Ryan and I recently traveled to the Peanut Capital of the World, otherwise known as Dothan, Ala., to visit one of my closest friends. It was a trip that I felt was important to make in advance of Connor's arrival, and I am so grateful we were able to pull it together.
We went to visit my friend Ashley, who I lived with in Ghana while we both served as Young Adult Volunteers with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Our time in country was filled with incredible highs and lows, and it formed in us a truly deep bond of friendship that we have been able to sustain since returning to the U.S. despite never again living remotely close to one another.
There were a lot of special moments throughout our time in Alabama with Ashley and her husband Lance, but what I will carry with me most after this visit is the gift of a friend's love for your child. It makes me emotional, even now, just thinking about the generosity, kindness and patience that Ashley and Lance showed Ryan over and over again. This has also made me reflect on some of the friendships that my parents have had over the years, and how I, as their child, have come to love their friends as my family. I think it is really special when the bonds of friendship grow so strong that our love for one another extends beyond us to the people they love. And I am filled with so much excitement for my children to come to love my friends as I do, and as I have loved my parents' friends.