Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Egg Hunt #2: Meeting My Cousin

We drove straight from the church party to my cousin Gina's house for an Easter celebration with my mom's family.  This year was especially amazing for a very special reason.  I got to meet my adult cousin for the VERY FIRST TIME!!!!  (He is in the top left of the pic).  My Uncle Billy died in a car accident many years ago, when my mom was a little girl.  Around the same time, his firstborn baby, my cousin, was given up for adoption.  Our family never knew where Billy's baby ended up, if he had a happy life, if he knew how much we loved him, how much my grandmother had wanted to raise him as her own.  My aunts and grandmother have prayed and searched for him many years, even hired a private detective to find him, with no luck.  Then a few weeks ago, my mom received a letter in the mail from a man who said he thought he might be her nephew.  They met and were able to piece together enough information to determine that he is my cousin!  He and his lovely wife came to our Easter Celebration to meet many of us who were able to make it there yesterday.  It has been such a comfort to my Nanie to learn that he has wonderful, loving, supportive parents and that he has had a very happy life.  I feel like this is a special miracle given to our family during this Easter season.  There have been very sacred experiences, that I will not share in a public forum, that have led my cousin to find our family.   I am grateful he was willing to search us out and meet our 94 year old grandmother, which truly was one of her greatest desires of her heart.  I am sure it must be a little overwhelming for him, coming into a huge group of strangers who have known about you and prayed on your behalf for many years.  But it felt yesterday like my cousin has just always been here, always been part of our family gatherings.  It was truly in a word, heavenly, or at least how I imagine Heaven must be.  There will be family members that I have never met in this life, but I will love, and know them, and feel like they have always been there, too. Great grandparents, aunts and uncles who have gone before.  Who have left a legacy of love, a heritage of hard work, strength, and compassion.  Who are part of me.  I am grateful for Jesus Christ, my Savior, who conquered Death, so that yesterday is just a glimpse of eternity.  I am grateful to know that Families can be together Forever.  And grateful for answered prayers.  God's timing is perfect.

We also had a cook-out and hunted for eggs.  We hid over 540 eggs this year.

Molly spent most of her time "hunting" around the slide.  She kept going down it to make sure there were no more eggs to be found there.  She did not end up with too many eggs, but she had a great time!

We really need to get Nanie Too-Too her own Easter Basket!

Notice how Andrew is carrying a bucket to put his eggs into AND the bag that I was trying to hold for him to dump his eggs into once his basket was full.  Not sure he quite got the concept...or maybe he just knows too well how much his mom likes chocolate.

Molly shared a LEOPARD egg with a TODDLER all on her own!  A huge deal for anyone who knows how much Molly LOVES leopards and barely tolerates toddlers.   I think she is growing up!

Andrew did not slow down long enough for many pics.

Ryan counting his eggs.

Aunt Annie had special prize eggs for all of the great grandkids.  Ryan is still grinning!

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