When the kids were little I would pull into the garage after a car trip and say, "Home again, home again, jiggety-jig." I don't know why, but we turned into our driveway last night after our vacation and I found myself saying that for the first time in years. Kathryn laughed because of the memories, and Qavah liked the sound of it. Nevertheless we are home again. The joy we have in our hearts is brimming over. We did unpack the Stimate with laughter because it never did get used. By the grace of God the "what ifs" are now the "never happened." We have had a week of the most delightful surprises and joys that cannot be captured with words. Kathryn is working on a picture presentation to give you a glimpse of our joy and an overview of the trip.
After the last post I wrote, we spent the remaining days in Arizona visiting with the Sipe family. On Sunday and Monday the girls got together and enjoyed each other. (If you are a new blog reader, Kathryn found two other girls in this country with HPS and met them for the first time in Washington DC two years ago. They were also adopted by a family in Arizona and are four years older than Kathryn.) The resemblance between the girls is remarkable. They sat together on a sofa like three peas in a pod. Between the three of them talking there was never a quiet moment. They talked non-stop using similar expressions and hand motions. They were so cute together. Just watching them was fun. When we went to get their pictures made in the Wal-Mart studio the photographer looked at Candice and Crystal and asked, "Twins?" They answered yes in unison. Then she turned to look at Kathryn and asked, "Triplets?" They all started laughing. The girls have such a unique friendship, with the knowledge that they could be sisters. They share an Indian heritage, along with the health challenges of HPS. Our time together was rewarding and Kathryn boarded the plane for home with a satisfied smile that hasn't left her.
Our trip was everything we dreamed about and more. I used to feel gratitude as an emotion on some level. I would describe it as a feeling of satisfaction, like being fed a Thanksgiving meal after being hungry. Since living through the trials we have had to face head-on, gratitude feels more like an overwhelming bubbling joy from a fountain that will never run dry. It is good to feel gratitude on a deeper level and experience the joy of being fully alive.