Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Seven Years of Valentine's

Seven Years.

Oh, how much has changed in seven years!

I knew at this very moment pictured above, upon seeing you two together in person for the first time, that you were our daughters.  I will never, ever forget the force of the emotions that washed over me, the yearning I had to be your mother in a circumstance which appeared hopeless, both financially and legally.  

Thankfully, a true Angel of God stepped in and helped make it possible for you to join our family.  Waiting for years, patiently, your family received photos of you and we saw you mature right before our eyes.  It felt as if time was slipping away from all of us as we dealt with delay after delay.  Looking back, it is easy to understand all the reasons why we all waited as long as we did, and none of us would have it any other way, but it was torture going through it.

Your brothers were as anxious as we were, as pinks suddenly became a part of our life during the long wait.

Three boys needing two girls to join them!

Modeling Hello Kitty and all kinds of pink attire!

We had a girl sized whole in our family's heart, and we all couldn't wait to finally have you home.

Our arrival without warning after five long years of waiting was a total shock, understandably so, but honesty and vulnerability helped us all break through the walls that were quite sturdy, and we found ourselves becoming a family, ever so gently, ever so tenderly.

In the orphanage, final days in uniform.

Our first Christmas as the final version of Team LaJoy, still in Kazakhstan for another month and a half!

Waiting for Dad to return to Kazakhstan while we remained there.

First personal PJ's, finally in mom's arms.
The laughter a sign of things to come!

Fun times visiting while in Kazakhstan.

In seven years you have grown from pre-teens to young women.  We have worked through issues around trauma, neglect, guilt, and much more.  We have ALL learned how to love more fully, forgive more easily, and walk more faithfully.

There is no way to ever really put into words what the past seven years has been like.  There was such peace in my heart to finally have you home, to feel as if our family was finally complete and no one was missing...for a part of my heart was always missing until you were under our roof, safe and loved.

The relationship I have with each of you is better than I ever could have imagined it to be.  I didn't need "daughters", what I needed was each of you and only you.  

Olesya, your constant kindness and gentle spirit extends its love to every person in our family.  With little notes at surprising moments, we each feel cared for and nurtured by you.  

Angela, you possess a sense of awareness few have, and you share your feelings so openly.  You have a soul that fights for the underdog in any situation, and you "see" people others don't, making them feel special and noticed.

The two of you are a formidable pair, forged by your past into strong, capable woman and shaped by your family so the rough edges were smoothed and the safety you felt cultivated your deep, sensitive sides and allowed them to shine.

I have learned so much from you both, and my time as your mother, far too brief in my own opinion, has brought me nothing but absolute joy.  I have discovered a softer side of myself, and it blossoms when I am with you.  I feel freer to explore my more feminine side, something that was missing as the mother of all boys (adored though they may be!).  I have also never had such amazing cheerleaders!!

I have had my heart feel like it would burst as I have watched the five of you interact so beautifully, so lovingly with one another, reflecting a joy of relationship I wish all siblings were lucky enough to experience.  You help one another succeed, you cover for each other's disabilities with such thoughtfulness, and you are there so firmly alongside your parents as well.  No one would ever be able to tell we haven't been together since the first moment of your lives!

Valentine's Day is about love, and not just romantic love but a celebration of love in all it's beautiful forms.  On this day, the anniversary of your homecoming, we celebrate you, two of the greatest loves of our lives.  Olesya and Angela, never will a mom love her children as deeply, cherish them as tenderly, or love them as passionately as I love you.  Few have yearned for them as long as I yearned for you two, knowing without a doubt you were ours.

May you each always know love for the remainder of your lives.  May you walk in the knowledge that you were desperately desired and eagerly prayed for, and joyfully embraced in the loving arms of your entire family and you will never, ever be alone again as long as there is a breath in any of the five of us.

Keep that joy!

Live playfully!

Love fully!

You are loved...

Oh, so loved!

Here we were, knowing we were missing you two, needing you to round us out.

And here we were...finally a complete family.

You are all so beautiful to me...my Valentines.

And my very first Valentine ;-)

Thank you for choosing to bring your love to our family.  You have changed us for the better in so many ways.

Much love,


Trey said...

Yay for Team LaJoy! I'm a fan!

Anonymous said...

So beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Your mom was right, those beautiful daughters couldn't look more like you if you had given birth to them.