Friday, June 10, 2011

Beginning to Catch Up has been awhile, hasn't it?  Sorry for the delay, it has been hectic coming back and trying to get laundry caught up, errands done, and other things attended to that we left behind before leaving.  We returned to  incredibly smoky skies, thanks to the fires in Arizona, and it didn't feel at all like our Colorado when we stepped off the plane!  We had an amazing, wonderful, awesome, memorable time but it was really good to be back home.   Smoky skies or not, there is a spaciousness that exists here, a presence that speaks deeply to my heart, and I will never feel that way about another place.  We really enjoyed the beauty and lush greenery of the Virginia countryside, and would love to see more someday.  However, perhaps when it is not so humid!!  Whew, that is some tough weather to handle, and I have a much greater appreciation for "dry heat".  Had a day that was 97 degrees a few days back, according to my car thermometer, and it felt NOTHING like it did in Virginia.

I also have taken longer to post because I am battling some significant vision problems that crept up on me, and I am having great difficulty reading anything at the moment.  I type so poorly that I really need to read my posts over carefully (and as you have noticed through the years I still don't always have time to proof what gets posted!).  I was beginning to get quite worried as I was suddenly having issues with light and dark, along with blurred vision.  After a quick office visit to our friend, who is my optometrist, I discovered that my actual eyeballs were swollen (doesn't that sound funny??) and my vision was off over 3 diopters in each eye.  For those of you who are not in the know, that is an incredible amount.  I went from something near -10 diopters to -13 and -14.  So, contacts out for a week, drops in, steroids drops as well, and hopefully it will be back to normal very soon.  In the meantime I am having itchy, blurry, uncomfortable vision which makes you feel as if you are not really participating in the world.  It has severely limited what I can currently do online or with writing.  So it will have to be short blog hits as I can until this is cleared up.  But I want to try and catch you up a bit, as I realize I left everything sort of hanging.

We spent part of Memorial Day weekend not just at the Kyrgyz festival, but also made an unexpected trip to Arlington Cemetery.  We had talked about going before leaving on our trip, but Angela was adamant about not wanting to see it.  I am not sure what changed her mind, but after we were done with the Saturday events she asked if we could still go, so we jumped on her openness and headed straight there.  I have no idea what it is normally like on a regular day, but because of it being Memorial Weekend it was very busy.  We spent about 2 hours there, walking and reading tombstones, watching the soldiers and the ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  What a powerful place to visit.  I found myself wishing I could return on normal day, when it would presumably be quieter and offer more in terms of contemplative opportunities.  Regardless, it was a holy place, one where the stark reminder of the toll of war is abundantly clear.

In front of JFK's famous speech...which made enough of an impression on Josh that he copied the famous line from it in his journal.

Is our gratitude equal to this??

We spent the actual holiday with the Delille family, whose blog link is shown over on the side of my blog, as well as other friends of ours who also have adopted children from Kazakhstan.  The Delilles have 10 children, 7 of whom are adopted including Kenny's "twin", Sam, who is also a cleft kiddo from Kazakhstan.  The kids laughed, enjoyed swimming together, and goofing around while the moms got in some visiting.  We shared a wonderful cake that was created special for this gathering of our families:

These 2 women prayed unceasingly for our family and for the girls prior to their adoption, and we all continue to pray for Amir/Isaac to come home to the Delille's.  They are the family adopting Kenny's buddy left behind in Kyrgyzstan.

It was a huge blessing that we all got to be present for a Skype call with Amir, and Kenny got to visit with him via an interpreter.  My heart ached as only someone who has gone through it can understand, as I saw Carrie kneeling on the floor in front of the computer, leaning in as if she just wanted to reach in and pull Amir/Isaac right through the screen.  How I know her arms wish to hold him, and how I know what it feels like to watch him growing ever older with each passing month.

This trip was educational on so many levels, but it was about far more than history and academics.  The extended family that has been created for us due to adoption is an extraordinary gift.  Staying with 2 families whose lives parallel our own in many ways, meeting others who we have spoken with on the phone and read blogs about was so comfortably familiar, despite having never met face to face.  Coming home to a card from our adopted family in Wichita who also came into our lives due to the connection we have because of our children,  there can be no doubt that our lives were doubly enriched by the decision to adopt.  Some of these long distance friendships have lasted 10+ years, and bring a smile to my face every time I think of them.

Finally, here are a few random photos from our last few days on our trip.  Sorry I can't post more but even to get this post done I have the laptop screen literally about 8 inches from my face and still all is fuzzy.  We visited The Pioneer Culture Museum, and the girls and I did a quick trip with our friends to the University of Virginia, which without a doubt is what a University campus ought to look like.  What a beautiful place Thomas Jefferson created!  We loved seeing it.

We came home and made the decision that this was the summer we needed to get a real pool, so off to Walmart we went.  the kids are rowing up so fast that in order to make it worth the cost and get enough use out of it to justify  the purchase, we realized we needed to go ahead and get one and not put it off any longer.  Joshie is finally tall enough to touch bottom and still have a deep enough pool for the bigger kids to really enjoy, so now we have the laughter and giggles every afternoon of everyone screaming upon entry because it is so cold! Hahaha!  They have already spent hours in the pool, and I am glad we went ahead and did it despite the cost.  Matt was really getting too big for the baby blow up pools we usually get each year...and pop in the first 3 weeks or so.  

Well, here are those few remaining photos I promised. Seems I never did get any good ones of the girls this time around, always captured the back of their heads for some reason:

Inside an African style home

IN the English style country home, Kenny and Matthew both loved the cat!

Matthew resting his feet in the blacksmith shop

Kenny showing off the handmade nail we watched the blacksmith make

Josh on an old fashioned loom in the Irish frontier home

Now we are home, and on to things like traveling back and forth for church camp, doing a little camping ourselves, enjoying the summer evenings, surgery at the end of summer for Kenny and mid-August for Matthew for a recheck at Shriners for his ongoing foot problems.  Some school will be slipped in all that, and who knows what all else.  You never can tell with the LaJoy's!  But for now, no surprises on the horizon, just a few lazy, happy days of summer.  

Here's hoping your first couple of weeks have been restful and enjoyable!


Dee said...

So glad to see a new post! I know y'all are glad to be home. How is Sunny? What does the pool look like? Post again when you can!

qmiller said...

Cindy: good to see a post from you and hoping that your vision quickly returns! Your pictures of the boys are amazing!
Enjoy being home! Quaintance

Anonymous said...

Darn, I can't change this to Times New Roman 20. Do you have a powerful magnifying glass? What size are you printing your sermon in? All kidding aside, I'll check in to see if you need a guide dog, chauffer, personal shopper, life guard at the pool. Good to see you back blogging. Better to see you back home. Take care of yourself. Don't hesitate to see an ophalmologist is necessary.

Love from my mother persona,