For the past 3 years, not only have I had the best times with my best friend, but also with her kids. 2 years ago (August 20th, 2010) I met them all for the first time.
Boy have things changed in just 2 short years!
Before I met you all I heard about was how snuggle-y and loving you were. Yet when I met you, you were the most reserved around me. It wasn't until one day you said, "When Tia comes home again, she'll have to meet Sergei" that I really knew you that you accepted me as part of the family. Now, I love knowing who you are becoming as a man. The way you are taking on the responsibility with your job. (I wish you would put some of that same effort into helping your mom out in the house, too) I loved every hug and laugh we shared. And I love knowing that you are wearing your special sock in the picture above. I hope you know that I will always be here for you, if ever you need me...
There has always been a special place in my heart for you from the very beginning, even before I met you. You are the kid with the tough guy exterior but a super loving and sensitive heart. I never had a brother, but if I did I would want him to be like you, kind and caring but bad-ass enough to protect me. I believe you would do anything for someone you really cared about. Not only have I seen through that outer armor, I've experienced it. Watching you in Ghana was like seeing beauty unfold. You came alive Josh. Maybe those changes are still unfolding and will be for years to come. That one afternoon when we talked while you played Minecraft is one of the moments of that trip I will treasure forever. I hope someday I will get the joy of sharing more overseas adventures with you. It makes me feel so loved that you even cracked a smile for this photo :)
|Jillian (in jeans) and my feet|
Jillian:My new fellow boobie cohort! You bring such joy to people's lives. I know this year has been hard for you, perhaps in ways you don't yet really understand yourself. You are leaving behind the little girl years and beginning to enter the next phase of growing up. I pray you will dig deep and grow in maturity and responsibility. I've already seen a tremendous change, but I know you can do more. You have such creative talent. Keep practicing and learning, whether in nail art, or hair, or sketches... God has given you a gift to use. The greatest gift He's given you Jillian is your heart. Always keep it focused on God and the plans He has for your life- it's going to be A-mazing! I see a joy in serving others in you and I pray that our upcoming trip to Haiti will give you a chance to love others with that special love and joy only you can give.
All my love.... Your Tia