Sunday, September 27, 2009

One Year of Love (cont'd)

It's hard to believe, but it was already a year ago yesterday... we were finally done with China and heading for home! We were ending our trip but starting the greatest journey of our lives! We were exhausted! But after over 26 hours on planes, one year ago yesterday, we arrived home as a family. Our precious daughter became an official U.S. Citizen when we landed in Newark, NJ. She was such a trooper on all those flights! By the time we finally got home, us grownups were ready to kiss the ground! But our little munchkin was just as happy as could be!

Here's how it all played out... we left Hong Kong & headed for Newark... the flight was long, and hard, especially for me because I was sick. Tommy was absolutely awesome with the baby. He had to walk her up and down the aisles of the plane, and even brought her into the little airplane bathroom to change her! This from someone who wasn't sure how he was going to handle being a dad!!! It was amazing!

So we land in Newark, only to find out that our connectingn flight has been cancelled for bad weather... the weird thing was, the bad weather had ended hours before! but they were just so far behind, they couldn't get it straight. the long story short was that instead of flying from Newark to Atlanta to Ft Myers, the only flight we could get out of Newark went to Atlanta and then Sarasota! We had to call our friends that were picking us up and ask if they could either drive 2 hours to Sarasota or pick us up the next day and we'd have to stay over in either Newark or Atlanta...

Thank goodness, they opted to pick us up in Sarasota!!! We were NOT looking forward to spending another night away from home... Well, by the time we finally got to the airport, it was way past midnight! Then our real surprise... my parents had actually made the trip with Margie & Charlie up to Sarasota! It was a terrific homecoming! We unloaded all our stuff & introduced Rachel to her new room AND her new best friend, Penny!!
It was without a doubt, a day (& NIGHT) we will NEVER forget!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

What a Day Yesterday Was

Before I do anything else, I have to say Happy Anniversary to my parents. Usually we do something to celebrate, but because it fell on our reunion weekend, we didn't have our usual dinner out...
It's Monday... and it really FEELS like a Monday! Well, it was a fantastic weekend with our Hunan Spicy Girls Family. We had so much fun that the gang has decided to do it here again next year! I am SO excited! I'm going to start planning right away... well, after I recover from THIS weekend that is!
I woke up this morning feeling awful... I'm pretty sure it's just exhaustion after all the excitement of the weekend, but I didnt want to lift my head off the couch! I spent most of the day laying here. Thank goodness, Rachel is really good about playing on her own. She spent a good part of the day reading her books (ok, HER version of reading) and playing with Penny. She also had a longer bath than usual. She finally decided it was time to play with all those foam letters & numbers the RIGHT way. She started grouping them all along the tub walls by color... She may not know what the direction the alphabet goes in yet, but she sure knows the colors! LOL
We are trying to get back to a normal schedule again too. Having all our friends here this weekend, she was totally off her game. Hardly any nap times, staying up very very late every night... It was great, but now it's back to reality. So, just like before, she was in bed by 7:30... but UNLIKE before, she was so totally exhausted, she went straight to sleep! I'm gonna like this!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Mother and Child Reunion

This weekend is the 1st Annual Hunan Spicy Girls Reunion. What an incredible, amazing weekend we are having! Our friends started arriving Thursday night... They are all staying at the Pink Shell Resort, which is absolutely wonderful! It is right on Ft Myers Beach, and the rooms are fantastic from what I saw! We tried to stick it out until everyone got there, but there were some flight delays and we just couldn't hang on that long...
On Friday, we all met up and had some fun poolside... I missed a lot of the day because I overslept, but we still had some fun with everyone before naptime... which Rachel opted to avoid! We went to Sophie & Gary's room to chill out before meeting everyone for dinner. We really tried to get the girls to sleep, but Zia was busy feeding goldfish crackers to Rachel! And of course, Rachel would not deny her that pleasure! So, no nap, no way, no how... She did, however, let Aunt Sophie put some beautiful pigtails in her hair!!!
So now it's time to meet everyone in the lobby to catch the trolley to Times Square for dinner... so of course THAT'S when Rachel decides its time for a nap! LOL.. but so did Faith (the one I always called the "Little Judge" when we were in China!)

The girls all woke up in time for dinner at a local restaurant.. I think we shocked them coming in with 16 adults and 14 kids!!! But they got us all seated in the same section and everyone seemed to enjoy the food.
On Saturday, my dear friend Nicole met us all at the beach and took some amazing shots of the girls...
This was almost as tough as the red couch shots!

Nicole also got some incredible candid shots of all the girls... it was so wonderful.
Later in the afternoon, the gang came to our house for a BBQ / Pool party... we had a BLAST! The kids all seemed to have fun, and even Penny got into the fun. Abbey... well she bit my dad so she got locked up for the duration. She really doesn't like crowds!

Nicole came back to our house and just took some fabulous pictures! We were SO happy she did this for us.

This shot is of the 3 cribmates! Kaelin Bing, Rachel & Alexis. They were reportedly close friends in the orphanage and even shared a crib!
I was also THRILLED that she got a family shot for us! We have almost NO pictures of all three of us together!
The kids had fun playing on the swing & slide, and had a real blast playing with Rachel's Bongo drums. We all enjoyed the concert they performed!
Here is my girl Sophie... this reunion was her idea, and she did such a great job putting it all together... I did my best to help, but man, she knows how to organize! And how's this for special... while they were here, my girlfriend Margie tattooed Zia's name on Gary's arm!!! She brought all her gear to the house for anyone who wanted to get a tattoo done! I felt really bad that Gary was the only one who was willing to do it. She dragged so much equiptment here thinking we had at least of FEW guys willing to do it! Oh well.. Tommy decided now he wants to get something done with my name & Rachel's name... too sweet!
This picture I took... and I think it sums up the day pretty well! Our poor Penny puppy was TOTALLY exhausted. I took a whole mess of pictures of her with her lambie wrapped around her face and she didnt even BLINK! I know WE had a fabulous time and were So happy all our friends were here with us.
We were truly blessed to have traveled with such an amazing group of people. I hope that we will have these reunions every year... I just feel so close to them all!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

One Year of Love

It's so hard to believe... it has actually been a year...
This is my Facebook status... it really expresses how I feel today:

It was 1 year ago today... the first time I held my beautiful daughter... the first time I saw her face, dried her tears, saw her smile... it was 1 year ago today I became her mother... it was 1 year ago today I became whole.

One year ago today, we held our precious daughter for the very first time... I remember like it was yesterday! Walking into that dark room... all the nannies sitting under the windows holding our little girls... all of us wondering which girl was which! First it was because we were looking into the light so it was hard to actually see the girls. Plus, we were all trying to judge by the referral pictures! And those were already so old! I was looking for a chubby cheeked bald baby... but that's not what our little angel looked like when we saw her for the first time... She was beautiful. She was perfect. She had HAIR!!!

I remember the fact that she never shed a tear... I, on the other hand, was bawling my brains out! I don't think I have ever been happier in my life than I was on that hot & steamy day. It had taken 3 long & frustrating years, but this was worth every minute. I wanted this moment in my life to just freeze. I hoped that I would never ever forget just how happy I was at that very moment. Well, now that it is a whole year later, I can honestly say that it has only gotten better.

I still remember that moment as if it happened moments ago... but I also have a whole year's worth of other happy memories... and I know that there are millions more memories ahead of us. Our beautiful little girl has changed our lives forever and we are so grateful. She makes us smile every day... she is smart, funny, spirited, stubborn, adorable, loving, and beautiful... and best of all, she is all OURS & we LOVE HER...

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Fly Like an Eagle

It's unbelievable, but true... one year ago today, Tommy & I started on the long journey to China! It was a long, exhausting trip... but one that we had been looking forward to for so many years it was almost like a dream... We were finally on our way to becoming a complete family...

We left from Ft Myers & headed to Miami... luckily, it wasn't too small a plane, or Tommy would have been scraping off the tarmac! I am NOT a good person when it comes to flying in an airplane... I would MUCH rather be on the ground.. or even on water! But even my fear of flying couldn't keep me from seeing my daughter for the first time! :-) From Miami we headed to Newark, NJ... our old home port! and then from there, we were Hong Kong Bound!
And from there, our lives would be forever changed for the best...

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Love & Marriage

Today is a major milestone in our family... It was ten years ago today that Tommy & I walked down the aisle and made a lifetime commitment to each other.
Our Rabbi, (who we lovingly refer to as Mr Hollywood, because he "married" The Nanny to Mr Sheffield on the final season of "The Nanny" with Fran Dresher...
The first time we saw him, he had white white hair and white white teeth and a dark "George Hamilton" tan. It was crazy.
It rained on our wedding day, which everyone told us was good luck... and they were right! Because 10 years later, here we are... still married... still happy... actually, even happier... because now we have our precious daughter and we are now complete.
I will post more later... Tommy just made home made muffins for breakfast... YUM
Ok... so I fully intended to make this a much more elaborate post... I planned on scanning some of our wedding day pics, and doing all the things one is expected to do when posting a major event... BUT... I got caught up in the every day events around here... playing with the munchkin, watching Tommy grill up a totally yummy dinner... so, since we are going to my mom's tomorrow for a post-anniversary day dinner, I'll just have to take some good pics and post again here tomorrow...
Goodnight all... closing up shop early tonite... wink-wink... nudge-nudge...

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

No News is Good News...

Just a quick update since I'm really drained of all energy these days. My surgery went well, I am just really tired & still kinda weak. The munchkin is being SO good and just having fun with her. There are SOME perks to being home on sick leave!

Speaking of... gave her some of my home made mango ice cream last night... I think she enjoyed it, don't you?

Penny has been a total mush too... she sure looks comfy here, doesn't she?
So no other real big newsbreaks from the Shaw household...
Just that we miss all our friends & family and hope SOME of you will venture down here to visit now that the cold weather will be coming your way... :-)
Love to all...

Our Story

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We are the proud parents of a beautiful little girl. I have not stopped smiling since the moment they placed her in my arms. We adopted her Sept 2008 and it's been nothing but wonderful! She is the best reason to open my eyes every day! Currently living in SW Florida. I've also become a MAJOR Twilight junkie, so now I'm told I'm a TWI-MOM & I LOVE it!

Our Daughter Rachel MeiLi

Our Daughter Rachel MeiLi
Rachel MeiLi

Red Thread Legend

Red Thread Legend
Chinese Red Thread Legend


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