Chad and I spent the day reminiscing about 4th of July's gone by:
Like the 4th I was walking our dog Alex and his leash sliced into my leg and I spent the evening laying face down on the carpet with my leg all wrapped up, howling in agony. Or the year we Vacationed in Rhode Island at some family friends home right on the water, going to the oldest parade in America (Bristol, RI) and eating fresh lobster rolls and absorbing the American spirit in a totally different way we ever had before.
Re-wind to 4th of July 2008. A very young, very brave Lithuanian girl traveled to a tiny village and gave us an incredible gift. A gift we had no idea we would be receiving over two years later. As Chad and I were shooting fireworks with friends on a neighborhood baseball diamond, a complete stranger was taking the first step in making our family a reality. Charlie, a little over 3 months old, experienced a very different independence day that day two years ago. On that day two years ago, we celebrated the sacrifice of men and women that made our homeland great. She experienced a day filled with sadness, but one of bravery and self-sacrifice unknowing that the lives of two strangers would be forever intertwined in her story.
This year our 4th of July felt different. Along with my freedom, I added to my list a new thing to be thankful for. I still don't know her name, but I celebrated her gift of sacrifice. I prayed for her today. I thanked her for giving our son life and allowing us to see him through the rest.