Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Post - Part 1

This is what Thanksgiving is all about...
Our Blessings Tree, courtesy of Emma :-)

As you grow older, you begin to discover that the concept of "family" widens considerably, if you allow it to.  I realize that not everyone would agree, and for them family constitutes only those privileged enough to be connected by blood.  For those whose lives are touched by deeply meaningful relationships with others with whom we have absolutely no biological connection whatsoever, maybe it is easier to see the bigger picture of being part of God's family.

This Thanksgiving, as we welcomed the Wright family into our home, it strangely felt as if we were more like extended family getting together for the holiday rather than strangers meeting for the first time.  Two families connected by a love of others who are often forgotten by the world, two families whose lives couldn't be more different and yet are so similar in core values, two families for whom "family" means something entirely different than it does for so many others in the world around us.

We were all filled with anticipation as we anxiously awaited their arrival, and the kids had
made a sign reading "You found the Wright house" to post outside our door while a cake baked for Bekah's birthday.  It took all of about 20 minutes for us to feel comfortable with one another, and that warmth lasted throughout our time together.

Montrose is not exactly a mecca of amusing places to visit, and  with warnings of an impending storm approaching which never materialized we were cautious about going up to the mountains for sightseeing.  Thankfully, the Wright's made it clear that this visit was about being together, and not about being entertained.    We ended up sitting around laughing, visiting and learning more about one another's lives.  In Julie I found a woman whose understanding of the challenges we have faced, and whose outlook is so similar that I wished she lived nearer so we would have the opportunity to have our friendship blossom.  John is as warm and jovial as you all would expect from his blog, a guy who has 20 irons in the fire at all times and thrives on being creative in community building.  Emma and Bekah are the loveliest young ladies I have met in a very long time...mature, warm, and gifted in numerous ways.  To say the entire family was a pleasure to be with for 2 days is a huge understatement.  It was a relaxing time of true fellowship, spent gabbing until the wee hours of the morning, working on puzzles, playing chess, and watching movies together in comfortable companionship. Our deepest regret about the weekend is that it might be the only time our family's ever meet, for the distance is great between our house and theirs.

Game Time!

Family...Created by God
There are so many that should be included in the photo above, so many whose lives intersect ours in comfort and care, in laughter and joy, and in sorrow and tears.  The magnitude of gratitude for the God created extended family we cherish is boundless...oh yes, there were many missing from the photo...our adoption angels, our church family,  our Chicago family, our near and dear friends of all ages...and yes, even our blog readers.  Your gift of love throughout the years extended to us connects us in some strange and unexpected way, doesn't it?  You all who know so much about our family, who have followed for the past 4 years as we awaited Kenny's arrival and then teetered on the brink of despair last winter, you who have prayed for us and encouraged us through it all, are family of a different sort.  There are even a few of you who have followed us well beyond 4 years, reading online group posts and watching our family grow since the very beginning almost 10 years ago.  This place, the LaJoy Family Online Home, has had it's doors open to you and you have knocked and walked in often, sometimes daily.  While I may not know many of you individually, I am always stunned that so many are out there visiting us, thinking about us, and finding something of value to you as we share our mundane, hum drum, ordinary life.  As you have walked through the door of our virtual home, I hope that somewhere along the line you have felt me reaching out to you, that you have found whatever it was that brought you here to us in the first place, and that you know you are precious to us too...and I mean that sincerely.

We were joined for Thanksgiving by Mr. Steve and Miss Jane, our dear friends who also accompanied us to Salt Lake City where I am writing this blog post from.  We traveled here on Saturday in preparation for Matthew's first visit at Shriner's Hospital here as we seek care for his orthopedic issues due to rickets.  We were greeted by snow gently falling and the twinkling lights at the Tabernacle Square as we all walked around in delight in our continuing "sort of" annual tradition of coming to Salt Lake City over Thanksgiving weekend to get in the Christmas spirit by taking in the Tabernacle Square scene.  There is nothing quite like it, and I wish others lived close enough to create the tradition of bundling up against the cold and braving the crisp winter air to be with thousands of other folks who come to celebrate the coming of this special season.  With the outdoor nativity scene and the choirs performing in various locations around the Square, it helps to remind us of what the season is all about...and it is not about shopping malls and gift wrapped packages.

Sweet Silly Sunny at the end of a long Thanksgiving Day

Thus endeth our Thanksgiving weekend.  There is more to write, and it will come in post #2 which I hope to complete is the harder stuff.  Off to write it...


Anonymous said...

You have truly celebrated Thanksgiving--life, love, friends, family, food, shelter, and God--what more could we say thank you for.

Glad you had a wonderful day,

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