We had an extreme room makeover this weekend, thanks to many friends and much love. It was only 2 1/2 years ago that we were so excited to see a room like this waiting for another new loved one to join our family...as we waited for Kenny to come home:
Here is the "reveal"!!
Above is one of 2 tables the boys lovingly painted and Kenny then stenciled with a little help from Joshua.
It totally cracked me up when I went in the bedroom this afternoon and found three little boys exploring hair barrettes and pony tail holders! It will really be a huge chang for our family when some "girl vibe" is brought in, but from the looks of the picture below, I doubt the boys will have too much trouble with it!
Yes, I think it is not just Mom and Dad who are filled with anticipation...I think there are three brothers-to-be who are just ass anxious as we are!!
Seems like there is much to blog about, but I am feeling pretty pooped and emotionally a little overloaded. I think at moments I can not really begin to take in all that is going on, how many blessings we have, how much love we are surrounded with. We received two special gifts recently, both are shown below:
A dear friend offered us a dresser months ago, and then kindly offered to store it for us until we had the room ready. It was a perfect fit in the girls' closet. On top of the dresser is an incredible gift of love...2 lap quilts, one for each of our daughters. These are from my sister-in-law's mom, who has made a new quilt to welcome each of our children home. Oh how loved those blankies have been!! Matthew's was lost somewhere along the way when he as about 5 years old and he was heartbroken. It was the most threadbare, worn thing you can imagine, and I have the cutest picture of it with him somewhere in his favorite pose...he would sleep with it zipped into his feetie pajamas :-) Here is Kenny with his special quilt, this was taken when he was at Shriner's this year for surgery:I know Kenny's will be traveling to Kazakhstan with us this time around, just as Matt's did with him when we traveled to adopt Josh. I am sure the girls will find great comfort in their special quilts as well, and the love with which they were made makes them extra special.
There were so many moments this weekend where I just felt so full. Josh and I had a special double date with his best friend and mine as we went for a Mommy and Me painting class where they painted skeleton mugs at a paint-your-own-pottery place. I was brought back to the early times of our relationship with this special family, when Josh was 3 or so and still struggling mightily with emotional issues. He would do nothing but give them the "evil eye", wouldn't go near them! To see the little boy Josh is now, the love he has for others, the ease with which he gives that love, and how at least for the moment, he seems to be in a much healthier and secure place with his attachment issues just touches me so deeply. We have gone through so much together, that just simply relaxing in one another's presence is a complete gift of the highest sort. I know that with the travel ahead of us, a separation from me on Trip #2 and just the drastic changes in our family with the addition of our daughters Josh might take a big step backwards during the next few months, but he will step back to a place that is still far further ahead of where he began his life with us. His resiliency is remarkable, and I am very proud of who he is. We mom's totally cracked up when Joshie looked up at us and said "I am going to paint "Jesus"and a cross on my skull mug. So we have a one of a kind skeleton mug coming our way after it is fired, where Jesus is prominently displayed. Whose to say the two don't go together? I know many Christians shy away from Halloween altogether and we have never really had an issue with it, it is a personal decision. But maybe it wouldn't be an issue at all if we all did as Josh did and bring Jesus into the most unexpected places :-)
Kenny was in a "readers theater" puppet show this weekend at our local library, practicing all day for his afternoon performance. While he didn't have much in the way of reading parts, it was a great way to approach reading for fun and he was SO happy and had such a wonderful time. He is definitely our drama oriented child and seeing him find his niche is also very special. His acting classes are something he greatly looks forward to each week, and are helping him be more secure in who he is. He is maturing gradually both in school and out of school, and as a parent to watch a child go from being a 4 year old in terms of development and behavior to more than twice that in 2 1/2 years is astounding, and always makes me think about what courage Kenny has shown.
Matthew had a great weekend spending all day and evening Saturday with his best friend going to watch him play football, hanging out and then going to a "Haunted Corn Maze". Hey guys, it's rural Colorado, we gotta do what we can for fun! HAHAHA! His sheer delight in being with his friend, who brings a touch of innocence and open hearted love and joy to Matt's life is something we have prayed for years about. When you are not a jock, when you actually love your family and are not uncomfortable showing affection in public, when you are the more thoughtful and introspective kind of boy, friendship can be hard to find that is truly compatible. Matt isn't "not" athletic, in fact I think he could be extremely athletic if he wanted to. He is just generally uninterested! His friend is a bit more boisterous than Matthew, he draws out Matt's sillier side. But his friend is tender, his friend is inclusive of Kenny and Josh, his friend gives them hugs when he leaves. His friend has a wicked sense of humor and we all enjoy having him around, but we also recognize how fortunate we are that he and Matthew found one another and that his parents too feel this is an important relationship to nurture between them.
As for me, well, I have been a bit foggy walking through this week and weekend. I went for a walk this evening after arriving back home after going to hear the symphony, and the crisp fall air was the kind that doesn't quite penetrate a warm jacket but makes your face ruddy and your ears a bit achy. I walked and thought, it was the most serene I have been in weeks, maybe months. I plan to get to bed early tonight and start this week off better rested. I know there is a lot on my proverbial plate, so much that I can't really wrap my mind around everything at moments. But it is a joyful time as well, a fall filled with anticipation, gentle outreaches to our family, of understanding conversations. It is a very, very special autumn and one I am savoring. As I complete thank you cards to so many hearts that have reached out to ours, they seem so lacking, so unable to express the fullness of what we are feeling.
I also think of a few of the older members of our congregation this evening who are facing huge transitions in their lives as well. Moves away from the place that has been home for many, many years...surgeries that might bring hope and renewal...lives being reassessed and changes having to be made. People I love, people I care so much about and I know that for very different reasons they too are experiencing that unsettled feeling that fills our home at times right now as well. One guarantee in life is that it keeps moving forward, it continues to change, and happiness can only be derived from how we view that change. I pray fervently for these special people in our hearts, knowing their fall is not as serene as I felt this afternoon.
So we wait, rooms ready, hearts ready, suitcases not quite ready :-) We move through our day to day schedule, we wait for the phone to ring. We continue to learn, to love, to laugh. We continue to be Team LaJoy, whatever that actually means. But being "Team LaJoy" is the only place I want to be.