Salt Lake has a really beautiful tradition every year called the Festival of Trees. It is a fundraiser for Primary Children's Hospital, a place that we have found warm and welcoming through several surgeries and office visits for our kids. For this festival, individuals, families, businesses and other groups donate beautiful Christmas items for people to bid on. These include Christmas trees, wreaths, playhouses, centerpieces, and other festive items. The first year the festival was held was around 1970. They raised $47,000 and were extremely pleased. Last year, the festival raised close to 2.5 million! What a blessing for the special kids at Primary Children's.
A wonderful family we go to church with, the Weavers, have decorated and donated a tree as a family tradition every year for many years. This year they decided to theme their tree to highlight adoption generally and our family specifically. Our kids and their kids have become great friends over the past two years and their family has heard many of our adoption stories. As they were thinking of their tree theme for the year, they thought of the experiences we have had with ladybugs during our adoption journeys. (Here are a few examples from our blog.) They decided to do a ladybug tree. It turned out absolutely amazing!
We took our entire family last night - even Elli. (We hadn't taken Elli on a family outing for quite some time, and we quickly remembered why. Within about 2 minutes of entering the loud and bustling crowd, she had a complete meltdown. That's why Christi and Elli aren't in the family picture below. They were back in the van with Elli nursing a milkshake. Ice cream is a cure-all, no?) It was our first visit to the Festival of Trees and what a treat it was. Such a beautiful assortment of Christmas cheer! The kids really enjoyed looking at the decorations and smelling the holiday smells.
When we found the Weavers' tree, we were amazed and overwhelmed with several things: They did such a beautiful job decorating it. It was considerably more elaborate than we had imagined, including not just a decorated tree, but many toys and holiday items surrounding it. We were so happy to have the beauty and joy of adoption shared in such subtle and joyful way. And we were humbled that someone loved us enough to do something like this. What a tribute to our amazing kids!
The picture isn't ideal because the crowd was so large it made it difficult to pose and frame a shot. But I think it captures the essence.
Thank you, Weavers!!!
PS. If anyone knows the cute couple that decided to so tastefully photobomb us, please forward this on to them ;)