I love living in Montana. Aptly dubbed, “Big Sky Country”, the 180′ expanse of striking blue sky is clear and bright nearly every day of the year, regardless of the temperature. With our notorious wide-open-spaces, sparser, squattier tree line, and minimal sprinkling of puffy clouds that dot the far reaches of the atmosphere, the sky really does look bigger here.

Still, about once a season, we have an overcast, blustery day that leaves the entire Bozeman populous grumbling and groggy.

I grumble, too, but for different reasons. The low-lying gloom leaves me longing for home

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, it’s a rarity for the dense blanket of insulating clouds to give way to the sunshine above. Year round, the comfort of the drizzly gray keeps our temperatures moderate, terrain verdant and prolific, and skin supple.

On a recent, rare gray day in Montana I was confiding such crazed sentiments to my three dear Bozeman-Besties (the No-Book Book Club) as well as a Bestie back home in Oregon who shares my love-language/spiritual gifting for texting. I yearned to go home for a visit, to see my old friends and feel the rain on my skin again. Quickly, though, I dismissed the notion. Homesick as I was, an autumn visit was impractical at best and borderline irresponsible.

This fall would be the last logical opportunity for a visit home before we travel to China and then promptly retreat to our cozy cocoon for an unknown amount of time. Our family is fervently saving every spare penny and hoarding vacation time in preparation to bring Little Man home. Driving to Oregon would take too long and use up vacation time, while flying would be an unjustifiable expense. Quickly, I shelved this dream and moved on.

My Besties, however, began to conspire in secret.

They covertly conferred with Smarty-Pants-Husband and began a pool to purchase a plane ticket to bless me with a weekend getaway to my Homeland. In all of their cahoots, another Bestie’s husband (whose name rhymes with Brave Snarvey) quickly swooped in and cashed in his sky miles to cover the entire cost of my flight. How incredible is that?! Not only was Mr. Snarvey’s an amazingly generous gift to our family, but talk about a great husband to fly in his wife’s best friend to surprise and bless her! (She had no idea until I was standing right in front of her.) I KNOW SUCH AMAZING PEOPLE.

All of that to say, I just returned from the most wonderful time in Oregon, where I got to bask in the love of dear friends who are like family, smooch new babies I hadn’t met yet (including my cousin’s long awaited firstborn), sip delectable coffee, attend a dedication of two best friends’ sweet infant boys (by the same beloved pastor who dedicated both of our girls), smooch & squeeze my three beautiful nieces, lunch with both of my grandmothers, shop at Trader Joe’s & Nordstrom, and wine, dine, cry, laugh, and gab nonstop with my truest friends. I returned home exhausted and hoarse, but filled to the brim with joy and tremendous gratitude.

Little Man’s first pair of shoes, thanks to the No-Book Book Club. Predicting the frugality typical of an adoptive mama, they generously sent me to Oregon with a prepaid giftcard for spending money 

Smarty-Pants Husband deserves the most credit for encouraging me to go and covering home-school in my absence (Friends, he requested lesson plans and CARRIED THEM OUT. See photo below. Total Stud.) and I am forever grateful for the amazing circle of friends, both far and near, who love me and bless me in big and small ways. My cup runneth over.

learning about Ancient Egypt with Daddy

I almost forgot to mention: I had the humbling privilege of stepping inside an actual Cocoon! I had requested a mere doorstep hug from my sweet friend (since I know all the rules & have no excuse) but was invited in where I quickly recognized I was standing on holy ground and remarked I should probably remove my shoes. I got to hold my dear friend’s sweet twin girls who came home from the DRC (Congo) last spring and show her our photo our of precious Little Man. She gripped me and cried, remembering what it felt like to cling to a mere picture. I’m so thankful for friends who have gone before us in this adoption journey.


A touching gift for Little Man’s space from a sweet friend & fellow adoptive mama of AtThePicketFence.com fame.


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