More Than a Friend...

A very dear friend, Veva McCoskey, passed from this life to the next on September 27, 2012 at 8 pm. From the moment word came to me, memories of the past 20 years have flooded my mind. As I write, my eyes fill with tears. I am overwhelmed at how one life profoundly touches another. I welcome the emotion, the tears and the memories. They bring closure that would otherwise be hard to come by, since I was not able to attend her funeral, surrounded by many of my most beloved ‘peeps’ (as the young people say) for comfort.

When our family moved to Muncie, Veva immediately took us under her wing, but it wasn’t until a year later with the birth of our daughter, Sarah, that a very special relationship was formed. No one questions that our Sarah held a special place in Veva’s heart, and no one (within our family or out) begrudged Sarah and Veva their special bond. Their relationship was a blessing to them both. Veva gave of herself, unselfishly, to Sarah, who gained a special confidence and fearless independence from Veva’s unequivocal belief in her abilities and the opportunities she gave Sarah to explore a variety of interests, interests that were no doubt sparked by the various hobbies that Veva enjoyed! (e.g., sewing, bird watching, gardening, reading…)

Over the years Veva shared snippets of her history. I learned that she was a teacher, before she became a librarian. During those early teaching years, she painted the backdrops for the school plays by spreading huge canvases out on the gymnasium floor to paint.

For a librarian, Veva had an unconventional attitude toward books. The books in her personal library were more then read, they were used, studied! She folded back the covers as she read, dog-eared the pages, underlined and highlighted the text. Books were not protected tomes on a shelf.

A humorous story involved a favorite painting that hung on the wall in Veva’s living room opposite the window. The painting had belonged to the library in a collection of artwork for patrons to check out. She checked it out on a regular basis; she said she loved how it changed throughout the day as the sun moved past the window. Apparently, there was another lady in town that shared Veva’s affinity for the art. During one of the months when Veva was enjoying the painting, she received a call from the library with a special request, “Would she mind bringing the painting in for one evening? Another patron was having a dinner party and simply had to have the picture for the evening. Everyone was so sorry for the inconvenience.” Veva returned the painting for the night of the lady’s dinner party, but not long after, she put in a request to buy the piece from the library. She was tired of sharing; the cherished painting soon hung permanently on her wall. ;-)

I asked Veva, one time, why she never married. She explained that during her prime, she was simply too busy. What could occupy her time and attention to that degree? Her mother, who was dying of cancer, and her father, who needed help caring for her! For many weeks, Veva would leave work on Friday, drive several hours from Muncie to Pekin to care for her mother over the weekend, then return home late Sunday after evening services to begin work Monday morning. That difficult period of life went by in an exhausted haze. Not long after her mother died, Veva’s father called to ask, “Could Nel come stay with her?” Veva’s beloved baby sister was diagnosed with leukemia. The doctors could do nothing, and their father was not able to care for her. Veva had the heartbreaking job to care for Nel as she died. The experience took its toll making it difficult for Veva to even visit a hospital after that.

Although, Veva never married, she did have a gentleman friend, John, who she sometimes met to have lunch with at a local restaurant that catered to the over 65 crowd. One day, John, with dawning revelation, commented, “Veva, Have you noticed, all the people in this restaurant are old?” Veva responded, “John, have you looked in the mirror lately?” As she grew older, the more she strove to stay physically and mentally active. Although, I never heard it verbalized, her actions demonstrated the ‘use or loose it principle.’

My most vivid memories revolve around all the years of Sundays and Holidays spent with Veva. Christmas/Birthday were the same day for Veva, but most certainly different events. ;-) Thanksgiving dinner, if we were not traveling, always included Veva. In fact in 1999, Stephen was born the day before Thanksgiving. Veva brought a complete Thanksgiving lunch to us that year! And my most vivid memories of 4th of July with Veva involve sitting on the grass at Minnitrista, listening to America’s Hometown Band and watching the fireworks. Every Sunday we worshiped God from the pew right in front of Veva. And I believe that it was there that Veva formed her special bond with Sarah as she held and cared for her while I taught the 2 year old class. Veva was part of our family. She loved us and we loved her…dearly, as a daughter loves her mother and grandchildren love their grandmother!

I celebrate her life, thankful for the blessing she was to us, and rejoice that she is enjoying her reward for 90 years, productively lived in service to God and others.

"Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." -1 John 3:18
  • lovescats
    Sounds like a lady I wish I had known. But you've painted such a vivid picture of her, I feel like I do know her!
    by lovescats at 10/08/12 8:36AM
  • aleta
    I was thinking that^^^too! I know it did you good to write all this. May she live on forever in your hearts.
    by aleta at 10/08/12 9:22AM
  • curlie
    Beautiful memories. HUGS
    by curlie at 10/08/12 11:24AM
  • marmee
    I would have liked her. Lord willing, I will meet her one day ... and I thank you for the introduction. Bless you as you grieve her loss.
    by marmee at 10/08/12 11:53AM
  • nchantment4u
    Ahhh... only a life well-lived could inspire such lovely words. Thanks for sharing. Wish I knew her. We need to all find a "Veva" of our own.
    by nchantment4u at 10/08/12 12:25PM
  • tryphena
    What a beautiful tribute to an obviously special person. Thank you for giving us something to aspire to.
    by tryphena at 10/08/12 12:29PM
  • finnbarr_galedeep
    Amen, let see her one day after this life.
    by finnbarr_galedeep at 10/08/12 3:52PM
  • bandmom
    What a wonderful sister and friend! I know you will miss her terribly....thank you for sharing such wonderful memories.
    by bandmom at 10/08/12 5:02PM
  • lori_in_pa
    This is lovely. I like the painting story so much!
    by lori_in_pa at 10/08/12 8:06PM
  • sallyanne
    What a lovely tribute!
    by sallyanne at 10/09/12 11:33AM
  • granny
    I so enjoyed reading your own personal celebration of your friend's life. So precious to you.
    by granny at 03/11/13 4:55AM
  • tryphena
    Just saw your 1213 video. Aside from the depth of the story, may I add a superficial observation: You look so vibrant and beautiful in the video! And all of the kids look healthy and happy. What a blessing you are to me.
    by tryphena at 03/25/13 10:57AM
  • marmee
    I, too, just saw your story on the 1213 video. What a beautiful family!!!! Thank you so much for what you do. You're one of my heroes. Blessings to you and ALL of yours!
    by marmee at 03/25/13 11:41AM

Missed Y'all

I have looked back over my last several posts and I have noticed a trend. When I joined Pleonast in the fall of 2010, it was my goal to post once a week. For the most part I stayed on track. Then March of this year, my posts diminished to about one a month (with the exception of April and July which I totally missed.) And here we are at the end of August and still no post. I really enjoy Pleo and do not want to let it fade into non-existence.

I would like to catch y’all up on our summer activities. We made our way to Indiana the last week of June. We had 1 week to reclaim our house before Tom, Brian and Stephen left for camp. What I thought was going to be a relatively easy job, pretty much hung over me our entire visit. Our renters left quite a bit of stuff behind that I had to deal with. All of you who know me well, know that dealing with stuff is not an easy task for me. But I have figured out what it takes for me to buckle down and get it done—plan a party. Next year I will plan a party for the first week we arrive, not the night before we leave. Yes, you read that right. We held a party the night before we headed back to Florida, and it was great. 65 people were there. I do believe that is a record for us. The party was a basketball, pitch-in, and singing! (For pictures visit my facebook page.)

Now I know y’all want to hear about Radion and Kolya. They are amazing boys, yet typical teens. The fact that they could experience what they have and turn out so normal wows us. Of course, we have never had a typical teen, so we are on uncharted waters. Radion is as steady as can be. He knew from day one that he wanted to come to America forever. I’m not sure if he thought he needed a family, but I think he is getting as attached to us as we are to him. ☺ As for Kolya, his early years were harder than Radion’s. He has been very conflicted, up and down. I think he is afraid to hope, waiting for rejection and expecting failure. Yet, we ended his summer visit on an “up.”

I have gotten reassuring word back through several folks about the boys. “Joy, I talked to your boys a lot on the trip and they are very happy they will be coming back to America! As I was getting on the bus to head to Khemo they both said, “see ya when we are in America forever.” ☺ This made my day! They really are wonderful boys”

“We had so much fun with your boys. They were great! Both played with our little guys and were just so sweet. You are so blessed to have them as your sons!!!”

“I met your boys in Atlanta airport and talked to them, and also talked to them in Chicago for a while... I really like your boys and I think they will be a gift...They are some handsome young boys.”

Things are now progressing well on the adoption front. We had a bump in the road (and there will probably be others) but it is resolved. The only thing left for us to do now is get fingerprinted for the umpteenth time. We are on a very tight timeline. We need to have our court date (in Ukraine) before Kolya’s 16th birthday in the middle of December! We would like to be in Ukraine by the end of October and home with the boys the first of December. Calling all prayer warriors! Although, there are gazillion things that could go wrong, with God for us who can be against us?

Speaking of God being with us, we are feeling especially blessed. Our sweet grandbaby, Asher Benjamin was born July 15th. He was welcomed to the family by “big brother" James (15 months) who was fascinated with him and oldest brother, Isaac (34 months) who was kind of like "been there, done that." :) Rosemary had her best recovery ever this time around. She is becoming quite the birthing pro. And Michael was quite the proud Papa.

One week ago yesterday, we had a terrible scare. James became critically ill. Michael took him to the local emergency room. As they were trying to intubate him for airlift to Riley Hospital in Indianapolis, his heart stopped. The doctors did CPR for 10-15 minutes. Tests determined that all James had was the common cold run amok. But now he was facing possible brain damage from the 10-15 minutes he needed CPR. It was not until last night that we were able to breath a sign of relief. Rosemary sent us pictures via cell phone of James smiling and reaching out to his daddy! It was the very thing the doctors said we needed to see…him responding to stimuli. The Lord has been so gracious to us. We have experienced his loving kindness in amazing ways time and time again. Gratitude fills our hearts and prayers of thanksgiving are continually on our lips.
  • engelishgentleman
    So much excitement this summer! I've seen bits and pieces of most of this stuff on Facebook, but it's neat to read about it all together and hear more of your perspective on it all. You are an amazing family!
    by engelishgentleman at 08/27/12 10:26PM
  • tryphena
    It was so nice to meet Radion--definitely a typical teenage boy, for better and worse. Sweet and hard to talk to, and it wasn't necessarily the language barrier. By the way, that little Andrew is about the cuddliest little boy in the world. It was a great pleasure to sit with him a couple of Sundays ago.

    I have been vying for a chance to visit Rosemary at Riley and take care of Asher, but there are many people in the area who are willing and able! What a blessing to have as many open arms as there are here. The work group I'm in at Avon was talking about the situation just as Jeremy received a text from Rosemary with the pic you're talking about--rejoicing!
    by tryphena at 08/28/12 6:03AM
  • didow
    Your Summer has been a whirlwind. You are an amazing lady!
    by didow at 08/28/12 6:48AM
  • thejoyoftom
    I thought I should let you know that Radion's reluctance to talk was not typical for him. I asked him later if he was OK, that he didn't seem himself. He explained that his stomach hurt. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that he has an ulcer with all the stress he has to deal with and his method of handling things is to keep it to himself. He does not vent, like Kolya.

    I cannot adequately express how much everyone's willingness to help Michael and Rosemary means to me. It gave me enormous peace of mind, especially since I was not able to be there with them. I am hoping to fly up this weekend, if we can get our fingerprinting done today. :)
    by thejoyoftom at 08/28/12 6:51AM
  • lori_in_pa
    Don't you wish your life wasn't so boring??? Much love to you, and I continue to pray.
    by lori_in_pa at 08/28/12 7:06AM
  • lovescats
    Am keeping your family in my prayers.

    On the fingerprinting - my, oh my, looks like they'd just look in your records. Do they think you're going go rub your fingers with something to changer your fingerprints???? Craziness...
    by lovescats at 08/28/12 10:09AM
  • cyber_space_cadet
    So relieved to know that wee James is doing better. That picture of him was a sight for sore eyes. :)
    by cyber_space_cadet at 08/28/12 10:58AM
  • aleta
    So good to hear from you. Glad James is doing well...and that the time is approaching for your getting the boys!
    by aleta at 08/28/12 2:17PM
  • bandmom
    Wow, when you come back and post, it's a doozy! I'll be praying that everything will work out regarding Radion and Kolya, and the adoption will be finalized. Congratulations on your newest grandson, and I'm SO thankful James has recovered...
    by bandmom at 08/28/12 8:53PM
  • sallyanne
    Wonderful news about your grand baby! I have been following that saga on FB! I will be praying for your adoption success!
    by sallyanne at 08/29/12 11:15AM
  • aleta
    Thank you so much!
    by aleta at 08/30/12 8:14AM
  • nchantment4u
    Don't know how often you read here, but just wanted to say thanks for feeding the kids yesterday. I know they were very appreciative of the "real food." :-)
    by nchantment4u at 10/01/12 7:43AM

Newsworthy (Albeit Less Than Prompt) Announcements

One month ago today, on Friday night, May 4, 2012, our daughter, Sarah, walked across the Florida College graduation platform to receive her Associate’s degree. The shock she portrayed when they stopped to announce that she was Salutatorian of her class was priceless. We are so proud of her. She is so conscientious and hard working.

A week later, with the car packed to nearly bursting, Sarah and her husband, Jake, began their move to Texas. They have safely arrived and are in the process of settling into their new house. Although, we already miss them immensely, we are thrilled for them to be starting this new phase of their young life together. Our minds rest easy, knowing that Jake’s wonderful, supportive family live nearby. We now have added incentive to visit our dear friends and our lovely daughter in Texas. Just last week, Sarah sent us a picture of our adorable “grandkitty,” F. Scott Fitzgerald, a shorthaired, grey tabby. I couldn’t be happier…well, maybe… ;-)

It looks like this time next year, we will have another family wedding. You may have already heard that Philip, our son, and Ashleigh are engaged. They will set the date, once they have their financial ducks in a row. They have decided the location will be Florida. Since, Ashleigh’s dad is a coronal in the Air Force, presently stationed in the D.C. area, they have not put down roots anywhere specific. Most of their family is in Colorado. Philip and Ashleigh both have one more year of school to complete their BA. So far, Philip is adamant that they will not live in the "newlywed suite" here. (Sarah was too, but I think Philip’s reasons are at least twofold: 1) two’s company and eight IS a crowd! And 2) He is concern about the opinion of his future father-in-law.) But in any case, we are absolutely thrilled.

Finally, we are in the process of once again enlarging our family. Our plans are to adopt 2 brothers from Ukraine. A family who was in Ukraine to adopt two children heard Radion and Kolya's story. They in turn contacted Dana (founder of Sacred Selections) to see if she knew anyone that would be interested in adopting them. Dana contacted us.

Here is part of their story: Radion turned 16 in March and would have aged out of their system except that he has a younger brother, Kolya, who has till Dec. before he turns 16. This is their one and only chance to find a family and home. Up till this past year they were in an orphanage that did not participate in the summer hosting program that allows families from other countries to spend time with these kids in the hope that many will be adopted. The boys come highly recommended. It seems that everyone who meets them is impressed with them. The staff at the orphanage is going out of their way to help these boys. In fact when I spoke to Ginger, the lady in charge of the summer hosting program, she told me the boys have a fan club, so to speak. We will be hosting them for a 6-week visit this summer and then hope to adopt them in the fall. The boys have been introduced to Christianity by a Baptist missionary group. Radion was quite receptive (I believe he was even baptized), but he says it is very hard at the orphanage to be a Christian because there is no support or opportunities to learn more. We have had 2 opportunities to correspond with the boys. Here is Kolya’s first letter and Radion’s second letter (I wish I knew how to post pictures):

Hello dear Joy and Tom,

My name is Kolya. How are you doing? I am doing fine.

I go to school and also I like sports very much. I play different games often, for example basketball, soccer. I like to spend my free time playing games with friends, riding a bike and other games. But the most important thing in my life is not school, friends or games, but it’s FAMILY. From all my heart I want to have a real family, where I can spend time with my parents, my brothers and sisters, and I want my family to be with me all the time.

I can’t wait until our trip to USA and until my brother and I will meet you. It’s my biggest dream to move to USA and to have a real family there. I don’t know if you will like me or not, but you will decide it after meeting me, I hope you will like me. But Only God knows everything, and he knows our futures and he knows what is best for us and for our lives.

I feel like I already love you, I hope very much that we will like each other. I don’t care if you are rich or not, for me the most important is thing is when parents take care of their children.

You are the best family I can ever have.

Love, Kolya (4-29-12)

Hello Tom and Joy,

How are you doing? I was so happy to get your letter and I liked it very much. I loved the pictures. There are so many members in your family. I have never seen the family like that ever in my life. I hope when we come to your family, we will be able to meet, to spend time together and know each other better.

I am really looking forward to seeing you. I just can’t wait until I meet you. I was dreaming about going to USA for so long, and finally my dream is coming true.

Thank you very much for everything. I am looking forward to see you!

Radion (4-27-12)

This is the promotional video for the CCC hosting program. Radion (the boy with the orange knit tiger hat) is in this video. Warning: If you have a weak heart, proceed with caution. It is a heart wrencher.
  • engelishgentleman
    It's a pleasure to read so much good news. :)

    You and your husband are marvelous examples.
    by engelishgentleman at 06/04/12 9:39AM
  • bandmom
    Oh, this brought tears to my eyes! I'm praying that everything works out for you and the boys to join your loving family and for you to be able to influence them for the Lord. Thanks for sharing! You made my day! :D
    by bandmom at 06/04/12 10:17AM
  • curlie
    So excited for your family!!! :)
    by curlie at 06/04/12 10:28AM
  • smallfry79
    Reading this makes me so happy. :-) Dan & I have talked about adopting for as long as I can remember (even before we were married). We didn't know we would have so much trouble having our own babies, & that took up a bit of our time, but we're considering getting the adoption process started very soon. Thank you for being such good people & examples!
    by smallfry79 at 06/04/12 10:47AM
  • cyber_space_cadet
    Those letters are so touching. I thank God for this opportunity for Radion and Kolya with your dear family.

    Thank you for sharing the video (even though it made me cry).

    Happy for your daughter and son for these new phases of their lives.
    by cyber_space_cadet at 06/04/12 10:53AM
  • marmee
    God bless you.
    by marmee at 06/04/12 12:07PM
  • aleta
    Such good news coming from your way! Those letters were very heart warming; the boys sound so ready...and the video of those precious faces really touched me. And Texas welcomes Sarah and Jake! Congrats to her for her accomplishments!
    by aleta at 06/04/12 1:12PM
  • lovescats
    So sweet - I hope this works out to the glory of our God!
    by lovescats at 06/04/12 4:22PM
  • bandmom
    Well, it's a good thing you waited--the price has gone down to $3.99. The easiest way to get it on kindle is through the amazon kindle store. Just search for Leandra's Enchanted Flute. Whenever you get to read it, let me know what you think. :)
    by bandmom at 06/04/12 4:28PM
  • misssonja
    I don't think I can bear the video... Already crying.
    by misssonja at 06/04/12 9:31PM
  • sheep
    Thanks for sharing their letters!
    by sheep at 06/05/12 8:57AM
  • sloth
    Very neat.
    by sloth at 06/05/12 1:36PM
  • lovescats
    YAY! The 26th is fine. There's a neat place here to eat called The Hot Plate if you'll be able to take time to eat.
    by lovescats at 06/07/12 6:29PM
  • sallyanne
    Wonderful news all around!!!
    by sallyanne at 06/10/12 7:07PM
  • didow
    If your news is less than prompt, my response is even less, less than prompt. You 2 are such wonderful examples to us all. The video was very touching. Radion (I love his name) is very handsome. I can't wait to hear further updates on the boys. I met Travis Saturday at Dry Creek. I've heard the boys talk about him for several years. I think he was one of James' first suite mates. Where did Sarah and Jake move to?
    by didow at 06/18/12 8:50AM
  • didow
    By the way, it's easy to post pictures on here. First, here's a simple tutorial to look at. The code in the first gray box is what you want. I upload pictures to Facebook and link to them here. If you do that, choose the picture you want (make sure it's the big version -- not a thumbnail) and right click on the picture. Then choose "copy image url". Come back to Pleo. Type the code from the tutorial into your post. Place the code you copied from Facebook between the "" that comes after img src=. That's all you have to do. Read the rest of the tutorial to see some other things you can add to it. I usually just change the width of my pictures to 300 or 400. I don't add an "alt" or "height" tag.
    by didow at 06/18/12 8:58AM
  • Megalexandros

    Oh yay, I am glad.

    by Megalexandros at 06/20/12 5:50PM
  • sheep
    See ya soon!
    by sheep at 06/24/12 2:12PM

Happy Mother's Day

As I think about each of my sweet children, I am overcome with joy and thankfulness. From the time I was a child, whenever anyone would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was always the same, “A wife and mother!” I wanted to get married and have babies…lots of babies!

After Tom and I married, and Michael came along 2 years later, I was not disappointed. Every 15-24 months, as I would wean the one baby, I’d be pregnant with the next. I could not be happier and I couldn’t imagine our home without a baby in it. (I really intended to keep having babies until my older children married and started having our grandbabies. ;) I was close, but it was not to be.)

A very wise man at church told us, “You will enjoy every stage as your children grow, but conversing with your adult children will bring joy beyond measure.” I will admit that I was skeptical that conversation with my adult kids could ever bring as much pleasure as rocking them to sleep as babies, but now I can vouch that it is absolutely true. (Of course, I am also enjoying the grandbabies. Our third one is due the end of June.) So I am spending my day counting my blessings and sending up prayers of gratitude to God for my wonderful life.
  • engelishgentleman
    :) You and your family are amazing.
    by engelishgentleman at 05/13/12 10:40PM
  • aleta
    So much to be thankful for!
    by aleta at 05/13/12 11:14PM
  • aleta
    So much to be thankful for!
    by aleta at 05/13/12 11:14PM
  • sallyanne
    Happy Mother's Day to you!

    Amen to this. I could have written many of these same things myself! Blessed indeed!
    by sallyanne at 05/14/12 12:54AM
  • marmee
    This is a smile post. :)
    by marmee at 05/14/12 8:24AM
  • cyber_space_cadet
    Beautiful post. :)
    Glad you had a lovely Mother's Day.
    by cyber_space_cadet at 05/14/12 10:01AM
  • bandmom
    So true about adult children!!! :)
    by bandmom at 05/14/12 7:06PM
  • didow
    by didow at 05/15/12 6:13PM
  • engelishgentleman
    I would love love love to visit Florida this summer, but it doesn't seem very likely to work out. Plans might change, but for now I don't expect to get to come. :(
    by engelishgentleman at 05/16/12 10:43PM
  • ducttapeking
    oh thats cool.
    I think I know some people up there did you meet some one named Jd?
    by ducttapeking at 06/01/12 6:16AM

Waiting on the Lord!

Y’all have been so incredibly patient. I know you’ve been anxious to hear an update from me. I truly wanted to keep you all posted on how things were going, but I simply did not have the time. What consumed every spare moment was not Z, but the lengthy daily updates on how Z was doing for his family. I am not a quick writer. It takes a while for me to get my thoughts together and then even longer to find the right words to express them.

Well, enough excuses, onto Z, who flew home last Thursday. If you remember, we agreed to provide a 30 day respite for the family to have a break from the chaos, in the hope that they would have a chance to gain perspective and be able to make a decision in the best interest of their family and Z. The respite did give them a fresh outlook and desire to try again with Z. And so far, the transition home has gone smoothly.

While Z was here, we saw dramatic changes. We worked with Z under the assumption that suppressed emotions were the cause of his behavior problems. Tom was especially good with him. Z would do something he wasn’t supposed to do and Tom would take him on his lap and begin the talk, which generally was along the lines of: We always have a choice between selfishly doing what we want to do or thinking about others before we act. The choice often involves telling the truth or lying. By telling the truth, no matter what, you choose family over self. Trust is built on truth. Lying because you think the truth might get you into trouble closes off your heart from your family that loves you. (We always emphasize that we love the kids, no matter what, whether they are good or bad. But when they are bad, it makes us very sad.) Tom would ask, “Do you know why you make bad choices? I think it is because you have icky feelings in your heart. The only way to get the icky feelings out is to talk about it.“ We have been working with all the kids on the Golden Rule (not just Z). As you know, learning to think before they act is key to responsible behavior and adding the ability to empathize is vital to social success.

Of course, it was a conversation, interspersed with questions from Tom and answers from Z, not the monologue I’ve just written. Tom, who has the patience of Job would spend the hour or so necessary to get to the bottom of the problem and elicit the correct response. I am always amazed! Patience is not my forte.

As the talk progressed, I did notice changes that took place in Z’s body language. He would begin all fidgety, usually nervously scratching an "itch." Even though Tom had pulled him onto his lap, Z would be leaning as far back as possible without falling off. Before long he has stopped scratching and is affectionately patting Tom on the chest. By the end of the conversation, he is snuggled up close and regularly making eye contact with Tom.

We never set out to do foster type care, but if God can use us to help a struggling family, we are blessed. As we told the family, there are thousands of children who need a forever family; we do not want to take a child from a happy home, no matter how adorable he is and how much we have come to love him. He will be in our prayers forever, no matter what happens. “We will wait upon the Lord.”
  • engelishgentleman
    You and Tom are amazing, and are such inspirations. Thank you for your examples.
    by engelishgentleman at 03/27/12 6:51PM
  • bandmom
    Wow. I am in awe of you and your husband. God bless you both!
    by bandmom at 03/27/12 8:11PM
  • misssonja
    I hope that your detailed accounts to the family will help them understand what Z needs and how to work with him more effectively. Maybe you can become aunt & uncle to him? Very much appreciate your love for little ones in need.
    by misssonja at 03/27/12 8:57PM
  • cyber_space_cadet
    Praying for all God's good things for Z, for his family, and for YOUR dear family. ♥
    by cyber_space_cadet at 03/27/12 9:00PM
  • sallyanne
    I so appreciate the update! I've been thinking about you and your family. I do hope and pray for a happy home for Z!
    by sallyanne at 03/27/12 10:29PM
  • lovescats
    What a blessing for Z to have have the interaction with you!
    by lovescats at 03/27/12 11:17PM
  • lori_in_pa
    I love you guys. That's all.
    by lori_in_pa at 03/28/12 9:15AM
  • curlie
    What a wonderful work you have done. I appreciate your example so much.
    by curlie at 03/28/12 11:59AM
  • bandmom
    I think the biggest problem is that news has become 24/7 and news outlets feel compelled to attract new readers/listeners by making up sensational stories instead of just reporting the facts.
    by bandmom at 03/29/12 7:57AM
  • snoopy
    Joy, it is totally worth it!
    Also, if you wouldn't mind, if you do it via the link in my blog, I get referal points ;)
    by snoopy at 03/30/12 3:30PM
  • lovescats
    Joy, that is when it disappeared.
    by lovescats at 03/31/12 10:47AM
  • aleta
    I can't believe it either! Thank you!
    by aleta at 03/31/12 10:01PM
  • sallyanne
    Thank you so much! What a lovely thing to say!
    by sallyanne at 04/01/12 7:25AM
  • didow
    I originally read what you had to on FB but knew you would probably write more here. You didn't fail me. I waited to read it because I knew I would need to take my time. I knew it would be an emotional read. You didn't fail me. I love reading what you write. It makes me feel like I'm right there with you. Again, you didn't fail me. I could just see this scared, confused, little boy on Tom's knee eventually melting into his arms. You and Tom have given this little boy a wonderful gift. Thank you for doing that for him.
    by didow at 04/02/12 12:21PM
  • tryphena
    I want to send a card to the Winton's--Lawson and ...Janette? I have their address from an address label, but it doesn't include her first name. I want to make sure I spell it correctly. Help?
    by tryphena at 04/04/12 7:35AM
  • bandmom
    Thank you, my dear wise sister. I appreciate you SO very much!
    by bandmom at 04/16/12 3:24PM
  • misssonja
    Yes, she sure does remind one of Fancy Nancy :) -- a total hoot.
    by misssonja at 04/16/12 9:44PM
  • nchantment4u
    Do you know that one of your people will be part of our evening on Saturday? Looking forward to having him at our house!
    by nchantment4u at 04/16/12 10:12PM
  • nchantment4u
    Travis :-)
    by nchantment4u at 04/17/12 10:02PM
  • sallyanne
    Thank you! She's enjoying her time already!
    by sallyanne at 04/18/12 11:57PM