Sunday, November 2, 2014

Gotcha Reunion

Ten years ago (10 years?!!!) on Halloween, baby Yang Guo Dan was handed to me and just like that we were a family.
That was an amazing day!

When we went to China, we traveled with seven other families. All of us were adopting baby girls. All of our babies were from the same orphanage and 7 of the 8 had been born within a month of each other. During that trip, I had prayed that Katherine would be able to stay in contact with at least one of those families. I never dreamed that she would be able to maintain relationships with all seven girls. But she has. We have. We are deeply bonded to the families who were in that room in the Adoption Affairs office in Guangzhou, China that marvelous day. And our daughters share a friendship that began in their earliest days, before any of us knew them.

We have planned reunions every year since we came home, usually in the summer. This past summer we decided that we wanted an extra reunion to commemorate 10 years of familyhood. We chose to meet on November 1st, the anniversary of the day we all had sworn before the officials in China that we would love and raise these babies as our own. That was the day the girls' adoptions became official, truly their Adoption Day.

Six of the families met in Jenks, Oklahoma (a suburb of Tulsa) and went to the Oklahoma Aquarium.
Then we went out for dinner. We had Mexican food - not quite the same sort of meal we shared in China, but there was the same sense of comraderie. I had taken pictures and scrapbooks and everyone spent time poring over them.

We talked and laughed and the younger crowd took selfies.
One of the moms had had a cake made... we posed the girls around it.
Emily, Hannah, Sophie, Brooke, Jada, and Katherine...
typical I-don't-want-to-pose tweens, friends for all of their lives,
and six families' greatest blessings.

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I love birthdays!

the ladybug cake

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Jie Jie and Mei Mei

Park Pictures

Park Pictures
Peeking through the windows

Park Pictures

Park Pictures
Katherine and her toothless smile

Park Pictures

Park Pictures
The little one leads the way