There are still some toys, etc., trickling in, but here is just an idea how the Sadie Smile Toy Drive has turned out (absolutely unbelievable!) — $2,600+ in cash donations, plus new and gently-used toys donated, amounting to:
To the Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt:
28 bins of toys, books, and arts/crafts
3 bins of movies for all ages
$390 in iTunes gift cards for teens to download apps, books, music, etc.
20+ other random things that are too big to fit into bins
a new 32″ flat screen TV
PS3 gaming system and several PS3 games
To DCS, Wilson County:
6 bins of toys, books, and arts/crafts
Other random “necessity” type of items, like car seats (once belonging to a very sweet little blonde-haired blue-eyed girl), a playpin, etc.
To CASA and the Lighthouse Counseling Services in Henderson, KY:
4 bins of stuffed animals
3-4 bins of toys collected there
$170 donated for me to spend when I go up to Henderson on kids up there
“Thank you” is an understatement. I will forever be changed by not only the events of the past 7+ months, but also by the love and generosity coming from you all. Thank you for loving big. I pray God pours out His love in amazing ways to you all!
I’ll post pics as we are delivering all of these Sadie Smiles over the next week or two!!!
Oh my goodness, big thanks to everyone who have given us toys and/or donations over the past two days. I’m afraid to start listing names b/c I am quite sure that I will miss someone. But the good news about that is that there are going to be so many smiling children around The Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and DCS in Wilson County that it’s seriously blowing me away! Not to mention the things that have come in in my home town of Henderson, KY! I have received things from friends that I graduated high school with. Friends at Eli’s school. Friends from Parkway, Two Rivers, First Christian Church of Henderson, First Baptist Church of Henderson, and The Journey Church. Friends of friends. Co-workers. Neighbors. Family. Friends of family. And people we have never even met, but that have become friends through Sadie’s journey. You name it–and we are so very appreciative. I’ve got a few things to go through tomorrow, and then I will give you all an idea as to the magnitude of things we will be donating over the next week or two. If you have been able to participate by donating new or used toys, gift cards, $$$, or if you have supported us in prayer, then I truly believe you will be very blessed in having a part in what has turned into a truly wonderful project! We love you all, and we love that you have joined with our family in doing something that we pray makes a big difference in the lives of these kids (and their parents, too)! Goodnight all!
Six months have passed since I held my Sadie in my arms and comforted her as she took her last breath this side of Heaven. Tim and I escorted her straight to the gates, and then had to drive home to our family minus one. It was about this time of day when we looked at the doctors and had to make the decision that was ultimately already made for us–the decision to discontinue further treatment and “make her comfortable”. Her condition had declined overnight, and any further treatment at that time would have only prolonged the inevitable and would have continued our sweet girl’s suffering. We held her, we sang to her, we read her toddler Bible to her, and then we said goodbye less than 6 hours later. In some ways it feels like yesterday, and in other ways it feels like 10 years ago. I have learned more in 6 months by far than I have in any of my 38 years prior. More about the purpose of life. More about loving others. More about making time for the things that are most precious. More about giving. More about living. And more about the love of God. He has absolutely jumped off the pages and into my every minute of every day. I no longer believe in hope, but now know because I am living the evidences of His provision and His love. I would give anything in the world to have felt this without having such extreme loss. Why is it that the cages of our life often have to be rattled so violently before we stop and listen and do more than just go through the motions or say great words that we don’t even let penetrate our very own hearts? I absolutely wish that the events that have transpired since November did not have to come to pass. I wish that I could run over and scoop up my precious child and hug her and kiss her until the sun goes down. But I don’t have that privilege–I had to let my Sadie Caroline go. I will forever be changed by having the chance to be her mommy. I honestly believe that God allowed her to be here for a short time for a specific reason. And although His plan is not exactly what I would have chosen, I have to trust that He knows a little more about life than I do, and that He has something big He wants to accomplish through her sweet little (big) life. Sadie is leaving her mark in big big ways, and I’m honored (in a weird kind of way) to be a part of it. I love you all dearly, and thank all of you who have chosen to take this journey with us. Your words, prayers, encouragement, smiles, hugs, tears, and everything in between have absolutely meant the world to us. One thing we know is that we are not alone. Love big, guys. We only get one shot at this.