Saturday, May 28, 2011

Back to Colonial Times

I am SO enjoying the super high speed internet here at our hotel in Maryland!  I have never had it so fast and wish we had such speed at home.  This is my 3rd post for the night, it is getting late and I am running out of editing steam to sort through the hundreds of photos I have taken on this trip.  I take tons, then cull out the best, photoshop them a bit, then post them but that takes a long time when I have 1000 to go through!

We headed off to Williamsburg with our friends, one of whom was a particularly excellent tour guide with a voluminous knowledge of early American history.  It was so interesting to watch the re-inactments and to see people everywhere dressed in period costume.  I think we have found Kenny's future career right there in Williamsburg.  He would make a fantastic tour guide here!!  His only complaint is that he could never live in this part of the country due to the terrible humidity.  I can't blame him, I have been melting a bit too and missing our "dry heat" that I so often make fun of.

Here are a few pictures to share, some of which are "just because" and some actually make a point of showing a little of our experience in Williamsburg:

Doormen in training

Practicing their new skills!

This is the closest Angela will get to a dress until her wedding day!

We all giggled over this, the 1700's version of a commode.  Or as the girls call it, a "toe-let"

We all learned a lot from the various guides

Joshie's new addiction, following in Mom's footsteps.  No, just was  just so hot we all needed a  pick-me-up

Around every corner there was something to watch being re-inacted!

The New Governor

This man on the right was in character and telling this "slave" that he had better watch himself, it was almost a little too real and got under my skin a bit watching it.

A little flushed from the heat but still going strong!

Josh looked so different in this shot,so grown up

Listening to the Jailer describe conditions, everyone was very glad we live in 2011!

No lens hood, so this shot turned out with glare, but one of the kids took it and I loved it.

Can you tell that the kids all shared the camera for awhile?  Can you believe how big Matthew is these days?  Wish I could stop time...

No words...

This trip has been wonderful on so many levels.  We are having the chance to enjoy our children not just for the kids they are, but with a glimpse of the adults they are gradually becoming.  We have such gratitude for the closeness we all share, and for this time together to simply have fun and not worry about work, school, adoptions, or anything else we have spent the past 10 years fretting over.  There have been so many insights about everything we have seen and experienced, so much time to hold hands, walk arm in arm, just stand and hug each other for a little longer without interruption.  Of course there is the practical side of the trip, as the kids have gained so much from seeing iconic places and "connecting the dots" after having learned about them prior to traveling.  But the single most important part of this trip, aside from seeing beloved friends, has been spending uninterrupted time together, enjoying the company of one another.  These days won't last and will soon pass.  We want to squeeze every last drop of togetherness out of them that we can.

And who knows?  Maybe...just maybe...we are building not just memories, but deeper relationships that will surprise us and carry well into adulthood.  Respecting the personhood of our children, them respecting the authority we need to have in their lives right now, appreciating the beauty of "family" and being unhesitant to express that appreciation at every single opportunity...all of that adds up over time.  As Angela aptly put it not all that long ago, it's like pennies in our big coin jar, it all adds up one little penny, or one little hug at a time.  Some of our kids' Love Banks spent years with a mere penny or two rattling around inside.  Slowly we are building a cavernous sized vault which will have hundreds of safe deposit boxes labeled which will hold hugs, kisses, hand holds, private moments to share feelings, and much more.  Those safe deposit boxes will ultimately surround the rest of the space which will one day contain the love they share with their future family.  That cavernous space will ALWAYS have room for more to come in, but will forever remain encircled in the safe zone of the love of this family.

And isn't that what family is all about?  It's not really about seeing the attractions or saying "I've been there!", it's about creating moments that fill those empty safe deposit boxes, that creates a sense of safety and reminds us of the steadfast love of not only our family, but of God reaching out to us through our family.

God is all over this trip, hovering and circling.  God has been with us on the streets of New York City, and back in time at Williamsburg.  God has been in the hearts of those who have opened their homes to us, and those who have reached out to help us on the street.  Most importantly, God has been awake in the wee hours of the morning as we talk quietly in a hotel room, and God has been buckled in with us in the car as we have laughed and giggled our way up and down the East Coast.  God has whispered to us in the Sacred the cathedrals, as  we quietly walked beside long, black walls, and as we heard taps played where the soldiers uniforms were so crisp and their heels snapped to attention with a sharp click.

May God continue to travel with us this next week, may others encounter God along the way with us.  May those that love us and support us know that they too are deeply  loved.  Sometimes, that may be all we have to offer...but it is all of what we have.



Trisha said...

Our grandmother lives in Williamsburg, such an awesome place to explore. The kids look like they are really enjoying it. They seem very interested in everything from toilets to jail.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back to your blog. The pictures are awesome--special thanks to the kids who took YOUR picture, Cindy. They are priceless looks at a love that runs deeper than the ocean. Love the pictures of all the kids and of Dominic. Good thing you were in a humid climate or all those awe-opened mouths would dry out. Thanks for sharing places that many of us will never get to visit.

Waiting impatiently for your return yet delighted you are there and enjoying time to at least scan our history,

Lenore said...

What a wonderful trip you all are having!! Loving all of the pictures you're posting and the words that go along with them! The pictures that the kids took of you with them, are really should step in front of the camera more often!
I'm reliving my 1994 trip to the East coast through you! I adored the couple of times I visited Williamsburg (my Uncle lived there and taught at William and Mary) and I loved Monticello! There's so much to see and do out there and it sounds like you're taking a wonderful sampling! Thank you for updating your blog when you can, as I'm always looking forward to "what's next"! Thinking of all of you!!

4texans said...

Wonderful post, I've always wanted to go to Williamsburg!