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February 28, 2009

Disney's Magic Kingdom (Bloggerfest 2009!)

Saturday group shot kids 
We got up early Saturday morning and headed straight to the Magic Kingdom to meet our friends.  Man, I gotta tell you that this was a VERY special day for me.  We were finally going to meet some Blogger friends that go back YEARS!  Including my dear friend, Donna, who I've known since October 2004 when we were both members of a non adoption forum and were paper chasing for our first adoption from China.  All these years later, we have Gwen and Catherine!  More pics of them later....

So, here's the Kiddo Group Shot.  Not an easy feat with so many little faces looking everywhere except the camera!  I had to do some Photoshop magic to get everyone's best side.  And I added Catherine who was there only in spirit when this group photo was taken.  Her Momma was bummed out that she missed being part of the group shot so I hope she's feeling better now!   

There was also Gabi (who we met in 2005 when we adopted Gwen) and the cuties in black dresses and red and white bows are the darling "Moose" and "Goose".    The last two in the pic above are Katie Starr and her brother Ethan (who was not quite himself today).  It was a highlight of this trip that I got to meet their momma, Lori.  She's even more wonderful in real life and, again, I'm wishing California wasn't so far away!  Not pictured were Esther and Emma of "Two Twin Terrors" (more on Esther later) and Gwynn of "Jamail Family Blog" who was wearing the cutest little home-made Disney shirt I've ever seen! 


Saturday shenzhen girls 

Gwen is from Shenzhen and they don't seem to have many International Adoptions from this SWI so the few families we know who have adopted from Shenzhen are that much more special to us.
 
Gabi's family traveled with our group of 38 in September 2005. She was three years old and she really opened our eyes to the possibilities of SN adoption.  Before that, we didn't really understand that it existed.   Right then and there, we decided that our 2nd daughter would be one of the perfect children from the SN list because we knew that ALL kids have SN's and it was no big deal to us that they were identified beforehand.
 
When I finally saw Gabi again today, my heart was overwhelmed.  Here was this lovely child with the only parents she'll ever remember and she just shined!  A beautiful, BEAUTIFUL, 6 year old!  Her mom and I spent some wonderful time together later this evening and it really did my heart good to get so much confirmation from another parents I know and trust and respect.   I just wish we all lived closed.
 
Same with Esther
Gwen and esther disney and china blog 
We met Esther in September 2005 when we were in China adopting Gwen and visiting her SWI.  Shortly before traveling, I found Esther's mom, Nancy, online and promised that I would look for her baby girl at the orphanage.  A few months after we met Esther, her dad and big sister traveled to China to bring her home.  Today she's one of 7 children in this amazing family.  We are so happy that we got to finally meet them but I'm a bit sad that I couldn't meet Sera (big sister) because I've really come to know and love her all these years.  I hope we'll someday meet though!

Saturday lollipop girls 
Here are the girls all lined up in anticipation of a lollipop!  There were five lollies and just one of them was the coveted red one so everyone was giddy with anticipation that she'd be the lucky one to get it.  The fourth lolly was red (and it went to Gabi) and Gwen was equally excited for her friend and mournful of her loss and we caught it all on camera.  I just love the last photo (above, bottom left).  Just look at her face!  The bottom half is smiling but the top half is about to cry!  (precious!!)

 Saturday teacups 
Next, we rode all of the roller coasters that were newly made available to us becuase of Maddy's recent vertical accomplishment.  She's finally exactly 40 inches tall and we're letting the good times roll!  But the old times are also pretty dang good so here she is with her sister and our friend Donna (with Catherine) on the Teacups.  We're really glad that Donna volunteered to get dizzy so we could stand on the sidelines and pretend to sacrafice all the fun by taking pictures!

Mk 3-000001 
At 8:30 PM, several of us met in the lounge of the Animal Kingdom Lodge (sans husbands and kids) to share some quality girl time.  In addition to the moms we met today, Beth and her mom (Carol) also met us.  Also, Martha was there (with Hannah who joined us at the end of the evening).    This was the first "Mom's Night Out" I've been on since long before 2005 when we adopted Gwen.  My heart is  full!  Thanks so much to all my wonderful friends who took the time to join us in Florida!

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