Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy–“There’s so much to be thankful for”–thank you, Josh Groban

IN HONOR OF THANKSGIVING:

I am thankful that I get to live out my dream in Italy.

I am thankful that my mother gave me up for adoption to an incredible family.

I am thankful that I was able to meet my birth family.

I am thankful I have both families.

I am thankful that I was able to travel all the way to Italy to meet my extended biological family.

I am thankful my extended biological family accepted me immediately and unconditionally.

I am thankful I got to meet my grandfather, the patriarch of our family.

I am thankful that he was so happy to meet me that he automatically considered me his grandson.

I am thankful for all the friends (their name is Legion) that I have back home, mostly in Oregon, but also scattered all over the States—Washington, California, Georgia, Missouri, Massachusetts, Florida, Arizona, Texas, Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, D.C., Illinois, etc.

I am thankful my friends have supported me so unconditionally and are so excited for me on this journey.

I am thankful for a number of friends in particular (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!).

I am thankful for my education.

I am thankful I was raised by God-fearing parents who made mistakes but gave me the greatest gift—awareness of and a desire for God.

I am thankful I am an American.

I am thankful for everything America has given me.

I am thankful I am Italian.

I am thankful I am Polish.

I am thankful I am Ukrainian.

I am thankful for the talents and abilities God has given me.

I am thankful that my life is taking a turn that is allowing me to understand and become closer to Him in ways I never dreamed imaginable.

I am thankful for understanding what, for me, is true freedom in Christ.

I am thankful for my health.

I am thankful for my health care.

I am thankful that I can see, walk, speak, hear, eat, sleep, smell and a host of other things without assistance because I know many who can’t do some of these things.

I am thankful for my former churches and the people I met there, many of whom I still keep in contact with.

I am thankful for enough to eat.

I am thankful that I am free.

I am thankful that I’m learning how much I truly need.

I am thankful that I’m learning how much I truly don’t need.

I am thankful for technology (even though some days I want to drop kick it into the Adriatic Sea) because it allows me such close contact with those I love even though I’m so far away.

There is so much to be thankful for and I think it’s important to realize each and every day what we all have, rather than what we don’t have. I think it’s important to not only be thankful for what we have, but maybe be thankful for what we don’t have. Perhaps there is a lesson to be learned or a blessing to be given (or received).

On this day, where we give thanks to God for the bounty that we have, I’m thankful for YOU. YOU are part of my bounty.

May you have the Thanksgiving of your dreams with those you hold dearest to your heart. May it be filled with your favorite trimmings and festooned with adored memories that thrill your soul forever.

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