When you wish upon a star

by Beth Shepherd
( November 21st, 2012 )

Sitting by the lakeThis morning I read Baby Bird a new book, Olivia and the Fairy Princess. She loves the original Olivia and I’d heard great reports about this book too. In this book, Olivia is having an identity crisis. There are too many ruffled, sparkly princesses around. She wants to do more than just fit in. She wants to stand out. At the end of the story, as Olivia lies in bed unable to sleep, she starts imagining who she could be.

I read aloud to my daughter:

Maybe I could be a nurse and devote myself to the sick and elderly. I could use my brothers to practice bandaging and various other treatments.

Then I turned the page and continued:

Or maybe adopt orphans from all over the world.

I stopped, took a deep breath, and finished reading the book.

As the day went along I found that I couldn’t stop thinking about this one sentence.  I had a something else in mind to post today, but now I feel compelled to write about this.

There are many fairy tales with an adoptee in the storyline: Cinderella, Snow White, Pinocchio, and Bambi; the list goes on and on. And, as we all know, there is always a happy ending with the protagonist fulfilling his or her dreams, securing a warm home (if not a castle), finding true love, everlasting happiness, and being accepted as part of a healthy, loving family.

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you

If your heart is in your dream
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do

Fate is kind
She brings to those who love
The sweet fulfillment of
Their secret longing

Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true

But the truth is that life—for many—is quite unlike the Disney fantasy. It does make a difference who you are, anything your heart desires may not come to you, and fate is frequently unkind. And there are millions of people, not just orphans, who are unable to find a place to lay their head at night, a meal to fill their belly, and family and friends to love and care for them.

Sometimes, I feel selfish that we chose to shower time, money and attention on making a difference for one, when there are so many in need.  It was truly heartbreaking to spend a great deal of time in several orphanages, and see children whose lives are never going to be filled with the opportunities our daughter will have.

For whatever challenges I’ve had or might face, my life is indeed blessed. I live in a beautiful city, inside a cute house with a lovely garden filled with color and nature. Each night I fall asleep in my own bed beside my wonderful husband. While I have lost several friends and family members who were dear to me, I have many incredible friends who sustain me and a family who loves me. I am healthy and fit and eat delicious meals on most nights. I’m able to indulge my interests in photography, gardening, cooking, and writing. I have been able to fulfill some of my dreams: to travel, to marry and to become a mom.

I am one lucky girl.

Happy Thanksgiving to my family, my friends and those of you who faithfully read my blog.

To Big Papa: There are no words to really say how deeply grateful I am to share my life with you.

To Baby Bird: May this, your first Thanksgiving, be the foundation for a life with many more.

For each new morning with its light, for rest and shelter of the night, for health and food, for love and friends, for everything Thy goodness sends.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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On November 21st, 2012 at 9:25 pm, Marilyn Weissman said:

Happy Thanksgiving-and continue to give thanks every single day! Life is precious and you received a special gift! Take care!

On November 23rd, 2012 at 10:18 am, Sarah Shaw - WanderShopper said:

I really like your perspective on fairy tales vs. reality. At Thanksgiving, it is important to remember what real priorities should be.

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