Thursday, March 10, 2016

Sweet 16 and Key West!

It's hard to believe that Sarah is already
16 yrs old!
Actually, it's hard for her to believe it, too!

 This sweet girl came home at 8 yrs 9 months.
Of course we wanted to bring her home the moment we saw her picture 
but the process takes 9 months to a year 
and we went as fast as we could.

I know she wishes she could have come home sooner.
She is always doing the math in her head.
When did you see me?
When did I come home?
Who decides which children get to be adopted?
Why didn't you come sooner?

She knows that God's hand was 
all over this adoption
and we saw her because God showed her to us.

It was perfect but 
that doesn't mean we can't dream
of what it may have been like
if she was home as a baby.

We celebrated here in Florida the night before her big day!

She likes being young so for her,
it may have been a celebration of her last day as a 15 yr old!

We went to The Cheesecake Factory!
If you go early enough and call ahead it works!
No, they don't take reservations
but we have been told by a few restaurants
that with a family our size "calling ahead is a good thing"!

We were all excited for her to open her presents!
I took a couple of the girls shopping with me and we had such a fun time!
I should have taken pics of the shopping trip!
Mia, Ava and Melissa were my helpers!
Sarah asked for perfume...
and we all came back smelling sooooo good! 
I'm guessing she probably figured out one of her gifts the moment we stepped in the van!

Sarah was thrilled to get Jamberry nails!
(this may have been one of the Christmas gifts...
that I never gave)!
But, I couldn't include that in my previous post because
she reads my blog sometimes!

She has gorgeous, beautifully shaped, strong nails- so this is perfect for her!
(Thank you Tiffany!)

And the next two gifts were from Justice!
All our girls LOVE that store!

On Sarah's actual birthday we went to Key West for the day!

The boat left at 8:30am so we were quite happy with ourselves when we arrived at 8:15am
our Starbucks coffee and 14 smiling children!
then we found out the boat boarded at 7:00
they had been waiting for us!

Everyone was friendly and nice 
even though we were 
a bit late!
We departed immediately after boarding ;-)

It was a chilly morning!
Thankfully we all had our sweatshirts and a few beach towels!

Everyone was excited for this adventure!

It wasn't until Marco Island 
was far, far away...

that the children
began to get

They dropped like flies!
And the very nice man sitting right behind us gave us dramamine...
too late for some...
others, it saved!

Sarah was not happy that kids were feeling sick on 

Oh no...
poor children!

Thankfully, we quickly felt better as we got closer to land!
We were met by our friends the Finigans-
from our adoption trip for Ava and Sam (and for their Lexi)!
(Oops, I stand to be corrected... it was for Abby and Luke's adoption trip!)
Thank you Sarah

When we first met them, I knew we would see them again!
Pretty wonderful that it actually happened!

My first time seeing a manatee!
Kids first time, too!

HaPpY BiRtHdAy SaRaH!

It didn't take long for everyone...
to help her eat her dessert!
Thankfully, she is good at sharing!

After a great lunch and lots of visiting we said 
goodbye to our friends
and took the tour bus around the island!

They are such a nice family!
We loved our time together!

Hubby and I loved the architecture on the island!

I couldn't help myself-
 so I snapped away!
(While the train was moving!)


So much character!

This is only a small portion of the pics I took!

Your welcome!

We saw lots of "these guys" around the island!
They said they are good for the bug population!
It's decreased with them around!

There are beautiful beaches... 

and it's only 90 miles to Cuba!

This is a very fun island
with an interesting history!

maybe a bit of partying
going on!

These two trucks won a contest a couple years ago!

Love the different color eyes on this sweet guy!

I spoke too soon ;-)

I guess I do have more "house" pics!

We had a Haagen Das, stopped at CVS for more Dramamine
 and then walked back to the boat!

My hubby just got a new iphone...
oops again, that's not my hubby!

This is my hubby!
And he was spending a bit of time trying to figure out...
how it works!
I am thankful he didn't accidentally walk right into the water!

Happy 16th Birthday, Sarah!

Everyone got their dramamine for the boat ride back to Marco Island.
90 miles, 3 hours long!
It helped a lot of the kids and the Dad!
it didn't work for a few of us...
(such as Joey and I)

It's amazing how quickly we forget once we are back on land!


kimjax said...

Looks like a beautiful day for Sarah!! Love following along - I haven't been to Key West in years. Love all the smiling faces. :)

Shelia Jacoby said...

What a wonderful day. I love manatees. They are such peaceful creatures and it's rare to see one that hasn't been injured by a boat. If you work Sea World in Orkando into one of your visits they have a great viewing area to watch them under the water.

mewohlwend said...

Looks like Sarah had a great bday, despite all of the seasickness :( I've always wondered how that day-trip to Key West would be. Fun to see your photos!!

Joy Altman said...

Looks like you're having a wonderful time, and happy birthday to Sarah! How is Joy doing?

Vicky said...

Happy Birthday to beautiful Sarah! What a fun way to spend your birthday!

Jboo said...

Happy Birthday to your sweet Sarah!! Looks like you all are having so much fun in Florida!

amulbunny's random thoughts said...

Did you see the Hemingway House with the 6 toed cats? They are bred that way. IT's cool.

Kate said...

Can't believe that Sarah is already 16th!! Happy Birthday Sarah! Looks like you guys are having a wonderful time in Florida.