Saturday, August 30, 2008

Pictures, happenings and reality

So we have been super busy with life in general. Not our real life but life as a stay at home family of three. Tuesday that all comes crashing to an abrupt halt. We are both returning to work on Tuesday morning. On one hand we are really not looking forward to it and on the other it will be nice to finally get us all back to real life.We feel very grateful to have had this time as a family and very grateful to have jobs to return to. We will all be going through an adjustment us having to get back into the swing of working again after 12 weeks off. Sophia will be adjusting to not being with us 24/7. The good thing is my schedule is flexible and my mother and Riz's parents is semi retired so between us Sophia will still be in our home with family around her toys and things that are familiar to her.

This last week we have been enjoying our last few days of time off. We spent the beginning of the week in Savannah visiting our good friend Wendy and her beautiful daughters Kate and Claire. We were so excited to see them and to introduce Sophia to all three of them. Kate and Claire were so excited and too cute. They had fixed a table full of "Sophia safe" toys and books. The girls all got along great and played so nice together. We are so happy about that because Kate and Claire are so special to us. We know that we will have many more years of memories with them. Something else that was super cute that happened while we were there was Claire feeding Sophia applesauce. Claire is going to be a GREAT Mama one day....

Our beautiful girl
Kate in my lap and Claire feed Sophia applesauce
Sophia and Claire the two Nanchang sisters
too cute
Yesterday we spent the day at our favorite place on earth Walt Disney World. We took Sophia to The magic Kingdom for her fist visit. She was a trooper and enjoyed the day, although she was not to sure about the photographers. She did LOVE all the rides we took her on some of her favorites were "It's a Small World", "The Haunted Mansion", and "Pirates of the Caribbean" She smiled and waved as we rode through each of the rides. It was adorable to watch her and something we had always dreamed about. We kept saying to each other all day "how great is it to be here with our daughter"? I must admit I got teary eyed a few times.... It was a great day....

Sophia's progress continues to amaze us. She is a happy little girl with a smile that lights up her whole face and the room. She is now saying Thank You, Night Night, Mama, Baba (sometimes means Baby some times Daddy), Dada (Daddy), Again, Bye (now with a southern Accent), Hi. We have been working with her trying to teach her some basic sign language. In the last few days she has started to use the sign for Drink, eat and hungry. I am amazed that she was able to pick this up. We are learning more and more about Sophia every day. One thing we are learning about her is that she is always eager to learn and is always trying to communicate with us. Shortly after we came home from China we put her potty chair out and she would go and sit on it a smile at us. Then we noticed that she would pull at her diaper in the morning shortly after waking up followed by a sound and wave her hand in the air. We started to take her to the potty chair and she would sit there sometimes she will tinkle and other times she would just play but we started to pay more and more attention to these sounds and this morning she did number one and number two on the potty. She followed that up with several more number ones on the potty later today. We don't think that Sophia ever wore a diaper while she was in China (very common in China). We are really hoping that potty training will be easy for us but we know that it may not be.......but we can always hope...
* Please take a moment to go over to my freind Sharon's Blog. She was united with her daughter MaryAlice today and she is beautiful......

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Happy Birthday - the gift.

Please join me in wishing my beautiful wife and new MaMa Susan a very Happy and special Birthday.

As I write this post I see from the corner of my eye Susan rocking Sophia for a nap - both peaceful and content. I have tried for weeks to think of a great gift for Susan's B-day and now realize the greatest gift happened on June 16th - the day we held our daughter for the first time. The gift of motherhood has been a blessing every day.

Happy Birthday MaMa! We love you!

Riz and Sophia

Monday, August 18, 2008

A day in the Park

This week we took Sophia to a beautiful little park in New Smyrna Beach for a picnic and her first experience (at least with us) on playground equipment. I will just say that my daughter is fearless. She loved the whole experience the swings she could not get enough of, The slide we had to do over and over again and when we put her up to the Zip line and the Monkey Bars she grabbed the bar and held herself up yes all her weight on her own. We all had a great time, seeing the joy in Sophia's face and hearing her belly laugh was so wonderful.

It was a great day.....

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Rizzo Family grows by one more

Today was a happy day for our family. My Brother in-law Chris and his wife Tabby added a son to their family. The new bundle of joy was delivered this afternoon at 4pm. Mom and baby are both doing well and are expected to be home tomorrow sometime.

Christopher Michael Rizzo Jr.
August 16th 2008
8.6 pounds
20 inches long
dark hair and eyes

We want to congratulate Chris and Tabby on their beautiful new son.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Rizzo Summer of Fun

We have been so busy having fun as a new young family that our blogging has suffered. Sorry about that, we are going to post some pictures of what we have been up to and of Sophia in all her cuteness. We have to first say a big congratulations to all our friends who are recently basking in the wonderful feeling of referral day. We are so happy that your time has finally come your children are all beautiful...Kathy and Erik...Melissa and Pat.... Alyson and Ford...Christine(forgive me Christine I can't remember your husbands name) and many more who we know through our DTC yahoo group. ....

In the last month we have been to the Mountains of NC with family and then with our friends Cheri and Shane and there beautiful daughter Hope who is only 3 days younger then Sophia. We had a great time with them and seeing the girls together was so wonderful. They were really cute together with minimal fighting....
We have been to EPCOT as a family of 3 for the first time. Many more trips to come in the future. Our travel mates and friends Mark and Gigi's beautiful daughter Stephaine turned one early this month so we made the trip to Jacksonville to see them and celebrate Stephaine's first birthday. We have been enjoying the Olympics, Sophia who has not watched a bit of TV yet actually sat down for 30 minutes and watched the Chinese Women's Gymnastics, with out us making her Hmmmmmmm....We have been trying all summer to get Sophia to wear Sunglasses, shoes, hair bows,hats etc no success until the other day when she wore a bow and sunglasses most of the day. We also took a road trip to see our great friends Lori and Andy in Lakeland (thanks guys you are great host) and while we were there Sophia decided to use the Potty Chair (3 times Woo Hoooo) and has continued to do so here at home. Sophia is doing really great she is a sweet, happy smart wonderful child we feel blessed to have her in our lives sometimes we still look at each other and say "can you believe that she is ours"....

OK now on to the pictures

All right I was putting together a slide show and we have so many pictures we want to share that we are going to do 2 slide shows one today and one in a day or so......thanks for staying tuned

Friday, August 08, 2008

8-8-08 Opening Night

Today is the opening of the 29th Olympic games. China has been preparing for this very auspicious day for more the 7 years now. The date was chosen because the number 8 is a very lucky number in the Chinese Culture. The Olympic games will begin on 8-8-08 at 8:08pm (this has already happened) and will air on NBC in the USA starting at 7:30pm. We have been dreaming for years about watching the Olympics with Sophia home with us. Tonight we will be home the 3 of us have dinner and then settle in to watch what China has put together for the opening ceremonies. We are really looking forward to seeing the big event and all the hoopla of the Olympic events. We have always watched and look forward to seeing the Swimming events along with my favorite the Gymnasts. I have to admit that I am sort of pulling for the Chinese team here. I have read and watched so much about their team. They give up so much of their young lives to be part of their countries team. I hope that the games go well and that people see the true spirit of the China that we have grown to love.....

Remember 7:30pm on NBC

The Pictures are from when we were in Beijing in June. We were fortunate enough to get to see the Olympic Stadium in person. It is spectacular and bigger then you can imagine. The Olympic count down clocks were allover Beijing. We rode through the Olympic Village and got to see many of the preparations for the games. It makes it all the more exciting for us knowing we were just there ourselves.....

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Some random favorites

Even though this is a horrible picture of me and Sophia is crying I love the look on Riz's face this was the first moment I held Sophia
and even though this one is blurry it is the moment Riz first help Sophia, PRICELESS
Getting to know one an other in China. Our first moments back in our hotel room just minutes after we were united

On day two Sophia was still stressed but just the most beautiful baby we had ever laid eyes on.

This picture was taken at the airport in Guangzhou on our second attempt to fly home. This look is how we all felt after a night in the "Hell Hotel" LOL
She was stunned to be doing this again. I think she was secretly hoping that our flight would be canceled again so we could stay in China one more night...

On our way to the Consulate Appointment Sophia just gazed out the window

Is there anything more cute then Baby Feet
We have more favorites and will share them in the future but tonight I am tired and I am going to bed.... night night

Sunday, August 03, 2008

her personality

These pictures capture Sophia's personality so well... Sweet as pie, mischievous, smart and funny

Change in Plans

Well it has been a week and we have had an overwhelming response to our blog going private. I never realised just how many readers we have. It is very touching to us that so many are interested in what is going on in our little lives. It is very sweet that so many find comfort, encouragement, and hope in our story. Today I sat down to take the next step to go private and realised that I can not invite everyone who wants to view our blog. I can't imagine leaving any of you out so we have decided to NOT go private on the blog. I will have to use caution with the pictures that I post and what I write about form here on out because safety is always a concern but don't worry I now have all your e-mail address and if I can't post it I will send it to you in an e-mail. Once again Riz and I want to thank you so much for all the love and support that we have received from all of you, you are very special to us.
We are very blessed to call you all friends........

We are running out now but I will post some updated pictures later....

Susan and Riz

Friday, August 01, 2008

We interrupt this blog

to bring you this advertisement.......

While in Nanchang, China we met and talked to a wonderful, sweet business women named Tiffanie. Tiffanie and Riz have been corresponding ever since we have been home with Sophia. She was a great help to us after we came home with Sophia with understanding what China custom is, as it relates to raising children. She helped us to understand that Sophia sleep issues may be because, in China it is customary for babies to sleep with adults until they are as much as 3 years old. We are under no illusion that Tiffanie will remember us in the long term, but for now she does remember us partly because she and Sophia share their family name of WAN..... We were so touched by Tiffanie and her sweet nature that we want to tell people that are traveling to Nanchang to look for her store... Riz even told her if she would like to post an advertisement to our blog we would be honored to help her. The following is a brief advertisement from Tiffanie, I am sure as you read it you will see what I mean about how sweet Tiffanie is....... We wish her well and hope to stay in touch with her in the future....We are posting her e-mail just as she sent it to us as we feel it really captures how sweet she is and the true essence of the people of China.....

Please visit her website.....

Dear Rizzo
Thank you for offering me a place to speak to these lovely adoption families... I really appreciate it !
Here is my presentation ,please help me if I happen to make any mistakes in words, I spend hours to look it over again and again. however , I believe there is still a long way for me to go in English study,therefore ,please help Tiffanie to have a self-introduction with just pretty English..---------------

Hello, my name is Tiffanie,I have 3 stores in Nanchang (
is our website),selling beautiful Jiangxi local products and custom-made clothes for children. all of my stores enjoy convinient locations to the hotels popular among JIangxi adoption families. through the years, I have witnessed numerous foreign families come to help Jiangxi orphans by providing them with a warm home. I am deeply touched to see your love and good care shown on these poor children. I often think ,you care about Jiangxi children,then, who care about you in Jiangxi? as a native here , what I can do for you and your wonderful families?
In this case, besides we provide Jiangxi families with the best quality goods with the most favorable prices, we take a part of profit to make a variety of free service for Jiangxi families ,-- I am happy to give free finding ad ( also,mail it to families abroad for free. I count the ads we have provided these years, that we have given the free ads to over 1000 international families with Jiangxi children) ; free maps of orphanage city ( map is only availabe free for the families who come to pick it in our store),free going on internet ; free laundry for baby's clothes . by doing so, I feel more hopeful and faithful with the business I am going on,and I believe it will help more people care about Jiangxi orphans and the overseas adoption families with Jiangxi children. on the other hand it may makes sense for Jiangxi families to come to know about Tiffanie and my business!!
the other day,I knew a charity fundation named Amity accidentally, who provide aid specially to Jiangxi children. that is great !! I am going to sponsor this fundation to help Jiangxi children who are still in orphanage, mainly by the way of donating cash( it may not be a lot from my small business,but I hope Amity will welcome my efforts to be a little help) or gift ( toys,clothes, books).
when Tiffanie's stores move steadily in the concept of while making a living to feed ourselves,helping others in the way we can ;I feel that the right time arrives to witness the big succuss in my business.
Sincerely yours,
Tiffanie in Nanchang