Monday, December 08, 2008


Some deeper thoughts often lurk beneath all the surface joy and day to day life. Thoughts about single parenting, birthparents, attachment, transracial adoption, Chinese heritage and racism to name a few. They linger in my day ....daily. Often I read, contemplate and murmur about the realities of our day to day life. I had no conscious idea before I adopted AnnaLeisa where our journey would bring us but I knew deep in my heart it was a "true" calling. We have been deeply blessed and I know this in the depth of my soul.

I also know the delicate care involved in parenting a child whose story is based in grief. To tell the truth with loving honesty and to constantly reassure her that I will never leave. That our relationship is forever. That I love her deeply. It is the one fear all adopted children face.... to again be abandoned. This fear is in AnnaLeisa's play and in her facial expressions daily and cannot be ignored.

I couple this knowledge with the love of life and to share this with AnnaLeisa without ruffles but with a deeper mystery that is pervasive. I know to live this, not in words, but in how I live and how I act in our life. Even in the most devastating moments of parenting to let this be the truth.... that we are human and with flaws. None of us are exempt. And that is good.

I think in these times of spirituality ... and this has no concrete answer either....

I could sing the praises of my girl into the forever sky and there would be no end. To the depth that this journey has provided and to how my heart has broken countless times only to be bigger and then broken again. By the simplest of moments that crack and crack one's ideas so deliciously.

I tell AnnaLeisa I love her everynight and I say I love her "ten times ten times ten into forever" and in that is a truth that we have yet to comprehend. It is vast and large and permanent.

I only ask for continued support from dear friends and from those with greater knowledge than I......

Once as I held AnnaLeisa I felt my heart expand around us both and we were one... surrounded by a sphere of completeness

Once and that is enough...

Here is a photo when we first returned from China and then us more recently
to be continued.....

play time....

Thought I would capture some recent images of AnnaLeisa and I in our life at home. We often do not have our photo taken together so these are a smattering of many. They show our little home, Lola, and some friends. Life is full good and sometimes more than a little challenging! I love sharing our life with those from afar and with those who care about our life and how we are doing....
for those who do not have a chance to correspond I do know that you check in regularly......

we send our love and affection and thank you for being in our lives....

Thursday, December 04, 2008

No Story of AnnaLeisa is complete if Stones are not mentioned.....

AnnaLeisa soothes herself with stones. Particular stones; cool, round, smooth, and the size of her fist or larger. She uses them instead of a blankie and they are her comfort. She rubs them all over her body and includes every web between her toes and in all of her fingers and softly around her face. She can suck her thumb at the same time but often I find her only with one stone... that is until it is warm and then it is recycled with another cool one; or should I say cold one. On occasion she has touched me in bed with one of her new ones and I am startled as if with an ice cube. She rolls them on the side of her eyes, on her warm belly and is even known to roll all over them with her back!
Quite the phenomena to sleep next too!

So I have included a photo of her side of the bed where she keeps her favorite stash. They are everywhere including the carseat, in my purse, in my pockets, in finding spots all over the house including in a brass pot by the TV. Sometimes she just turns around in bed and sticks her feet under her pillow so she can massage them all at once. Or while watching TV she will dump them all out of the brass pot and sit on them ...

She will want them urgently when she needs them and everyone in Daycare returns her stones to her quite promptly, all the children are quite kind with returning the precious gems to AnnaLeisa.

In winter I am known to dig under snow while we are on stone hunts and often we come home with new dirty bundles to wash in the sink.

I had no idea we would be so connected to stones and I do not know the link for her but I so remember after our first cold winter here I picked up a stone in the spring and said "look honey a soft stone, you can take it and rub it on your cheek and it is so soft and smooth...."

As if I did that on a regular basis?!!

So there it is some kind of tactile, kinesthetic comfort that I admire and love.

Recently she told me that she will not use them when she is big...? I think someone said it at daycare? I quickly corrected her to let her know she can always have stones as friends.. no matter how big she gets. That they never ever have to go anywhere.....

we love them

I think they are real grounders....

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Our 2 year Anniversary was celebrated in Chinatown

We did manage to celebrate with two other members of our original travel group to China. It was great to see everyone and to marvel at our lives with these little cherubs. And may I add "imps"! As you can see they had a ball running amuck in the Chinese restaurant. They ran continuously back and forth to the fish tank because Nimo was in there.... It is wonderful to see them together because now they know their history and know the others were with them in China. It is there longest link and one to nurture and cherish. We missed some of the others this year but they plan to come next year. Looking forward to more time to play.

ahhhh how the climate and seasons change

Time just keeps on a tickin' as I look back in these posts I am reminded of when we returned from China and AnnaLeisa played in the snow. It has been late this year and the weather milder. Last year was so dry we did not really get to play in the 'fun' snow. But our first snowfall this year fell on the holiday (Nov 11) and we did everything in one hour that we missed last year. We made snow angels - that sang - made a snowman and quite vigorously had a snowball fight. It was great fun and AnnaLeisa waddled and managed the playground quite famously. Since then we have had no further accumulation and that is fine with me.

Halloween was here!

AnnaLeisa was quite clear that she did not want Halloween and we decided we were going to "skip it...." Like we do bad music on the radio! But as the day came closer and I told AnnaLeisa there was a sign outside saying "No monsters allowed!" she became more half heartedly enthused. Daycare had a very low key party and she enjoyed the fun of dress up for about 5 minutes. When we arrived home from work and had 30 minutes for supper and then a possible quick stop at our neighbours I persevered with coaxing her to dress up. So off we went as some semblance of a "bear dog - named Yoyo". Well I could literally see the light bulb go off above her head when we stopped at our neighbors and she said "trick or treat" for the first time. You see AnnaLeisa had no association with Halloween and candy. Well I could not get her home. "Let's go to another one Mama!". So we did.. and the neighbours were so generous she was getting 5 at a stop. Sheeesh. So you can see from the pics she enjoyed her stash..... And was she excited about being out in the dark..... P.S. Note Lola in the last pic.

there is nothing like cake and ice cream

AnnaLeisa and I were invited to a friend's pool birthday party! Bao is eleven years old so we had fun with the older kids in the pool and then consumed energy in the form of cake and ice cream. Yahhh... good ole sugar. AnnaLeisa looks wonderful in these fully engrossed photos consuming cake with her eyes and anticipating the ice cream with fully devouring looks. She scrambled right in there to the front of the line and I loved watching her. She is not what one would consider shy.....

Friday, November 21, 2008


As a prelude one needs to know that Annaleisa loves loves loves tatooing her body. It can be with marker, stickers, paint or actual tatoos that wash off. In any event her favorite passtime is to color her body, or yours. The other day AnnaLeisa and I were going to daycare and work... it was after a long hiatus without seeing the moon. It was dark out and she saw the moon in the early dark hours of the day. She stood in the backyard with her arms outstretched and proclaimed loudly "moon! moon! I missed you so much, I am soo happy to see you, come on down and I will give you a big tatoo".....

made my day.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Brett's Visit

AnnaLeisa's cousin Brett was here for a week in the summer... boy did we have fun. It was great to have such a beautiful young man here to play and enjoy our home. thanks Brett.....
considering he is used to daily surfing the Atlantic ocean with his brother's he was somewhat landlocked here in the prairies. All I could do on a hot day was offer him the Legislature fountains for water while he was here.... Truly a different land for a fellow who is part fish.... or should I say dolphin?

Calendar pics

I have been creating a 2009 calendar for our travel group who all met in China in Oct of 06. It has been really fun to see the pics arrive and to compile a calendar including all of the girls. I have yet to see the final product but in the meantime I took oodles of pictures of AnnaLeisa .... here are some.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Autumn New Moon Festival

The New Moon Festival was on Sept 14th this year and a group of us went for Dim Sum to a local favorite. It was nice to have some noodles, dumplings and chat. We also remembered the spirit of the holiday through a Chinese connection who was able to send AnnaLeisa's orphanage some New Moon Cakes. It seemed a nice idea to let the nannies know that we think of them highly and are grateful. Also that we consider them AnnaLeisa's ancestors. The orphanage then sent us back a photo; I was excited as I thought it would be a photo of them but it was a photo of our present. I was pleased to hear back and surprised. We included a picture of AnnaLeisa and myself so they could see us in our joy.
Again we thank them.....

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Fog and friends

Nice to beach it at the places Derek and Colin were Lifeguarding. We felt quite cared for. The water was remarkably warm for this coast and time of year so we could jump in and play for lengths of time. AnnaLeisa was too frightened to go near the water and fair enough. Interesting to see all the other children who are so accustomed to the surf play in the vigorous waves. Maybe next year? I love the coast and the sea and the intensity. It is the place to be for me in the summer. And we had some time with AnnaLeisa on Grandpa's boat. The one of many many lakes in the metro area.