The Gifts of Forever Family and Forever Friendship

Two weeks ago Friday, the Darlings and I spent the evening with three very special friends...
Lisa, Pat and Marla.

Lisa and Pat have spent the last 4+ years waiting to hold the daughter from China they dreamed of when they married nearly 6 years ago. During those waiting years, they were blessed with the opportunity to share in the joy of raising their son, Nick, and watching their daughter, Sarah, another very unique miracle in their lives, blossom into a precocious little girl.

As the years passed, they both knew that their family was not complete and never would be until the little girl from China who visited them in their dreams was home safely in their arms.

Now for Marla.

Marla is the stunning Texan from Fort Worth, wife extraordinaire to Derek and mom to 4 J's (Jakob, Jacey, Jaden and Jack) all 11 years old and under. Marla is an amazing woman, wife, daughter, sister, photographer and the most incredibly giving friend one can imagine.


Marla heard that our friend Lisa was going to travel to China alone.
Having been to China twice to bring home her two beautiful Chinese daughters,
Marla just wasn't having it.
Apparently, friends don't let friends go to China without them!

So, she pulled out her Superwoman cape, juggled like no other and put together a calendar that even the Secret Service would envy. With Derek, the ridiculously handsome and very capable right hand man she married, having her back...
she actually jumped on a plane to China with Lisa for 2 weeks.
(yes, 16 hours straight each way!)
I know, kinda makes you wonder if you'd have
the guts and the gumption to do the same, doesn't it?
Selfless generosity!


So, 2 weeks ago, on the eve of these two special girls heading over to China for Operation Reagan, we all gathered along the Hudson River for a bon voyage dinner.

The evening couldn't have been more perfect, unless of course, they had already been and were sitting there with Reagan in their arms across from us.

Here are some shots of that very magical night.


Note the delectable cocktails!

The specatular view!
The emotions really ran high that night with the gravity of what was about to happen to the expectant couple and their family finally hitting each of us.

China was a whirlwind those two weeks for the girls.
They saw and experienced so many new things and chronicled them for us all in true blogger fashion. I (along with so many others) felt like I was experiencing the trip first hand as I'd read through both of their blogs each day. Click here for Lisa's Blog and here for Marla's Blog
(you will not be sorry you visited but you might smack me for getting you addicted!)

The images and sights of China, through their stunning photos
and eloquently written words, really speak for themselves.

The highlight of the journey was, of course, meeting Reagan for the first time.
Lisa has compiled memories and images that will last a lifetime; hers and Reagan's!

This past Friday night, two weeks to the day we saw the girls off,
the Darlings and I had the privilege of being present at the airport
when the girls returned from China...with Reagan at center stage.

There really are no words that can express how much joy we felt being a part
of that very special moment....
when The Long Road to China finally intersected at Happily Ever After.

We are absolutely overjoyed for Lisa, Pat and their beautiful family of 5.
We are so in awe of the gift of themselves that Marla and Derek
so graciously bestowed upon them.

Here's a little sneak peak of that very special day...







JR and I look forward to the memories we will share in friendship
with the broods Furey and Westbrook in the years to come.

Welcome Home Reagan Elizabeth WenYi Furey...we love you!
(Both Lisa and Marla are suffering some serious jetlag...be patient...their posts will be up soon!)


  1. Im so happy for Lisa and her family to finally have their dream complete! Awesome pictures of your night together!

  2. Oh Dita these are wonderful! I've been so anxious to see the photos of Lisa and Reagan finally unite with their family. Thank you for sharing! I must add... Lisa looks fabulous for being on a flight for 16+ hours. How in the world does she do it?


  3. I have been waiting for this post!! So happy for all the joy in Lisa's family and yours! Great photos....you captured it all perfectly.

    Alyzabeth's Mommy

  4. Dita! You captured this story beautifully!!

  5. Beyond beautiful my darling! (I think you need to join that special alumni - 'cause you are one!!!)

    Perfect send-off and recap. And so lovingly shared. Still can't get that grin off my face!!! (And then when I think about our upcoming visit, well, I break out into a giggle.)


  6. I've got such happy tears flowing right now! Amazing moment captured and one I've been hoping to see....thank you for sharing this with us all Dita!

  7. With tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat...
    I believe I just witnessed the beautiful blessing of adoption, marriage, bonding, friendship, & family... all in one post...through your loving heart.

    I have followed many adoption journeys...but never in such a breathtaking way as Lisa and Marla shared their journey.

    Welcome home sweet Reagan!

  8. There are so many blessings of adoption and friendship is one of the greatest to me.

    Beautiful doesn't describe these pictures, Dita. What a gift you've given to Lisa and her family.

    The image of Pat holding Reagan made me cry. Thanks for sharing them with us!

  9. I don't even know what to say about this beautiful post except right back at you! You are a precious, thoughtful friend and I'm so blessed to have you in my life. Thank you so much for taking care of us before and after the trip, I felt like a queen! :)

  10. Oh, it was so sweet to read about your side of this beautiful story :) and to see the photos of Pat and Sarah meeting Reagan (so precious - the photos brought tears to my eyes!).

    Thanks Dita for sharing this so eloquently!

    (and I LOVE that Ferry & city photo!)

  11. YAY!!!! I'm so glad you posted!!! I've been checking the computer constantly waiting to see some welcome home pictures!!!

    You pictures are beautiful Dita!!! What a great friendship you all have!

  12. How awesome that you were able to see them in the beginning and end of their journey!!! You girls look AWESOME! The picture are beautiful and I'm so glad everyone's back home safe and sound!

  13. Wonderful pictures of a very special day.

    Lisa is so blessed to be surrounded by such supportive and loving friends. Welome Hom Sweet Reagan, you were definitely worth the wait.


  14. I am so happy that you shared these beautiful moments with us all !

  15. What a blessing. A true blessing from the Lord. No one understands the path we take unless they have followed it themselves. I love the friendships that have been gifted to me through adoption. Such a blessing.

  16. I don't know what to say except THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!

    You have been an unbelievable friend to me since the moment we "met" in this bloggy world. I can't explain it, but it's as if we had been friends our whole lives.

    I feel so very fortunate to have had you with us every step of this journey. The way you sent us off in style a few weeks ago was just so super sweet and then to see you and the Darlings when we walked off the plane was just awesome. You totally took care of us and went above and beyond by checking in on Pat and Derek in our absence. I know you were wishing you could have been with marla and I in China..... you may not have been there physically, but you were most definitely there with us in spirit.

    You totally rocked the camera Friday night and I will forever be grateful for these amazing pictures. They will be treasured forever and will always remind me of the emotion we felt that night.

    Love to you and the family. Enjoy your wonderful weekend and give Miss Wanda a GIANT hug from me~