|Photo courtesy of The Herald/taken by Sarah Weiser|
As Executive Director of Eagle Wings Ministries, Kinder works to bring Snohomish County's developmentally disabled adult population together with the community at large. Jim is a PE teacher and coach at Arlington High School. They met in January of 2009 when Kinder was at Jim's church, sharing about Eagle Wings. On Christmas morning, 2010, he proposed.
Kinder wanted to share this special day with the many friends she has made over the past eight years she's been a part of Eagle Wings, and Jim agreed. So after they announced their engagement at the annual Valentine's Dinner earlier this year, they circulated through the crowd with a clipboard, signing up whoever wanted to be in the bridal party.
For most of the participants, this was the first time to be in a wedding.
The men were dressed in white shirts, black slacks, black shoes and ties. There were plenty of extra red ties on hand, just in case one of the guys didn't have his own. The women wore red dresses of their own choosing, which looked beautiful with their boquets. Volunteers were on site to do the women's hair and make-up, and to help the guys with their ties and boutonnieres. The flowers, the food, the co-ordination, the church, were all gifts to the bride and groom from New Life Foursquare Church in Everett.
My family stopped by to see Samuel and the other men while they waited for the wedding to begin. Oh, the energy in that hallway! It was the same kind of holy chaos that I felt in the women's lounge as they were preparing!
We were among the 200 guests who experienced the joy and excitement of this special wedding celebration. From the moment the first pair of attendants walked down the aisle till the processional, the atmosphere in the chapel was electric. Family, friends and proud parents watched as the men and women were paired to walk down the aisle. Henk Wapstra, Eagle Wings' founder and Kinder's dear friend, walked her down the aisle and performed the ceremony. Her 4-year-old granddaughter was her flower girl.
A reception followed. And, like at most every Eagle Wings events, there was dancing. The party ended at 6:00, when DART buses and families and caregivers whisked the tired participants home.
The party ended, but the joy of this day, the day Kinder and Jim got married, will last a lifetime.
|Bridesmaids waiting to go down the aisle|
|Samuel escorting a bridesmaid|
|Flower girl Genesis, Kinder's granddaughter|
|Samuel with Jim and Kinder|