Monday, April 16, 2012

Happy Songkran!

This weekend is the celebration of Songkran, which is the Thai New Year!

It is crazy to think that just a year ago we were living in Thailand, taking part in the city-wide water fight celebration. And now, to think that this holiday will be part of our little girl's heritage forever! Here's a video of our visit to the moat last April. (Please ignore my hysterical laughter - I was the one holding the camera and didn't realize it would be so loud!) It was crazy but fun... until about the 20th time I got doused over the head with ice-water and couldn't think straight!

We did see a more "traditional" celebration when our sweet waitress from one of our favorite restaurants asked if she could "bless us". She poured fragrant water over each of our hands from a special silver bowl. It is meant as a blessing to your elders and it was a really beautiful symbol (even if it is from a Buddhist culture).

Here's a little more information about Songkran from Wikipedia::
Songkran falls in the hottest time of the year in Thailand, at the end of the dry season. The most obvious celebration of Songkran is the throwing of water. Thais roam the streets with containers of water or water guns (sometimes mixed with mentholated talc), or post themselves at the side of roads with a garden hose and drench each other and passersby. This, however, was not always the main activity of this festival. Songkran was traditionally a time to visit and pay respects to elders, including family members, friends, neighbors, and monks.
The throwing of water originated as a way to pay respect to people, by capturing the water after it had been poured over the Buddhas for cleansing and then using this "blessed" water to give good fortune to elders and family by gently pouring it on the shoulder.The water is meant as a symbol of washing all of the bad away and is sometimes filled with fragrant herbs when celebrated in the traditional manner.
Songkran is also celebrated in many places with a pageant in which young women demonstrate their beauty and unique talents, as judged by the audience. The level of financial support usually determines the winner, since, to show your support you must purchase necklaces which you place on your chosen girl. (Yes, you read that right - a beauty pageant is a part of the celebration! Just another way for me to feel connected to Thai culture! ;)
It's only fitting that this weekend (such a special date in Thailand) would bring something new and exciting to our adoption front. After weeks of searching and praying, I have finally found 2 families who have experience adopting from Thailand! The first already has their precious little girl home with them - the second is still waiting for their daughter. After hearing that it is harder to adopt a girl from Thailand these were such encouraging connections! We have already been emailing back and forth and it has been a real blessing to hear about their experiences.

Now that we are home from Africa, we will be able to move forward with our adoption paperwork - but first we must choose an agency. We are hoping to set up some phone meetings with 2 different agencies and pick one of them soon. Please be in prayer with us about this decision - as it is a HUGE one. I have been asking God to give us peace about which one to choose and I know He will direct this decision!

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