A little late with my post, but I have to agreed with many that this was one of the most special First Fridays we've attended. Check out the new First Fridays web page for more info on this incredible experience.
The evening started with dinner shared by the Straights, the Christophers, the Perrys, the Hoffmans and the Nolans. As matches have occurred and children come home, our quiet dinner group has progressed to loud gathering with mulitple children. We must be quite a site for other diners to see.
The speaker for the evening was Amy Eldridge from Love Without Boundaries. It was amazing to hear her stories of children in China. She shared what she has learned about the abandonment of children in China. It's not as simple as the one child per family policy that's in place. Many children with obvious physical differences are abandoned because they are considered to bring bad luck. Parents who cannot afford surgeries to correct problems may feel they have no choice but to abandon the child. Sometimes there is pressure from extended family to be rid of a child with a difference. It's a very sad situation that has led our son to us and us to our son. It's amazing that God can make something beautiful out of such an ugly situation. If you feel a pull toward these orphaned children, please consider a holiday donation to Love Without Boundaries.
We were able to share the news of our match with Tong Tong. It was incredible being the ones with the referral after so many months of seeing others being matched and coming home. Shelby and her family were back from China and it was amazing seeing her in real life. (And I understand she wasn't at her best. When she's well, she's gonna be something!) We got to hang out with Sheridan, who is just a couple of months older than Tong Tong. We kinda got to "try him out for size." What a gift. It will be awesome that the boys will be able to play with each other. Sophia was there for her first First Friday visit. She's beyond cute.