Two of our children were getting ready to go home and it was apparent they were leaving with mixed emotions. On one hand, they were glad to be returning to their mom. But on the other hand, they were reluctant to leave their newfound friends at Blessing House.
Then they saw the bags with their names on them sitting on the chairs in the lobby. These bags were decorated with colorful drawings of Blessing House and inscribed with the words, “Blessing House loves you!” When Jaylin saw them, she asked, “What are those for?”
Sr. Mary replied, “Those are your go home bags. There are some surprises in your bags from all of the wonderful people who help us and who want to give you something special to take home with you.”
Maybe leaving wouldn’t be quite so hard after all.
Jaylin and Maya climbed into the backseat of the van clutching their go home bags, anxiously waiting for permission to examine their treasures. No sooner had they pulled out of the driveway, when they opened their bags to find stuffed animals, blankets, books, new underwear, and freshly baked cookies. Their giggles and exclamations of delight told Sr. Mary that they were both amazed and thrilled.
Maya found a stuffed bunny in her bag and knowing how much Jaylin liked bunnies, she decided to give it to her. Jaylin took the bunny and rubbed her hand over its soft whiskers. Jaylin then thanked Maya and told her that since she was so nice, she could have anything that was in Jaylin’s bag.
Maya appreciated Jaylin’s gesture of kindness, but told her that she didn’t need to give her anything. Maya was just glad that Jaylin liked the bunny.
But Jaylin was not about to be outdone. She had learned all about sharing at Blessing House and she knew Sr. Mary was in the front seat listening to them, so she told Maya again, “Maya, I mean it. You can have anything you want in my bag.”
Maya again tried to decline, but Jaylin wouldn’t give up.
“Maya, you can have ANYTHING you want in my bag. ANYTHING!”
Maya was silent for just a moment, then replied, “Anything?”
Jaylin answered, “Anything.”
Maya said, “OK, then I’ll take your cookies.”
Sr. Mary glanced in her rearview mirror and saw that Jaylin was deep in thought. Jaylin looked at the sugar cookies decorated with pink, green and blue frosting sitting in a baggie on the top of her bag. Now what?
Slowly, Jaylin held out the bunny and giving it to her sister replied, “Maya, here’s your bunny back.”
Thanks to the Children’s Guild for the generous grant that will allow Blessing House to continue to provide Go Home bags for our children. These bags mean so much to them and helps makes their transition back home a little easier.
We appreciate you!