Friday, April 15, 2016

Holding Us So Tenderly

We are a family who has literally been carried in the hearts of so many people.  The love showered upon us continually has been beyond all comprehension.  I'd give anything for  other adoptive families to be supported in such a way.  There is this tiny band of Team LaJoy cheerleaders that has literally made all the difference in the world for us, provided for us both spiritually and emotionally, as well as sometimes even financially.

Why?

What did we ever do to deserve to land in the outstretched arms of others?

I will never have the answer to that, but both Dominick and I know, without question, that our family would not be what we are without this ongoing outpouring of love and concrete assistance.  It has transformed us from trying to thriving, over and over again.  How I wish we could one day repay this debt of love!  We try in small ways to pay it forward, but it can never, ever equal all we have been given.

Recently, we had another sweet gesture made.  A dear long time friend (and Josh's church companion) was celebrating her 70th birthday.  Dinner out at a local nicer restaurant was planned, and the guest list included our entire family.  This was the sort of place that was well beyond the price of Little Caesar's Pizza, our usual family "treat" if we want to have a meal out, so it would have put it beyond range for us financially.  What an incredible surprise to be told about the big night, and at the same time have it explained that each of our kids had already been selected as "dates" by others who stepped up so generously to offer to pay for their meal so we could actually all go!  We didn't have a moment's concern due to the thoughtfulness of several others.  I couldn't believe it, and the kids were quite excited to eat at a nicer restaurant they had never been to before.  Here are photos of the kids and their sweet "dates" for the evening!


Josh and Kim



Angela and Pat



Bob, Beth and Olesya


Kenny and George


Matt and Miss Mary (She will always be "Miss" Mary!)



Dominick and Wife #2, Jeannie, who was our faithful employee and friend for so many years at the airport!  This woman literally made every adoption possible by managing the restaurant while we were gone, and being a steadfast presence in our lives.



The birthday girl, Francie, arriving in style with her hubby Mark


George and Kenny deep in conversation, no doubt about politics or theology


Francie with her second boyfriend, Joshie!
These two are adorable at church, and she always teases that she is going to get the two of them kicked out for being disruptive :-)


Francie with her birthday cake maker!


Olesya's birthday cake for Francie, the theme was "throwback" with lollipops as decorations throughout the room, so Olesya made small little lollipops by hand rolling Starburst candies.  The effort others put into helping Olesya shine is making such a difference for her.


These...and more not pictured...are our people.  They love us, they nurture us, they matter deeply to us.  We are all walking through life together, and they are making certain our family succeeds.  Every time I stop to think about it, I am so thankful for the love that surrounds us, for I know deep in our heart we would never make it without them.  My fondest hope is that, over time, we can find ways to repay the tenderness with which we have been held.

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