Dearest I, J, K, and PeL,
This was supposed to be my first letter to P (a letter I started when you were 37 weeks in my tummy, then continued when you were 39 weeks, and here we are – you’re out, healthy, beautiful, and so very pink! And it’s not done yet – and now you have to share it with your siblings! Sorry.)
A few Fridays ago, we had our first session for a program called Second Step. Together with a group of amazing women from our parish, we (with K, of course) sit down and discuss different topics related to our faith, reflect on them, and pray.
The first session’s title is: A Community of Friends. It reminded me of the first prayer session our A-Days community had – our first session was “Friends in the Lord”.
At that point, it was so clear to me how blessed we have been with friends and family, both here and abroad – that wherever we decide to set up our home base, God makes sure we are surrounded by people who can help us settle, and grow. God sends us people who support us through the different growing pains of parenthood, migration, and well – adulting.
My pregnancy with P had its challenges. But throughout it, so many people stepped up, and offered so much – time, resources, prayers. We belong to such a tight family, and we are secure in the love and support of PapaLo and MamaLa, Kongkong, and Mommy, and our siblings wherever they are (extra thankful that Ka is just an hour away). But we have been so blessed to be receiving the same support from the community of friends we have made here.
I’m scared I’ll miss out on people – but I need you four to know this, and I’d like to be able to remember this (and I’ll keep adding as we remember):
Auntie Lori has been walking you boys to school these past few weeks, giving me time to rest, and hang with K. And on not-so-busy days, she’d hang with me. And I love those mornings, the stories, and the life lessons.
Our mom friends at school – Ivana (Ante and Nikola’s) especially – who has been picking-up and dropping off on days that I knew weren’t “good” days. Tasia (Tessa and Anthony’s), Cecilia (Emily’s) Italia, Danielle, Daniela (Liam’s), Divya (Veda’s), Gerly (Ezra and Jacob’s), Danica (Jaden’s), Stephanie (Natalia’s), Andrea (Yuri, Andy, and Felicity’s) – ladies who have offered me rides so many times – whether or not I take them, it is so reassuring to know that we can call on them.
Fr. Don – who has been so supportive and understanding with our situation.
Tita Ivy, and Larraine – who have been sharing so many things that you kids have been using! And for Larraine’s constant checking on us.
Tita Monet – for spoiling us, and praying for us,
The ladies of Walking With Purpose – for all the prayers, treats, and wisdom. Just knowing that there is group of such great women that I can run to for support is such a blessing. And then they threw a baby shower! It was too much, but so greatly appreciated.
Tom’s old friends – our family friends, who have been there for your Tatay since high school. Digna (and Joe), Cherry (and Ian), and Ate Phanie who gave such a wonderful baby shower (really – one doesn’t expect a baby shower after the first, and here we are with two for the fourth!). Leah and Patrick, for being our emergency plan, for the strollers, and for all the prayers. And Nikki – for being there when I gave birth, for making sure I wasn’t too anxious about the operation, for capturing Tom getting latched onto.
The Lolas at Poirier – who are always praying for us, and offering whatever help they can offer. Sending you guys Happy Meals, and Church’s Chicken because they know it’s what you want to eat.
And of course, special shout-out to the Donnellys <3 So glad P stayed put until our sleepover. And K had an amazing time with her favourite MamaKa, PapaRy, and Manay Avia. Can’t wait for baby D number 2 to come out and play with P! Extra grateful that we have each other here, and that we are sharing this part of our lives together.
I will continue adding to this list, as I remember more people to tell you about.
But the point of this letter is to let you know that we have been so blessed to be living among such wonderful people, that wherever you decide to root yourself, be secure in knowing that God will also place good people for you to grow with, and learn from. Tatay and Nanay have moved many times in our lives – and each time, we were never abandoned, we always found a crew. There was always someone there, we just had to be open, we just had to trust that God had a plan.
And when people are put in your path, be kind to them as well, share what you can, let them see the love of Christ in you. That goes for your own relationships with each other – the four of you. You are each others constants. Tatay and I will try our best to raise you to be friends-in-the-Lord, and not just friends. May your love and friendship with each other be rooted in your love and relationship with Jesus. May you find friends that share this desire to love and serve the Other as Christ does. But in the mean time, I am comforted in knowing that you have each other.