Support systems: Kindness and generosity 

Parenthood is like a club, where the members know you’re about to go through trials and tribulations, and they bestow gifts to help you on your journey.

And wow, what gifts we got!

We got a crib, from Oneal’s barkada and his wife. They wanted to give it to family or close friends. Their own siblings didn’t need the crib, or lived far away. “You’re that close friend,” she told me. I was so thrilled that I cried.

A few years ago, we made friends with a couple from the 501st in Finland. Malou was from Cavite, working in Helsinki, and there she met her husband, Johnnie. They came over a few years back, and again this year, for Asia Pop Comic Con and their son’s first birthday. Before they left, they gave us their car seat! When they got back home, they also sent over a stroller!

My best friend from high school also sold us their barely used stroller, for really cheap. Her son didn’t like it, so it was practically new!

Another friend gave us a Chicco baby carrier, which looked almost new too, clothes his kids had outgrown, and blankets.

A childhood friend, who has three sons, came over to the baby shower with a whole box of stuff! Baby clothes, plastic containers, even a sterilizer. Oh, and the storage box was part of the gift too!
One of Lucas’s ninangs sent over a rocking chair! One of our ninangs from our wedding gave us a baby rocker, so now Lucas and I can rock at the same time. 😀

Some friends and relatives sent or dropped off stuff: coffee with malunggay, clothes, diapers, vitamins.

There was the baby shower too, where friends and family pretty much showered us with love and kindness! It was pretty overwhelming. The table downstairs was packed with gifts, and I remember thinking that it looked like the gift table at a wedding reception!

Other friends shared their time and talents with us. An old friend offered to do our maternity shoot, so he could practice his photography skills. Another one offered to be my doula!

Yet another sponsored a private session of pre-natal yoga for me!

Many more shared nuggets of wisdom and experience: which diaper worked for them, the cost of vaccines, the contact information of their pediatrician or nearby support groups, where to buy certain baby supplies, what stuff you actually need when you come home from the hospital, books, food, cash.

The gifts we got saved us a lot of time and money, definitely. But more than that, they helped me realize a few things.

First of all, it really takes a village to raise a child. These friends and relatives may not be physically present or able to help with Lucas’s upbringing, but the gifts they gave, be they physical items or words of advice, will go a long way towards helping us navigate parenthood. That’s a really big deal.

Second, new life is precious, and this little life is so very long-awaited.

Five years we’ve been trying, and I think many people were hoping and praying too. When it finally happened, we weren’t the only ones overjoyed. So many friends and relatives were thrilled, and eager to share what they had.

It warms my heart, and brings tears to my eyes, when I think about all the people who shared so much with us throughout the pregnancy, and even now that we have Lucas.

It’s easy to say 2016 has been an awful year, and that the world seems like such a terrible place. But when people are so kind and generous, we see that things are better than they seem. So, thank you, world. ❤

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