Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
They recently started a new campaign called "Be The Answer". Check it out at: http://www.jcics.org/bta%20about%201.htm .
I missed out on yesterday's goals for fundraising for them, as we were out of town for a dental check up for Kenny. However this is such a worthy cause...to let the world hear from those who can not be heard by using our voices. There are millions and millions of orphans throughout the world, and we can "Be The Answer" by stepping forward to tell their stories and try and make a difference.
These are the stories of our very own children, these are the lives of their friends left behind. Can you contribute your time, your funds or your talents to JCICS? They need all of it, anything you can offer. Over 100 million orphans throughout the world have no one...no one to hold them, to rock them, to teach them, to love them. Most of them don't have enough food to eat, or shoes to wear.
What orphans need most is family. They need the nurturing of someone who truly loves them, they need to be able to stay with families and not removed from their care due to poverty, they need to be able to be taken in by relatives when parents die of AIDS, they need to be adopted by loving strangers when no better alternative exists to institutional care. JCICS fights for this and more.
Come on...Be The Answer!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
So tired of waiting, so tired of living in limbo.
Ring phone, Ring.
Want them in my arms, we've waited so long.
Ring phone, Ring.
Or I'll throw you across the room!!!!!!!!
Still waiting...always waiting...NEVER stop waiting...until you come home.
Ring phone, Ring.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
As I continue down the path of self-education as it pertains to homeschooling, and as I read many blogs of homeschoolers, I am learning a lot...and as often happens that leads to further questions! Things are moving along, I think we are making progress, we have adjusted and re-adjusted and I am sure will continue to do so. Are we where I'd like us to be? No, and I have a sneaking suspicion I just might not ever be fully satisfied. I tend to dwell on what I am not doing, what I feel incapable of being or doing, and not seeing what we are accomplishing. We have had a couple of surprises along the way including:
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Love Talk...there is a lot of it on this blog, isn't there? I wonder how many times the word "Love" is used in all 504 blog posts since this blog was first created? At times it may get a bit sappy here at the LaJoy virtual home, but I'd much rather be "sappy" than "snappy" with one another!
This weekend though became a conflict of love versus hate. It may have been largely internal, but the battle was won through the external actions of others. I should have known...because always...always...
Late in the week I was hit with an anonymous nasty comment, one that hurt deeply and whose sting still subtly remains. It is not that I want to draw attention to it that I mention it here, but because it was such a profound learning experience for me and I want to share that with you all.
The timing of the comment couldn't have been worse, heading into the weekend when our very special "Family Celebration" was planned at church. It was a shower of sorts for Big Girls, and more importantly for us it was an opportunity to share our joy (after all these years of waiting!) with those closest to our hearts. But here I was, aching inside from accusations made that were so very hurtful and untrue, and I had to somehow get my head in the right place so that the event that had been so lovingly planned was not tainted.
It was hard. No matter how much we deny it or try to blow past it, when others say things that touch our most sensitive soul-places, it is a real challenge to not question the validity of those claims. If you are even slightly self-aware and decent, you tend to dwell on unkind words. It requires a strength, insight and maturity that I have not yet developed to ignore it and move on, but perhaps this weekend I came one step closer to gaining that maturity.
I am blessed with tremendous friendships, filled with honesty and forthrightness, love and warmth. It wasn't 30 minutes after the anonymous comment before a rebuttal had been posted and another person phoned me late in the evening to comfort me. God was present, and it helped. As the next couple of days wore on I had several emails of concern and reassurance, and a couple of in person heart-to-heart talks which helped as well. But still I was unable to truly let go of the hurt, I replayed things in my mind, I had long conversations with myself which were uncomfortable, at best.
Saturday morning I had to attend a ministry class prior to our Celebration, and had an hour long drive there and back to ruminate further. Leaving class in the early afternoon, I realized my heart just wasn't in this, that a wonderful gathering was going to be ruined for me but I would do my best to muddle through it somehow. I prayed asking God to be present for me when I couldn't manage it myself.
Moments later walking to my car, I gazed at my own rear window and saw a sticker that had been given to me a couple of weeks prior that I had placed there. It says two small words:
Suddenly, it was as if the scales fell from my eyes, my heart began to open and a totally new dialogue occurred on the long drive home. If I let this kind of anonymous, angry venom remain in my heart, I was allowing hate to win. If I carried this into our Celebration with me, I was inviting hate into the room with me, tarnishing all the love that was assembled there. I had searched my own heart, and felt that in all honesty here was no validity to the claims made. Those who actually know our family intimately had reassured me that anyone who knew us would never think such an awful thing. So why was I handing over a victory to hate? If I didn't invite God's love which was so evident to wash that vitriol away, then I was perpetuating the hate...I might as well be hateful myself.
Slowly, gradually, as I pondered this as the miles rolled on, I could literally feel the hate and pain brought on by it just melt away. There were people who we loved dearly ourselves waiting to celebrate with us! There were people who couldn't be present who I KNOW love us! There was love overflowing surrounding us, but even more importantly for this moment, our love for everyone present was so strong and I didn't want hate to touch them! So I had a decision to make...was hate going to win or was love going to win?
What an incredible Celebration it was!! Such care and thought had been put into the decor and we were blessed to have so many friends, young and old, in attendance. It was just beautiful in every possible way.
Matthew's Kazakhstan Study displayed for everyone to learn a little more, below it a banner in Russian and English which everyone signed which will be put up when the girls come home!! I love that "our family" is not limited to biology, but to connected hearts.
Kenny serving drinks, looking quite Central Asian! Joshie in his second generation Kazakh shirt!
One of the only pics you'll see on the blog of me for the next several years...I am not fond of having my photo taken but figured this was appropriate!
One of the most creative gifts we received was for our entire family...and was utterly perfect. Check it out!!!:
Isn't this totally cool? For those who don't read Russian it says "Team LaJoy" in both Russian and English! (Thanks Las Vegas for helping on this one!!) and there were shirts for everyone on Team LaJoy, including the girls! What fun it will be to wear these shirt when there are finally 7 of us :-)
And I could tell someone was getting in the girlie mood, embracing his inner "Daughter Daddy". I think he is one stop closer to finally understanding what bringing pinks and purples into his life would really mean:
Lots of love, lots of joy...and most importantly it was what God is all about...community. As I said after the slide show was presented, it would be impossible for us to have hung in there without you, both our virtual and "real life" friends and family. Our gratitude simply can not be expressed fully, it would be impossible to find the words.
And while others can find the words to spread hatred and anger, while they can spend precious time working hard to bring pain into the lives of others, thankfully they are outnumbered.
I was asked why I elected to leave the comment posted rather than removing it as I have every right to do. Sure, it would have spared me embarrassment...but it wouldn't have made it disappear in my heart. Sadly, words...once spoken...are like hand grenades, you can't really easily put the pin back in nor can you "unspeak" the words once they leave your lips, or as in this case once they leave your keyboard.
It was out of some misplaced sense of fairness that I left it up. There are times when I struggle with the ethics of what I do here, is it journalism? Is it family diary? Is it more for the public or more for private use as was originally intended? Is it ongoing dialogue with other adopting families? Unlike others who blog these days, 3 years ago when I started it I was clueless of how this all worked and was quite surprised when others found the blog and started following it faithfully. It was unexpected and had I known it I would have been far more likely to keep our personal information confidential. By the time it became apparent that this wasn't just for us to print out or for grandmas to follow while traveled to adopt Kenny, it was too late.
So keeping that in mind, is it fair to pull a comment simply because it doesn't place us in the kindest light? Is it honest to omit such things from view? My intent and my effort here has always been to be totally up front with the struggles of our lives, and to remain open so that others might learn from us...both from our successes and our mistakes. But does that mean that I have to allow us to be a target? I have also made it a personal policy to limit any comments which use foul language, which thankfully I have never had to deal with. But just because a comment doesn't contain 4 letter words, is it any less foul when it is voiced with such anger and contains no truth?
After a discussion with someone whose opinion means a lot to me, who is steeped in common sense and grace, I have decided that from this point forward, anyone who comments anonymously and is negative will have their post removed. If you don't have the courage to identify yourself and stand behind your statements, then I see no reason to feel a sense of responsibility to allow you a forum for your hatred. If that makes me "unfair" then fine, call me unfair. But hiding behind anonymity is cowardly and allows people to feel unfettered in their nastiness.
In the long run, the lessons I learned this weekend were invaluable, and contrary to what anonymous might think I take great pleasure in seeing that it served only to allow me to feel more closely connected to the Spirit of Love that surpasses all understanding. Because, the fact remains:
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
However, we had something to look forward to upon our arrival back home. Our friend who offered to paint the bedroom for us came while we were gone and added the pink wall to the 3 yellow walls. And all of a sudden, the little room was transformed into Girlie Land!!! The boys went into the room before I did, running down the hall the minute they stepped inside and I heard a collective "WOW!" out of all three of them, and when I stepped in the room their grins were as big as mine. How much fun this is to share our enthusiasm together as a family!
We really don't have much else for the room or them yet. We have a cute butterfly rug given to us by a special little girl which will be perfect for the room...and offers of a dresser and a bookshelf. Not much at all in the way of clothes, toys, or other decor items. Mainly it is because I have not allowed myself to get my hopes up. I have bought nothing but their quilts for their beds, and if those hadn't been on sale and I was afraid of missing out on that it is likely I might not have even had those yet! I wandered the aisles of JCPenneys the other day, trying to force myself to pick up a pair of pants, a shirt...something. But it seems my heart still is trying to protect itself from disappointment should something fall through. We are past the stage I should be feeling like that, but I think I did it for so long it is hard to let go and embrace the fact that we should be getting the call anytime now! So silly, and yet it is what has allowed me to emotionally distance myself through the long overly drawn out process.
Today we hit another small snag, nothing insurmountable though. We had to take our passports along with us for ID at the immigration office, and I hadn't even looked at mine in months. It seems that both our passports expire in January. ARGH!!! One more thing that we need to take care of, seems like every possible document has expired during this adoption journey. And of course, because we are drawing very close we need to pay the additional fees to expedite it all. Oh well, it actually seems very small compared to the mountains of paperwork we have already done..and redone...and redone. It is kind of funny, really, as when we started this years ago we thought for a moment about it and checked them and then said "Oh, we will be done long before they expire.". Hmmm....ummm...guess not.
While in Grand Junction I did some shopping for myself as I simply have nothing at all that is nice enough to travel in. I am such a "Walmart jeans and ill fitting TShirt" kind of mom these days, in part because I hate shopping and in part out of financial necessity, that I have nothing in my closet at all that I even feel good about wearing out of the house. I HATE SHOPPING for clothes...just hate it with a passion. I hate how I look in every single thing I try on, I hate trying things on in the first place, I hate paying for it all because it always feels overpriced, I hate the static electricity in my hair from taking shirts on and off, I hate the bad Muzak that always plays in department stores, I hate the poor lighting in dressing rooms, I hate the fact that if I find something I DO like it is never available in my size, I hate standing in front of the full length mirror and looking at myself...I HATE IT ALL. Do I make myself clear on this one?
But today I totally scored!!! I didn't know that one of the stores was having a major sale, with tons of things marked down that I tried on and actually sort of fit. This never happens to me, and I was so happy I almost could have cried. I have been dreading shopping for the trip, seriously dreading it with everything that is in me. It was all over with fairly quickly, and I got some decent things at terrific prices that didn't make me gulp at the register. It will be nice to not stand in my teeny tiny closet staring for half an hour wishing something would appear. Now if only it all lasts through Kazakhstani laundry and brown water....definitely not guaranteed.
To top it off, I spoke with Leonette at our agency as I wasn't sure about some issues related to the passports, and it sounds as if we are really getting closer to getting "the call". Oh how you will hear me squeal regardless of how far away you are!! Just kidding, actually, I am totally NOT a squealer and will likely be grinning from ear to ear as I calmly and rationally say "Thanks Leonette" and hang up...and then turn into a whirling dervish of activity!
OK...maybe I'll give just a tiny little squeal...which will come out shortly after the tears of joy are shed.
And now, I think I am going to stroll down our hallway, stand in the middle of a little pink and yellow room, and imagine hearing two little voices giggling in their beds.
Let There Be Pink!!!!!
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
In the midst of the of the noise, sometimes you need silence.
Monday, October 05, 2009
I promised I'd keep you all updated on our homeschooling saga, and I apologize to those who are totally uninterested in this portion of our lives, we'll get back to adoption drama in the next post :-)