When we adopted Elise, we carefully considered several agencies with solid reputations and long histories in Chinese adoptions. In weighing our choices, we went with Children's Hope International (based in St. Louis) and were very pleased overall. One of the big deciding factors in using CHI was the hope that in using a more local agency, perhaps some of the families from our travel group would also live in this area.
Nope. None. Sigh.
We've kept in touch with many families from our travel group mostly through holiday cards and e-mails. We do miss that close connection with the other little girls who lived at the orphanage with Elise during her first year of life.
So, we were THRILLED when one other family from our travel group contacted us to see if we'd be going to the annual reunion! I wasn't sure how the girls would do...they haven't seen each other for 5 years. They were both pretty uninterested in each other at first, but soon became quick friends.
There were so many families at the reunion with much littler ones. It's so hard to believe we've been home for 5 years already and our girls are the "big girls" at these events now.
The face painting was the big highlight.