Sunday, January 15, 2012

2012 AWAA Ethiopia Disney Reunion

Every year there is an AWAA Reunion where families that have brought home children from Ethiopia or are in the process now can come together, meet, and have fellowship.  This year they came to Orlando, which is only 45 minutes from our house.  We did not spend the money to stay at Disney, since we are not home with our children yet.  Saturday night we had the opportunity to meet a few of the families at a pizza restaurant for dinner.  It was wonderful to talk to the children and parents who have been through everything we are walking through now. 

The family that coordinated the pizza dinner was the "Crazy Roots" (it's the name of their blog).  Here's a picture of Jayde and Easton with two of their children, Caleb and Bekeh:
Here is the link to their blog if you'd like to read their story:

There were two more highlights to the evening.  The first was meeting Eric and Laura Anderson in person.  Almost a year ago, I began reading messages from them in the AWAA group online.  This past year they started a t-shirt company/ministry called Happy Tees.  If you have been around our family at all, you have probably seen us wearing our t-shirts that have a picture on the front with the words underneath that say, "My Happy".  These are shirts made by the Anderson's company.  Every time you purchase a t-shirt, one is given to an orphan.  They have given them out in Africa and just recently added India to the list of places the shirts are handed out at orphanages.  It's so cool!  Here is the website:  Their daughter, Claire, is the baby on the home page.  We followed their journey to bring Claire home this past year and have emailed and been facebook friends.  Finally we met face-to-face and ate dinner at their table.  Jayde had the priveledge of sitting next to Miss Claire.  Here they are:

The reason our family was able to go at all to the pizza place was due to the information given by our final spotlight family of the evening, the Allecas.  One year ago, Anthony and Paige, along with their children Francesca, Marianna, Matteo, Tamirat (Tommy), and Million (Milly) came to our house and spent time with us.  Alan and I had just entered the program and signed up on the Ethiopia Yahoo group.  Paige said she was visiting family in Winter Haven, which is about half an hour from where we live.  So we decided to meet.  Their visit was a joy and an encouragement. We were able to ask questions from a family that brought home children only 6 weeks before.  She told me I was not crazy to be feeling all of the things I was feeling (she let me know that again last night, by the way.  Thanks, Paige!) and Anthony gave Alan advice from a guy's perspective.  We hit it off right away.  I wish we lived closer so we could see each other more.  They live in New York.  Here's the link to their blog so you can read their story:

This is a picture of the Kicklighter and Alleca kids at the restaurant (it's blurry, I know):

This one is better and it's of our whole families:

This was a picture of the kids from last year's visit:
We had a super time meeting everyone, but it did make us long to bring home our children ASAP.  


  1. Awww very cool, sounds like fun

  2. AWWWWWW!!! Love you guys!!! Our kids have grown so much! We are so blessed to make such wonderful connections through this crazy adoption journey! We are always here for you! I cant wait to see the children God chooses for you! Stay strong it is all worth it!