Monday, August 18, 2008

Indianapolis trip

Top: Our family at the zoo.
2nd photo: Kandi and Zane
3rd photo: David and Adam
4th photo: Sananda and Olivia (Lynda's girls) amuse Anya Rashi.
5th photo: David and Sananda up to mischief -- standing on a big rock!

Top: Anya Rashi and David are ready for dinner!
2nd photo: Anya Rashi and Sananda in the back yard.
3rd photo: Sananda, Anya Rashi and David by the tool bench.
4th photo: Christin and David.
5th photo: Lynda and Sananda.

Wow. How do I sum up an amazing weekend in a few paragraphs? Our whole family piled into the van and headed south to Indianapolis to meet new friends and visit old and dear ones.

The first half of the weekend was spent meeting some of Anya Rashi's orphanage buddies and their families. Since December when she joined our family, we have been keeping in touch with others who adopted from the Matri Sneha baby home in 2007. It is important to all our families to maintain this connection with our children's first friends and cribmates. We met the families of David, Sananda, and Zane.

Friday night was a family cookout at David's grandparents' home, and the moms and dads spent lots of time ooohing and aaahing at each others' kids. The food was delicious, and David's grandparents were so kind to open their home to us. It was quite a crowd! Between the three families at the cookout, there were 10 children.

We heard a lot about everyone's travels in India and their adjustments once they arrived home. We also got a chance to find out why each family was drawn to adopt from India. Each story was its own little miracle, and it was clear that God had a distinct purpose for each family's journey.
In an unbelievable coincidence, we discovered that Peter and Adam (David's dad) had met before! A few years ago, Adam's band Ashworth played at our church. When he saw Peter, he thought they'd met before, and the two of the them pieced it together. Incredible!

On Saturday morning, we all met up at the zoo. We rambled through some really terrific animal habitats, and had fun watching as the kids got to pet sharks and watch a dolphin show. At lunch time, the parents took turns tag-teaming the kids and squeezing in some time to talk to each other.

For me, that was the best part of the reunion -- meeting and talking with the amazing women I've been chatting with online. Lynda, Christin and Kandi were all so warm, welcoming, and willing to share details about life with their children. It was priceless to finally have faces to picture when I "talk" to them online.

After the little kids had reached their civility threshold (read: MUST NAP NOW!!!), we left the zoo. Some of the families met for dinner that night and church the next day . . . but we had to say goodbye.

For us, it was on to the "old and dear friends" portion of the weekend. We met up with Trina and Tyler, two friends who feel like family. Tyler was my first "adopted" child, in a sense. He and Trina moved in with me during my single days, when he was just 9 months old. We lived together for almost four years, until Peter and I were married, then Trina's museum career took her to Indiana. We are still close -- Tyler is 15 and learning to drive now (yipes!) -- and it was a joy to see them.

We celebrated Aaron's and my birthdays with a pizza and sundae party on Saturday night. We had some special guests -- Trina's parents came for the weekend so they could meet Anya Rashi in person instead of just on this blog! We love spending time with them, and they treat our children like grandkids.

On Sunday morning we went to church together, then ate lunch and played bacci ball back at Trina and Tyler's house. All too quickly, it was time to start our drive back to Wisconsin.

Did I mention that our 7-hour drive home included a new pet? That's right. Just to make things interesting, we drove back with Cleo Azul, our new parakeet, courtesy of Trina and Tyler. Don't worry, we knew about the bird factor ahead of time -- it was only a surprise to Aaron and Nathan. :o)

The bird, ironically, was the best traveller of the six of us. The decrepit adults were a little sore from all the sitting, and Anya Rashi decided she was done at hour four of the drive. (Thank you, thank you, Julie, for loaning us your portable DVD player!!) Anya Rashi will not watch TV at home (too many better things to do!), but was all smiles after a dose of Elmo.

In slow traffic in downtown Chicago, we were treated to an airshow. Aaron and Nathan got to see some fighter jets flying in formation, and we heard one break the sound barrier. They swooped in and around the Sears Tower and other downtown buildings, and flew straight up into the clouds too. It sure made that part of the drive memorable!

So now, home again, we're grateful for all the blessings contained in this one weekend. Thanks to all who made it so wonderful -- Christin for organizing, Lynda and Kandi for doing similar crazy drives, and Trina, Tyler and company for a memorable birthday celebration and a new pet.


Julie & Patrick said...

Oh! I am so envious!! What a wonderful weekend you've had. It sounds wonderful and the children are all darling, darling.

I bet the conversation was none-stop chatter...for both adults and kiddos!

Glad it was a success and looking forward to attending the next gathering.

Julie R

Kristi said...

So. Jealous.

;) But I'm glad you all had a great time!

Cindy said...

Wow Nancy! What a trip--I am SOOO jealous!!

What beautiful kiddos!! ALL of them!

I know you are so happy to be fortunate to meet and know these folks. . . so glad you had a great time.

Candice said...

I love the pictures! I'm so glad you got to make the trip and see everyone. What a great idea. Glad you are back home safe and sound. ;)


Amy said...

She is so precious! What a great thing to be able to get together with all of these families. I would love to add you to my blog. What is your email address -

Jennifer said...

Sounds like sooo much fun :)
I just saw your blog on MWichild and thought I'd take a look! We are adopting a little girl (3yrs old) from Bangalore India! Oh I can NOT wait to get her home praying for the fall of this know India and the courts.

We got NOC March 25 and still awaiting our first date :( But it WILL happen in God's Time. I am assured of that!

Well now that I have left our life story here I will get to the dishes. But so glad I looked! I have read Lynda's (Sanada's Mom right?) blog too :)