A few months ago Jenn & I received an exciting call from Catholic Charities the organization that helped us adopt Nolin. No it was not to add another member to our family, but it was to see if we wouldn’t mind helping organize the 3rd Annual Adoption Picnic.
It was exciting because we were so blessed and fortunate with everything that led us to Nolin, that I personally feel it is my responsibility to give back, support and help out anyone and anytime that I can. Not to mention that I have never minded putting together a party.
For a few months we worked on getting the lists of families together and creating RSVP lists (and a fantastic spreadsheet which just reinforced the fact that Jenn thinks I am crazy). We arranged to have a special appearance from the Easter Bunny (thanks Lee for all your help), and having other activities for everyone to participate in. The night before the picnic we had our friends Cori and Andrew over for some adult beverages, Easter Egg assembly and then a game of Pinocle (and if my 35th birthday today does not make me ancient, then playing Pinocle on a Friday night does).
I don’t know that I have ever seen something get Nolin’s attention quite like Easter Eggs. He sat calmly at the table for almost an hour helping put together 350 Easter Eggs and announcing each time he put one in the pile. While he was pretty good at assembly he was even better at unwrapping the chocolate. The problem was that he wasn’t very interested in the chocolate, but he did enjoy feeding it to Jenn & I. I love chocolate, but eventually we had to hide the candy from him and try to keep his attention with empty eggs or else we would have all been sick and would not have had any candy left for the following day.
We arrived about an hour early to get everything set up and thankfully things went off without a hitch…for the most part. We realized as we were pulling up that we forgot a few things and had to start making calls to friends to bring extra supplies when they came, but really nothing that we could not easily adjusted for.
There was even a reporter there from Florida Catholic who interviewed both Jenn & I as well as another family about our adoption experience and journey. After almost two years it was kind of fun to remember just how crazy and exciting that period of our lives was. That is the great thing about these picnics because we have a chance to relive one of the most exciting times in our lives, reconnect with the families that we met during our journey and watch their kids grow up.
Planning the picnic this year, I came to fully appreciate how great these events are and will be as Nolin gets older. We are lucky because have friends who have also recently adopted and have children around Nolin’s age, but it will be a nice opportunity for Nolin to create relationships with other adopted children if he chooses to as he gets older.
I also came to fully appreciate the importance of pre-planning before an even like this. See Jenn and I are kind of new to this whole Easter Egg thing and it never occurred to us that maybe chocolate wasn’t the best candy for an Easter Egg hunt after sitting in the hot Florida sun for an hour.
As the kids all excitedly ran around collecting eggs, it looked like a scene from The Blob. We had kids running around opening 350 Easter Eggs and as they opened them up they were greeted with an explosion of caramel and chocolate all over their hands and faces. You then had parents scrambling to find wet napkins while trying to take pictures…whoops!