Thursday, December 11, 2008

China Buddies

This is Liv and her little friend E.

If there is one thing I am eternally grateful for these last few years after bringing the girls home, it is their playgroups. We have been so very fortunate to have found a playgroup for each of the girls comprised of little girls adopted within months of each other. Each playgroup has kids born within 4 months of each other. I cannot express how much this has meant to us. Besides the obvious companionship and camaraderie, these playgroups have given all of us the sense of normalcy. Our adoption choices are simply another way to form a Midwestern family, not a curiosity at the mall or some one's judgement of "saving those poor children". It has been amazing to have a place to go where each parent knows what it is like to have to answer awkward questions at the grocery store. Each parent knows what it is like when a child has terrible meltdowns and you wonder whether this is a normal mix of temperament and development, a bout of over tiredness, or something more deep ceded centered around profound loss. And here in the playgroup, while little girls listen to library story hour or dance petite ballerina at parks and recreation...Mom's have a safe place to just talk it out.

As playgroups often do, our groups are a litmus test of developmental psychology. Watching each of the girls' personality emerge and grow throughout the months surrounded by sisters of circumstance is both pure entertainment and perhaps a window to gauge years of social and emotional interactions to come.

I am stunned by this picture. It really does capture Liv and her friend E. E is rambunctious and quick. She is sly and funny. She, by her own doing is always perfectly accessorized. She is ultimately feminine. Liv is so cautious with new things and new people. She seems stunned then cameras emerge. But at home she is one of the sweetest people I have ever met. She is kind and once she trusts you she will shower you with hugs and genuine love. At home she bounces from one piece of furniture to the next...preferring you roll and skip from room to room rather than walk on the floor. She relishes the confines of these walls that are home.

I suppose this picture, taken by E's mom, is reminding me I need to take more pictures of my remember their journey.


Ranee said...

I'm trying to store witty comebacks for people after my international adoption. Already I get tons of comments about the color of my child's hair. How on earth did you two dark haired people end up with that gorgeous red headed child? Well, you see cashier at the local mart, think before you speak.

I'm definitely hoping to find some type of support or group, but in my part of the state it seems so "odd" to adopt to everyone still.

On a completely different note, those two are gorgeous!

Beverly said...

It is a great pic capturing the "public" persona of each. My daughter is a lot like Liv, at home talks non stop, active etc and in public hiding behind my skirt.

Alyson and Ford said...

Love the pictures! So much fun to have playgroups... we are hoping to start one after the holidays.

Alyzabeth's Mommy Since 09/16/08

Stephanie said...

I wish we lived closer to the families we traveled with in China - as it is we try and get together with at least two of the families once a year, but it doesn't seem like enough.

Lydia said...

I'm so thankful that we live close to several families from our travel group and that we get to see them often. Plus we also have a playgroup that mostly China-born girls. I agree with all the reasons you listed for loving your group. I'd like to add one of my favorite things,I'm an "older" mom" aka over 25....I like that all the moms (dads, too) are over 30! :) LOL!!!!

Natalie said...

Great blog and your girls are beautiful. My Yangxi girl is 2 years old.