Thursday, June 25, 2009

Friends for life

During the 29 month wait for Sophia I was very lucky to bond with an amazing group of women. We met on the Jan2006yahoo group early on in the wait and forged a friendship that none of us ever expected. We come from different backgrounds, different walks of life and different areas of the country, but our common bond was the adoption. During the wait we met on several occasions to support each other. The bond we share has only grown deeper with the addition of our children. Our support for each other has moved on from supporting each other through the long unexpected wait to supporting each other through the adjustment of becoming a family. We all talk on a regular basis so meeting for a reunion was only natural. We have all been home now for some months. Riz and I being the longest at one year now and the Smith's being home just a few short months. We started planning this get together months ago and out of 14 families 10 were able to make the weekend in Amelia Island Florida. The weekend was more wonderful then we thought it was going to be. We spent time together at the beach, eating out, shopping in Amelia Island and "Hall Way cocktail parties" but I know I speak for the others when I say the best part was seeing all the girls play together. Each girl has their own individual personality and all are beautiful. We shared stories of our trips to China and of our parenting since becoming moms to these sweet girls. The weekend was over to quick but we ended with the promise that we would start planning the next reunion soon and for a much cooler place next year we are thinking New Hampshire. Erik and Kathy Crisman live there and offered to host next years event. Here are a few pictures from the most amazing weekend......We also celebrated our one year Family Anniversary while we were at the beach......

Friday's BBQ Me and my friend Karen
She had the best ride all weekend
My Friend Stephe and I at dinner Sat. night
My good friends Kathy and Stephe
The girls from
left to right top row Emma,Sophia,Qiao,Hannah
left to right bottom Mary Alice,Giorgia, Kaelie,Meili,Lily and Lexi
I may be partial but they are all so beautiful.
(Mom to Emma, Kathy made each of the girls a "Pillow Case" dress. Thanks Kathy)
Sophia wanting to take MORE pictures
Sophia trying to plant a kiss on GiorgiaMy beauty
A family pictureThe girls in their matching Green Lady Bug dresses (Thanks Stephe)
Sophia with her first Family Day anniversary gift. Two jade bracelets we bought for her while we were in China.Mommy and daughter on our first Family Day AnniversarySophia's buddies Kate (Key) and Claire (Care)
Family Portrait on Family Day
The Love of a Family....

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The True measure of a man

Dear Riz,
This is not your first Father's Day,but your second. Last year we were blessed with the most amazing gift of parenthood on Father's Day. I watched you go from being a man, a husband to a Father in the blink of an eye. Standing there in that hot Civil affairs office in Nanchang China I saw not only a child gain a family but I saw a father born before my eyes. Becoming a father was a long time coming for you, but I think that time has given you the gift of gratitude and appreciation. I always knew that Fatherhood would suite you and it has in more ways then I had ever imagined. I knew you would be an awesome dad and you are just that. I always knew that your heart would melt when you heard the words I love you Daddy or when she cried or even when she laughed and it in fact has melted many times in the past year. . Being a "Father" is so much more then biology, Fatherhood comes from the heart, it comes from the desire to nurture a little sole into a healthy, happy human. You have all of those things and so much more. The true measure of a man is shown when he becomes a parent. How will he handle parenthood? It is shown in all the little things that get over looked on a day to day basis. The bed time stories, and night time bathes, the snuggling on the couch and the being firm when it is called for, all of the kissed boo boos and the dried tears it is measured in the laughter that is heard in a home. It is measured in the TOTAL enjoyment of spending every possible moment with your child and exposing your child to everything life has to offer even those things that you don't like (ie. sand, seafood and children's music). It is all of these things and the wish to do them all over and over again just to see the happiness it brings to your child's face and to hear her laughter again and again. The true measure of a man is what kind of father they are.. you are an amazing Man and a GREAT father. I am so proud of you and so happy that Sophia has you as a father and that I have you as a husband,,,,,

Happy Fathers Day

We love you
Susan and Sophia

Friday, June 12, 2009

A year in her life

It was one year ago today that Sophia was placed crying in our arms. It has been the most amazing year of firsts as we became a family. We knew from the moment she was brought to us that our lives were changed forever, and that they have, changed I mean. Changed for the better in so many ways we can't even begin to recount them here. People ask us all the time "So how is parenthood?, Is it every thing you thought it would be?" they say that to us with a snicker in their voice like "Ha HA not as great as you had dreamed right?" We find this so strange because Parenthood is better then we had ever dreamed, It suits us. We had always talked and dreamed about taking Sophia with us while we did all our normal stuff and we have done just that. This year we have traveled as much as we always did and Sophia was right there with us. We still go out to eat, shopping and to Disney World just like always. The difference now is we have someone to share all of that with. Parenthood has been challenging at times as we have adjusted to each other and learning to be firm yet loving and flexible. Things do take us longer and we have a shorter period of time in the evening then we used to but we make the best of it spending quality family time together. Parenthood is more then we ever dreamed it could be or would be. So when people ask us that question with the hint of sarcasm in their voice we always say that we would not trade it for anything and that it is the best thing we have ever done. We wanted to share pictures of Sophia from this past year with you in the form of a slide show put to music but I ran out of time so here are snap shots of our life this last year.

A Year in Her Life

Sophia in China before we became a family.
14 months old

May 2008

The day we became a family in Nanchang China

Sophia was not quite 15 months Old

June 16th 2008

Sophia's first 4th of July as an American citizen
July 4th 2008

Chilling with my friend Hope on our first trip to the mountains
August 2008

Sophia and Big Sam in Wendy's front yard on our first trip to Savannah, Ga

September 2008

Sophia's 1 and 1/2 year birthday Party

Playing with my little Buddie McKenzie.

Stephanie in the background

September 2008

Sophia in the Lake Helen Pumpkin Patch

October 2008

Sophia getting her first hair cut by Paul

October 2008

Thanksgiving Day

November 2008

Sophia and Allyson at the Christmas tree farm

Dec 2008

Hanging out by the fire with Kate (Key) and Claire (Care)

December 2008

Christmas Day

Dec 2008

Back together with my China buddies Claire (Care) and Stephanie (FiFi)

January 2009

Just one of my favorite pictures of our girl

January 2009

Valentines Day

February 2009

St. Patrick's Day

March 2009

Sophia's 2nd Birthday Party

Cousin Breanna

April 2009

Doing the Zoo with the Love twins

April 2009

Summer is here New Smyrna Beach

May 2009

our one year Family Day Anniversary

Amelia Island Florida

June 16th 2009

These pictures give you a small look into all the firsts this past year. There were so many more that we could not capture here. Things like Sophia's first words, her first ice cream, the first time she said I love you in English, her first bike and her first all nighter in her crib things that happen when the camera is not looking but will always be in our memories and in our hearts.

Stay tuned for pictures from our Panda Reunion at the beach......

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


I am selling on e-bay now so please feel free to check out my listings and spread the word. I am trying to raise money for a very special project...hee hee hee...There is a link on the side bar that will take you right to my e-bay listings. If there is anything there you would like please feel free to bid and contact me. If you are from out of the USA please contact me directly and we can work something out. Thanks for supporting us and our very special project. :)