It's late on Sunday afternoon and I'm finally posting. Tired, tired, tired. But, it was so much fun.
Saturday began with pictures of the kiddos in their Ao Dai's. How cute. Then we did a big group picture. That was challenging, but it happened. I'll look forward to getting a copy of it.
Then the planned activities began. We had so much fun planning the weekend. Lots of crafts for the kids to do. Fans, slap bracelets, picture frames, street scenes, Ox hand print bags, leaves, and many more. I have to say Natasha Perryman is a creative genius. She has more creativity in her little fingernail than I've ever had in my entire life. We had four "rooms"....one was outside. The kids and families rotated through each room for about 20 minutes. It was a lot to do in a short amount of time...but it was great. The kids were able to take home a little piece of their homeland.
I was in the room with the Ox hand print bags. Kerrie Sala worked her tail off for 2 hours making hand prints with all of the children. I was a very popular station. Jordan Bayer was a huge help. In that room too was the Street Scene. Very popular. The kids were given a blank street and a sheet of stickers with all kinds of Vietnamese items (including a dancing dragon). What kid doesn't like stickers? Great fun. I wasn't in the other rooms, but if they had half as much fun in them as they did in our room...then the kids had fun.
After activities was a great Vietnamese meal from a local restaurant, Re Lei. He loves doing this for the kiddos each year. The food was fabulous.
After the meal, the kids went back to activities or to play while the parents had their workshop. Kim-Lan Carlson spoke. She is an adult adoptee as well as an adoptive mom. Her sweet little girl, Maile, came home in March 2007 from Ninh Thuan. Kim-Lan's story was amazing. Such a wonderful testimony. I was moved to tears on several occasions...especially seeing pictures of Drew's orphanage. Kim-Lan was funny, informative and sincere. We were honored to have her speak to us this year.
Drew slept through almost all of Kim-Lan's talk. Which was fine...I could listen and enjoy her. He fell asleep before lunch, woke up just as lunch was being served and fell asleep just after Kim-Lan started to talk. He was so tired. My arms were totally exhausted by the time we left. He's a heavy boy. He woke up with the applause and started clapping too. How sweet.
While I was exhausted...the weekend just wasn't long enough. There were so many people that I didn't get to talk to. But...at least I've been able to put faces with names now. Maybe next year, we'll have more time to talk and catch up. As the kids get a little older, I think it will be a little easier.
Looking forward to next year already. I hope that our Vietnam Family Weekend will just continue to grow and grow. I've posted a lot of pictures on Facebook and only a few here. Enjoy.