I spent yesterday morning compiling our photos as the last document for our dossier. It was fun as I dug through hundreds of old digital photos trying to piece together what our life is like so the officials over there can see what Kenny's new family looks like and what we do together. I realized that I am always the one behind the camera and seldom in the photos (this is partially due to my own reluctance to be photographed), so I really had to look hard for a few that included me!
I also realized that I am one very lucky woman. 20 years ago, if you had asked me what my life would be like, I don't think I ever could have pictured the sheer joy I experience every day just waking up to the people I wake up to in my home. It's not that I have ever had a bad life, but that what we have as a family is extraordinary, and I don't take a single minute of it for granted.
As I looked back over the past few years documented in photos I see friends who have come and gone and friends who have remained, I see love and laughter, mini-adventures and lots of local trips. The smiles are real, not pasted-on. The photos reflect the love we all have for one another, with the subjects always holding one another as if encircling each other in the warm embrace of our family.
It reminds me of a couple of days ago when the 4 of us had a morning "group hug"...yea...I know...it's corny but it's us. Joshie stands on a kitchen stool because he is so short and Matthew is in that in-between height as we all hug each other at once. Suddenly, Matthew took a step back and leaves a space in between he and Dominick and says "Here's Kenny! We gotta make room for him!!" and we all giggled and of course I had tears in my eyes as I once again said a quiet little prayer of gratitude for this little family of mine and the open heartedness and love we all share.
So, the dossier is done and goes out via FedEx Monday, fingerprints now done for INS/CIS, now the real waiting game begins!