Thursday, July 26, 2007

Childrens Hope Reunion

Ellie, Tatumn, Myer and Sage
Standing w/ Brenda and her family at the zoo
Ellie enjoying a Fitz Root Beer
Saige, Sage, Tatumn and Myer(I messed up the picture, long story)
Had to throw in one w/ those cute toes!
Miss Miracle Myer
Silly Taylor, Tatumns Big Brother
Kiana(saiges sis) Makenna & Baylor(Myers sis)having a slumber party!

Makenna having fun at the picnic Can't catch me!
Spicy Sage
Dalayna in red w/ Malaine, who is not so sure of the mess!
Good bye Tatumn, I will miss you friend

Dinner with Brenda and Ellie
Silly girls having fun!
Chinese smiles all around!

I have been excited about this reunion weekend since we started the adoption! I could not wait for the chance to see babies together, meet up w/ new friends, old friends, I really did think and plan for just months! It was perfect! The only thing that could have made it much sweeter was if we had been able to see more of our Hunan babies there. Which they are all promising me NEXT year they are coming, so I am holding them to that! ;)

We started the weekend w/ dinner at the Spaghetti Factory Downtown. 6 adults, 11 children(and we were missing one). Outnumbered you think? We met w/ the Crawfords and the Massey Family. We were thrilled to see Tatumn and the rest of her family of course! Tatumn was in Chenzhou w/ Sage, so we truly feel these girls have a special bond. Steph and I met online long before we traveled and just clicked through the wait. We were able to share the joy of receiving our girls together. They live in Kansas City, so not far from us at all. Seeing Myer was just amazing. If you remember, I had this post asking for prayer after we came home from China. I can't even explain all the emotions of being able to spend time w/ her this weekend, so I will save that for it's own post. We were SO thankful that they came in and that we had the chance to get to know her and her beautiful family better. We ended the evening w/ swimming at their hotel. You know the hotel loved us!

Friday we were up early to head over to the St Louis Zoo. There I was able to meet my dear online friend Brenda for the first time ever! Brenda and I had been emailing since we started the process and we are both big on emails so we naturally started a great email friendship! We had hoped to travel to China together, and thought we might, but we did not make her group, she went the month ahead of us. Her Ellie is probably about as busy as Sage! Isn't she sweet? She came from the same area of China that my cousins' daughter came from which is very special to us. It was so great to meet their family and spend time w/ them. The Crawfords and The Masseys were also at the zoo. From there we headed over to Fitz for lunch. You know what a site we are w/ our gazillion children between all of us!

Dinner that night was our house. We were joined by another set of friends who we had also hoped to travel w/ but they went the month before us also. Their daughter is named Kiara Saige, and is just a doll. Makenna was very excited to spend time w/ Kiana. She was thrilled that Baylor and Kiana both stayed the night w/ her. Lots of giggles going on for sure!

Saturday was the picnic. As you can see from the pictures, tons of fun. They had the pools filled w/ packing peanuts, which turned into snow. BIG mess, but the kids loved it. Especially the Crawford boys who were dumping bucketfuls on us as we entered the room! ;) CHI does a wonderful job w/ their picnic. Babaloo was there, who was so silly. And just giving us time to be w/ all the families who have all walked the same road. We had to say goodbye at the picnic to the Crawfords and Massey's, but we hope that we will see them again very soon.

Sunday we were able to go to dinner w/ Brenda and her family which was great. Ellie and Sage were a riot together. So very sweet! 2 busy girls! It was a great finish to a perfect weekend. We ate here which is a fun place.

What is amazing about any of these events with the families, is just sitting back and knowing how awesome our God is. You look at each little Chinese girl, and you know that God had His hand in the making of that family. No one else in that room could be my daughter. He chose Tatumns mommy, Sage for us, Kiara Saiges mommy, Ellies mommy, Myers mommy & Dalayna's mommy for a reason. He knew long ago, that they would each join their family's. He knew long ago that He would bring US together to be friends, and more than that, to be family. Because once you have adopted, you become one big family! These are my girls, they come from the land of my daughter. And their parents walked the road I walked to get them home. They hold such a special place in our family.

Such sweet memories, we already look forward to next years reunion!

(side note on the messed up picture.. I downloaded the pictures, and "thought" I had saved them, but I did not. I deleted them off my card and when I went to transfer the pictures to the blog, GONE! Thankfully Mark was able to purchase software to recover them, but for some reason some of them came back like that one, half gone. I am trying not to be upset, I still got alot, and it is better than getting none, which is what we thought we were getting! Next time though, I will leave the downloading to Mark!)

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