A Million Pictures of My Family

That sure sounds appealing, right?

People jumping out of the ocean.

My Family Was In Cebu This Week

Weeeeooo! They braved the 24+ hours of travel to Cebu so they could reconnect with my siblings’ biological family, visit the orphanage we’re working at, and experience our new normal here.

{I just realized most of you probably don’t know anything about my family. I grew up as the oldest of three girls, and then a few years ago my parents adopted three siblings from an orphanage called CSC. Now I am the oldest of six – four girls, two boys – and Bjork and I now work here, at the same orphanage that my siblings lived at for several years before being adopted. But we usually call it the shelter instead of the orphanage. Got all that?}

Man and woman outside.

The visiting crew was Mom, Dad, and my brothers. Guess what? It was such a cool time. If I had to use a few words more descriptive than cool, which I am forcing myself to do because I am not in 8th grade anymore, I would use the words powerful, adventurous, and, um, ok, cool.

So starting with powerful.

We had the privilege of visiting the community where my three siblings lived before they came to live at the shelter.

I won’t go into all the details of everyone and everything, but I will tell you that it was probably the most meaningful experience I have had here in the Philippines. It was both personally challenging and magically surreal to step into this part of their world.

I’ll say it again: a huge privilege.

Children outside.

We also had a little adventure in going to the beach for a few days.

Young boy snorkeling.

Because you can’t come all the way to the Philippines and not want to see this.

Ocean view.

But if you asked my brothers and my parents what they liked the most about the whole trip, I’m positive they would all say the same thing: just playing with the kids at the shelter.

Woman with young children.

For my brothers, this place is like a second home.

Young boys playing in a living room.

Do you like my hand in this picture? And my hair? I’m giving you a double whammy of bad photography just so you can see this little girl’s smile.

Woman with young girl.

Even Dad got into the playtime.

Man playing basketball with young boy.

And kids took full advantage of that. It’s like Where’s Waldo or something.

Children sitting near a building.

We had a few nice dinners on the patio (deck? what’s the difference?), complete with barking dogs and lurking geckos. As it should be.

People sitting around a table.

And my brothers. ate. BALUT. 18 days old. As it should NOT be.

Does anyone out there know balut? Google it, now. It’s spelled B-A-L-U-T. And if you have ever eaten balut, please leave me a comment and tell me you’re not for real.

Young children together.

I’m seriously ready to sleep for a week. Why are fun things so exhausting? And why do I love sleep so much??

XOXO to my awesome family. Love you all!

Family.

Want to see more posts of my time living abroad? Check ’em out here!

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