Tuesday, September 13, 2011

We Met in China.....

Kim and Chuck live only 7 hours from us, yet we first met in China, Hohhot China to be exact. They were there to bring home their 2 year old daughter, Shiloh, and we were there to bring home our 2 year old son, Luke.

Kim and I found each other a little before leaving for China as we waited. We talked online and eventually on the phone. We hoped that it might work out that we would be in Inner Mongolia, China together. It was looking a little iffy. Kim and Chuck knew they would be there a particular week and we didn’t know until later. It all panned out and we were arriving there on the same day, and at the same hotel!

We met Luke the day we arrived and they were excited right along with us and anxious to see Luke as quickly as possible. I know it had to be hard for them to wait to get their daughter because they didn’t get to meet her until two days later. (Luke and Shiloh were from different orphanages in Inner Mongolia). Not long after Shiloh arrived in their room, we came by to meet her as well. She was SO tiny compared to Luke! We all had a great time getting to know each other (and our newest additions) as we hung out in China.

Little did we know then that our bond would extend this far. Since we came home from China, we’ve stayed in touch, over the internet, over the phone, and made plans to get together over a long weekend.

Well, we finally had our weekend! Labor Day weekend, Kim, Chuck, Dakota, and Shiloh, came to see us and were also our first guests in The Cedar Loft! We were so excited to have a special place for them to stay. By the way, they dubbed it “The Turner Bungalow”.

It was just like we picked up right where we left off! We had never met 6 year old Dakota, so we were excited about meeting her for the first time too! She took to Joy immediately.

We had a wonderful weekend together! But, it passed much too quickly!

They arrived on Thursday and we spent most of that day just catching up on everything. First off, Joy gave Dakota and Shiloh manicures. Luke was their audience at the “salon”. Later the kids swam and I just realized that we never got photos from that. Oh well…….they had a great time. Chuck was the “big kid” swimming with all of the kiddos. He’s great with kids!  We had dinner at home and Luke and Shiloh had their "own table".

The little ones were worn out by the end of the evening.  Dakota fell asleep on the couch; Shiloh fell asleep standing up, leaning over the chair; and Luke fell asleep in the other recliner.  They all had to be carried to their beds.  :)

Friday was a full day. We spent most of Friday at Incredible Pizza. We ate WAY too much and the kids had a great time. Here are some highlights from that day:

The kids got their faces painted. It was actually the first time Luke had ever had his painted. I didn't get a picture of Dakota, but her's was cute too!

Later that night at home, Joy getting tackled!

That evening Joy had her Chinese language class and we all came home and snacked on the desserts I made before they arrived. I'm so glad I did that because instead of spending the weekend cooking and cleaning up, all of that was done and we were able to spend our time visiting.

Saturday was a full day of sightseeing  and MORE eating, and we were all exhausted at the end of the day. Yet, we came home and ate again…… :)

Kiddos with the Peabody Duckmaster

They were doing the tango on the ballroom floor of The Peabody Hotel to the singing tune of "Wags the Dog, He Likes to Tango" from the Wiggles.

I love this photo of Shiloh running through the River Park

The daddys and the babies...

There was a Pirate Festival going on.  Here the kids are with none other than Captain Jack Sparrow.  Notice Luke wasn't crazy about that at all.

Sunday was a little more low key. I really enjoyed sitting and looking at Kim’s very BIG albums that she scrapbooked of China! She did such a great job on them! It made me want to get busy on my photos as well! We enjoyed an evening out to dinner at our favorite Asian restaurant and the kids had a little while to play in the play area of the mall.

Kids Table

Maybe you noticed the extra kid? That's Hang Hang. He's the nephew of our server at the restaurant. He's gotten to know us a little bit. He's only been in the US a few weeks. Of course, Joy's in love....again! :)

Hang Hang (or Jason as he's known) calls Joy "Jie Jie"

Luke has made a friend!

We call that "The China Pose"

And my goodness, they came bearing all kinds of gifts! They brought snacks galore…….and much more! Do they know me or what? Look what Chuck gave up from his country antique collection to bring me! Anyone know what this is? I’d like to see how many people guess it.

It's different....and I am happy to add it to my collection! It found a place of honor in my kitchen near the stove.

They really are such giving people! They brought Luke a puzzle, Joy a journal, and Kim even donated hairbows for Joy to sell to raise money for our future China trip, as well as teaching her how to make this particular style of hairbows too. Oh and Kim even thought to bring a couple of crafts for the kids to make while they were here. Let me tell you, Kim is one organized traveler! Thank you Kim and Chuck for everything!

We have made friends for life. I can’t wait to see how the kids grow each year. (Luke and Shiloh had both grown so much since that time in China). Oh, and Kim and I have decided that an arranged marriage just might be in order. :)

I wonder if they have any idea what their moms are planning?  :)

We really enjoyed your visit Kim, Chuck, Dakota and Shiloh! You are always welcome here! We love you guys!


Sharon said...

How wonderful for you to meet new friends.
Those kids are so cute.
Joy is such a treasure I see why the kids fall for her. She is so beautiful.
thanks for sharing your weekend.

Sheila said...

Hello Tammy~
What an awesome weekend spent with treasured friends! I always look forward to reading your blog and keeping up to date with your sweet family.
I can see wonderful memories were made this weekend and appreciate you sharing with us. Beautiful children!

LynnMarie said...

WOW what a awesome time you had and what great memories you made.

renee said...

Well I am glad you all were able to reconnect! How wonderful for everyone. Nice photos of the kids. Joy does amazing with the younger children, maybe she will become a teacher.
Have a good evening,

bettyj said...

Tammy, what beautiful pictures! Isn't is amazing how God crosses our paths with others, even as far away as China? I am so glad to have found your blog. It is such an uplifting read. You have a beautiful family.

Melissa said...

How great that you all have kept in touch and continue to make the connection happen! And yeah, those kids are pretty darn cute!

Joy ~ Doodlebug ~ said...


I had so much fun with Mr. Chuck, Ms. Kim, Dakota, and Shiloh! I can't wait to see them again!

I love you! 8!

God bless you!

Joy :D

Blessed Beyond said...

How awesome!!! I'm so thankful that yall had this time together and were able to make even more lasting memories! What a super special bond for both families! All the kiddos are so cute!!!
Hugs and Blessings,