Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day the Low Key Way

It was a low key Valentine's Day here at Casa LaJoy, as several team members were down for the count with a head cold.  Angela, Josh and I escaped for a few hours to run errands and returned to find our sickies all still laying around in PJ's watching movies.  Dominick, poor guy, ended up at the MD's this afternoon and is now on meds for a sinus infection.  He is so tired this time of year working such long hours that he has a harder time fighting things off.

I was finally feeling better today, but because of being under the weather myself up until today I didn't plan anything to celebrate.  I woke up this morning to a little surprise though, as an elf named Olesya must have snuck out in the middle of the night to get ready for a morning treat:

Table is all set with little hand made name tags...

We all had candy canes or lollipops waiting for us!

A sweet note for the family!
Olesya had the counter stacked with items to make a special breakfast, but then she was feeling so lousy that she didn't get up in time to do it.  It didn't matter, the love was there :-)  She spent the day resting, and then in a bean bag chair next to me on the floor tonight as we played footsie under the blanket.

I also received a special card from each of the girls, but Angela's was quite touching as she wrote how much she loves her family and "You are the best mom I have ever had, I love you so much!".  It was obvious their anniversary meant a lot to them today.  Angela and I had quite a conversation in the car today, as she and Josh talked about going back to Kazakhstan.  It was interesting having the two of them alone, and I think God may have been instrumental in arranging that, for they are the two who have strong feelings about birth moms and visiting Kazakhstan some day. Angela has said recently that she would like to one day track her mom down to ask her why she did the things she did and why she hadn't taken care of the girls.  Josh even as recently as last week wrote about wanting to meet his birth mom someday to ask similar questions.  I can see that for these two of our children, there is no "closure", and there will long be unanswered questions and emotions surrounding their adoptions that do not affect any of the other kids.  You could almost feel the connection in the car between Josh and Angela as they spoke, and it was something that they too noticed.

Angela has gone out of her way to compliment me lately, and seems to have moved forward into a new place in our relationship...a more settled place.  I have been told I am beautiful, that I am the smartest person she knows, that I am better teacher than she has ever had (don't worry, my head hasn't swelled a tiny bit yet, I am very realistic about myself!)...and the one that made me laugh out loud she has said two or three times over the past couple of weeks...that I should record songs and sing on the radio because "I love your voice, Mama, it's so pretty!  You could be like Elvis!!".  This cracked me up, as I was suddenly reminded of something from years and years ago, which admitting will make me sound like the total dork I really am, but when I was about Angela's age, I think, I used to walk around singing "Heartbreak Hotel" ALL the time...and I had TOTALLY forgotten about that!  Of all the people for Angela to get hung up on right now, Elvis is a really odd choice...sorta like I am being reminded that these girls really WERE meant to be ours!  Hahaha!  It also reminded me of one thing that I haven't done in awhile, and that is sing around the house more.  I used to sing all the time to Matt and Josh when they were little, making up songs or just singing any old thing.  Somehow, as they have all grown older, I have moved away from that.  Angela's comments reminded me of how lovely my own mom's voice is, and how I wished I had heard her sing more when I was a maybe I need to crank up the radio a little more often around here!

How did we spend our evening?  Well...nothing dinner at a high end restaurant.  The boys all drug their mattresses down to the TV room, complete with stuffed animals for Josh.  The girls hauled several blankets and bean bags down, and we all ate Papa Murphy's heart shaped pizza in the dark with the fire in the wood stove lending a golden warmth.  We watched a Disney movie which was surprisingly good about a Mormon missionary in Tonga during the 50's.  All in all, it was a wonderful evening, ending with our family standing together, arm in arm as we circled (or kidney bean shaped, as Matt actually said) and each took turns adding to a prayer.  We are so lucky to have found one another in this big ol' world, and we know it and are thankful for it.  No matter what else might go wrong in our lives, where we might fail, where we might find hardship...we have one another.  That's worth more than any fancy schmancy meal out at a high falutin' dining establishment!  Somehow, love makes pizza not only tolerable, but taste much better too :-)

I hope all of you had a love filled day, with reminders of how special you are.  I kind of consider all our readers our personal Valentines, and I wish it were possible to send a little card to each and every one of you!


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a wonderful Valentine's Day, Cindy, in all sorts of ways. I'm glad for you -- even in the midst of illness.
I can't help but contrast these posts of how love is winning out over there with the news we got in church on Sunday that one of our teens (around 16) who was adopted, but has relationship disorder, has run away. My thoughts and prayers are so much with Cassie -- and I gather that her adoptive parents have tried so hard to give her the kind of home you describe. It's not the first time I've been aware of the challenges of adopting older children -- my cousin had similar problems with the son he and his wife adopted. All this to say that it makes me so much more delighted to learn of how beautiful the relationships are within your household. What a blessing!!!!!!! I know it's hard work (what an understatement!), but you share your feeling of reward at how things are progressing. I'm so, so glad for you!
God continue to guide your way and enfold you -- all of you -- in love.
Peace and blessings!

Anonymous said...

"...I wish it were possible to send a little card to each and every one of you."

You did. You just did.

Thanks and happy Day After Valentines Day to you,

Anonymous said...


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