[the joy of giving]

[the joy of giving]

I love presents.

I love getting presents (especially when they are random). But nothing can compare to giving presents.

There are two kiddos in my Church. Their grandma takes care of them because their mom has to work long hours and their dad committed a suicide a couple of years ago. The girl was in my team this year at the camp. Sometimes I wondered what did I do wrong that I got this girl – she wouldn’t listen… Sometimes, I marveled at how God used her to teach me. She’s a handful but looking back, I am actually glad that I had her in my team. Her older brother was not in my team, but he always seemed to tag along.

Last Sunday, these two were standing in front of me and I wondered how their grandma manages to take care of them. The pensions here are so miniscule than not every grandma / grandpa can take of herself / himself, unless supported by family members. So I leaned to a friend of mine who was standing next to me,

“Can you tell kids’ clothes sizes?”

She nodded. She’s a 3rd grade teacher, so I figured she would know stuff like this. Not sure how the logic worked, but it did.

“Can you tell me what sizes are those two in front of us? And I mean… basically tell me which clothes would fit, since sizes are different here.”


After Church, we had lunch and then ventured into one of the malls. After scouring two floors and finding nothing for kids (except babies), I was getting discouraged. I wanted to get something for those two. Finally, we ventured into a sports clothing store. BINGO. They had what I was looking for – fleece jackets. I figured that this would be the best clothing item to get because it’s so versatile. After looking at sizes, we finally chose the ones we liked and thought would fit.

The girl at the cashier made me smile wryly. “Would you like something else for your little ones?”

Fastforward a week.

I was so worried. Worried that they might not like the present. Worried that they would somehow treat it as if I have my own agenda… I don’t know.

They weren’t at the morning service. I felt deflated. The service ended, my friend and I went to lunch at nearby McD’s and since my cell phone was dead and I needed to call my cousin, I went back to Church to use my mom’s office phone. I entered the Church building and heard familiar voices.

They were there! I went to where they sat, drinking tea with a lady from the Church.

“I need you two for a second.”

They both got up with solemn look on their faces as if they have done something wrong.

“I got something for you.”

Andrei, the big brother, was quicker to take the bag, but Dasha danced around to see what was inside. Oh, if only I could draw a picture of the excitement on their faces. I urged them to try the jackets on because I wasn’t sure whether the sizes were right. Andrei pulled his on, eyes shining, the face expression joyful yet not fully comprehending what happened. Dasha, seeing the purple with bright green stripes jacket, declared “That one is mine” (to which I nodded and said yes) and  proceeded to enthusiastically pull hers on struggling because she decided not to unzip it and pull it over her head. The sizes were a tiny bit too big, but with kids their age, tiny big means that in a month it will fit them perfectly. I was so happy.

“Happy birthday, happy New Year, merry Christmas, and all the other holidays.”

I had to leave after that, but it was so awesome to realize that my worries were so pointless and that the gifts were accepted just like I hoped they would.

It was an amazing experience.

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