When we adopted Norah from Vietnam, we traveled with three families also picking up children in the same orphanage. One was a single man who brought his sister along as support for the majority of the trip. My husband was the only other man on the trip, and so frequently, when we went shopping, the men talked as the women walked along, chatting. During one of these shopping trips, we checked out artwork, looking for something to hang on our living room wall.
When the trip was over, we all said our goodbyes, knowing that the four of us lived in separate corners of the country, and exchanged emails and addresses. It is hard to describe to many who haven't had this experience, but we shared a common bond with these families, and they will forever share a special place in our hearts.
Not long after we arrived home, we received a large package from FedEx. Inside was a beautiful painting and a note from the man we met on our trip, thanking us for the time we spent with him and for the friendship we made.
18 months after we arrived home, we finally had the painting framed and hung it on our wall. It was a very thoughtful gift...one that we will cherish forever. I know that each time we look at it, we are reminded of our trip to Vietnam and the friendships we made during our time there, and for that, I am very thankful.