For the first time in months and months, I think I just might sleep tonight. How many late nights have there been, when sleep eluded me, when faces danced in my dreams? Tonight as the house is finally quiet, my heart feels at peace. I can rest well, knowing the finish line is almost in sight.
When we got the call this morning, I couldn't believe it and dared not let my heart lift as I heard the lilt in Leonette's voice. I didn't really even squeal all that much, and as I hung up the phone I was pretty matter of fact as I was just notified that a years long dream was coming true. I think I was more dumbfounded than anything, as I picked up the phone to call Dominick who said "Are you kidding me?" more than once. I didn't really experience the high I had expected, more a sense of utter relief that all of this might be coming to an end soon. But then again, I am a pretty practical Virgo sort of person, who feels secure when all my ducks are in a row...and at the moment we have a lot of little ducks to get in line!! I think it will be like the boys' adoptions, when I didn't really feel it until we arrived at the orphanage and were brought to meet them. Not even getting on the plane felt like it was all "real". There were no tears, but they too didn't fall at this stage in the past with the boys, but instead chose to arrive later, after we were home and settled and the stress of it all was behind us. For make no mistake of it, we still have a long journey to make and are by no means "done". When everyone else assumes the journey has ended, we know the truth of it is that the real journey won't even begin until they are home.
However I will admit to almost letting go with one person on the phone today when I said that what was so important to me was that we wouldn't be missing yet one more Christmas together, and I found those words sticking in my throat.
Thank you to all who called, emailed, Facebooked (is that a verb these days?), and let us know how happy you were for us. I had one incredibly special call with a waiting Kyrgyz mom today which left me more humbled than I have ever been in my life, and grateful that someone was willing to share their heart. I know I sounded like a complete idiot on the phone with our Pastor as she called immediately upon learning of our excitement. That's OK though, as knowing her she will forgive my idiocy easily :-) I also was so touched by all the offers of help from so many...as if we already hadn't received more than our fare share of care from everyone. Everything from taking care of Matthew to give me some time to simply "be" (can't tell you how much that one got to me, that someone would understand), to help around the house or shopping or whatever we needed. Right now I am not sure at all what we really need, if anything, but just knowing that we have this great Fan Club standing in the wings to take over should we falter is enough to make me cry. Thank you!
Oh how grateful we are!! Words truly can't describe it, this is so amazing to think about. The timing is perfect in many ways, despite how much we of course wish we had been going sooner. I finished my ministry classes for the semester this past Saturday (I am now officially half way done!), the boys have their last TaeKwonDo class and rank test on Monday night, we had been waiting for Matthew's Netbook to arrive that his school ordered so we could have it for the trip and we picked it up yesterday and he is now ready to rock with homeschool while we are gone, and Kenny and Josh will actually miss less school with the Christmas holiday in the middle of the trip. The bad part is the burden being placed on our amazing staff at the cafe this time of year, people we love who will hold down the fort while we are gone during a very stressful time, and our gratitude knows no bounds for their talents and hard work.
So at the moment we have clothing and travel games and backpacks strewn across the living room floor. There is hope found there among the piles, there is excitement and courage and adventure thrown in the mix.
And staring back at me from our fridge are faces, smiles, twinkling eyes as someone put it today. There is a future which is unknown to all of us, and yet 7 hearts will soon be joined forever as we make pledges to one another to become a family where a little estrogen gets thrown in for good measure. The time for fears and trepidation, all of which are very real and not exaggerated in the least, has passed. I have always said with each of our adoptions (and somehow I am still amazed that I can actually say "each"...that there wasn't just one!) that I never wanted to step on that plane with a heavy heart, uncertain if we were making the right decision or were ruining our family forever. This time is no different, and the bubbling up in my heart began today when finally it felt safe to say "It's really going to happen!". And whatever day we do step on that plane I can tell you without reservation that there will be no doubts, there will be no holding back, there will be no cause for concern. We all will run straight into this experience with our arms flung wide, waiting to embrace our daughters and sisters. For even if it turns out to be challenging, it will still be what God wants for our lives for that has been made crystal clear. And who knows? Maybe...just maybe...it won't be all that hard after all. Prepare for the worst, pray for the best.
Please continue to follow along with us, we need you now more than ever. We need your prayers for our safety as we travel so far from home, we need your prayers for the adjustment of all of us as we begin the process of adding two more to Team LaJoy, we need your prayers of gratitude to be shouted up to heaven so God can hear clearly how glorious and amazing this is!
I'll try to post as I can over the coming days, don't worry, I won't leave you in the dark! How could I? You all have been with us every step of the way...you gotta complete the trip with us!
So good night all, the marathon begins!! And it is awesome to know we are not running it alone...