We had such a nice evening at the Gala and Auction! I wish more people could have been there. I never knew about these events before. It's probably one of the many things that go on in this city of which I'm not aware.
This benefit was celebrating the completion of a home. When it is sold all of the profits will go to Duke Children's Hospital. Many of the contractors offer supplies at cost so that they are able to give much more to Duke. Last year, in another local neighborhood, the sale of the home raised $90,000 for Duke!
Rebecca, Eliana and I went together to the event. I wish all of us could have attended - maybe another time. When we arrived we were greeted by Robyn our contact with the Development office. She has been so gracious and encouraging. I've enjoyed talking with her. We also met some other Development people as well as folks with the HomeLife Communities. Everyone was very nice. I was surprised too when folks had told me that they had read my blog and heard some of our story already. I'm not sure why that always surprises me, but it does. I am humbled that people care so much about our little girl.
We talked a bit and then got some of the really yummy food. There were some introductions, explanations of why we were there and then it was my turn to speak. I had only a few minutes and spoke a little about Eliana's story. It was hard for me to know what to talk about and what to leave out. I feel comfortable with what I did share - though I wish that I could have shared sooo much more! I tried to focus on Duke and what our experience there had meant to me.
I started by talking about how a year ago there was a lot I didn't know - including the gender of the baby I was carrying. We didn't realize how much more we had to learn than just whether we were having a boy or a girl. I talked about not knowing much about Duke - and how thankful we have been to have a top-notch Children's hospital in our backyard. I talked about the difficulties of having a child that was medically fragile and having to see a cardiologist the day after we were released from the NICU. I talked some about feeding difficulties, heart failure and the blessing of a mended heart. I spoke of the blessing of our children - of how God has supported us. I also shared about Rebecca's bracelet ministry with Wholehearted.
Some of it is a blur. I probably should have "practiced" a little more about what I would say as it was hard to condense it to a few minutes. I hope though that they heard my heart. One sweet gal told me afterward with tears close to her eyes how much it meant to hear about what we had been through. That was a blessing as this sweet sister in Christ shared some of her heart with me.
I was thinking of things on the way over and was surprised that how thinking back brought tears so easily as I remembered this path we have been on. There is more I want to share and I'm working on writing a piece that has come from what I shared tonight. I want to share more on the things I didn't know before we had Eliana.
I did speak to a local news reporter. She asked some questions and took my number in case she had further questions. I hope she does as I'd like the opportunity to talk again. We'll see.
There was also an auction going on in two houses. Artwork, sports memorabilia, towels, and several completely furnished and decorated rooms! They were beautiful. Rebecca and I were a little late getting into the houses before the auction closed. We rushed through looking at things and I wish we had been able to spend a little more time. We did bid on one thing, but got outbid at the last moment. Rebecca placed the bid and was very disappointed not to win. I tried to encourage her that it was alright, but she thought she had messed it up as she didn't understand how it worked. She did nothing wrong and I tried to share that. We'll both know more the next time. I hope we'll be able to go to another of these events in the future.
I need to run as Eliana is calling me. We have one last feeding - hopefully she will take all of it and we can have a 2nd day with NO TUBE!!! I can't explain what an incredible joy this is to me!
Thankful today for the opportunity to meet others, to share a little of our story and of the many blessings God has poured into our lives.
PS I don't have photos, but am hoping to get some.