Sorry I haven't been more prolific this week, with the great news you would think I would be filled with things to share! The fact is, the LaJoy house is under seige...4 out of 5 of us have been very sick with some sort of bug. Matthew was out of school all week (2 kids from his class ended up hospitalized with it, 9 were out in one day!), Kenny only battled one day thankfully, and Josh and I are in it full steam with fevers of 102 that keep returning, coughs, chills, you name it. I am sort of bummed because I was so looking forward to Kenny's first Christmas home and I was actually well prepared and now I am feeling way behind...presents aren't wrapped, baking not done. It's just not happening the way I had hoped for, but we are all going to just go with the flow. I was most happy to hear Matthew, who is now pretty much fully recovered, ask me "Are we still going to church Christmas Eve? That's the special part!". No questions about presents or cookies, just wanting to know if we get to go to that quiet candlelight service. I promised that even if Josh and I can't go, Dominick, Kenny and he would go without us. Huge grin and an upward thrust of the fist "All Right!" at that one!
As we have moved through this unreal week, with illness and great joy, I have often contemplated this little family of mine. I KNOW you all must be sick of hearing about how much I love them all, but you know what? This blog is really written for them, so keeping that always in mind I prefer to ere on the side of reminding them often how profoundly blessed I feel on a daily basis. If you all can read between the "love letter" that is this blog and glean something from it, terrific, if not, I guess I'll be pulled off your favorites list! So, back to the topic at hand, this hodge pedge group of unrelated people is a real family, a real, caring, deeply committed and connected family. Every single one of us has offered comfort in one form or another to the other one during this week, Joshie walking by even in his feverish state putting his hand on my forehead saying "I think you'll be ok, Mommmy", Kenny snuggling in bed with Matthew asking him how he feels, kids telling me "It's ok mom, we'll help" without even being asked. There is this sense of unity among us, pulling around a common goal of keeping this family moving. I'll be the first to admit that Kenny has really enhanced this with his helpful and giving spirit, and there are days when I catch myself smugly thinking "Man, someone missed out on a super son by passing him by!!", which is not at all appropriate but honest.
And now we come to our new additions...yes, it will be two. Some of you have already deduced what is going on and emailed me privately, and others who are long time followers can simply look at what is now missing from the blog and figure it out. Enough said.
I am scared. Yup, scared.
I'd be stupid not to be, wouldn't I? Dreams come true are awesome! I think God is going to use this particular experience in extraordinary ways to show what His people can do when they pull together to make something happen, to show that He is indeed Almighty. I know that saying the past year has had a powerful affect on me is quite the understatement.
But there is the reality of once again upsetting the apple cart, of taking a risk times two in this case. There is the truth of children from these backgrounds being profoundly affected by their beginnings and testing their new parents to the limits. There is the fact that we are doing this so very soon after Kenny coming home...I mean, I am not even done with his paperwork yet and here I am embarking on another paperwork nightmare!!! There is the fear that the balance of joy, peace and harmony in our home will be forever altered by this move.
Being the mother of 5 children is something I never really internalized as a possibility before.
So why do it? If I am scared and admit it, why move forward?
Because I am certain beyond all doubt, truly, that this is meant to be...that this is God's plan. If there are tough times down the road, then we are meant to walk through them. You know God really does speak, we just sometimes elect to ignore Him or to take a different path. I am convinced, in all my ignorance, that our lives are not nearly as blessed if we decide to take different paths than the ones He intends for us.
I also know that we will be subject to ridicule, people saying "Don't you have enough?", "What if they are screwed up?", "Why are you tempting fate yet again?", "Do you REALLY know what you are doing?", "Are you going to be one of those families with 20 adopted kids?" (NOT), "How can you afford to raise them?", "You'll never pay for college?", "Why don't you just quit while you are ahead?".
Many people will simply not understand why. They are not approaching this from the same life experience as we are, they have not looked into the eyes of orphaned children whose futures are dismal. They won't be capable of feeling this to the depth that we do, as they haven't held these kids in their own arms as they sob wanting a mommy and daddy and you pull back and realize you are looking into the face of your own child. They will never understand in a million years because they have not seen it with their own eyes, that a life living in an American lower middle class family or even the US's version of poverty would be preferable to what they face as teenagers when they are released from State care with nothing but the clothes on their back, an inadequte education, and destroyed souls due to lack of human goodness and love in their lives. Here there will be love, opportunity and a future.
Before our "Adoption Angels" stepped forward, we had discussed selling our house to make this a possibility should the chance ever arise someday, that is how serious we were about this. We quickly realized that would not net nearly enough. But God touched someone's heart, and for that we are profoundly, forever grateful. It was unexpected, out of the blue, and is a pairing of two families whose hearts will be forever bound by their belief in Him and the experience of looking into the eyes of the parentless.
You know too, this isn't a "passion" of mine, it is not something I preach incessently to others. I share when asked, I of course wax poetic here on the blog, but basically it is simply my life, it is fact that my kids come from elsewhere. No biggie. And yet I realize that it is a "biggie" in so many ways.
So the fact is I may have to turn to you, my readers, for support. When others ridicule or call us crazy, when others just don't understand, it will be to you that I turn for words of encouragement. For most of you, in one way or another, have walked or are walking this unique path yourselves.
And most importantly I will trust that God has spoken and we will listen, knowing He certainly knows better than we what is best for everyone. He has already given us some unique signs along the way about this, and I have come to the conlusion that it was only because He knew Kenny was out there and needed his perfect family too, which never would have happened had this fallen into place at an earlier time.
2008 will no doubt be a remarkable year for us all.