"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but will never break." - Chinese proverb
My red thread began six years ago when I was teaching third grade. I was a new mother, with a 21- month old, a 4 -month old, and adjusting to Andy's increased travel schedule. In walked this vibrant young girl, with a compassionate disposition. Reading is huge in my classroom, and I am always trying to match my students with books that will grab them. Sara was quick to tell me whether she was interested or not, and I began looking outside my classroom library to keep finding books to hook her. During parent conferences, her mother, Lisa, would share how they had family reading time, along with other family outings. The family reading time stuck with me as a teacher, so I started sharing with other parents how they could instill a love of reading in their own home. I loved talking with Sara and shared we were heading to Hilton Head that summer for our first time. Sara's eyes lit up and shared some of her favorites with me. Lisa heard about our trip and sent me travel tips and websites for our adventure. Over the years, I never forgot this family.
The next few years my red thread stretched very far. I would see Lisa in the hall and say hello and heard they had added another little girl to their family, Bridget. This past spring, I dealt with a series of minor disappointments. I was feeling the need for a change, but there weren't any doors opening. The big "WHY?" floated over and over in my mind. While it was difficult to keep picking myself up, I did. Lisa's son was in the classroom next door to mine, and his teacher stopped in one afternoon to show me their blog about Alina. The red thread began to get closer.
On the last day of school, our fifth graders walked the hall for the last time, while the entire student body clapped them in. I was already emotional from a retiree's speech, so it was difficult keeping my emotions in check. As the students rounded my classroom, 6 fifth graders broke rank, and came over to hug me goodbye. Now, I was sobbing like a faucet. I knew I was making a difference in their lives!!! Walking into the classroom, my eyes paused on this family I once had. There they were: Chris, Lisa, Bridget and Alina, side by side. Both girls were born with Down Syndrome and I paused to marvel how beautiful they were, then continued the last day of school with my class. Had I not gone through disappointment after disappointment, I would not have been in a place looking for "something." I would not have seen what I saw!
That weekend, I found their blogs Bridget's Light and Loving Alina. I read them from the beginning and a spark was lit in my heart. The red thread was inching closer and closer. That weekend began the summer journey that would lead us to our little girl...
Stop back for "The Red Thread... Part 2"