In July, we spent two weeks in China with some amazing families. Our experience in China was wonderful and part of our wonderful experience was meeting special families who were also adopting. We met some really awesome families while there and I loved getting to know each and everyone of them and getting to know their sweet children. We were blessed to spend two weeks in China with the Fillebaum family because we both adopted our children from the same orphanage. Courtney and I had "met" online a few months before and had encouraged and prayed for each other throughout the wait. I was actually on my way to meet her for the first time as I drove through Birmingham this summer when I got the call that we had Travel Approval. We were so excited to get to travel together and we loved spending our time in province and in Guangzhou together. When we got to Guangzhou, we met another family, the Claytons. They had also adopted a 13 month old just like the Fillebaums and us. We immediately all connected and enjoyed our time in China together.
Over the last four months, Courtney, Jamie, and I have texted back and forth over and over again encouraging each other, praying for each other, and laughing with each other. Having their friendship during the last few months have helped me so much. There are a lot of "Am I doing this right?" thoughts during the early months of adoption and to know that other moms were having the same emotions and thoughts as me has helped so much. I am forever grateful for these friends!
For months, really since China, we have been planning a reunion. And, on Saturday, we made it happen! The Claytons live in north Atlanta making it a great meeting place for all of us. As soon as we got there, Connor and Kyle quickly made themselves at home and before long they were playing along the creek that ran beside the Claytons' house. I knew that it was just a matter of time before one or both ended up in the water and I knew that Kyle would be the first one in! And, I was right! He had his first clothing change before we even ate lunch! His second change came later in the afternoon and they both needed new shoes after we left because we headed to LaGrange from there and needed dry shoes!
The boys had fun playing in and out of the house with all of their new friends. All together, we have ten children, 7 biological and 3 adopted now 17 month olds. We are all so blessed!
And, the adults had such a great time reconnecting! We are so thankful for these friendships!
Anne Marie, Paxton's friend from Lianyungang!
Little Miss Ruby!
Three LESS Orphans! Two more daughters and one more son! These three are so loved, cherished, and adored!
As Paxton's shirt says, these three are "fearfully and wonderfully made"!
Paxton says, "Praise the Lord! I'm reunited with my China girlfriends!".
10 kids between the three families. These kids all had such a great time together! They all got along so well!
Four months ago, we took this photo at the zoo in China.
And, on Saturday, we took this one.
These three babies are LOVED, secure, well-fed, happy, busy, comfortable and treasured! Adoption is amazing and so worth it! When you see these three kids playing with each other, with their moms and dads, and with their brothers and sisters, you cannot deny the power of adoption! I am so thankful that we were called to adopt. I am so thankful that we said YES! And, I am so thankful for Paxton! People tell us all the time that he is blessed. Do not be fooled. WE ARE BLESSED because of HIM!!! He is our blessing! And, I am so thankful for him!
I am so thankful for all three of our children. God blessed us with three amazing boys and I cannot imagine my life without them!
And, I am so thankful for these two families! I am so thankful that they said YES and that God brought us all together in China. I am so thankful that we have been able to support and encourage each other over and over again these last four months. And, I am so thankful that we were able to get together on Saturday at the beginning of Thanksgiving week. We have so much to be thankful for this year!