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8 posts from August 2009

August 09, 2009

Four Sweeties!

Chloe and pearl reunion blog

Pete and Lori and their daughters, Chloe and Pearl, came to visit two years ago but all the kids were bashful and not so interested in playing together or in posing for pics.  But they sure were cute anyway, huh!  (click image for a larger view) 

Well the cuteness hasn't changed but their attitude sure has!  Now, they're all about having fun now and they had loads of it - even during this photo shoot for the mamarazzi and paparazzi!  Afterwards, they splashed in the pool for two hours then took the fun indoors (did I mention that it was HOT outside?  Whooooboy.... it was a scorcher!)  The daddies supervised the action in the playroom while the mommies disappeared into the office to play with the photo editing software.  Great photos and fun with friends and we were sorry there wasn't more time.    I'm drooling over Light Room and I really really want it for my birthday next month!  

August 07, 2009

99 Things

I saw this on a few other blogs and it looked interesting and fun!

Here are the rules:
Bold the things you’ve done and post this list on your blog then leave me a comment and tell me you did this I can go see!  You don't have to add photos but I thought that might be fun too.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyworld
8. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Written something that was published
11. Bungee jumped or parachuted
12. Walked across the Golden Gate Bridge
13. Been in a fist fight
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Seen the Rings of Saturn with a telescope
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when not ill
24. Built a tree house or snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Fired a gun
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Visited the Leaning Tower of Pisa
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke!
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal
44. Visited Africa
45. Cried yourself to sleep
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Visited the Eiffel Tower
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain 
53. Pretended you cooked something from scratch when you didn't.
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie or commercial
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold something door to door
62. Gone whale or dolphin watching
64. Donated blood, marrow, etc
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter (I was the pilot!)
69. Held onto a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten frog legs or caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Time Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Done something illegal
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Sang a solo
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Climbed a mountain
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had surgery
89. Directly saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Seen a loved one die
94. Given birth to a baby
95. Visited the Alamo
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Sent a text message while driving
99. Been stung by a bee

And the freebie I'm adding.....
100. Given yourself a shot  

2002 Waikiki flower
#4

Capture the magic, if you dare...
 #7

Face Painting
#14 (facepaint) 

adoption day gwen landscape sm
#15

adoption day maddy sm
#15

Altrincham
#34

Gwen and Donna at Eiffel Tower - Paris
#50

April 2008 Great Wall China
#56

manhattan2005
#73

Michael - 2 minutes old framed
#94

August 04, 2009

"When I was a little tiny baby, I was in your tummy!"

A couple of days ago, Maddy came into the kitchen and proudly proclaimed; "When I was a little tiny baby, I was in your tummy!".   She didn't ask me this.  She TOLD me this.  She's always so proud of herself when she finally figures something out but before I could think of anything to say back to her, she turned and merrily skipped away with her pigtails flopping behind her.  Then I spent the next three days thinking about what to say when the subject comes up again. 
 
We've always spoken openly about adoption.  We own (and read) every kid's book ever published on the subject and never speak in hushed tones when we disclose to strangers that our beautiful daughters are adopted from China.  In other words, this isn't exactly 'news' to Gwen and Maddy.  But while they know that they are adopted, they clearly have no idea what it means to BE adopted.  
 
The door to this conversation has been opened several times over the years but, unlike many of my China adoption community friends, we've never viewed any of those early opportunities as a signal or sign from the girls that they were ready for this discussion.  At least not until now.   
 
I guess what it really boils down to is whether we believe that it will make our kids stronger and better adjusted as adults if we force them to come to terms with all of this earlier rather than later.   I know they'll eventually have to face it but is it better if they do it sooner? Maddy can barely manage her grief over the loss of her Elmo Bandaid in the pool last night and I'm worried that she's probably still not ready to hear about some other mommy who abandoned her as a baby.  Gwen is less  attached to her colorful adhesive strips and pretty emotionally secure overall but we can't tell one child and not the other.  I worry about how ready Maddy is. 
 
How can you talk to a 5 year old about why she was abandoned and give her enough details to help her understand that it won't happen again?  My kids are really smart but I know they can't understand anything about the social and political influences that might have forced their birth family to do that.  And calling them "family" or "mother" or "father" only makes it that much harder to grasp because they'll have to erase and then rewrite everything they thought they knew for certain about moms and dads in order to believe that such people could ever leave them.  Under any circumstances.  Ever. 
 
And the instant they do finally accept that sad reality, they'll have to question how permanent their relationship is with us - their 2nd set of parents.   The ones they got because their first ones didn't want them.  Ouch.  (Seriously, I'm just trying to think about this like a 5 year old might.)   
 
So far, their faith in family is watertight but when we start telling them about this, all of that will change forever.   We'll have to be ready to help them patch holes that they can't tell us about and we can't see.  Not only am I in no hurry to do that to them, I feel like I have a moral obligation to make sure they're mature enough to handle the news when we do eventually deliver it.  They're five now and they're clearly ready for more info but still a very long way from being ready for all of it.
 
The next time the subject comes up, I'm going to tell the girls that most of the time babies grow inside their mommy's tummy but sometimes they grow in a different lady's tummy.    Maybe we'll call her the Tummy Lady.
 
Now, for those of you who only come here for the pictures, here are some recent ones.  :)

Maddy's 5th Birthday

Princess Madeline on her 5th Birthday

Gwen and her ammonites

Gwen and her 400 Million Year old Friends (Ammonites)

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