Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"Chicken Paws" and Fighting for a Cause

We had a wonderful and relaxing...if wet...weekend camping in Ouray. Yes, we got rained on...a lot. But we still had a blast and actually came away from it all feeling as if we had really had a mini-vacation.

Today I took the boys shopping at Wally World, when we stumbled upon something in the Meat Department that we thought would make a wonderful practical joke on Dominick. We came home, fried them up, and he had no idea he was about to be "had". Don't trust those innocent faces. Evil lurks within!!

Poor hungry man, simply wants to sit down to a fried chicken dinner.

The unsuspecting soul has no idea what is about to be sprung on him!

The Unveiling!

We Got You!!!

I don't know who got a bigger kick out of it, Dominick or Matthew!

Can you honestly say you have ever seen anything more disgusting in your life??

Daddy's a good sport!

Josh thought it was funny too!

Goofing with the claws!


Yes, Dominick...your sick humor has been inherited despite the lack of a genetic connection.

Does this prove once and for all that nurture wins over nature???

We need to put the humor aside for a bit though as we find we are still battling Joshie's demons with him. He was camping out on the floor of our bedroom last night when once again he popped up, "night terror" style and started yelling out "Mommy...Mommy...Help me!!!". Dominick and I got him settled down, he never really woke up out of that deep sleep state, and we decided that we need to pursue this further. We aren't yet quite sure what to do, as all appears to be just fine during the light of day but it is obvious that something is going on that has triggered this in him. We have always found that when we hit a new developmental level Josh process his adoption again...almost as if he continues to discover he is seeing it through new eyes all the time. The past several days he has brought up almost casually that his first mommy left him so I know something is going on inside his head, but we can't get at it any deeper than that casual statement during waking hours. There are moments when I wonder if he will ever feel 100% safe and secure. I know leaving for Chicago and now DC may be part of it, but I don't honestly think it is the "trigger" as we had some of this starting up long before our trip for Kenny's surgery. We're going to have to think more about what approach to take with this.

Kenny is all set for his appearance before the Kyrgyz officials in Washington, DC. We went and bought him his first suit at JCPenney's on Monday, complete with a red "power tie". Definitely one of those moments in life when I regretted not having my camera with me. The look on his face and the giggles that erupted as he tried it on...and then kept going back to check himself out in the mirror...were worth a million bucks. I tell you, that young man wears a suit well and he asked me "Mommy, is this what businessman wear? Then I want to be a businessman when I grow up!!". Somehow, I can already see that happening. He is excited about going, and I have not focused much on the reason for the trip, electing to discuss the details more later on as we get closer to Friday.

As for me, well, I am going back and forth between discomfort and anticipation. I am feeling guilty at leaving the boys and Dominick once again, and yet feel strongly that this is a real "God Thing" and for whatever reason we are supposed to do this. My amazing husband seems to take this all in stride. When I phoned him at work after learning how all of this was going to pan out I said "Ummm...guess what, I think Kenny and I are going to Washington, DC next week." and he just laughed and said "Nothing surprises me anymore!".

DISGUSTING SAPPY CONFESSIONAL MOMENT HERE: This trip also seems to be bringing up insecurities I thought I had moved well past. The fact is, folks, I am fat and I am not the most attractive woman on the planet. Trying clothes on for this event is enough to make me feel about this small. But over the past couple of days, I realized that is exactly what needs to occur. I had a wonderful email from a waiting mommy who reminded me that my job was to simply be there for God to go to work and speak through me...and maybe feeling this small is exactly about how big I need to be in order for something MUCH BIGGER to come out. As I was reminded, I just need to show up and then get out of the way. Well, if feeling this way is what it takes for the Spirit to come out rather than Cindy LaJoy, I am all for it.

Aside for the real reason for the trip, I am going to have the opportunity to hug a couple of people in person whom I have long wanted to meet. Kenny and I will be remaining behind in DC for an extra day in order to meet Amir/Isaac's prospective Mom who is one of the Waiting Sixty-Five, and we will also be meeting another adoptive mommy who is one of the most incredible people in the world and who has been part of my adoption world for 8 or 9 years now. Words can not begin to describe what a gift this meeting will be for me, for this woman has been a blessing and emotional support for years and years.

The support from others which has allowed Kenny and I to take part in this is unbelievable, and aside from the hotel and flights, other generous waiting family contributions have helped in more ways than they will ever know. We wanted to help, but we didn't have the resources to get there and back...and good intentions are pretty useless. We aren't adopting from Kyrgyzstan, so this can't be written off as "adoption expenses" for us. I can only hope that our presence there does indeed make a difference, and that no one will feel their assistance was in vain. Thank you to all who made this possible, if it weren't for you we would simply not be going despite our desire to help in any way we could.

You know folks, the fact is, this really, really matters to me. I know we have nothing to gain if these kids come home, but for some reason I can not view it that way and have never been able to see it from that perspective. I have assisted JCICS twice on projects associated with their advocacy efforts on behalf of these 65 waiting children. I have seen their faces on my screen as I collected photos, and I have seen the stark contrast between those faces and the faces of the children who made it home to their permanent, forever families. Words can not begin to describe the difference in the soul of a child who has never been loved and a child who has known great love. It comes across in photos, it permeates every pore of their being. Your waiting children are my children, my son's faces shown on this very blog post were once those same faces staring back at me years ago with shadows in their eyes, a depth of longing and despair that was so very apparent it could never be ignored.

Neither can your children's faces be ignored by me.

Years ago, standing on a street in Aktobe, Kazakhstan staring up at the entrance to the home of my first son I remember thinking to myself that we had made it, that the journey was almost through. Oh how I was so clueless about how that journey had barely begun! I am not speaking about our adoption journey. No, that is another story which has oft been shared here on the blog and you all know far more about my family than is even probably prudent. Rather in this case I am speaking of a journey my soul has taken which may yet prove to still have barely begun. I had no idea how I would be effected by the clinging little hands of unloved and forgotten children. I could never have imagined crying at the mere mention of a young boy who was left behind, leaving me feeling foolish and yet as if my own heart had opened a bit more. I could not fathom the horror of visiting the soul deadening orphanage for severely disabled children. These things left indelible imprints on the core of who I am, they changed me forever.

Instead of the effect one might imagine they would have of closing up the gates to your heart in an effort to protect it from such misery and heartache, for some reason it worked just the opposite magic on me...it softened me, it created in me a new heart which for the first time thought about more than my own benefit or gain, it helped me to see God's love MUST come from all of us, that such awful spirit crushing places exist because God's presence is not ushered in by us...that we ALLOW such things to exist in places where we know we could help and yet refuse to "put ourselves through it" because we might feel anguish ourselves. We often "get our kids and get out", thinking to ourselves how wonderful we are for "saving" the one starfish...as the famous story goes...and yet we refuse to let our mind wander to the hundreds of thousands of other starfish waiting to be loved and cared for. We do that because it is easier and because we tell ourselves we can't possibly make a difference anyway...but we made a difference for one.

For some reason, that is not enough. And it never should be.

There are moments when I wish I knew what I could do, that I was one of those incredible people who could rally people around a cause like Greg Mortenson in "Three Cups of Tea" and make an enormous impact. Alas, I am not...I am just me...a boring old, middle aged, overweight, rural Colorado mom who loves her husband and kids and feels incredibly blessed to have what I have in this world. Most of us are not meant to do those things on such a grand scale, and I know that...frustrating though it may be. But the one thing we ARE all capable of is not allowing ourselves to say "that's good enough...I made a difference for one". We can hold on to that desire to throw more than just one starfish back into the sea. We can force ourselves to really see what others turn away from, and that alone can often create the impetus for action. We can do more than "settle".

And so we will go to Washington, DC. We will meet with people who can make a difference. We will put aside our own worthless insecurities and ridiculous worries.

Because your starfish matters to me too.


Anonymous said...


Just tell your story. Let Kenny tell his story. Let your love shine through. You need do no more than that. You are who you are - a loving, caring, intelligent woman with an incredible family. To think that the delegation will see anything other than that is just silly. Your Kyrgyz Tribe

Hilary Marquis said...

Once again, you have rendered me speechless and in tears with your writing. You have so much compassion and passion for so many people and children! There is no way on earth that this kind of caring will not come across to those officials. The "bright and shinny Kenny smile" will surely melt anyone who sees it. He has a light in his eyes and it is one that can only come from the love of a family. This trip is going to make a difference, even if we don't see the results right away. And to so many of us, you willingness to go has ALREADY made a difference. Thank you for being the voice for 65 children, 65 families (and thousands of others that are waiting) who may not be able to find their voices right now. Now, don't worry about how you look (I've been shopping lately and it was depressing so i can relate!) Besides, with Kenny wearing that suit and red tie, no one notice what you're wearing anyway! *Haha* HAVE FUN!

Anonymous said...

Cindy- I highly recommend the services of Lyn Marx at http://www.adoptionsupportonline.com/Home.html. When my daughter was having attachment difficulties, I used her on-line services. She is warm with a respectful, Deborah Gray type approach. I still touch base with her from time to time to ask her advice. Mishelle (mom to Bakha)

Anonymous said...

To Cindy and Kenny:

"... do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you." Matthew 10:19

On behalf of all the waiting children and families, may He work greatly through you on this journey.

"Sing to God, sing praise to his name...
A father to the fatherless... is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families..." Psalm 68

Many people will uphold you in prayer on Friday, you will not be alone.

Peggy in Virginia

Anonymous said...

Hands down, you are one of the most beautiful people I have ever had the honor of knowing! So are all four of your "boys," claws or no claws! xoxoxo Miss Joan

Melissa L. said...

Dear Cindy,
My husband and I are one of the 65 you will be representing tomorrow. And....we had our fingerprints taken this morning as a matter of fact for the third time. I know your pain and we are wondering what God's plan is in all this. We will be praying for you tomorrow. I am not sure what time the meeting is so if you get a chance, please let me know so I can pray for you when you are actually in the meeting. You won't be alone there, you will have many many people lifting you up to our father in heaven who loves us so much. He also loves these precious children we have comitted to adopt and have grown to love. Trust HIM!!
Tight hugs,

Anonymous said...

Cindy, I wish I could be more of an encouragement. I hear your pain and frustration in your words. Just know that many people are praying your girls home. Adoption is one of the biggest leaps of faith, isn't it? Huge unknowns with no control over anything...just a faith that God will complete the work that He alone has laid on your heart. Hang in there! I just don't believe that God would have asked you to work to bring home two more, only to leave you without your girls. Heather ( mommy to Allyson and Grant)

Lisa said...


We are honored that you traveled to DC to support and represent us. You have done an amazing job, and Kenny, too. From our hearts, we thank you.
And we are praying also for your Kaz adoption. We realize the heartache all too much.
God works mightily through you, and we thank you.