Friday, August 24, 2012


A couple of weeks ago, we drove to the Indiana Dunes for a very special reunion! We met up with Jeb's best friend Tariku and his family. Jeb and Tariku were best friends in Ethiopia, part of a trio. The third musketeer is STILL waiting in Ethiopia...but we're hoping for good news in the next couple of weeks!

Jeb talks fondly of all of the boys from his orphanage 'class', but there is a definitely brotherly love that he has for Tariku and 'A'. They talk about each other all the time, and it breaks my heart to think that 'A' has been thinking about them and missing them with no contact with them. Tariku and Jeb miss him terribly as well, Jeb often makes a plane out of legos and tells me that he is going to pick up Tariku and they are going to Ethiopia to get 'A' together. We have been able to skype with Tariku and 2 other children who are home, and it was so fun! It is weird to hear them all speaking English now, and so nice to see them settled into their families.

Tariku's mom and I planned this reunion earlier this summer. She discovered that the Indiana Dunes are exactly between us, 3.5 hours each, which is very doable! We all packed a bunch of food, they brought a little grill, and we left early in the morning to get there before lunch.

When the boys saw each other, they laughed, ran toward each other, and hugged. Then they went about exploring each other's cars and the things they brought. Jeb had put a bunch of toys in his backpack to show Tariku, and as he took each item out to show him, Tariku nodded with interest. It was like no time had passed for them, they didn't need any time to get reacquainted, they were just hugging and holding hands and doing all the things that little boys do.

Like sword fighting with sticks. I love the way the boys are fighting, and the girls are standing there with their dolls, wondering what they are doing!

One of my favorite pictures ever!

It was the first time for all the kids to be together at once, but they hit it off pretty fast! Our kids are 2, 3, and 4, and their kids are almost 2, 3, and 4.

Sliding down the dunes

Vivi got to the sand, and laid in it. She probably still has sand in her hair...

Jeb and Tariku's sister Lydia became a little couple early on in the day. They kept holding hands and walking off together. Tariku was a little jealous-we'll have to see how that pans out when they get older!

Eric tried to run down the dune...

After the dunes we went back to our picnic area and the dads entertained the kids with some Olympic races. Then the dads competed in Olympic children-hurdles


Journey and Asher developed a sweet little friendship that day too! They kept smiling at each other and standing together. One time Asher fell and got hurt and his mom asked if he needed a kiss. He said "yes" and leaned over to Journey for a kiss!

Everyone had a blast and it was very hard for the boys (and the parents!) to say goodbye for now. I will be forever thankful that they live a mere 7 hour drive from us and that we were brought together in such a miraculous way so that the boys will get to grow up together and can remain friends. I hope we can see them all again very soon!

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