We thought it was going to be just another one of our usual Clergy Couple gatherings last night.
A little out of the ordinary, sure, because the Holdens who moved away in 2011 had driven up because of a speaking engagement in the area and were able to join us once again.
They showed up at our house around 3pm and
we got a chance to visit and the kiddos got a chance to play together again.
By 6pm the babysitter had showed up and the Johnsons had picked us up and six of us were headed down to Lady Lake to our friends, the Sanders. They are moving out of the district in July and we are sad to lose them.
When we arrived there were a few gifts on the table in the living room. My first thought, "Oh, no! We forgot to get them a going away present!" We wandered into the kitchen and dining room and it looked like we were going to have Chinese for dinner. I was excited to practice using chopsticks before our trip! ( I missed the ladybugs at first glance - a symbol of good luck for adoptive families!)
When I noticed the Panda faced cupcakes and fortune cookies for dessert,
I started to wonder if something was up.
Then I noticed the sign and everything clicked.....
Daryl and I had been setup - it was a surprise Clergy Couple Adoption Shower!
There was no speaking engagement for our friends the Holdens -
they had just driven up from Fort Myers to be part of our special night.
After a wonderful dinner, we moved into the living room to open presents.
From the DeLaunes, a precious little outfit and a gift card to Target.
From the Johnsons, a beautiful card and a gift to go clothes shopping.
From the Holdens, several fun things for the boys on the flights (gum Pez dispensers, activity books)
as well as some necessities for the whole family (wipes, bottles of purel and toilet paper!)
Which led us to unearth this present further down in the bag.
A shadowbox with the Mandarin characters representing Davis' Chinese name.
From our hosts, a print of Charissa' artwork on a card (it was a ladybug painting she had originally done for the Holden's daughter). And a cool little swimsuit and swimshirt set so Davis can play in the water with his brothers.
It was a tremendous surprise and we felt so loved.
We are so thankful for our Clergy Couple colleagues.
All ten of us serve God in so many different ways and places.
Having their friendship is such a special blessing in our lives.
(Far left, Ryan and Rachel DeLaune; front of couch, James and Christy Holden;
on the couch, Allen and Sue Johnson and us; back of couch, Chris and Charissa Sanders)