Tuesday, September 6, 2011

camping

On May 14, 2011 we walked up a flight of stairs in the DC airport and met John and Laurie Williams, their daughter Amelia and Laurie's best friend, Becky.  Our lives have never been the same.  We said hello went our separate ways and then met back up at the gate and boarded a plane headed to Rwanda.  Each of our families adopted 2 children, a boy and a girl.  The memories we share are more personal and private than many we have shared with our closest friends and family.  We walked through miralces, struggled with anger and frustration and celebrated blessings together in Rwanda and Ethiopia.  So much was shared... an amazing time in our lives.  A time that we want to remember parts of and forget parts of.

So this weekend we met up with those special people we traveled across the world with.  The people who saw Hope so sick and Benjamin so out of control.  Our reunion was sweet.  It was refreshing to sit and talk to people who share the same inner struggles and celebrate similar successes.  They understand us and we understand them.  Adoption is beautiful and hard... very hard.  Our meeting place was in Cherokee, NC.  We sat and remembered our trip.  We talked about the things are kids did there and the things they are doing or not doing now.  We met the family members that did not travel with us.  Our time together was good, like medicine for your soul. 

Benjamin was let out of our car and he ran straight for Mugisha (Jerrod) and they hugged and immediately pointed at their own shoes... they now both have shoes to wear EVERYDAY and they LOVE IT!  They have different shoes to choose from and they also have friends still at Home of Hope and Home of Joy who do not have shoes for their precious feet.  What a bitter sweet moment.  I love how the boys celebrated together!  It also made me think how a simple pair of shoes can make such a difference.  Benjamin loves having things to call his own... in fact he drives me nuts sometimes as he tries to label every item in the house as someones.  In Rwanda his shoes and clothes were a source of pride for him... not his new parents!

Over the weekend we swam, laughed, played in the creek, tubed down the river, danced and played in the rain, napped, ate, laughed, hugged, smiled, jumped on the air pillow, walked, rode scooters, drank coffee, ate ice cream, made smores, sat by the fire and just loved being together.  One morning Becky presented both Laurie and I with the MOST AMAZING book she made on Shutterfly of our time in Africa... yep, there were tears.  I was overwhelmed, so thankful that God brought our families together.  Thankful for the gift of adoption. Reminded of the grace God has given me up to this point and how much more I need as I learn to really love and cherish these new gifts in our family!

Here are a few pictures from our weekend together!






Sunday afternoon it began to rain, it let up and then that evening it began to rain again and literally has not stopped since.  We packed up everything but our tents and ourselves Sunday night and then loaded the tents the next morning... in the pouring down rain.  Memories.  Our stuff is still soaked.  It took us 8 hours to drive home due to traffic (it should have taken just under 5)!  The kids did amazingly well all weekend!  We will camp a whole lot more knowing how well they do... I can't wait!  Looking forward to seeing Lauire again in Jan at the Created to Care retreat in GA!  Friendships are a blessing:) I did post a lot more pictures on facebook.

5 comments:

The Plumline said...

So happy for you all! What a beautiful time you had...can you imagine what heaven poured into all of your kids' spirits? God is so good!
Waiting for our turn...
Love,
Lisa Plummer

Mystery Guest said...

I know exactly what you mean...the friendship and bonds created through adoption are very special.

Looks like you all had fun and the kids are so cute together!

Regan said...

Looks like such fun!

Amelia said...

so cute! I read this for my silent reading homework, I had to read for at least 20 minutes. It was so cute! I liked the picture of Marie, Jerrod and Benjamin.
Love, Amelia

The Hasley Household said...

What a great blessing to have friends you shared your experience iwth that you can meet up with. How awesome! And even greater that Benjamin and Hope will have someone to share that time in their lives with. Love you!