Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"I saw Jesus right there"

The following Saturday after volunteering with TERI, we volunteered at the San Diego Food Bank--one last time as well. Catherine and Stephen did not come with the rest of us because she took him to the Bulgarian School that operates every Saturday at the Tierrasanta Community Center. Actually, although an excellent idea at the beginning, when he was not able to communicate with us, the Bulgarian School was becoming more of a problem than a blessing as it resulted in mixed feelings and a conflict of loyalties in Stephen's mind. Yet, someone had been kind enough to buy a Bulgarian-English dictionary for him, and someone else might have been willing to translate his medical records for free--so Catherine could do no less than take him again to Bulgarian School that day.

Volnteering at the Food Bank with Thomas and Nicholas was a memorable experience. Even when they were much younger, the twins would always push themselves to the limit until voluntarily overworked, overexerted, out of breath, tired out, exhausted, with back pain, and almost unable to move. That last time in San Diego, though, they did something maybe a little less physically demanding but even much more generous and much more meaningful: they helped their younger brothers to help others. Actually, as soon as we arrived, which was a little late, Warren was given a very hard job on the line.

Gerard spent all the time crashing boxes for recyling, but, most importantly, helping Thomas and Nicholas do the same. He would hold their hands and even direct their feet to crash boxes open. He would make sure they did not dive head first into the box they were trying to flatten. He would help them carry the flat cardboard to the dumpster

Thomas and Nicholas knew they were helping people who did not have enough money to eat, and they did enjoy the experience. At one point Thomas found himself unable to keep on going, and threw himself to the floor for some brief rest--only to get back on his feet very soon thereafter and keep on going.

Some photos will be much more eloquent than anything I can say.

After eating some fast-food in the van and running some errands, we went to Mass at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel that same afternoon. Even though we're not parishioners (we don't live in that area), the priest there has always supported our adoption efforts in all possible ways.

As we were coming out of Mass and getting back into our van, a lady came up to talk to me and told me that during Mass she had been observing my older sons take care of their younger brothers and wanted to congratulate me on the wonderful family I had. Needless to say, I made sure I told her I have two more children, but my daughter had taken my youngest son to a class. That lady put the twins' devoted care in the most beautiful words. She said she had kept on looking at them, and wrapped up her feelings by saying, "I saw Jesus right there."

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