Sorry for all the different posts but I can only send a few pics at a time!
We had a lot of fun watching the girls try on their clothes. I was pleased that we crossed one little hurdle, which with older child adoption is not one most people talk about...the girls felt comfortable with me in their presence while they changed clothing. I was uncertain how they would feel about that and was glad they didn't appear to be overly shy as they stood comfortably in front of me changing pants, etc. Those little things could be horribly awkward and you want to be sensitive, but also hope that comfort level will be there so that you can feel a little closer to your children in the ways you missed not having them as infants. Maybe one day we can graduate to brushing their hair or putting lotion on their arms or legs. Things we take for granted with children adopted at a younger age or with our own sons could take us forever to be able to do...or maybe even never. And when you love a child, those are the things you miss and wish were more natural.
But though Angela is not at all yet willing to give longer more intimate hugs, we are slowly getting to a level of closeness and we all noticed that today felt more normal than any day we have had thus far. We all giggled around the table having a snack, and Angela and I sat across from each other in our socks, and I played with her feet and she giggled and played back...then we sat there, our socked feet hugging each other...
and that was enough for now :-)
We all totally cracked up, girls included, when I explained what "wedgie free" on the the label on the underwear package meant, Irina could hardly contain herself. Then Kenny and Josh played with the girls underwear saying which one they would like and what could have been an uncomfortable moment was turned into a hilarious one when I beckoned Angela to the other room and handed her a pair of the BOYS underwear to dangle in front of them and tease THEM with! Turn about is fair play, and in usual LaJoy Style we all did stupid things that were thoroughly entertaining and we ended up on the floor laughing.
At moments I still sit back and marvel at what a fit we all are. Every day we are together it is more and more obvious how God pulled people together from across the globe whose sense of humor and respect for each other have helped create a "LaJoy Stew" that is savory and filled with warm goodness. Loved that comment someone left that used that phrase!
When I look at the photo below of the girls in their soft new jammies and I am there beside them, holding them as I yearned to do for years and years, and I can hardly believe this has happened...that this amazing seemingly impossible dream has come true! The holidays where they were absent and the ornaments were placed on the tree in remembrance of them, the long drives to work in the winter when I listened over and over to the Taize music one of our blog readers wisely sent me wondering if we would ever make it through it all, the long nights when I was frustrated and upset and feeling very much the lack of their presence in the house. How in the world can you miss someone who has never been there? And yet I did...we all did...and even though we are in a small apartment and only visiting 2 hours every other day, we all are feeling more and more connected, seeing more and more how "right" this really is. The joy, the smiles, the goofiness...the noise :-) I know we are crazy, I know most people would rather rip their hair out than be in our shoes with 5 busy kids...4 of them less than 2 years apart (can you tell I am still blown away by that one?).
Why is it then all I can do is grin, praise God and say over and over again in my mind how blessed we are???
And again, as I held the girls today, I wanted someone to be right there next to us, witnessing it all...our Adoption Angels. You just wouldn't believe this, only God could have pulled this off...only God could have known that these personalities were definitely meant to be together...for it takes a special, crazy, nutty, flexible kind of person to actually ENJOY a family like ours! hahaha!