While in China we met the most darling child named Jewel, but you may remember her as Hui Dan from a previous post. She is Kate's family... her China sister. These sweeties shared the same last name....as well as a home, food, clothing and an occasional crib playdate for most of their lives. Although not biologically related, they are the real deal...sisters through and through.
This photograph was taken in April, on the day that we visited Kate's orphanage. The nannies told us that Kate's best friend was waiting for her...crying out "Jia-Jia." We couldn't wait to meet her. Kate (Jia-Jia) ran to her friend and insisted on climbing in the crib. Notice in the picture the hand draped over the second bed. That bed once belonged to Kate. The sweeties (cribs pushed end-to-end) were neighbors for nearly 2 years.
We spent that day playing and loving on the children who were and will always remain Kate's China family. When it was time to go, it was a painful goodbye...just look at Jewel (being soothed by our translator). Although the tears were freely flowing, children and adults alike, I found comfort in learning that Kate's best buddies would be going home a few months later. Dan-Dan to the US and Xiong to Europe. I know it's a big world but was hopeful that one day I would be able to find them.
And then a miracle happened. Just 2 weeks later, I was able to find both Dan and Xiong's families. Xiong, now Johannes, lives in Sweden and his mother and I have kept in contact over the last 6 months. Dan, now Jewel, lives in....ORLANDO!!! You know where this is going right?
A separation of 6 months was erased in an blink of an eye. A few weeks ago, Kate ran to Jewel in the hotel lobby of The Animal Kingdom Lodge in Orlando, Fl. After careful inspection of one another, these ladies picked up where they left off.
We had them pose for a few pictures, roasted marshmallows..or at least tried and then checked out the animals at the resort.
After that, they made their way to the playground where we spent the rest of the evening playing and celebrating friendship and family. Time moved quickly and we agreed to meet up a few days later.
This time, the girls did not hesitate upon meeting. They were ready to swim!
And Jewel showed off her impressive ability to float..and to go under the water with her eyes open.
They snuggled a bit....
and posed for a few more pics before losing interest.
Then it happened... they found the water jet.
Oh, it was so much fun to play with.
Until someone..name unmentioned...felt she didn't get her fair-and-square turn pushing her fingers into the hole.
And with a left and a right...these sisters expressed their feelings in the most logical manner they could muster.
Just like old times.
Many thanks to Jewel's family.... it was a blessing beyond measure! We are looking forward to our second visit!