This is Harrison with Deana and Deana's husband Luke. They only come back to the U.S. on furlough every 4 years or so. Harrison ate lunch closest to their big boys!
We are sad that Harrison could be 8 before he sees them again. We had been preparing Harrison for the whole week that we would be seeing many Taiwan friends that weekend. He was a little confused as we had also been reading up on Chinese New Year. It's been fun because they are just at the age where they are starting to get some of these things!
So, Harrison thought we were going to China to see his Taiwan friends when we drove to Nashville. Lol!! Then, Sophie was so set on being from Taiwan too. "NO! I Taiwan too!" But, they are starting to make the connections with some of the things that are big in their culture. In Korea, they call it Lunar New Year and Seollal. Since we were celebrating with our Taiwan crew this year...we just went with the Chinese New Year title and didn't try to make it too complex. They will get it as time goes on.
Several local families came together and went all out to plan this Chinese New Year celebration because the Pan family were in the States for this one. We did something last year but it wasn't nearly as big. It was just a day thing.
This is me with my friend Stephanie. She just moved to Murfreesboro a few months ago. We have enjoyed several play dates since. We have so many Korean adoptive families local but it is fun for Harrison to have a connection with Amber Joy. For a while there, I was worried Harrison might just think he is from Korea too! Stephanie was a big part of organizing and putting the event together.
This is Jeff and Abbey! They live about an hour away with their FOUR!!! Taiwanese cuties. All boys too. Much of the weekend was spent at their church so they did a lot of planning, prep, and serving through the weekend too. We are so thankful for them.
This is Harrison with his roomie Leyton at lunch on Friday. They were the only 2 babies in the baby home at the time we travelled. Janie was with Harrison a few months prior and we were SO sad that Janie and her family could not make it. Hoping they can next year.
After lunch, we came back home to let the kids nap before we went out again for the first official planned event dinner. We had the entire upstairs of the restaurant and it was packed with all of our little miracles and the families that love them so. The guy who blessed dinner started the blessing out with, "Thank you Lord for this room full of miracles!" AMEN! Here are just a few of them...
Some of these are from Saturday!! Zoe above is gorgeous. She has CP too so her mommy, daddy, and I had some good conversations. Then there is this double dose of cuteness!! Sam & Eli. I kept Sam with me for as long as I could. He was probably just the size Harrison was when we brought him home. Fun memories of the cute, cuddly, squishy stage.
This is Tuck. Jeff and Abbey's youngest little guy!
Saturday we got together for the kids to play, do crafts, a silent auction, and lunch.
We even learned a Chinese New Year song in Mandarin
I was in charge of a photo booth set up. That was a fun assignment.
Next time, I'd make the backdrop WAY bigger. I forget that normally, adoptive families aren't the average size!
Greer was a hit :) he made lots of friends
This year is the year of the snake!
This is my loot from the silent auction. We were going to make a donation to the ministry anyway, so we decided to go for the win on some of the items. Do you see the theme here? Burlap Taiwan hanging, Taiwan ornament(that is actually hanging from our kitchen cabinet knob), a Taiwan necklace, and heart earrings that came with the necklace! I love them all!!
The kids did crafts right before we left.
Then it was to Grammy and GDaddys. We were headed out with the Pans that night for the WinterJam concert and the twins were staying with Grammy and G-Daddy. Once we got the twins dropped off, we headed back to Nashville to wait in line for the concert
We waited for about an hour before we were let in. Winter Jam seats are $10 everywhere in the arena. First come first serve.
Harrison got a little antsy at about the 45 minute mark so I gave him a seat on my feet and had him play the Ipad.
Once we got in, we got some pretty great seats. Anna and Harrison are close to the same age. They were cute.
Deana, Luke, and their youngest two.
Deana and me!
Harrison begged for cotton candy! Some finally came around and we got him and Anna some!
Toby Mac was our FAVE!
Harrison took a snooze for about 30 minutes of the 4 hours.
I made everybody pose as we were walking back to our cars. All were good sports. Anna was out :)
Daddy and Harrison with the "Batman building" in the background.
We got back to Grammy and G-Daddy's pretty late. We went to bed and then got up early to head to the Land's church the next morning. All of the families were going to be part of the church service. Luke preached after this.
We shared our adoption testimonies via cardboard messages. They played the song "Oh How He Loves Us" and each family walked up and told their story.
We took the opportunity to use our testimony to encourage those who cling to that common doubt that they can't "love a child that isn't their own" You TOTALLY can!
After service, we had Chinese for lunch.
Grammy and G-Daddy joined us on Sunday so we got another photobooth photo
We did our best rounding up the Taiwanese cuties for their group pic...
Then, I rounded up some of my Mama friends and got pics...
Amy! Lucy's Mama
Leyton's Mama, Shelly
Abi's Mama, Denice
About this time, all the kids were pooped! We went to load everybody up and discovered that I had locked the keys in the car earlier that morning! 2.5 hours and $50 later....we headed home. Greer was over Mama locking the keys in the car :)
We got one last pic of Harrison with Mrs.Deana
and we called it a weekend! A great one indeed!