Friday, December 5, 2008

Adoption Day #11

We have had the pleasure of being parents to this lovely young lady for 11 wonderful years.
We recently enjoyed a weekend with the three other families who traveled to China with us 11 years ago - on a trip that changed our lives forever. We were all strangers and first time parents-to-be, traveling to a country on the other side of the world. Before meeting these families, we would never have guessed how close we would become. During that trip to China, we all pledged that we would make an effort to maintain in contact so that our BengBu girls would know one another (we live several hours apart). Since that time, we have grown together as a sort of extended family. Not only are our four girls the best of friends, but the parents are great friends as well. We have been fortunate to have gathered with these friends every year to celebrate our adoption day - aka gotcha day (a phrase one of the parents coined). My how our families have grown since that day! :-)

This year's "gotcha day" reunion was held in Oklahoma where AG's family were our hosts for the weekend. We were treated to a tour of the National Weather Center (where AG's dad works as a scientist - he's one smart fella!). Everyone thought it was fun to balance the earth on their finger (of course, I had to take pics! Unfortunately, the graphics on the "earth" changed and we didn't have time to wait for more earth-like pics to come back on the ball). Later in the afternoon, we went to OKC and toured "Bricktown" via a canal boat.

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We also toured the OKC Bombing Memorial. Visiting the memorial brought back many memories for the adults as we all remembered where we were when the bombing happened back in 1995. (I was at work in a mental health facility. Once the news announced the bombing, our therapists scrambled to get a team deployed to help the victims in OKC.)

Each of these chairs represents the life of a person killed in the bombing. Names are etched on the glass bases, and are lit at night.

This is the "survivor tree" - named because it survived the bombing (although it doesn't look very healthy now). The tree is definitely scarred on one side and leans due to the blast it received.
This is part of the original fence that was put in place immediately after the bombing. It's a place where people leave memorials to the victims and their families. There have been more than 60,000 items placed on the fence (they are removed periodically and placed in an archive in the museum).

After touring the sites, we went out for a traditional Chinese group dinner. Then, it was back home for cake and presents! The four girls had a sleepover at AG's house (while we stayed in a nearby hotel). We had our traditional group breakfast at Cracker Barrel before heading home.
Happy "gotcha day" sweet girls! We love you all! We are SO blessed to be Emily's parents, and are so happy to call the others friends!

1 comment:

kenziekylanmom said...

Happy adoption day! I love that you all got pics together that's so sweet and wonderful.

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