In challenging times, we can often feel discouraged and weary. Questioning our abilities occurs more than we would like to admit and it is hard to fight against the lies that can creep into our delicate minds. However, even in the challenges, we can see beauty arise. The discouraging moments can sometimes bring the most rewarding ending and grace-filled stories. And, a part of getting through the challenges is the support and encouragement of those around us. This is part of the Mariut family's story.
In December of 2022, our Difference Makers campaign was put into action. During this campaign, one of our partners, Growing Hope, was able to bless families through the distribution of caregiver baskets. Growing Hope is a support group that provides educational resources to help fostering and adoptive families and friends grow and support each other. This past year, they received 24 baskets from the Alliance community to give to 24 families involved in the group - the Mariuts being one of them.
Following the finalization of their adoption of two girls ages 1 and 17, the Mariut family received one of these lovely baskets from a family who had also adopted a teen. They were recipients of a basket the year before through the Difference Makers Campaign and felt so blessed by it that they chose to provide one the following year to a family with experiences similar to theirs. Not only did the Mariuts receive a beautiful basket, but this family also wrote them a letter of encouragement.
After an extensive journey through the process of adoption, while already having four other children in their home, this intentional gesture greatly blessed the whole family. Bri Mariut said, "Knowing that our family was hand-picked by them brought me so much joy and made us feel loved and seen. Thank you!". The love and support from those around them greatly touched this family's hearts and invoked feelings of value and appreciation.
Moments like these remind us of the importance of encouraging words and simple gestures.