Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The YJ Girls

After China Camp, we had our annual reunion of the YJ girls.  The first time we went to China, we traveled with seven other families.  All eight of our daughters were born in the coastal city of Yangjiang, seven of them within a month of each other.  All eight girls had spent all of their short lives together in the orphanage.  And all eight joined their families within minutes of one another in a cramped Civil Affairs "delivery room".  That experiece connected these eight families together in ways that are hard to explain.  Since we live scattered across three states, we only see each other once a year.  But when we do meet, it's as if we never left the White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou.  These people are family.  And we love spending time together. This year, six of the families gathered. 

At our reunion there was lots of hugging and laughter.  And lots of talking.  We looked at pictures.
And played games.
And built with really cool blocks.
These two had way too much fun with the toy weaponry.  (And yes, the catapault worked!)
The girls teased each other and giggled and were silly and affectionate with each other.
At some point, there was an odd sort of contest for facial tricks.
And things eventually fell into total silliness.
But the main reason we gather every year is for these girls to be together again.  These "lucky babies" changed their fate and found new lives.  But they are each others' oldest friends and they still have a deep connection to one another.  And I will never tire of seeing them together.  These beautiful, brave, wonderful girls.
When they are all lined up together, all of us parents stood and marvelled at them.  These are our most beloved faces.  But the girls?  Well, they are 9 year olds!







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