?

Can you believe all this?  We could go on for a few more pages with stories of family members and friends who gave and helped, but I think this sums it up.  It’s not about how much people gave, it’s about the willingness of their hearts to help and respond.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  

As a result of your efforts, we are beyond excited to say we have met (no, exceeded) our fundraising goal.  At this point, we have raised nearly $37,000!  Our goal was $35,000.  To look back seven months ago and think we would be so blessed by the giving of others is crazy.  God uses friends (old and new), family (close and distant), acquaintances, co workers and more to provide.  We give Him the glory for this.

The Pros: Mimi and I would be completely lost without Susan, our adoption consultant at Christian Adoption Consultants as well as the team at Nightlight Christian Adoptions (specifically, Samantha and Kim).  Thanks for your advice, prayer, encouragement, knowledge, professionalism, care and instant replies to our emails and phone calls.

The Acknowledgers, Listeners and Encouragers:  This isn't necessarily an easy, happy, exciting journey 100 percent of the time.  There’s disappointment, waiting, ups, downs (as with anything). Thank you for acknowledging that Mimi and I are going to be parents, for engaging us, asking questions and listening as if we had a due date.

At this point, it's not a matter of if we are going to be parents, it's when. That's exciting! Thank you for journeying with us in our excitement.

Well, if we have properly updated our “thank you” spreadsheet, you will eventually get a thank you in mail.  The words typed in this blog post and the words written in those thank you notes don’t quite express just how grateful we are for you.  

Oh, and this isn't just a super long thank you note, it's proof of God's provision, His care, His love and the way in which He uses people like you to bless others (in this case, it's us and Baby Salonen). 

Thank you for your ongoing love, friendship, prayer and support.

May God bless you in this New Year,
Andy & Mimi


  1. Who isn't crying when they read this!? Love you both and soon 3!!!

  2. Lorrie! God is good huh? Thank you! Can't wait to visit sunny CA as a family of 3 :)!!!

  3. Thank you ,Father God, for your faithfulness to Salonen’s <3