Sunday Snapshot {Non-related family}

Here they are.

Four of the "Guangdong gals" as we moms of the girls tend to call them.  They simply call themselves "China sisters."

Some people get caught up on the "technicality" of family relation.  But these four girls were "born" to their forever families in a hot, crowded room in Guangzhou, China on the 5th of  February, 2007.  In our eyes ~ and much more importantly ~ our hearts, that makes them sisters.

And therefore their parents and siblings, along with the parents and siblings of the other seven girls of the Guangdong section of AWAA's travel group 121, are our family too.  Even if none of us are "related."

Three of our families are blessed to live within twenty minutes of one another.  Kylie attends weekly play dates with Lottie and goes to church with Darby.  And while Caroline and her family live in Indiana, we get to see them at least once a year when we go visit Grandpa Curly.  This time though, we got to see them for a "mini-reunion" in NC as they were on their way home from the beach.

For about four hours time stood still while we enjoyed "just being" as four families brought together by an amazing bond.  There was corn to be shucked,

and a NC summertime BBQ feast to be consumed.
In the 3 1/2 years that the girls have been home, our four families have grown from 17 to 21 in number.  Henry and Caleb became the little brothers of Darby and Kylie on the same day in October of 2008.

"Baby Corrie," who joined Lottie's family in June, found a new friend in Caroline's sister Abby.
And our Darcy, who came home in March, asserted herself as "one of the girls" while they ate dinner.
We ate, took a few pictures, caught up on lives, discussed future dreams and simply enjoyed the few hours we had together.

The NC girls may not get to see Caroline often, but it was heartwarming how they picked up right where they left off the last time, whether it was just in May when we were in Indiana,
or last October at the AWAA national reunion.
At one time I thought that we'd continue to visit with these folks "for the sake of our girls."  But somewhere along the way they simply became family.  And now I couldn't imagine my life without any of them in it.
As one of the girls recently said (after having her first "mean girl" encounter), "Mama, my China sisters would never treat me like that."  You're right sweet girl, they wouldn't.  And you've got a really big extended "China family" that has got your back as well!

We're already looking forward to the next time we can gather to share a little bit of life together!


Ni Hao Y'all


Shonni said...

That really is special that all of you have developed those relationships! The pictures definitely tell the story of love and fun!

Heather said...

Beautiful kids! And u r so right about the bond...they r loving sisters and share something very special

The Ferrill's said...

Amen and amen! I love that yall are still SO close-knit, Kristi! And I know JUST WHAT YOU MEAN about the technicality of being "related". My post today was just about that very thing! ;)
I'm so glad you got some refreshing fellowship with your FAMILY! ;)
Can't wait to see you in two weeks!
(I am RELENTLESS. In case you haven't noticed)

Cindy M said...

We just love all of you SO much. Thanks for everything! Wish we could have spent just a tad more time together...okay, so a week, at least, but I'll take what I can get. It is such a blessing to be together. I can't thank God enough.

But, now, you all are going to have to do something about that heat if I'm ever gonna talk my crew into moving south!! Shew!

Nancy said...

Wow, that is so great you have all kept in touch and have such a special bond! And girl, you are SO tan! :)

C.C. said...

Tears well up in my eyes as I read this post and look through pictures of our precious families. You all are one of God's sweetest gifts to our family. We had such a wonderful time, and it amazes me how we all just pick up where we left off, like no time has past.

Traci said...

Looks like fun! How sweet that the girls have each other!

Traci said...

Looks like fun! How sweet that the girls have each other!

Our Journey to China said...

This is awesome that you guys are still so close and that some of you live so near to each other - God is truly good!
Love to you!

Amanda said...

Sounds like miracles are happening in your lives every day!!! It was wonderful to see you and your family today!!!

Tina Michelle said...


Dardi said...

That is so cool! What a blessing for everyone!!

zentmrs said...

What a great reunion! Families, however they are formed, are just the best. Thanks for sharing!

Shannon said...

Oh what a special time it was! Such a sweet blessing!!! God is oh so good!!
Cant wait til the next reunion when ALL the girls and families can get together!

I just LOVE our family!!!

Nicole said...

I couldn't agree more! The "extended family" you acquire through this process is just like God. You expect a new little one, but God "one ups" us and gives us more than we could have asked or thought of. Just like Him to do that!

Melissa said...

My heart longs for a relationship like these for our next child. We missed out meeting other families since we traveled along, and so hope we can have this blessing in the future!!! What an awesome post, and I love the little China sisters and brothers and the family that you all have become!

Sean and Mic said...

Love it!
My daughter's China Sisters are her only "sibilings" and while some of our friends just don't get it- the connection that she has with them is unlike anything else.
I wish that every internationally adopted child could have the kind of support that you are giving to your kids (and that I try to give mine). Plus, as you have found, you make some amazing friends along the way that are just like family. Fun to read your blog. Your kids are amazing and absolutely adorable! :>)

ps- Where did you get the frog tent? I could see one of those in my house!

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