While at the North Shore, we visited our friends, Tom and Joyce, in Duluth, Minnesota. They are mom and step-dad to our dear friend, Gary, whom we've mentioned in several posts. Tom and Joyce are also the friends the kids and I were utterly shocked to run into at the JFK airport on our way to Moscow in November.
We're always amazed when anyone is willing to have our large tribe visit, but Tom and Joyce invited us in and even fed the 14 of us.
We count Tom and Joyce among those who make up our unofficial "support system" as we live this odd lifestyle of adopting and raising three trios of older orphaned children from Russia, while parenting our other three blessings. In order to parent well and function well as a family, we are deeply in need of folks who believe in what we're doing.
Tom and Joyce have always treated all our children with open hearts no matter how recently we've adopted them or what kind of reaction they initially get from our child. From the moment we first met Tom and Joyce about five years ago, not long after we'd adopted Tatiana, Natasha and Princess Bink, they have encouraged us and cheered us on. These pictures tell the story of the magnet that Tom and Joyce are to our children
In fact, at six weeks into her adoption, little Oksana is still reserved with people, but she obviously could sense Tom and Joyce's kindness and gentleness immediately. She made herself at home in their arms and laps immediately.
On top of all their strengths as a couple, Tom has a world-class sense of humor and, of course, the kids love that!
We love you, Tom and Joyce! Thanks for the hospitality!