The wedding

One of the main selling points for us to attend this year's national reunion for AWAA was that Amy (our guide back in 2007) and Lineaker (another of AWAA's popular guides) were being celebrated with a church wedding.

I need to stop and take a minute to explain that Amy was so much more than a guide to us during our first trip to China! She was more like a mothering expert/way maker/problem solver/translator/shopping guide and much, much more all rolled into one. For Ian and I, she was so comforting because as ready as we had felt to step into the parenting role, suddenly thousands of miles from home we found ourselves somewhat unprepared. I mean, I'll never forget getting the update about Kylie in the Beijing airport that said, "She is very, very, very afraid of strangers!" Amy stepped right over and immediately began to calm me in that moment. And thankfully Amy was there in those first few days (both before and after our own mothers left) to help fill in the gaps of our novice parenting techniques.

She is part of Kylie's history and on the days/nights when we use her story as a nap/bedtime story, Amy is mentioned. What a blessing to be able to participate in such a special day for Amy!

The little church was full of Asian children ranging from about 14 down to toddlers who shared that same bond with Amy.

Former Lianjiang SWI roommates, sweet Kristin and Kylie, delivered into the arms of their parents on February 5, 2007 by Amy.

Each child was given a long stemmed rose and as Amy walked down the aisle the children presented their roses to her.
Amy was radiant!

It was touching to see that Amy was obviously overcome with emotion as she began to realize how important she was to so many families. As she got closer to us we saw that her face was wet from tears of joy. Perhaps it was because she actually took the time to stop and gaze at each child that she took a flower from. I'm so thankful to my friend Maria who caught this precious moment for Kylie...Don't they both look a bit different than the last time Amy and Kylie were together?
Following the ceremony we lingered in the warm sanctuary to share stories and memories with Amy and Lineaker. About 2/3s of the families there shared thoughts and again. It was a very happy time!

We took advantage of the length of the receiving line to get a quick shot of the our beautiful girls! The only downer is that we were missing Nellie, Hallie, Olivia, Marisa & Sarah.
Lottie, Grace, Caroline, Kylie, Darby, & Kristin (with Henry in the background)
Pay no mind to the hand behind Kylie's head, the little brother popping out of the pew behind them (both he and Caleb insisted on being in several "Guangdong girl photos), or the fact that Lottie (who was not feeling well) was sound asleep.

Finally it was our turn to give Amy a hug and tell her face to face how much she meant to us. We HEART Amy!
Our family with the honored bride and groom


Ally said...

Awhh... Thank you posting these. We so wished we could of made it:( What a special moment for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Amy always radiated love and beauty even on the front step of a tour bus in China, but seeing her as a bride with all her little girls is wonderful! Thanks for posting those pictures. I wish we could have been there. I have video of Amy saying goodbye to our group at the end of our trip in 2005. She was in tears... as were we.

Ann Marie said...

What a beautiful story of love come full circle. :)

Ann Marie

Allison said...

Oh my GOODNESS, how beautiful Amy looks! I wish we could have been there too. Amy was in tears saying goodbye to our group as well, much as we all were.

Heather said...

Oh how I wish we could have been there. We heart Amy and Lineker too - they are wonderful! Love the pictures as always, thanks.

Our Journey said...

What a GREAT day that must have been for them. Lineker was our guide the whole time - I wish we could have been there too!! How sweet that the kids were able to give her her boquet of roses.. so sweet!!

Rachelle said...

WONDERFUL! They were our guides when we got the boys. I so wish we could have been there. Amy looked beautiful! So glad you posted these!

Nancy said...

What a great post! I hope we get a guide as special as Amy. Love how the little brothers get in on the girl photo! Too funny. The last photo is great of all of you. Ian's really tall (or you are really short, tee hee). Glad you had a wonderful time. Amy seems like a very special person.

Larisa said...

wow what a special moment!

Anonymous said...

Awe! Amy looks beautiful! What a sweet day!
Aunt Cici