IMG_20130312_230802So once again, I am late to the party. In the midst of contractors, realtors, renters, work and kids we found a little bit of time to help put together the 4th Annual Adoption Picnic. But I have found it difficult to find the time to actually write about what an awesome experience it was.

When Jenn and I were going through the Adoption Classes (seems like a lifetime ago), I remember thinking how cool would it be if they asked us to come back and maybe speak to a future class. When they first asked, I was beyond excited, so needless to say I am thrilled anytime that we can potentially help and share our stories.

IMG_20130309_103841Even more thrilled that for the second year we got to help put together the adoption picnic. I guess that means we did ok the first time around.

This was an idea that some of the families before us came up with, and I am glad to be able to help keep it going. This year we had over 100 people attend, volunteers from UCF and even Fox News!

It was also our chance to introduce Grace to many of our friends that we have met along our adoption journey as well as catch up and see how all of these amazing kids are growing up. They are no longer babies

There seemed to be a lot of momentum going into this adoption picnic and prior to the event Jenn and I along with one of our adoption counselors, had the opportunity to conduct a radio interview (Listen Here Pastoral Ministries / Adoption).

IMG_20130313_123729I guess because we live it every day, I can take for granted what a unique and special gift the process of adoption is. It is easy to forget that there are still so many misconceptions regarding the adoption process and open adoption that it is through the reactions of others that you can be reminded how interesting adoption stories can really be.

As Jenn described how we arrived at open adoptions with both of our children and how those experiences while very different are so important and rewarding to our family, I thought she was going to have the entire radio station in tears.

Now when we were interviewed by the news crew, she was maybe not quite as eloquent. While answering a question (very naturally) she stopped, and all the sudden realized that she was being recorded and looked at the camera and said Is this live?

Well if it was, that was totally awkward.

2013-03-09 18.40.10They assured her it wasn’t and they would edit that out. When the news clip aired that evening she sounded great, I looked brainless and Nolin & Pap Pap seemed  to be everywhere in the background.

As we gathered around to take this year’s group picture, I looked at all these amazing and happy families and I can only hope that the adoption counselors realize that they did this, they made this happen, and they have such an impact on so many lives, that I can’t help but be a little envious.

We have been so fortunate to be parents to two amazing kids, that I forget how fortunate we’ve been to be part of such a selfless and beautiful triad (birth parent, adoptive parent & child).

That is really what I hope that the adoption picnic always helps to remind me of.

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