Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Do Overs


This was written yesterday evening when we were without internet for the past couple of days:


It is 3 days before Christmas here in Petropavlovsk…a Christmas that is not celebrated here, but in the hearts of two families will be a remarkable holiday regardless of whether the immediate world around us will be celebrating it or not. We learned this evening that there is the possibility that the Oborn’s will be going to court on Christmas Day, and we are all hopeful that one of the last steps of their 3 year long journey will soon be over. What a way to remember the birth of Christ!

Then there is our family…teetering on the brink of a decision that must be made, one that was made ever more difficult when taking into account the behavior of a frightened 11 year old girl. Actually, we never thought we WOULD have to actually make a decision, considering that to have been done long before arriving here. Alas, following in the path of every step of this adoption, even this has been more difficult than we ever would have imagined it being.

Are we safe to bring Angela home with us? Are we about to enter the “perfect storm” created of a combination of a history of neglect, witnessing of violence, institutionalization, and adolescent hormones all rolled up in the body of a “tween” whom we barely know?

Is this the biggest mistake of our lives?

Or…maybe…just maybe…is it two of the biggest blessings?

We know all the reasons not to do it. We witnessed some of it first hand. We may not be experienced parents of kids this age with this background, nor of girls, but we have been over some pretty rocky parenting terrain ourselves and perhaps that experience alone should give us reason to pause and think twice.

So much has been rattling back and forth in our minds, so many “what if’s” and “maybe’s”. For want of a crystal ball, we have no idea what the future holds…no more than anyone reading this blog could predict whether we are making a wise decision or not.

We gathered the boys last night and had a long heart to heart. We have had more Team meetings this past 3 weeks than we have had in 3 years. Much has been shared, a great deal of wisdom and insight has surprised us. And yet the final decision is up to us. It is not one we make lightly, for we know there are many lives at stake.

Our visits this week have gone well, with a gradual warming of all of us to one another. Both Angela and Olesya are far more relaxed around us, are enjoying the boys tremendously, and we feel what we are seeing is genuine. We have the good fortune of having heard from many people who have spent time with both the girls over the past couple of years, some brief and others extended. To the last one, each was shocked at how we were treated last week by Angela, all said it was completely out of character for her…and none has an agenda or is attached to the orphanage in any way, so their opinions and observations are reasonably unbiased.

Despite that though, there comes into play something far more meaningful for us, and that is God’s plan for our family. It is something I wrestled with a lot this past week, along with trying to pry back open the steel doors to my heart that had arrived here swung wide apart only to find them slammed shut and padlocked tightly, the key tucked away for safe keeping. Finding that crow bar to wedge between the doors while the key remained firmly in place was one of the harder emotional journeys I have ever taken, and it had to be done quickly without the luxury of time to reflect and heal.

There also is risk involved, as anyone who has undertaken older child adoption would agree. Horror stories abound, families have crumbled, children have been relinquished…hearts are never the same. Do we have enough courage to do this? It is a question we have asked ourselves over and over this week. What if we fail? There is so much to lose on all sides. What if we are overestimating our abilities to parent? We might ruin all that is so good.

Do we even want to deal with it?

They are fair questions, especially after the week we went through. They are questions with no readily apparent answers.

And still it comes down to one thing, the single thing that even last week can’t make me shake…

These are our daughters.

Saturday night I was laying in bed, trying to sort it all out while Dominick was in the living room having fallen fast asleep with the boys while watching a movie. I asked God once again to make it clear, I begged yet one more time for an answer. Things were feeling much better with the girls. I was hopeful and somehow still couldn’t let go of the leeriness that was creeping around inside my head based upon the behavior we saw even though the child that stands before us now is transformed in every way…she is warm, connecting, not falsely engaging but appropriately so, there is no artifice there whatsoever.

It was at that moment that I “got it”. It was as if God was before me , hands on hips, finger wagging in my face saying “How many times do I have to answer the same question? Did I not already make it perfectly clear? I get SO TIRED of you not trusting me! You said you would parent them if I made it happen, I did, so DO IT and get on with it! I never said it was going to be easy, but I have all of your best interests at heart and I am not going to let you down. Will you PLEASE show at least as much courage as your daughter did in asking for forgiveness? Now maybe you know how SHE felt!”.

OK…so maybe I didn’t hear those words, but each of those thoughts ran over and over through my head that night and I realized that if Angela could risk her heart which already had a lifetime of band aids and scars, so could I.

She showed me how to do it.

The boys were unanimous in urging us to go for it, in fact they begged us to do it. I also trust their gut instincts very much…not a single one of the three has ever had an inappropriate friend, or has made an unwise choice in hanging out with someone. They may be young, but they have very good radar, and their radar said “All Systems Go” with Angela and Olesya. That was no small thing for us, and while we may have been thrown a bit off balance they were standing firm in their assessment.

Last night, after having the girls over to the apartment while we all put up our tree and made snowflakes to tape to the windows, we found ourselves feeling very much as if we were back home with all of them. All of the kids we laughing and playing together, giving piggy back rides to one another, wrestling (Yes the boys AND the girls!) on the floor…and even giggling as the boys belched. Angela too was feeling something as twice she quietly told Irina “I wish I didn’t have to go back tonight.”. Olesya was standing up on the kitchen window sill repositioning things to her liking, and looked down at me with the biggest grin as if to say “Man, this is the coolest!”.

The apartment felt a lot emptier after they left. We all sat down and knew what we were going to do…there was no way we would be leaving them here in Petro, in fact we have quickly come to a place where we can’t even begin to think of life without them in Montrose! Oh, how good God is when it comes to giving second chances! It is as if we ALL have a second chance here at having a very special one-of-a-kind family, and none of us can bear to let that chance go by without giving it all we’ve got.

So, in true Team LaJoy style, a plan was hatched with the boys doing all the plotting. Our visit today was going to be a surprise for the girls, and we were going to start over and do it OUR way this time. After much discussion, the boys decided to wear their ties and make it a formal affair. They wanted to create a little ceremony to make Angela and Olesya feel special and invite them to be part of our family. Joshie had found some little rings for 25 cents at a nearby market stall, and the boys wanted to get them all rings as a symbol of being a family. We decided to get some candles to light too as part of our little personal adoption ceremony. There was much giggling and whispering going on last night.

This morning we all went shopping for our items. We found heart candles that the boys deemed perfect for our purposes, and even some heart shaped balloons! We had to go to two different vendors to find rings that would work and ended up paying $1 each as we carefully selected colors and sizes. Back at the apartment a banner was created which said “We Love You Angela and Olesya”. The living room was cleared, the kitchen table brought in to create a place for the ceremony, and an origami letter was worked on by Kenny after we all signed it with a message. Sitting in the middle of our little alter was a stuffed heart that says “I Love You” on it in Russian that Angela and Olesya gently and oh so tentatively handed us last Tuesday when we went and met them with the Assistant Director. Speeches were practiced, and Kenny admitted to being a little nervous! Joshie said he didn’t know what to say, and it was decided he could just give hugs.




Soon, it was time for the girls to arrive, and the boys had hurriedly changed into shirts and ties, combed their hair, and were running around giggling like crazy once they saw Alexander’s car from our kitchen window. The girls walked in with Irina, who didn’t know anything and seemed a little uncertain herself. Matthew and Kenny were chivalrous and helped the girls from their coats and hung them up while Joshie led them into the living room and got them settled on the couch, where they sat expectantly, not quite sure what was going on, with Irina between them.

As scripted, Kenny got up first and spoke to them…he told them how long we had worked on bringing them home, how hard it had been, how much paperwork had to be done, how every morning we would look at their pictures and say “Hi Girls!”, and how they all really wanted to be the girls’ brothers. After prodding him that he was going on a bit too long, it was Joshie’s turn, and he just ran over to them and gave them each a big hug while they grinned from ear to ear. Then it was Matthew’s turn, and taking his role very seriously, he explained that we had a big question for them, then asked them “Would you like to be a part of our family?”. Irina was totally getting into this now and I think was enjoying the goings on as she interpreted. Both girls immediately answered “Da” with big smiles. I then asked “Are you really sure??” and they said an even louder “Da!!”. Then Matthew invited them to come to the table with all of us, and we had one larger taper candle that we lit and he said “This candle is the light of our family. If you want to join our family, please light the heart candle in front of you as we pass this candle around. “ All was quiet as we each passed the candle from one to another, first Dominick and I as the parents (we were informed it HAD to be in this exact order), then Olesya, then Angela, then each of the boys. Then Matthew brought out the rings and said “These rings are for each of us kids in our family. Wearing it says you are part of us.” He handed each one a ring. He then announced “You are now LaJoy’s!” and we all blew out our candles together.



Then, there in the dark, we all watched the slide show on the computer that I had created for our Family Celebration in October, which now seems like years ago instead of weeks ago. Irina translated the words on screen, and once or twice I noticed she swallowed a little hard before being able to explain what was on screen.

There…together…finally…we all watched as before us flashed images of Olesya and Angela’s life. We watched them grow up right there, so many years we were all denied. The girls were obviously touched and so pleased, laughing and pointing as they saw pictures of themselves as little ones…6 and 4 years old….then 8 and 6…then 10 and 8…

By the end we were all quiet. There was no more laughter, there was a quiet understanding of every single person in the room, young and old, that this was saying good bye to an old life, and hello to a new one. This was a recognition without a word being spoken of the love that had traveled across miles and years. It was hope held on to, an opportunity almost lost, and the faith to give love and family a chance.

This may not have been court, there was no document created with official seals on it, there was no pounding of a gavel. But THIS is the moment when we truly became a family. We still have to go through the remainder of the process, but this afternoon will remain in all of our minds when we all tentatively walked through a door, never to look back. It requires courage of us all. Thankfully, we are ALL LaJoy’s, and we don’t quit, we don’t walk away.

I know there are many who will call us foolish and blind after what we have already gone through. They will ridicule us and stand on the sidelines waiting with bated breath for the chance to say “See? I told you so!” should we come home and find our lives in chaos as adjustments may very well prove very difficult.

But our God is a God of “Do Overs”. We all desperately needed a “Do Over” after the way things went the first week. We are not willing to throw away two lives based upon the initial fearful reaction of an 11 year old little girl who had given up hope and moved on in her mind, and was being pulled in many different directions by the adults in her life. This same little girl who had struggled so mightily to blank us out so she wouldn’t have to be responsible for a life altering choice also had the courage to say “I was wrong, I am ashamed, please give me a second chance.”. I know many adults who do not have that kind of character to be able to openly admit a mistake and ask for forgiveness. If our God can grant us each “Do Over’s” every single day, how can we not grant a “Do Over” when sincerely asked?

There are those who are cynical and will say we are being “played”. I would never presume to always be right, but our hearts tell us this is not the case…that we are seeing the real child within and that what we saw 2 weeks ago was by all accounts an anomaly brought on by stress . We are willing to risk looking foolish later if it means offering grace and forgiveness now. Many would argue with us that we are wrong to do that, that we are not putting the boys first. Maybe for them, it would be wrong…again I would never presume to tell someone else what they should do. For us, it is absolutely the right thing to do. We’ll worry about hearing “I told you so” later. And we feel that by doing this we ARE putting our children first…all of them…for they are all learning up close and personal how forgiveness works, how hearts can indeed change and be softened, how not reacting out of anger can lead to better resolutions.

I honestly don’t know when or how it happened, but somewhere along the way during the past few years, Dominick and I somehow left cynical behind, we can’t live in that place anymore. I did live there…oh for sure I was always looking for the worst in others, expecting everyone to be “out to get me”, and much to my own shame seeing everyone as the enemy and isolating myself from humanity in order to protect myself. It was a very lonely, sad place to dwell.

They may also learn other lessons once we get home, ones we might wish they didn’t have to go through. But as I look at Matthew who weathered the worst of the storms with Joshua and see him tenderly place his arms around the shoulders of Yannik here or Josh’s buddy Zack back home, I have to believe that he grew enormously through that experience. When I see Kenny exhibit such eagerness to bring other children into our family because he KNOWS what their life is like and can empathize with them, I have to think that what he went through the first 8 ½ years of his life built him into the young man he is today. When I see Joshua peering up at me with his big brown eyes and say “Can we please give them another chance Mommy?”, I know what we have to do…for he knows what a second chance is like and we can see what offering that chance has meant to him.

That which doesn’t break us will make us stronger. Cords tied together are stronger than single strands. The LaJoy’s are a multi-strand rope which has weathered a lot already. We hope and pray we do not find ourselves fraying in the middle over this decision, as we surely might, but if we do, we will do it together. For there is not a doubt in the hearts of a single LaJoy tonight that Angela and Olesya are meant for us, and we for them.

They always have been.

61 comments:

Betsy said...

HOORAY for Team LaJoy!!!! I am so, so thrilled to see an updated and praise God for the wonderful work He has done in your family. He has truly used this situation to teach all of us about "Do Overs". Thank you for such a beautiful post, and congratulations on making such a big decision for your family. Thank you for sharing this with all of us; I've been on pins and needles waiting to find out what would happen in your lives!

Chris J said...

Congratulations!!!
Chris J in Golden

Kim said...

Tears of joy!!!
I do believe a beautiful and loving family just became even more so.

Lori said...

Goosebumps and SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much joy in my heart right now.

Merry, Merry Christmas to all 7 of the LaJoys!!!!!!

XoXoXo

Mom to 2 Angels said...

What a special ceremony. That will mean so much more to the whole team than any judge's decree. That's for sharing a glimpse of your life there.

Anonymous said...

Cindy,

I started reading your blog for the first time a few weeks ago, and it has been like a book I can't put down, as I ride the rollercoaster with all of the La Joys. Despite everything that has happened, I always believed that these were your daughter and that somehow or other they would be coming home with you. You and Dominic continue to teach me how to be a parent, and I will be more that happy to give you any bit of insight I may have gained in my time as a parent of teenagers. We will be at Hillcrest for Christmas Eve, and we will be holding the La Joys in our hearts.

Susan

Anonymous said...

Just about the sweetest thing I have ever read. I feel honored to have been able to share this via your generous blog!

qmiller said...

Tears of happiness for the team of 7 LaJoys!!
Quaintance

Dee said...

I am SO HAPPY FOR YOU ALL!!!! I am sitting herer crying, but I am SO happy! This absolutely makes my Christmas!! God bless you all! I will count the days until Angela and Olesya are home in Colorado.

If you need to talk, once you are back in the USA, I would be happy to speak to you on the phone, and give you whatever tips I can, from my experience adopting older kids. I doubt you need any advice, but I'd be happy to just listen and share.

Hugs,
Dee

Anonymous said...

Actually, it was really great to see that you made the commitment to the girls. Some posts ago, I admit, I couldn't have been angrier. It was when you said you went 'all mom' on Angela and readily admitted that you opened some wounds on her by bringing up things in her past as a last-ditch effort to get through to her. I couldn't even imagine what that would've done to Angela to have these people from another country put her through that, then turn around and decide not to go through with the adoption.

I honestly felt after reading it that it was one of the most selfish things I've ever seen. Because without committing to those girls, you, me, or anyone would NEVER have the right to put a child through reliving past trauma without committing to be there for any consequences that occur. Obviously, you're worried about your family, but since you are a solid family unit already, your concerns paled in comparison to theirs at that moment in time.

BUT, you said something very important in this post. "These are our daughters." In that statement, you made the commitment to be there for the long haul, and earned the right to have those kind of talks with Angela because now, you'll be there to help her through it.

Before my own adoptions, I read an article that meant the world to me called 'Leap of Faith'. What the gist of it was, was that when you make the commitment to adopt, it's for life. You don't relinquish, you don't 'reverse' the decision no matter what. It may come to pass that the children may not be able to live with you any longer for whatever reason, but they always remain your children, and you continue to be there for them and advocate for them even if they can't be a part of your immediate household. An extreme instance of course, but it really put into focus just what kind of commitment I made to my own children.

So sincerely, Congratulations! It's a fantastic feeling knowing the dreams you had for your family are coming to pass. I wish you all a smooth ride through the courts and a safe trip home. Merry Christmas!
J

Hilary Marquis said...

TEAM LAJOY! TEAM LAJOY! TEAM LAJOY!!! Okay, now that I am done sobbing and shorting out my keyboard, Congratulations!!!! You have just given me what I wanted MOST for Christmas :)I have to go tell my kids. Tyler has been faithfully praying for Angela's heart to be brave and to know what the love of a family is all about. Have a Merry 1st Christmas as a family of SEVEN!

traceylynndel said...

Amen! Things may very well be hard again as the girls adjust to their new life but now you have this past week of visits and your new family ceremony to look back on. May God strengthen your hands for the work you are to do.

Mishelle said...

Yay!!! Congratulations!

Antares - Laura & Apryl said...

Oh Cindy, I am in tears reading this. I am one who has met the girls a few times and I believe you are making the right decision.
Of course, you will have many stormy days but as one who has raised two girls I believe some of that will just be typical girl and teenage troubles.
Go Team LaJoy!!!!
Love, Laura

Becki Stone said...

I am balling my eyes out. What a wonderful family you have. Team LaJoy is blessed.
I love the picture of the children by their candles. So very sweet.
I'm so happy for you.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations and Merry Christmas to you all!!!!

Hope you can go to court soon and get on that plane with your new daughters!!!

It was fair that if Angela walked towards you, you did the same for her, and in all this, please do not forget she is only a child and children test boundaries and are naughty sometimes, it is all part of growing up.

I'm very happy for you and keep praying for all of you.

Have a lovely christmas as a family of 7!!!

Teresa

Bridget said...

Cindy,

Hooray!! I have been checking your page so many times over the last few weeks following your story. I am sure there will be ups and downs. As I am putting together my own paperwork, which seems to have to done, redone, and redone, your story is an inspiration to me.

Thanks for sharing your story!

Bridget

Carol said...

WOW -- CONGRATULATIONS! So very happy for all 7 LaJoys. You are on the path you were meant to be on. Enjoy your Christmas together!

Maureen said...

Hooray!!!! The ceremony was a beautiful idea. I'm very happy for you all and will continue to hold you in my prayers. I'm sure you will have some bumps along the road, but you are so right that you are a strong family that will weather them together. Congratulations!

Ohiomom2121 said...

Dear Cindy,
I have tried to remain quiet for a couple of days and give you space, trying to have confidence you and Dominick would finally get to where I so desperately prayed--being parents to "your daughters" whom you chose so many years ago. I believed you would get there, but feared another temper tantrum from Angela might derail things. So, no naysaying here, only a lump in my throat as the answer I have checked nearly hourly to see finally appeared on your blog. Praise God, and may blessings continue to flow through your family. However, at least now I know you will not change your mind if Angela retreats to the icy depths of her fears. I trust you will never again take her at her word even if she says over and over that being adopted was a mistake. Since every bio kid says I hate you, how much more likely that an adopted kid would say something similar in a fit of anger? But, I know you have dealt with that before and I am SO glad you are going to give this little girl the chance to go through a rite of passage that all of us remember, rebelling against parents, flinging our hurts onto them, and being gently reminded that there may be consequences for disrespect but there will never be a failure of love/relationship as a result. I am so glad to hear that Angela and Olesya have a family! And, maybe last week really was an anomaly, and you will never again see that side of Angela; what a blessing that would be! Congratulations!
Sherry

julievilardo said...

Team La Joy
Congratulations!!!!!! I am so happy for you guys. Sure there will be struggles - there are plenty in bio families - but love will bind you!!

Merry Christmas
Julie

Corinne said...

Gods works are truly wonderful! I am so happy for your family! Congratulations!!

Karen said...

Once again, this has made my day!

Rachel said...

This made me cry...I am so, so happy for ALL of you!!

Stacie Brown said...

Continued pray here. Lots of love and peace. Can't wait to hear all the stories when you get back and to meet these 2 amazing young ladies. Great job, Team Lajoy!

love you all and Merry Christmas!
The Browns
Jeremy, Stacie, Ashton, Jared, Caleb and Ethan

Lindsay said...

I was so happy to get home this week and catch up with you and see that what I hoped and prayed for was coming true, and that the girls reached out and you reached back.

Truly miracles happen and I am so full of joy that you have received such a beautiful one.

Your ceremony sounds so beautiful and wonderful.

May you have a truly beautiful Christmas together.

Congratulations.

Adrienne said...

Congratulations = ! I am so in awe of the wonderful family you are - You are 'rich' in all the ways that matter...

Congratulations on your two daughters - ... You have travelled a hard road, but the way you have handled it amazes me - it is very difficult to be in a situation, scared, doubting, but you kept a cool head and I am so glad how it has all turned out for you..

Once again thank you for sharing your journey with us....

We look forward to 'meeting' the girls as you all journey on to becoming a family of 7 -

... I would be sooo proud of your 3 boys if they were mine....

Best wishes....
Adrienne

____________________ said...

Cindy,
I couldn't even finish reading your post because I'm just bawling - praise the Lord and congratulations!
Shan in CO

Paige said...

Yahoo! So happy for all of you. How blessed to have five children! The boys sure looked handsome. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a lifetime filled with God's presence.

Mary Sue & Nick said...

Congratulations, Team LaJoy - I'm so very happy for all of you! Merry Christmas!

J said...

GOOD! You won't regret it!

J.

Anonymous said...

Blessings--human and divine--
on each and all of you.

Love, joy, and congratulations,
Lael

Laura said...

What a beautiful Christmas story.

Julian and Sara said...

Has our conscience shown?
Has the sweet breeze blown?
Has all the kindness gone?
Hope still lingers on

Are we listening
To hymns of offering?
Have we eyes to see
That love is gathering?

So I walk up on high and I step to the edge
To see my world below
And I laugh at myself
Because it's the world I've known,
It's the world I know

Merry Christmas and many many congratulations to the Lajoy family of seven.

Anonymous said...

I've been following your blog for a while now, but not commented until today.
It occured to me today that, in all honesty, my son was very hard work for the first while home (I know, just reacting to all of the hugh changes he had been through). But had I seen that behaviour in Russia, I know I would have had doubts about going forward. Over time I discovered that it was not actually his normal bahaviour, but at the time I didn't know that.
I believe that you have been very wise in giving your family time to make this decision, while also exploring how your lives would be impacted with either outcome. At least you know that it wasn't a decision made lightly or had pushed upon you. I'm sure that if you weren't meant to go ahead you would be feeling a lot of unease right now and not a lot of excitment.
All the best
Sarah

Anonymous said...

Thank you Lord, for your generous blessings. Thank you for gifts of love. Thank you for hearts that grow.

Merry Christmas!

Peggy in Virginia

Jackie said...

I am so happy for all of you. What a wonderful beginning of your new life together with your daughters. Merry Christmas, Team LaJoy!!!!!

Don, Michelle, Zachary, and Alexander said...

How very beautful. Congratulations and Merry Christmas!

wilisons said...

So happy to hear that Team LaJoy has created such a beautiful ceremony to move from a family of 5to a family of 7.

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas,
Shanna

Anonymous said...

Mazel Tov!! So happy for you all!

Hugs, Debbie in Austin

smctiver said...

Hi Cindy & Dominick,

Congratulations to each of you on your decision to bring these two daughters into your family.

Best wishes for a wonderful Christmas!

Allison said...

Such a Christmas miracle! I can't even think of a happier way to celebrate the season. I am SO happy for all seven LaJoys!! The ceremony looks amazing, something all of you will cherish for years to come.
Congratulations Team LaJoy!

Anonymous said...

Our prayers have been answered! The God of "do overs" has made it plain. We read the blog today with joyful hearts and I found myself wanting to connect with others who have been waiting to see how God worked this out. Everyone is asking about the next steps.

Roena was so excited she couldn't even sew and the other Wed Girls were just thrilled. The ladies are volunteering to teach knitting and sewing when/if the girls are ready.

The ceremony was just perfect in every way. Thanks for sharing it in such a meaningful way. We can visualize each of our boys doing their part and we are so PROUD of each of them.

As you celebrte this Christmas, may you each know the joy and peace promised by the arrival of the Son.

With much love to ALL,
Miss Jane and Mr Steve

Jodi said...

I don't know how anyone could call you anything but BLESSED! What a beautiful family you have built from love and faith.

Congratulations to you all and wishing you the very merriest of Christmas days!

Cathy from Montrose said...

When we focus on strengths, as you have with all your family, positive spirals start. That is how God has made the world - we now know that thru science. It looks like some new catsitters to help the boys - LOL!!

Barb and Ken said...

This is the blog entry I have been praying and waiting for. I knew it would be written. Cindy, you and Dominic are awesome parents to three awesome boys. God brought your heart to Angela and Oleysa years ago. They have been waiting so long to meet their forever family. When it happened, Angela was afraid to leave everthing and everyone she knew and has become comfortable with. It took a little time for her to see the love you, Dominic, Matthew, Kenny and Joshua have for each other. Angela and Oleysa will melt into your family just from the love she sees and feels. I thank God for bringing the LaJoy Team together. You are all so blessed. Enjoy your first Christmas together in this country of Kazakhstan, half way around the world from Montrose. But your words keep coming back to me that you "feel at home." Yes, that is because Team LaJoy are all together. Merry Christmas to the LaJoy Family of Seven!
PS - Don't forget to give my special girl at the RBS a big hug for me.
Barb

Joyce said...

Team LAjoy

Wow and wow -so beautiful and congratulations to every one of you in the "birth' of your new family. May God carry you the way he has now and shown HIs faithfulness to you all. What a lovely way to confirm them into your family.

Love
JOyce

Christina said...

I feel that I have been checking for an update hourly! I am SO happy that you shared a ceremony with the girls in true LaJoy fashion. My son Kevin has been asking daily how things are going with the girls. I am so glad to tell him that you will be a family of seven. Blessings and Love!

Anonymous said...

Tears of joy and happiness were streaming down my face as I read your blog. I am so happy for your family!! Your sons are remarkable young men, and I know your daughters will become amazing women with your family's guidance, patience and love. God is sooo good! I cannot wait to continue reading your blog!
~Carolyn

smileysk8 said...

What a special ceremony! Dang near brought me to tears! I am so happy for you guys to have made this decision! Someone once told me, "Don't question in the dark what God clearly showed you in the light." I've been wanting to post that but have felt maybe I should wait and see how things go. We are praying every night for you! I can't wait until all the formalities are done and Team LaJoy can come home all together!

Sarah said...

I am going to start bringing a Kleenex with me when I sit down to read your blog! God bless, and Merry Christmas to the entire Team Lajoy!

Anonymous said...

Jer. 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Peggy in Virginia

karen Vining said...

I never doubted you all for a minute. God gave you a mission and you are in the process of completing it, or maybe just beginning!!! :)
I will never forget the words of my priest while I was in the decision process for my girls. I was at church,not paying much attention,worrying what to do,when I heard the words "if God is talking why arn't you listening"? That was a moment I will never forget. And the day I said lets go get the girls. And I have never regretted it for a minute. My girls are wonderful.
God bless you all. Life is not perfect but you will do your best.
Bring the girls home. I hope to meet up with you all one day.
K

Suzanne said...

One word: amen.

-Suzanne (CA)

Bill and Cathe: said...

Sounds like everything is coming together for Team LaJoy!

Do you guys have a court date yet?

Merry Christmas!

Monica said...

Woo-HOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Merry Christmas Team LaJoy.....all SEVEN of you!

Monica in NY

lisatony said...

Tears of joy, LaJoy Family. Praise God, from whom all blessings flow. PRAISE GOD!
Merry Christmas to your beautiful family.
God bless you!
Lisa

Carol M said...

Congratulations! I loved the ceremony you planned for the girls. It was so touching, I had a hard time getting through it. I feel like I've been down in the trenches with you for the past couple of weeks and now, PRAISE GOD!! We're on top of the mountain! Merry Christmas to ALL of the Lajoys!

Bob; Carrie DeLille said...

BEAUTIFUL

Maria said...

Who cares what "others" say. I am SO glad that God spoke to your heart and that what He put in motion before time began has come to fruition. He is certainly a God of "Surprise!" and I love that about Him. I am so happy for all of you. I know that this merging of personalities and people will not come without some struggles, but I've found in life that trials and struggles are often the path we have to take to get to the biggest blessings. Your family is so blessed, Cindy, and I'm just so happy that this has ended so beautifully!!

4texans said...

Beautiful post, congratulations!