Before Abby decided to make life interesting, I mentioned a Toy Drop that I went to at RMH on the 22nd. I wanted to share a bit about it.
Pete, the man in charge of the toy drop, lost his mom to violence some years ago. Instead of being bitter, Pete decided to start this toy drop in her memory. It has evolved into something HUGE, and police and fire stations all over MD collect for it. They donate toys to lots of shelters and hospitals, as well as to RMH. It is incredible. So the toys you will see here aren't all of the ones they collected...there are many, many more! It is just something that you honestly have to see to believe, because pictures just don't do it justice.
Warning: This is a picture-heavy post!
Caleb is waiting on Paw Paw's shoulders for the police brigade to start. (Matt had an important meeting that night, so he couldn't go. My parents brought us up there.) The police motorcycles escort 30+ police cars and fire trucks to RMH and they all have their sirens on. Everybody cheers as soon as they see the first set of lights!
Here they come! The helicopter for News Channel 2 flew over and shined its light down too.
A hundred + emergency responders started bringing in boxes and boxes of toys! It was insane.
The reason we were invited back was because last year, Pete and I got to talk for a long time and I got to share our story...what we knew of it at that point! We really bonded and Pete made me promise to get him a ticket to Abby's high school graduation. :) I think of him all of the time, and Sandy (the director of RMH) thought it would be fun to surprise him. He'd never met Abby and it would be awesome to be able to share with him all of the miracles that God has done in her life!!
Sandy called Pete up to the stairs (the RMH makeshift stage for events like this!) and told him she had a surprise for him. Then she brought Abby and me up from our hiding place, and sweet Pete burst into tears. We exchanged big hugs and he explained to the crowd who we were.
Pete asked me to share a little of our story.
Abby clapped for herself. :)
Not a great picture, but I love her look here.
The tradition is to have one person "lead" the whole group in a round of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." Abby was the "leader" this year...until she decided she didn't want Pete to touch her anymore. :)
We pulled it off, Sandy!
Pete will always have a very special place in my heart. Thank you for believing in a girl you'd never met!
Abby got a Scentsy Buddy for Christmas, and all of the proceeds from those sales go to RMH. He very quickly became one of her favorite stuffed toys. We named her bear Pete. :)
These next few pictures do not do justice to the humongous piles of toys that were all over the house. Everyone is given a trash bag and the only rule is that there are no rules!
(Just in case you were wondering, I had many conversations with Caleb ahead of time about how these toys were for kids at RMH to help them to feel a little better about being away from home at Christmas. He was great about it and never once complained. Talk about self control!)
This sweetheart is one of my favorites. Love her!
It was an incredibly special night for us, and we are so thankful that we were able to share it with our RMH family. I was even more thankful to be able to tell a group of 150-200 people about the miracles that God had performed on our girl!