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Thai Family Reunion 2011

July 24, 2011
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First of all, Hannah is my hero.  She organized a spectacular weekend in Chicago for families with kids adopted from Thailand.

Second of all, put TFR 2013 on your calendar:  it’ll be in Boston.  If you have Thai kids and if you’re not there, you’re missing out!

Watching 65 amazing kids run around together made me feel so so lucky to have adopted my boys.

Reconnecting with old friends, meeting internet friends for the first time, discovering new friends.  It was surreal to see all these people in the same place and watch their kids playing with mine.  And while the 4 days were a blur of talking with lots of excellent people, I still didn’t manage to meet everyone.  It makes me look forward to the next reunion already.  In fact, we’re already hatching plans because we don’t want to wait 2 years to see everyone again.

Oh, and the kids had fun, too.

Friday we were fortunate to have P. perform a dance she choreographed and play the khim for us.  She did a beautiful job.  Little girls from the Thai Cultural Fine Arts Institute of Chicago also demonstrated some Thai dancing and then taught us a few dances.  They brought traditional Thai clothing for kids to try on and taught lotus flower origami.  There were weaving strips to make fish.  (Youngsters ran around with whole handfuls of woven fish, while the adults I sat with struggled to make anything recognizable.  Apparently this is a skill that is lost around the age of 18.)  Courtney and I had a few craft tables set up with cut-paper lanna flags, and Thai zodiac stamps to decorate fabric flags (which were quickly transformed into headbands by the kids) and hand-made journals.  Between the dancing, crafting, story telling and music, there was swimming and Chicago-style pizza.

Amazingly, despite more than eight inches of rain and some flooding in Chicago this weekend, we stayed dry on Saturday during a lovely picnic with yummy Thai food.  Well, we were all dry except for Pia, who fell in the pond.  (Sorry Courtney.  =P )

Here’s a smattering of photos from the weekend.  We hope to see you in Boston in 2013.

Pea's new friend

Impressively, the teenagers were excited to learn the dances

P. playing the khim

storytelling

weaving fish

stamping journals and flags

lotus flower origami

Jim's hidden talent

cutting lanna flags

journal making

Pea, grumpy as usual

some of the kids

Picnic

blogging buds

Pia and Jesse (aka Tea's competition =) )

snubbed by Pia, Tea found a new friend =)

the Wisconsin contingent

Thanks to everyone who helped make this weekend happen, especially Hannah and Sam, and also to everyone who came – our family had a wonderful time with all of you.  We hope to see you again soon.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. July 25, 2011 8:42 am

    So sorry we missed it this year, Robin, but next year will be so much easier. Right in our back yard (and favorite city, Boston). Can’t wait!

  2. Hannah permalink
    July 25, 2011 10:54 am

    Thanks Robin! I love the picture of Piya and Jesse 🙂 You don’t know it but you helped out a lot (and Courtney too) not only with the craft but my emotional support! We also had a great weekend and can’t wait to see everyone again soon!

  3. July 25, 2011 11:31 am

    I love it! Looks like tons of fun for the kids. (And also tons of work for those in charge of planning) I hope we can attend the 2013 reunion!

  4. Auntie M permalink
    July 25, 2011 1:53 pm

    I want to have some craft time, that looked like a ton of fun! And i it just me, or does it look like Tea has decided to join Courtney’s family in that last picture?

    • Courtney permalink
      July 26, 2011 1:38 am

      Clearly Tea was a bit miffed by Jesse making the moves on his girl, so he is staking his claim in our family. No one is going to mess with HIS arranged marriage. 🙂

  5. July 25, 2011 6:09 pm

    awe…looks like a fabulous time! we’ll be planning for Boston! Kim

  6. Courtney permalink
    July 26, 2011 1:36 am

    Indeed, Hannah is a superhero. I am going through major TFR withdrawal, I had that much fun. Even if my kid was the only one who managed to fall into the pond. 🙂

  7. rebecca permalink
    July 26, 2011 11:10 pm

    great write-up of the tfr! Beautiful pictures too. Such a nice time.

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