I can’t even begin this post without being overwhelmed by tears.
But mostly the tears that come when I think long on my Esther.
And yet, this post needs to be written and this season needs to get buttoned up and tucked away as a sweet memory of all God has done on behalf of little ones in China with broken hearts.
It’s time to say goodbye to So Loved.
So Loved was originally offered as a gift of appreciation when we were raising funds to bring Poppy and Esther home in 2011. Heartbreakingly, Esther died from her heart defect just a few months before we were to travel for her, and we never even considered that God might have another, even bigger, plan for So Loved.
But He did. And in late August 2014 a big box of So Loved shirts was delivered to my doorstep and the adventure began – offering So Loved as a one-mama-show and hoping to raise some funds for babies in China like my Esther. Little babies with really big heart defects.
Then came Meredith. A friend who’d gotten back in touch as she was heading to China to serve as the director of a foster home specifically for babies with complex heart defects.
It didn’t take long to see the fringes of where He was working.
The first little one we were able to bless with the proceeds from So Loved was baby Kate.
And then Lilah Lu.
Sweet Lilah passed away before she had a chance at life-saving surgery for her broken heart. But what a trail of changed hearts she left behind. The funds raised on her behalf through So Loved will be used to give another little one that chance we had dreamed of for Lilah Lu. And when that surgery is done and that once-broken-heart is beating strong?
Well, this lady will be cheering big.
The shop, which was temporarily closed while we traveled to China for Magnolia, is open again. And I am praying that each and every one of those 184 shirts will be a part of the story of blessing a child with a mended heart.
But the shop closes on July 31st, the day we celebrate the life of our Esther who would have been turning seven years old. Our last donation to Morning Star will happen shortly thereafter – wrapped up in boatloads of love and prayers for the little one who will be the recipient of our final gift on Esther’s behalf.
It has been an overwhelmingly beautiful gift that the Lord has allowed me a way to honor my beloved girl and the immeasurable value of her short life. And to lock arms with Meredith in helping other little ones just like Esther to have that chance for a full, love-filled life?
More sad and happy tears.
So grateful for each one of you and the outpouring of love and tender compassion on behalf of these children – I am so blessed for having journeyed alongside you.