There's something about traveling to the other side of the world and meeting your son or daughter, that permanently bonds you to your fellow travelers. John and I have shared such bond with 5 other families. We've gotten together every summer, (except the summer we missed, because our girls got married), since we've returned from China. The "mei-mei",(little sister in Chinese), reunion is one of the highlights of our summer. Last summer, we went to Ohio. As we discussed where to go next, I asked that they would consider a trip down south. They graciously agreed. It is quite a haul for most of them, we are the only ones in this area of the country.
We were so excited to host our travel group. It was a wonderful weekend, and so exciting to see all these kiddos as they grow older.
We started out with a cookout at our pool.
A special cake for the occasion
There was a little blip in our plans...someone threw up in the pool, and they couldn't allow anyone to swim, so we had to go to plan B. Off to the hotel pool.
The next morning we went to Marbles, then picnicked at a local historic site. We got NC barbecue to eat, which was a totally new experience for our guests. Most of them really liked it.
Some of the adults really enjoyed playing at Marbles.
as well as the kids...
There was an African drum ensemble with a dancer performing.
That night, we invaded a local Chinese buffet
Afterwards, the kids made scrunchies, decorated visors and enjoyed each other upstairs, while the adults talked about adoption and identity issues downstairs.
Sunday morning some of them went to church with us. Two families took our family out to eat, celebrating mine and John's anniversary.
All too soon it was time to say goodbye.
All of our hearts were heavy, but Elijah was very demonstrative with his grief. He had a very special friend. I'll blog about her next.
All the events of the weekend took a toll on my two. They were beyond exhausted. This was the view about 10 minutes after we left the restaurant.
John and I discussed what a wonderful time we had. We were both amazed at how we could go all year without seeing any of these families, and then, when we get together, it is as if we've been together all along. The conversations flow, the laughter starts and our hearts connect! We can hardly wait until next summer!