A China travel group reconnects
Would I recognize the girls? Will Tara make friends? These were some of the thoughts twirling around in my mind as we drove to Boulder, Colorado for the reunion of our China travel group, Guangdong 5-06. Had it been four years since our journey to China? I remembered meeting most of the parents in our group in Beijing in 2006 during orientation. All of the parents had an expectant aura about them. We were shown recent photos of the girls and even though the girls had grown so much since they were last photographed, each of the parents recognized their daughter instantly. The bond had already formed.
In 2008, our group had a two-year reunion in Chicago, but unfortunately my family was unable to attend. So it would be four years since I had seen the girls. I tried to go through the images of the babies we had seen at the hotel in Guangzhou. We were only together for 12 days but went through so much in just a short time— the joys, the crying, the sleepless nights, the endless paperwork and the outstanding Holt staff support.
When we finally made it to Boulder for the reunion, we walked in and instantly recognized our group. It took me a few minutes, but I started to recognize the girls. Although they had changed tremendously, the early personalities I had seen in China gave them all away. Four years had not changed the shy smile, the twinkling in the eyes, the certain exasperated look. I could not stop a few tears of joy at the sight of these beautiful, happy and adorable girls.
Tara made friends immediately and we spent the next two days going shopping, sightseeing and having a blast. It was with a heavy heart that we drove away from Boulder, but with the hope of seeing them again perhaps in two years. Tara still talks about her sisters from China and is making plans for our next reunion. I hope that the bond these girls have will continue to grow and will be a source of strength to them as they mature and navigate through life.
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