We just returned from a weekend spent with J's aunt and uncle at their beach house along with J's sister and her family. We always have a wonderful time when we are there, but this past weekend was particularly joyful. It is joy to see T.M. follow along with his brothers and sisters and not just watch them. It is joy to hear T.M. laugh... a lot. These are not the little laughs that never touched his eyes in Vietnam. These are great belly laughs that radiate happiness from every facial feature. It is joy to watch T.M. and D. holding hands as they follow A. out into the water. It is joy to be roused from sleep at 5 am by two little boys who had come to find Mommy and Daddy together. It is joy to see D.'s exuberant personality returning after the trauma of Mommy and Daddy leaving for 3 weeks and bringing home a rival for the toys. (Admittedly, this took the form of D. running upstairs where no less than 7 children were sleeping and shouting "Boo!") It is joy to look at T.M. and think of him as one of the kids. It is joy to be greeted with a hug in the morning by a little boy who didn't want to look at me a month ago. It is joy to watch T.M. get to know some of his cousins and aunts and uncles. It is joy to run with T.M. on the beach when not very long ago he wouldn't walk five feet without asking to be carried. It is joy to have T. M. ask to hold my hand when before I had to make him hold it when we were walking. It is joy to hear T.M. cry like a real three year old when he is hurt instead of not seeming to notice pain. It is joy to notice the care and love that A. shows to T.M. It is joy to be able to comfort T.M. when he is scared or upset. It is joy to have T.M. need to hold my hand in order to fall asleep. It is joy to have this new addition to our family.
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Ps. 16:11)