Thursday, August 6, 2015

Off to St. Louis

Last weekend we had a CCAI reunion (Ashton's adoption agency). This weekend was the reunion with ICC (The organization that partnered with Ashton's SWI and helped take care of her. This is the organization I do the walk-a-thon Walk the Wall for every year.). And instead of going to Ohio, we headed to Missouri to St. Louis.

Our hotel that we all stayed at was amazing. It's the old St. Louis Train Station.


It looked more like a castle, and it was very impressive inside. Though a bit maze like. There was a mall inside the hotel and some restaurants. We even found the Polar Express.  After we got settled, we headed off to the pool.


Swimming together were the three A's! Miss A on the left was about 6 months older than Ashton and is from Sanmenxia like Ashton. We met up with them last week and we got together again this week. Miss A in the middle is about 6 months younger than Ashton and these two bonded quickly! Younger Miss A isn't from Sanmenxia, but was part of the ICC program as well. 

Older Miss A wore a life vest and the other two girls used their parents to get around in the water. 


After a bit we all headed to the lobby to meet up with all the families to go to the Lantern Festival.


In the lobby, we waited for all the families and ICC reps to join. And doing so, there was a light show of the ceiling of the lobby. It was really cool.

Then we were off. We all met up in the front before the doors to the outside. Then we headed outside and Miss K and Miss L went with us touring the lights and shops before the sun went down. Miss K was the Sanmenxia Project Director. And we met her when we visited her SWI. She remembers Ashton very well and was very excited to see her again. Miss L just joined ICC and is the Development Coordinator.





Here Ashton is with Miss K. 



The group all met up to see an acrobat show. And Little Miss A sat against Ashton who sat against me. It was really sweet. Ashton sat through the whole show and actually enjoyed it. Then the team was allowing photos and they picked up Ashton. Luckily they didn't throw her or do any scary holds as they did with each other ;)


Then it got dark enough to go look at the lights and so we all broke up again and it was just us three, though now and then we bumped into others from the group. There was music and mist and some of the lights moved. It was all beautiful.











We ended up getting Ashton a chop with her name on it, that we didn't get her when we were in China. So that was really exciting. I don't know when or where we'll use it, maybe for Christmas cards or something. But it is still nice to have.

Other than the mosquitoes, it was a perfect night. We all began to get to know each other and have a fun night with some Chinese undertones. It was a fun trip.
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