Imagine me, standing behind a podium in front of a lot of people.
You may be thinking, "Aren't you a teacher? You should be used to that." There's a big difference between teaching eleven-year-olds and speaking in front of adults. There just is.
A couple of months ago my adoption agency asked me to speak at a luncheon. I took Hannah with me for moral support, but for another reason too. I wanted people to see her. I wanted them to speak with her, to interact with her, to see in her what I see every single day: Potential.
This is who I started with...
Doesn't she look sweet? She was petite and cute and as cuddly as a prickly pear cactus.
This is who I have now...
I took Hannah so that those attending the luncheon could put a face to the cause. Because Hannah is more than a cause.
As a teacher, I once heard the expression, "Every child in your class is someone's whole world." (source)
But what about those kids who aren't someone's whole world? What about those kids who aren't someone's world at all? Hannah was that kid. Ashley was that kid. Amy was that kid.
What is it like to know not one person in the entire world puts you first, thinks about you daily and considers your needs? I have trouble even attempting to pretend what that would be like at 38, how did they do it at 9? I have no idea.
What I do know is they lived it. Everyday. For years.
I also know they don't live it anymore. They now belong to someone. They are someone's whole world, every day, every minute, every second. I'm so thankful that someone is me.
I took Hannah so they could put a face to the cause. What cause? Kids that need homes. There are still thousands of them stuck in the foster care system. Thousands of Hannahs waiting to discover their musical and mathematical abilities. Thousands of Ashleys longing to give but not knowing how. Thousands of Amys who just want someone to tuck them in at night.
It's more than a cause. It's Hannah. It's more than a cause. It's Ashley. It's more than a cause. It's Amy. It's more than a cause. It's my whole world. I hope you catch of glimpse of it in those smiles.