Oh well, I'm only human. And humans have crazy schedules. And part of that crazy schedule has brought me here today. But first, a little intro:
One of my favorite childhood movies that has stuck with me throughout the rest of my life is the smash-hit animated Musical, Prince of Egypt, which tells the story of Moses from his fateful delivery from slaughter at birth to his call from the Lord to set the Israelites free and the fruit of his labors. One of my favorite parts happens shortly after Moses runs away from Egypt and ends up in the desert valley of Midian. The high priest (and his future father-in-law) tells Moses to look at his life "through Heaven's Eyes," not by earthly standards, ever-changing and belittling as they can be.
I watched that scene during my 16 hour
For the longest time, I considered family people that were your family. Blood relatives. Brothers and sisters. If they were adopted, it was no different, but in most circumstances, the idea of Christian Unity, crossing all bonds, be it friendship or genetics, to form a family, was absent from my mind.Through this experience, family in general took on new definitions. You didn't need related genes to have a family-like connection. In fact, friends could be the extra support, love, and care your immediate family needed.
Part of my insane schedule in the past month was camping for two weeks' vacation with my family. During that time, the first ever annual Reece's Rainbow Family Reunion would be happening at the campground. I was honestly unsure what to think of the "Family" part. I have and still do meet many beautiful people in the Reece's Rainbow Community over the internet. But the internet and relationships formed therein can really swing from one end of the pendulum to the other: they can either really work out or the can explode. I was honestly wondering which end the pendulum of fate would swing to this time.
I admit some anticipation and nervous emotions at the thought of meeting THE Andrea and Reece Roberts, founder and inspiration respecitvely for all of Reece's Rainbow's existence. But upon meeting them, I was utterly surprised to realize they were just a normal mother and son who had happened to be called to an Extraordinary task: advocating for those without a voice. Then came the other families. Some of them I had known over the internet. Some I had not. but the weird part was that I knew the parents, in stead of the kids. OK, so even if I did get along with the parents, what about the kids?
To say the least, I had some peculiar starting ground to begin from.
When the vans pulled up and the doors opened, I braced myself. I though to myself, there's a good possibility that a potential friendship with these kids is gonna sink like a torpedoed cruise ship. But maybe there's an outside chance I'll have a break through.
I could talk for hours about all the experiences and joys of that weekend. But I think I sum it all up when I say that we were all teary wrecks when goodbyes came around. And only in that group of people can I laugh when people are taking pictures of us looking like teary messes. If I learned one thing from the weekend, it was this: the love that those with a heart for special needs have for those they work with/for extends to all those around them. We accepted each other with open arms and hugs. All our pros, and all our cons. Our pasts were our pasts. The people we became, became all that mattered. If somebody needed to leave an event or take a breather, there were no grunts of annoyance or nasty comments. There was no judgement.
We were not perfect people, nor were we in a perfect world. But we loved each other through Heaven's Eyes, whether we knew it or not, and that made all the difference.
Reece's Rainbow Reunion 2011 Slideshow from Caleb Lococo on Vimeo.