Last night we were blown away by our amazing friends and family. In fact, we never knew quite how many friends we had. I think we must be the luckiest, most blessed people on earth. Where do I start...
We were told several months ago to save the date. We were told a sitter would be arranged. We knew that a few friends were involved. We had strict instructions to be ready to go by 5:30.
Our friends, The Maloneys, came down on Friday to be there with us. Thank God. They kept us sane yesterday as we waited in anticipation and wonder of what would take place. Sherril called me ten times yesterday to make me squirm. She knew I couldn't stand to be not "in the know".
At 5:30, we drove over to the Debonis' house to drop off the kids and pick up Matt. Julianna came out to the car and handed me a green rubber bracelet (you know the ones...like the Livestrong bands) and in her beautifully monotone-pitched voice said, "Lisa...this is your ticket to get in tonight". I read the band, and then I lost it. It read, "Think of Daniel". I knew this would be a night to remember. We took a few pictures outside and before we left, Julianna handed me a card, which we were instructed to read. It said:
Dear Lisa and Jimmy,
Hope you have a wonderful night tonight. Can't wait to share all of the stories leading up to this special night. Your family is so loved--just wait and see! Love, Sherril and Tabi
Matt guided us to the venue, which turned out to be a local Irish Pub called Finnegan's. Could there be a more appropriate place for this celebration?! As we exited the car, we began to experience the magnitude. We first saw Murphy and Myles behind a registration table. We walked up and were greeted by so many people. We saw a basket of those green bands on the table, and raffle tickets were everywhere.
Then someone handed me a postcard, and the purpose of this evening was finally revealed to us. This was a surprise celebration and fundraiser to help Daniel send his family back to China. As we read the postcard, it was so mind-boggling--so beyond our comprehension--that our friends, our family, our community would do this on our behalf. It became apparent that the gift of Daniel just keeps on giving.
The night was simply amazing. Every moment was a surprise, because every time we turned around, there was someone else there that we didn't expect to see. People came together and donated silent auction items, donated raffle items, bought raffle tickets, and so many people showed up. We are grateful for those, but we are also grateful to those who couldn't be there but shared in the event and showed their support.
To ALL of you who were involved--each and every one of you--who planned it, who contributed, who helped us, how can we possibly EVER sufficiently thank you? There aren't enough words. There aren't enough emotions to express our gratitude. God is so good, and we feel so blessed to be wrapped in the arms of your love. All of you. Thank you for loving us--thank you for loving Daniel. You are our angels on earth. The money raised will definitely lighten our load. It will, at a bare minimum, allow Madi to experience the adventure of a lifetime to bring another sibling home.
So, today we are still reeling. Reeling at the reality of what happened last night. It is so surreal. It is so profound. It is so...so Daniel.