25 Apr 2010

Run, Run, Quick.

We spent a really fabulous afternoon at the park today. We had our bikes with us and it was the first time we have headed out with both girlies riding their own bikes whilst we rode ours. It was a lot slower than usual cos Rosie's itty bitty legs just don't go that fast.
We headed to the meditation pagoda and I decided it would be a perfect place for a family photo. I had my purse camera with me so Jacob decided to set it on self timer. HAH.
I don't think I have ever used the timer on my camera so Jacob fiddled about for a few minutes and then announced he had it. I know I don't need to tell you how hard we were laughing.

Wanna see the photo?

He just wasn't running fast enough and I was just calmly placing Rosie on a seat. Oh well scrap that one and try again. and again. and again. Somehow Lily stayed composed through the ordeal even though both her parents were laughing ridiculously. Rosie, she just went along with it but couldn't understand why we all staring at the camera when nobody was holding it.

We ended up with this one. Not what I had envisioned when I had the idea but never mind. We got back on our bikes and rode our legs off.

Today gets chalked up as one of those days I dreamt about whilst waiting for my girls to come home. Perfection.

24 Apr 2010

Shot Gun.....Gets more attention than bullets!

  • Not sure where this week went. I am in a sleep deprived coma from the whirl wind.
  • I forget to blog now as I post everything on FB. I cannot remember what I have said here and what I have not.
  • Tuesday morning at 5.30 my alarm went off and I had to drag my droopy bod' out of the house shortly after 6.30. Not hard for many people but (a) I do not do mornings and (b) I cannot leave the house without washing my hair and straightening it. Freakish fool that I am! I had to be at what we hoped would be Rosie nursery school next year, for a lottery number. You showed up at 7 received your number and then went back at 9 to see the drawing. When I arrived at 6.50 the queue was half way around the building. Jacob went back at 9 and lucky number 31 was pulled out of the tub so Rosie will start this nursery school in September. She will go only 2 mornings a week from 9-1. Sad, sad, sad my little Weasel is getting big.
  • Why do people that drive on the expressways think it is OK to get into the outside lane and do less than the speed limit? If you are going to do the speed limit, or gawd forbid, less than the posted speed limit stay in the inside lane. Driving back from Orlando last Sunday this was doing my head in. If I want to break the law and drive faster than the assigned speed get the hell out of my way! Slowpoke! This is truly a pet peeve of mine.
  • I received my new green card. Whoop dee do. I am not about to thrown out of this country and I can travel back to the UK this summer without any hitches. This time the renewal was painless, I did it online and showed up for my biometrics appointment on time and walked out of it with an extension on this card and a promise of a new one in the mail. I am still planning on applying for citizenship one day in the next 10 years.
  • Why is it that when you enter an immigration building here the only language you hear spoken is Spanish? Surely if you are applying for a visa to live somewhere you really ought to speak that language. Every single person that worked there spoke to me first in Spanish (must be my blond hair and blue eyes) and then after I told them first in English and then in Spanish that I don't speak Spanish they would look at me like I had two heads and then speak in English. I find this peculiar.
  • School is nearly over for the year. Can I have an "Amen Sista" to that. I love it when the girls are home.
  • As school is nearly over it means that Lily is nearly 8. Not sure I am at all ready to say my baby is eight. So glad I spend so much time with them. I love being their Mama and every second really does count.
  • After a set back in the potty training area it looks as if we might be once again ready to throw diapers to the wind. I let Rosie take the lead with only the occasional prod from me. I bought her some new shorts that had a snap and zip in them and she declared them big girl shorts and decided knickers were in order. Who was I to stand in her way? She now HATES to have to wear a diaper when she sleeps but if she has a few more dry nights I might just let it happen. This kidlet refuses to use a toilet anywhere other than at home so this is a huge problem. She looks at them, turns up her nose and declares them, "to dirty". If it wasn't so distressing it would be funny as all heck. ~snort~
  • Off to buy my super reader a new book for a great week in school. Any time she gets to the end of a week without a note about talking is a great week IMHO. Don't push your kids to read and do all that stuff before they start school cos you are not doing them any favours at all. I never pushed this with Lily she just learnt what she learnt but she is so flipping smart that school is boring to her. What takes the average student an hour to learn she picks up in a few minutes so whilst she waits for the others to catch up, she chats!
  • Rosie is getting a "prize" to for keeping her knickers dry. I bet she is going to love seeing that I wrote that here when she is a teenager.
  • Have fun this weekend. We plan to.

19 Apr 2010

What A Great Lunch.

A couple of months ago I received an email from Doris of the 3D's asking if we lived near close to Orlando. I said that we lived about 3 1/2 hours away by car but with the girls it was closer to a 5 hour drive and why pray tell was she asking? Turns out the 3D's were heading from Canada to Fl for a week and she wanted to get together. No need to twist my arm we would make it...somehow. On Saturday morning I strapped the girls into their car seats, stocked the car with lots of road trip junk food, slapped a T.V. screen in front of both of their faces and hit the gas.

We were about to drive 200+ miles to have lunch with people that we had never met before. Sound crazy to you? Well yes it sounds crazy to anyone outside of the adoption community but to us this is normal and acceptable behaviour. I have followed Doris' blog for nearly 4 years and vice versa. I know the kind of lovely person she is and the wonderful man to whom she is married. We were finally about to meet and the bonus in this, Daphne is finally home and if you have not followed this blog you need to take a little peek at it and see the cuteness that is Daphne.

Rosie has been toting Daphne's photo around with her ever since it came in the mail. She calls her Daphme and is very fond of her. Lily thinks she is adorable and I could barely wait to feast my eyes on the whole family. We drove up to Orlando in record time, for us, and checked into our hotel. We exchanged a couple of messages and arranged to meet at Downtown Disney for ice cream. The girls and I headed out and had dinner and we finally received the call. We bounded over to Ghiradelli and I immediately spotted Dan. Within seconds Doris appeared and I saw Daphne. Dear gawd, that little girl's cuteness exceeds words. She is thoroughly and absolutely divine. All smiles and she immediately went to Lily and touched her and pulled at her, Lily was in heaven. Seeing 3 people that you have never met but who are so familiar to you is like seeing family. We bought our ice cream, thank you Doris and we sat outside and chatted. Oh it was so lovely. So, so incredibly lovely. I had to keep reminding myself that we hadn't met before. We ended up taking the girls on a carousel ride and walking around but it was getting late so we parted ways with a promise to meet the next day for lunch where we would meet up with Dannye and hopefully also Catherine and Hannah.

After breakfast the girls went swimming for an hour and then off we went to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch. As luck would have it we had to wait for ages for a table so Dannye, Ellen, The 3D's and ourselves walked the mall and talked, we talked a lot but yet, not enough. How can you talk for years worth of talk in a few hours??? I finally got to meet Mikkel for the first time, Dannye and Ray's little boy. He is the sweetest and tiniest little man ever. So very cute with the biggest blue eyes that just steal your heart. He was a little shy around all the girls and stayed very close to his mama and grandma. Just as we finished lunch he conked out.

Anyway with further ado I will show you some photos of the good times we had.

Meeting Doris, Dan, and Daphne for the first time.

Riding the carousel

Yummy, ice cream

I call this my paranoia photo. Whenever we take the girls to a crowded place we always dress the alike as it makes it easier to keep an eye on them. This time I didn't do it so the second we arrived at Downtown Disney on Saturday night I took their photo in case we got separated. That way I would know exactly what they were wearing as I am sure in a panic I would have forgotten.
Rosie insisted on standing next to these Lego dogs. She didn't however wait her turn she just barged to the front hence the sideways picture.

All of us girls

Daddy Dan and Daphne. (Dan is one of the sweetest, nicest guys you will ever meet in your life and one AMAZING father. When I told hubby about him he was bummed that he didn't get to meet him, I knew this from the blog but meeting him in person just solidified it all )

Is this not the sweetest photo of Dannye and her little man, Mikkel?

Needs no introduction really does it!

Time to say bye bye.

We didn't get to meet Catherine and Hannah as they arrived later on Sunday and we had to head out. Dannye and I have been friends now for a few years and sadly she is still waiting for Chynna. Her patience will pay off but my heart goes out to her as this wait is now just plain cruel.

To Doris, Dan and Daphne, thank you so much for saying you were coming. I would have driven further it was so wonderful to meet you. You are the most kind and wonderful people and have the most gorgeous baby girl, but you probably know that already. The girls keep talking about Daphne as do I. How great it is to drive so far to meet people you have never met!
Hugs and kisses from all of us.

15 Apr 2010

Adoption Blogger Day (Long)

Today the Joint Council on International Childrens' Services called today, "We Are The Truth Adoption Blogger Day". What exactly does that mean and why am I participating in it? Well, unless you have been living under a rock or in a tent on a desert island you have heard all about this little boy and the sad situation that he has had imposed upon him by his mother. I refuse to call her his adoptive Mother as she is his Mother. The Joint Council wants to help spread the word that adoption is not a scary thing and not something to be afraid of. ( abusive and neglectful parents are fodder for another day!) So this brings us to the second part of the question, why am I participating in the blog day, that is simple. I am an adoptive parent I have 2 fabulous girls who totally rock my world, my hubby's also. In addition to this the adoption agency that this woman used to bring her son into her life is our agency and I stand behind them 100%.

I am sure that somewhere buried in the archives of this blog is a post that is pretty much the same as this one as I know I have told this story before.

When we entered the point in our lives where we knew adoption was right for us we carefully and I mean, oh so very carefully, selected an agency. I am the type of person that researches dishwashers so you can imagine the scrutiny that I put perspective adoption agencies under. The list was narrowed down fast, really fast. Three were left standing, out of about 50. It took me months to do this. Being a Brit I even went internationally to check out agencies over there. Finally WACAP stood at the top of the pile. They were out of state but this was a non issue. When we called in a social worker, (read after months of scrutiny and interviews) she groaned when she found out what agency we were using because they required so much more paperwork that all the others. This is why we choose them, they are thorough, very very thorough. I am obsessive and I need someone as diligent as I.

Oh the paperwork, the questions, the forms, the trips to the doctor, the notary, the bank not to mention the immigration headaches! Now it was our turn to be scrutinized. WACAP wanted to be certain we knew what we were getting into. Of course we did! Did we realise this and that about institutionalized children? ehh, yes sort of. Sort of? Sort of wasn't good enough they needed us read this, read that, talk to this person and that person, and finally fill out a bazillion forms. Finally we were in the program and our dossier was logged in.

We read about bonding and attachment, read about orphanages, read about developmental delays, read just about anything we could get our hands on. Who am I kidding? I read and told Hubby! We waited forever, or so it seemed at the time, along with our families, for our perfect, and healthy little girl and on July 3rd 2003 we finally saw her face. For us it was love at first sight. All our fears melted away and we had the most beautiful daughter in the whole wide world. (we still feel this way)

We were finally able to hold her in our arms on August 26th 2003. She was scared, terrified in fact. We were giddy, in love in fact. For the first time in years our world was the right side up and hers was upside down. Our dream come true was her biggest nightmare. Her cries as she realised her Nanny was leaving were heart breaking. I realised what was happening but for that moment I was only holding my daughter, taking her in, smelling her sweetness, and kissing her for the first time. I knew she was in pain but for that one tiny little second I was selfish. I "came to" quickly and her needs came first. Skin to skin contact, lots of time in our arms, eye contact all the stuff we had been told by our agency. Her needs were our first priority and nothing was going to ever come between us and what she needed. Of all the things I had read the conference call with WACAP's social worker was the most helpful information I had found/received for the first few days. It was priceless.

Her first night she slept like a champ, in the morning we got the face, the one that says," Oh no, you fruitcakes are still here? This wasn't all a bad dream?" and she cried again. Outwardly she was fine but she was protecting herself and was starting to close down emotionally. No one was home, just this little baby girl in a shell of a body. after a few days she started to rally round. We never put her in a stroller to begin with we always held her. She started to giggle and grin and then she started to babble.

The night we got home with her it was really late and she was asleep in her carseat. We carried her and the carseat into the house and propped her against the couch. When she woke up she hopped out of her seat and literally took off running. She ran from room to room, laughing and smiling. It was the most peculiar thing, it was as if she could tell she was finally home. The next 6 weeks we spent under self imposed house arrest. No big trips, just the store for necessities, no outings and if people wanted to meet her they had to come to us. That way they would leave us and Lily would get used to the idea of people coming and going but she never left, she always remained in the same place with us. The other golden rule that we refused to break was "nobody gets to touch or hold or feed the baby...NOBODY". That upset a few people but we had to make her learn that we were the ones who were there for her, we would comfort her and give her what she needed. She had to learn to trust us for everything she wanted.

It all paid off. Lily is a Rockstar. She is 7 now, almost 8. She is smart, funny, outgoing and an absolute daredevil. A fabulous big sister and the best daughter a mother could have. Her daddy will tell you the same if you ask him!

It wasn't long before we started the process all over again. This time we found Rosie as opposed to her finding us. Due to Rosie having a heart defect she was on our agencies waiting child list, or SN ( special needs) list. This time we really had to jump through some hoops with WACAP. Make a resource plan, visit a trillion experts in the medical field that pertains to your childs SN, convince us to 100th degree that you are capable of this and that you ARE the right family for this baby girl. They were on our side and they were fabulous. Before we knew it, well not quite before we knew it cos we counted down every single day and Lily was about to explode with anticipation at the thought of meeting her mei mei we were on that long plane ride again, heading back to China to fill the hole in our hearts that only this baby girl could fill.

Oh that moment all over again. The tears, this time the tears were 1.000 times worse. Rosie was in a Half The Sky orphanage and she truly didn't want to leave it. She cried so much our group referred to her as the screamer in the group. She was truly devastated. It didn't matter what we tried she wasn't going to stop at least not for a few hours. We followed the protocol that we used with her sissy. It took longer but it worked. Lily was her fast friend and I came in second. Daddy was not very welcome but he was fine after the initial shock of leaving my arms. As the days passed she came around, in her own time of course. She was fragile and not because of her heart. Her personality was fragile. Big tears could flood those tiny eyes at any given second. Oh my aching heart it was so sad. The big sister was a champ with her and Mummy and Daddy followed Rosies cues. My cousin accompanied us on this trip and she stayed at arms length. Rosie did not respond to any noise for 2 days. She started to convince all of us, even our guide, that she was deaf. No worries we can deal with it. Whatever it is she is ours and we will love her no matter what. Her chest was slightly deformed and we were not sure if this was due to her heart or not but it made no difference to us, other than if it was caused by her heart then her condition was going to be ALOT more serious than her medical records presented but again...it is what it is.

Once we finally made it home her special needs became quite obvious. A very mild heart condition and a big case of attachment issues. Our poor baby girl was hurting. Her emotional heart was hurting and there was no surgery in the world that could fix that. About 2 weeks after we got home Rosie still wasn't sleeping and it was not just the jet lag, we were missing something. Something was wrong with our little one and she was not a happy little girl. Sure she smiled but she was not able to relax. We were all sleep deprived and I don't know about you but I do not do my best thinking on 45 minutes of sleep a night. crazy I know. I thought about ringing Barb. our SW but decided that WACAP was the place to turn. I rang them chatted for a few minutes with Mary Ann and that night Rosie slept for 14 hours straight. They knew what to do, what to try and they were correct. I blogged about it but I am not about to search the archives looking for it but it was March 08. Lots of time and love and stability later and we have put many of her demons to rest. Some still show up and we fight them together. Yes, Rosie was a special needs child but it wasn't her medical needs that have caused her so many tears but her emotional needs.

Rosie is 3 now and taking the world by the horns. Her heart is condition was fixed by a fabulous team of doctors and her broken heart is still healing. We still have some rules in place regarding who gets to be close to Rosie and we follow her lead and she lets in who she can. Most people don't see what we see, the scared, anxious side of her, she saves the best for us. She learnt very quickly to turn to us for comfort and for that we are so very thankful.

The problem with having children is that from the second you become a parent your heart magically moves to the outside of your body and you watch it move around and get hurt before your very eyes in the form of your children and it hurts so darned much.

It truly saddened me yesterday when I realised that I was going to have to say something to Lily about this little boy and his plight because I was worried that one of the kids in school might say something to her because they all know she is adopted. We had been making sure we kept her away from this story as we didn't want to scare her or worry her as it is our job to protect her but as I thought about it, it would be scarier to hear about it from school or have some dingbat make a nasty comment about her being sent back than hearing it from us. All the talk about families are forever blah blah blah and now I am explaining how this woman decided hers was not forever and put the kid on a plane. Thankfully Miss Smarty pants got it and realises she is not going anywhere as this family truly is forever.

Ours was a typical adoption story but now it is just a typical, "and they all lived happily ever after" story. When I am asked if the girls are adopted I say, "No they are not, they were. Now they are just Lily and Rosie."

Will there ever come a day when I don't have to explain my family to someone....oh gosh I really hope so. Will I ever stop advocating adoption...not a chance!

I have such a beautiful family and you can too, just open up your heart.

11 Apr 2010

Five Against One.

When Lily first started having sleepovers with her 3 best friends the whole idea of it made me a little jittery to be honest. How on earth was I going to handle 5 kiddies? I know the girls really well, they are sisters and we spend loads of time together but having them here all night was a different matter entirely. The first time I don't think I relaxed for one second but somehow as the sleepovers have happened more and more I must have got used to it because yesterday when I went and picked the girls up I didn't bat an eyelash. We threw all the car seats in the car and I made sure everyone was buckled in tight and off we zoomed with barely a see ya soon to Hollis.

After a couple of hours of madcap playing and some dinner I asked the girls if they wanted to head out to an ice cream shop for dessert. Of course they did. So we headed back into the car and I, alone, took 5 girls out for ice cream with out thinking about it. It wasn't until we pulled into a parking apace that I said to them that there was only one of me and five of them so they needed to be on their best behaviour. They were and all was well. In fact the whole outing was a piece of cake and I noticed something: when you have 5 children with you, who all happen to look similar, people assume you have 5 children and instead of the ever annoying, mind grating, "are they adopted", question I was asked a couple of times by very amazed women, "you have 5 children". It was really rather refreshing that people actually assumed they were mine for a change. They giggled their way through ice cream and we returned home for some more madcap playing and tomfoolery until bath and bedtime. They play so well together and I love, LOVE to hear the giggles that erupt from them. I don't know two other sets of siblings that spend this much time together that play so well.

Considering that they were still going strong last night at 10.30 and Rosie is only 3, I was mortified when I was awoken before 7! Oh well such is life and at least today Jacob was here. After starting the day as a short order cook we rounded everyone up dressed them and headed out for a day of fun at the zoo. I have now figured out the fastest way to get everything done with 5 kiddos and it works for me. In fact what used to take me forever is now just second nature. I am impressing the socks off of myself. Don't panic I have no intentions of growing my brood quite that much. Although on two separate occasions today when Jacob and I were both asked if all the girls were ours we both said, no we have 3 and 2 are our friends....oopps! Duh!

We have had membership at the zoo since the year Lily came home and I can honestly say today was the most fun we have ever had there. We rented a bike, walked miles, ate lunch, had lemonades, chased lots of girls and generally laughed ourselves silly.

Lily the bat

Anlei the bat

I was standing on the other side of a waterfall.

Digging for Dinosaur bones

The huge zoo bike. THe girls loved this thing...too bad their legs were not longing enough to help pedal!

Joie and Rosie

Trevi and Rosie and a little Indian Deer thingy

Cute little otter.

Jacob, Lily and a friend.

By the time we had made it to the end of the zoo parking lot 2 of the 5 were asleep! They woke up when we pulled into the driveway and immediately flew back into action. We ate dinner and threw everyone into the tub. If the ring around the tub is any indicator of the fun these girls had today then it must have been a banner day cos the bath was really nasty. I almost put them back in again ! We drove everyone home wearing their jammies cos we knew that it would be late and frankly it would be a nice surprise for Hollis to not have to do it and if my girls fell asleep on the way back we could just scoop them inside and put them to bed. It also added to the fun of the day...who knew!

Lesson learnt.......I can do five with my eyes wide shut!

9 Apr 2010

How Should I Put This?

This is probably going to be a post that you will not agree with, that is fine. It is not fine however for you to flame me in the comments section as this is my blog.

Both of my daughters are adopted, (there's a newsflash, huh) and as a consequence of this they both have biological parents. Without these parents/people, I would not have my girls. I cannot imagine this as they are my heartbeat, they give me life but they are MY girls. I don't see them as adopted they are mine. I just don't think of their bio-parents much. I know that sounds really callous and I don't mean for it to be but that is how it is.

Occasionally Lily will mention something about hers and we discuss it but that is the extent of it. I never close down the conversation because we are very open about it and them and if one day there is ever a chance that she can find them and meet them I will be right there by her side holding her hand and encouraging her, if that is what she wants. This is not how I feel about their heritage and their culture or the fact that they are adopted because we celebrate all of those things this is simply how I view birthparents.

Sadly we know nothing of the situation that led to either of my daughters being put up for adoption and if you follow Bria*n Stuy*s ResearchChina Blog you may have read his articles on birthmothers and how they "deal" with the issue of giving children up for adoption. I used to paint a really pretty picture for Lily and Rose about their birth parents but now I have toned it down somewhat. They know they were loved but it is no longer all sweet and gushy.....that part of the story is not mine to tell. I cannot pretend there are 2 woman in China who are grieving for them as this may not be the case and I can not lie to them.

I am their Mother, I kiss them each night, I wipe their tears and hold them when they are scared, I scold them when they are naughty, laugh with them when they are silly, and play with them. I bath them when they are dirty, feed them when they are hungry and comfort them when they need it. I am the one who they turn to for advice and praise. I am not the biology that made them but I am the love that sustains them.

I will always be grateful for the DNA that made my girls but they are just that, MY girls.

4 Apr 2010

Easter Weekend.

This weekend has been so much more fun than any other Easter because Jacob was actually home with us the whole time and that is a first. He was with us when we dyed the eggs and when we filled the baskets and to top it off Andie is here to. Yesterday we dyed the eggs with the girls and Andie joined in as this is an American pastime so she has never done this before. We made lots of mess as always and then the girls used the dye to dye seashells. Well, whatever works for them, they were having lots of fun.

This morning when the girls woke up the Easter Bunny had already been here and left them both a basket so they were very happy and excited.

Having sweets for breakfast is a surefire way of keeping them excited! The Easter Bunny doesn't tend to leave much candy in their Easter baskets he usually leaves them a toy and this year he left them both Zhu Zhu* pets. Oy vey! We have an annual date with our friends Ed and Jen for breakfast at their house followed by an egg hunt because it never fails the Easter Bunny always hides eggs in their courtyard whilst we are eating, yet we have never caught him in action.

I love watching the kidlets hunt for eggs in the courtyard. The Easter Bunny is very creative with his hiding places and the kids spend quite a while searching. This year lots of Jenny's neighbours, (our old neighbours) came out to watch them.

My favourite part of this annual tradition is lining up the children on the bench and taking their photos. We can see not only how much the kids have grown but how our families keep on growing.



3 Apr 2010

Friends From The Start.

Yesterday we had the absolute pleasure of meeting one of the families that we traveled to China with in 2003 for lunch. I had a few more minutes with them cos I volunteered to pick them up at the port and take them to pick up their car at the rental agency. I recognised them immediately as they have not changed a bit, sure the girls have grown, Sonja is now 8 and Maddy 15, and they are gorgeous but John and Nancy have not changed, they were a tad red from the lovely Caribbean sun but other than that, unchanged. We drove to a restaurant and met up with Jacob, the girls, Andie and Chicken Feet. Chicken Feet is so named as she took us to this restaurant back in 2003 just before we all left for China and served us chicken feet for lunch. Since that fateful day we have called her CF and she has called us CF. It is a term of endearment, we love each other however Jacob and I do not care to eat chicken feet! Most people think that when we refer to CF as CF she has no idea, ha, she does and loves it!

The girls were excited to meet up once again and instantly time was lost on them and they just fell back in to that comfy zone that happens to kids especially China sisters. Within minutes they were comparing notes on second grade, gaps in teeth, how many they had lost, Hannah Montana, sisters, bedrooms and this was just the first 3 minutes. They are so alike these 2 it is scary. They are outgoing and funny, they love to laugh and giggle. Did I mention giggle? OMW these 2 can giggle. If by chance these 2 were ever in the same school it would be disastrous, the teachers would not stand a chance. They ate and giggled about that, they giggled at the chicken feet on the table, I giggled at the chicken feet on the table. They just loved being together and I should add that on Thursday evening we did not get home until after 11 and Lily was so tired. Whilst I went to the port she really gave Andie and Daddy a run for their money in the ugly department cos she was whipped but once she met Sonja she forgot all about being tired. Sadly lunch ended and they headed back to there car to head north to Disney so we had to say farewell and see you in 3 years. The girls were deflated.

When Lily and Sonja met they were just little toddlers, 14 and 18 months respectively. We were in the same travel group. We had the absolute best time with the White Rose Club, the name we gave ourselves. All the families got on really well and for the most part we have all stayed in touch. Since our adoption agency is based in Seattle WA most of the families are from the west coast so we don't really see much of each other. We flew out for a one year reunion and have a pact for a 10 yr reunion trip to China in 2013 and most of us still plan on going.

John and Sonja in Wuhan China August 2003. Lily is in red right behind them. (with her tummy on show.)

Lily and Sonja sharing breakfast.

One year later we headed to Seattle for a reunion and oddly enough Lily and Sonja played together then as well. I think they both have the same energy level.

This was yesterday. They have grown quite a bit in 6 years.

John and Sonja

Maddy, Nancy and CF

Jacob and Andie

Oh My Gosh, what was that is was so HOT!

Group Shot

Jacob And Rosie

2 Apr 2010

Look Who We Found!

We found cousin Annie! She was at the Orlando Airport. Finally the British Airw*ays strike came to an end and Andie was able to get on a flight so she flew directly to Orlando and we picked her up and the fun began. I hardly took any photos which was very silly but sometimes fun trumps picture taking.

We spent a day at Sea W0rld and rode some hair raising rides. It was so fun and made all the better by Andie, just ask the girls.

We ate all sorts of yummy food and shopped until we dropped in all countless the outlet malls, Jacob rear ended a car, (oops did I write that here) and due to the nervous tension Andie and I fell about in total hysterics, because on impact something from the back seat landed on his shoulder and when he got out to talk to the very understanding driver he had this silly thing perched on his shoulder (very mature!) we checked out of the hotel and spent the day out and about with Lily, Jacob and Andie taking a helicopter flight, lots of shopping, more eating and various other adventures before finally hitting the road home. After about an hour of travelling we realised we had left our pillows in our hotel suite so we had to drive A L L T H E W A Y B A C K! Ooopsie, that was my fault. If we didn't use down pillows and the pillow cases on the girls were not from the set that Nannie sent over from England we would have kept going!

We arrived home last night really really late but it just didn't matter we had the best couple of days even with all the hiccups or as Rosie calls them, hichups.

Lily was really surprised at the size of this horse and rather disappointed that she was not allowed to ride it. That's my girl always seeking a little adventure.

Jacob, Lily and Andie's Helicopter flight. Rosie was really bothered that she did not get to go.

I have so much blogging to catch up on but I don't have any piccies to accompany it...sigh. I shall do better. It is just so hard to take photos when you are laughing so hard you are crying.


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