As we all know, no matter how much fun a vacation may be, it will also have its moments of stress. But this wonderful weekend was the most relaxing, rejuvenating, inspiring time that I have ever had the pleasure of sharing with a group of friends. And over the course of the weekend many of these friends become like family.
We traveled to the home of Jamie and Stori, a wonderful couple with 4 of the coolest kids around. They welcomed us, people that they had only known through the internet, into their home like we'd been coming to visit for years. They hosted 11 families, over 60 people, for weekend of food, fellowship, swimming, playing, and sharing. They live in a spectacular location, in the woods, nowhere near a busy road. They have a pool, playground, and trees galore. It was an ideal setting to just let the kids, and there were lots of kids, run loose and have fun! I never spent a single minute worrying about what my kids were up to. They were being kids and they have probably never had more fun!
I had the opportunity to finally meet some many people that I have spent months getting to know through our blogs, Facebook, and other correspondance. And Brian had the chance to reunite with some of the families that he traveled to Congo with. It was so awesome to sit with these families that look like ours, think like ours, and have a passion for adoption and the children of DRC, just like we do. Never in my life have I felt such a kinship with a group of people.
One of the very special moments for me was to watch Haven be reunited with Debra, the little girl lived with Haven for the 2 weeks before he came home. I'm sure they didn't remember each other, but they still seemed to share a sense of family. And Grace and Debra were fast friends, too.
So here are some pictures of the wonderful weekend. Thank you to all the families that made it such a special event for me. I can't wait until next year. There will be so many new babies to meet!!!
Our Family Adoptions Reunion--what a beautiful family
Haven found a ball within seconds of getting out of the car
And you'd better not try and take it away
That flying fish is Grace
Haven was very popular with the girls
Climing the rock wall
Chad, Parker, Haven, Livia, Debra, Grace, and Ian
Parker and Haven pulling Chad and Debra up the hill
Grace and Debra--sweet friends
Digging for rocks
Chad and Haven doing some sightseeing
Daddy and Grace kicking back
Grace and her water baby balloon--don't pop it!
Haven and Mama
Pretty in Pink
Haven taking a ride
Catch me if you can
Tag, you're it!
Our soccer star
Haven at play
Always at play
Lots of running and jumping this weekend
Grace learns to play chess from Parker
Haven, Debra, and Chad pick apples to feed to the horses
Is that a backyard or what!
Looking for fireflies