Thursday is Thanksgiving here in the US, so my brain is jumping between thoughts of turkey (and prepping rooms for guests and making stuffing and amusing kids who aren't in school) and moments of trying to stop and realize how enormously blessed I am.
(Actually, since I'm a Canadian living in the States, I've had these thoughts since October and Canadian Thanksgiving – but I digress.)
I want to share a moment when I was incredibly thankful for – wait for it – the Harlequin logo. You know. This guy.
It was five years ago, on a Sunday in September. My husband & I were in the midst of adopting our fifth child, a daughter from Russia. We had already made our first trip, to meet the child and sign the papers that started the legal process. Now we were on trip two, when we would appear in court and find out if our petition would be granted. Needless to say, it was a rather stressful time which was exacerbated by the fact that (a) we had to spend a couple of days in Moscow first, to undergo the infamous eight doctor exam, and (b) my suitcase got lost and I had nothing to wear but the clothes on my back. That would be jeans and a white tee shirt. For court. Yeah.
So there we were, in Moscow, sleep-deprived and jet-lagged, anxious and alone and nervous as all get-out about the next day's doctor visits. We decided to explore the area around our hotel. We wandered into one store and found that – oh joy – it was a bookstore! We had planned to pick up some Russian books for our little one, so this was a great chance to do that. We wandered the aisles, checking out the selection, trying to not feel too overwhelmed by being surrounded by books we couldn't read, when I wandered past a bin of paperbacks and caught sight of that familiar little jester. My heart did a little jump. Something familiar! I picked up one of the top books and, with my very rudimentary Russian, sounded out the name of the author. It was Cara Summers, one of my RWA chapter mates! I picked up another: it turned out to be by my friend Holly Jacobs! I went through that whole bin, finding names of friends and people I didn't know but still recognized.
Suddenly, I didn’t feel so alone or lost. I had friends with me. My world had suddenly become a bit less frightening, a bit more familiar, all because of that logo.
Thank you, Harlequin, for being there when I needed a friend. I'll never forget it.