Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Surprise Visit

We have been away from blogging for some time yet again but we have a very good excuse. Back in January some of Amanda’s family contacted us and said they wanted to pay to bring us home for Amanda’s grandmother’s 80th birthday party and to surprise Amanda’s parents. We pulled off the huge surprise and flew to America for 2 weeks to surprise Amanda’s parents and grandmothers and to let the whole family meet Bradyn for the first time. We left Botswana the morning of May 4 and drove 5 hours to Johannesburg, South Africa. We then boarded a direct flight to Dulles, Washington DC at 9:40pm and arrived 19 hours later in America on May 5. We spent a night with Brent’s parents and then we drove to WV to pull off the big surprise.

HOW WE PULLED IT OFF: Amanda’s aunts, uncles, and cousins all met at her Uncle Claude’s house May 6. That night her brother Chris drove the mom and dad to Uncle Claude’s house telling them that he had their early mothers day and fathers day presents at Claude’s house. Our family all hid in the back bedroom as they presented my parents with a basket that was made in Botswana and it contained a note from us ending in the phrase “oh ya, we also sent something else that was made in Botswana”. At that time my brother brought out Bradyn and they knew right away that he was their grandson. Many happy tears filled the room and much hugging was done. Thanks to all of Amanda’s family and Brent’s family for helping bring us home for this special time together.

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Above: Amanda’s dad realizing his grandson was coming down the hall

Below: Reunited after 1 year and 7 months

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Above: Cousins reunited: Taylor and Jaiden

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Above: Who knew so many people could fit on one couch!

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On Saturday, May 7 we surprised Amanda’s grandmother Martin at her 80th birthday party Taylor took her a basket that said “I brought this all the way from Africa” (above picture. My grandmother then realized who Taylor was and saw us walking around the corner. What a sweet reunion!

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We also surprised Amanda’s grandmother Jones on Sunday, May 8 but unfortunately we don’t have any pictures of that. We spent a week with Amanda’s family in WV part of the time and then at the beach for part of the time.

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Above: Mamaw and Papaw with the grandkids

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Putt putt golfing at the beach…so much fun!

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Above: Grandad came to the beach and took all the girls for rides on his Harley Davidson motorcycle

Our dear friends from Raleigh, NC, Nick and Dana Babbs an their son Caleb, came down and spent a night with us at the beach. It was so good to see them again. Picture below.

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We then went to Maryland and spent a week with Brent’s family.

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Above: The brothers back together with their families. 5 grandkids under 4…craziness!

Below: The family enjoying a crab feast

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Above: Pop with Noa and Taylor

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Above: The 3 girls all had a sleepover on the family room floor.

Below: They did have ice cream with sprinkles before bed so maybe that’s why Taylor and Ainsley did not want to go to sleep, ha ha

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The kids then had a photo shoot all together at Picture People.

We had such an amazing 2 weeks with our family and are so grateful we were able to see them all. It’s amazing how time does not stand still while we are gone and these little ones are growing up so quickly. It will be another 1 1/2 years before we see them again, but we have some special memories we have been able to share with them.


  1. Amanda, this is awesome! I totally cried reading the surprise stories. What a treat and a special memory for everyone!!!

  2. oh my word, this brought tears to my eyes. I can only imagine the joy that you all and your families had on that day of being reunited and meeting Bradyn!!