Wow...the day has arrived!!! The photo is the ENORMOUS amount of luggage we are taking. Before you think to yourselves "Typical Americans...gotta travel with everything including the kitchen sink!", we are taking about 150 lbs of stuff for a couple of other folks, missionaries who live in Kyrgyzstan. We offered to carry things over since we are traveling with 4 people and have a larger allottment of luggage...and it will give us the opportunity to meet new friends over there! It should be great fun, but frankly I am not exactly sure yet how we are going to maneuver through airports with all of the luggage and 2 children with only 4 adult hands! Somehow though, we will manage it. We already talked about it with the boys last night and we did our little family cheer "We're LaJoy's, we can do ANYTHING!!", and I have no doubts that we can :-)
Before we board the plane in just a few hours, I wanted to thank all of you reading this blog. Your prayers, interest and support have no doubt eased our journey. There are a few other thank you's that are definitely owed. I am trying to keep your privacy but want to acknowledge you in some way:
1) To the gang on Essex Street - We love you and appreciate your ongoing concern and support. Your friendship means so much to us!
2) To Tokie's adopted Auntie - Thank you for your special support...your generosity and love are appreciated more than you will ever be able to understand.
3) To Our Wichita Clan - All of you and the extended family as well - You, of all people know that blood means far less than people want to give it credit for. You have gone to great lengths to show us your love, and we are beyond grateful that you have also wanted to maintain this wonderful friendship even though it is long distance.
4) To the two Joan's in our lives, "Grandma" and "Miss" - Thank you both so much for your love for our family, you have added so much to our lives.
5) To Mel and the boys - We will now match your family! Hahahaha! Thanks for listening to me over and over again, hashing and rehashing it all. Thanks for sharing that you have also hashed it all out in your mind as you drove or were puttering around the house. Your excitement and joy for us makes it that much more special.
6) To Suzi B and Trevor Bean - You guys are such good buddies! We'll miss you doubly...during our trip and afterwards. Thanks for all your prayers seeing us through.
7) To our Jetway Cafe family - Thanks for holding down the fort for us as you have done twice before. We couldn't do it without you, and we hope you know you are greatly appreciated!
8) To the Congregation of Hillcrest UCC - Thanks for being our local extended family...you all mean so much to us.
9) To Adoption Alliance, Karen, Saule, Kuba and crew: Some of you we have yet to meet, and we are looking forward to it very much! Thank you for all of your work, much of it unpaid or underpaid. Your obvious concern and love for the kids is extraordinary, and we are so pleased to be working with you all.
10) To all of those virtual friends - Your emails over the months and years have held us up, your shared experiences have made us feel "normal". We have learned so much from all of you and will continue to do so. Thank you for sharing this journey with us.
11) To the Government of Kyrgyzstan - Thank you for trusting us to raise one of your children. Thank you for allowing us to be parents one more time. Your gift is one of the 3 greatest we have ever received.
And best of all, to Toktogul...
Honey, we love you already and can't wait for you to join our family. Your ability to maintain your optimism and kind-heartedness in the light of the less than perfect beginning you have had in this world is impressive. Your obvious desire to embrace us as your new family gives us great joy and will hold us strong in the coming days as we all struggle to figure out what our new family is like and as you begin to assimilate to your new life. Know that we will walk before you to light your way, beside you to encourage you each and every day, and behind you to watch you play!!
And now...we are on our way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!