The evening after China Camp we had a reunion with our Travel Group, the families we traveled with when we adopted Katherine. Our 8 daughters are all the same age (7 of them born within a month of each other) and all lived in the same orphanage in Yangjiang, a city on the southern coast of China. Our girls are each others' deepest connections to their past. They are each others' first and oldest friends. And during those two weeks in China, these families have become friends that are as close as family. We see each other only once a year but we all wish it were more often. It is always a joy to be together.
I remember being in China, holding my new and impossibly sweet baby and looking out at all of the other families and their babies. I hoped so deeply that at least one of those baby girls would remain in our lives. I wanted Katherine to have some sort of connection to those little girls and to the families that were there when we became a family. And those dreams have come true. For that, I am so very, very grateful.
This year, six of the YJ girls were together again. Hannah, Kelsey, Sophie, Katherine, Brooke, and Emily. They are amazing!
All of them were too young to have real memories of China and their life there, but they have a unique bond with each other. I watch Kate with these orphanage "sisters" and am struck by how comfortable, how affectionate she is with them. She lets down her guard and just is herself with them. It's a beautiful thing to watch. These girls and their families fill my heart. They are such a blessing to us all.