Monday, January 21, 2013

Let's Celebrate!

Two big milestones to celebrate! Ruby turned 6 this past Saturday! She invited a few friends over for pizza, movie, popcorn, b-day cake, pillowfight and rollerskating! Whew!!!!

That darn Hello Kitty balloon is bigger than Ruby!


Raiding the popcorn machine!

Kickin' back for a movie. She chose Brave!

I'll give you one guess what Ruby is into these days!


Hitting the rink for a birthday skate
Ruby and Lin zooming by!

Exhausted after a day of partying!
Of course, the other BIG celebration is that today marks the 5th anniversary of Ruby's "Gotcha Day!" We could type volumes of what has happened over the past five years, how she has grown into our beautiful daughter and what she has brought into our lives, but let's just look back at that amazing day in Guangzhou, China with our blog post from January, 21st, 2008:

"Okay, let me tell you about this whirlwind, amazing day. The day Dave and Lisa became parents to Miss Ruby Xu Jun. We headed off to the airport in Beijing at 5:45am. Silly us, thought the airport would be less busy early in the morning. Boy were we wrong! Wall-to-wall people. But we all made it onto our flights and off we went. 8 couples, including us, flew to Guangzhou, landing at around 11:00. Contrary to what we'd heard, Air China was the most comfortable flight yet -- plenty of leg room and great food. Unfortunately, they lost Dave's bag on the way, along with two other bags from our group. That's why this entry is later than we'd hoped. We had the laptop with us, but all of the cords were in Dave's bag. We got it back in the middle of the night, thank God! We would have had one UN-happy family if we couldn't show you pictures of Ruby!
So anyway, we all got on a bus with our new guide, Shiyan, who will be with us the rest of the time here. She's fantastic. Before we got to the hotel we stopped off at a store and Shiyan pointed us all in the direction of the right formula, snacks, diapers, etc. After shopping and a little lunch we checked into the famous White Swan Hotel! We had all of 45 minutes to get ready for baby time -- talk about stress!! At 3:30 we got back on the bus and headed for an office building in town and took the elevator to the 8th floor. We stood there, the elevator doors opened and it was nothing but crying babies and chaos! All the mothers immediately started crying and dads started videoing. There was another group who had just gotten their babies, so that was all the commotion. We huddled in our group, watching in amazement all the new families.
After just a few moments, or a few hours maybe, I honestly couldn't tell you, Shiyan called out "Bethany families! Get ready!" One by one an orphanage worker came out of another room with a baby in her arms. Shiyan called out the last name of the family and they stepped forward to take their child. Chaos is not the word to describe the scene. Everyone scrambling to take pictures and video for everyone else, and it seemed like only seconds before another baby was brought out and another family was called to step forward. 

Somewhere in the middle, Shiyan called out "Drzick!" I wish I could describe the moment, but I know I'll never be able to. I only hope the video somehow shows it accurately.
And then, there she was, Miss Ruby! She was put into my arms and I cried. She didn't make a peep. She just looked around at all the commotion. Dave and I sat down with her, each taking turns holding her. She was so tired. She just kept rubbing her eyes. We tried to give her a bottle but she wanted no part of it. After a few minutes her little thumb was in her mouth and she just continued to stare with big, curious eyes. She would scrunch up her face like she wanted to cry but then stop. We kept telling her, it's okay to cry, but she just wouldn't. A couple big fat tears rolled down her cheeks, but not a sound.

We were able to talk to the workers who brought her, and she smiled when they were talking to her. They told us that she is a "lovely child, lovely personality." We asked what her favorite toy was, they said she just likes to be in motion. They told us she likes to play with another little girl in our group, whose new name is Kylee. They said she loves having a blanket and to suck her thumb.

So, after a while it was back to the hotel. Ruby just sat on Dave's lap on the bus, staring out the window and rubbing her eyes. We came up to the room and just hung out for a while. We gave her a bath which she didn't mind a bit, successfully fed her half a bottle, and it was lights out for everyone. She cried a tiny bit, but still not like we expect her to at some point. Right now it's 6am and she's still asleep in her crib, all curled up in the corner. She's been sleeping since about 9:30. Today we have the adoption registration at 9:00am and that's it, so we'll all get to know each other a little better today and give you a full report later. What a day..."

An invisible Red Thread connects those destined to meet. Regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Falling into Fall

So sorry for the absence of regular posts, but the past few months have been a whirlwind with Ruby starting kindergarten, Lin going into 8th grade, taekwondo practice, band practice, Halloween, Thanksgiving and more school functions than we can keep track of. So... here are a few pictures to tide you over until we catch our breath!
Ruby devouring some of Dave's gourmet Chinese cooking

Lin handing out candy at Ruby's elementary school Halloween party

A rare photo of us together

Our beautiful monkey girl

Ruby's first day of kindergarten

Lin's first day of 8th grade (next year is high school... help us)

After touching just about every pumpkin in the patch, Ruby found the one!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ending Summer with a Bang!

Wowzers! This past month has been busy... but the chaos of Summer vacation is about to come to an end. Lin is preparing for the inevitable return to school in two weeks by watching as many episodes of her Chinese soap operas as she can fit in her "busy" day and Ruby is bouncing off the walls with excitement for starting all-day kindergarten.

We had a major breakthrough with Lin this Summer! After returning from her week long adventure at camp, she asked for a Facebook account to stay in touch with her cabinmates. Hmmm. Overly-protective and cautious parents warning flags pop up! But knowing her same-age cousins already have FB accounts, we relunctantly caved-in and... it has been a blessing! She instantly reconnected with friends from camp, as well as kids from her school. It brought a smile to our faces to finally hear Lin laughing and running around the neighborhood with her friends. Last Summer, she just didn't have the confidence to initiate asking her friends to hang out.

Arriving early at Walley World! Oops... I meant Cedar Point!

We decided to take the girls to Cedar Point for a week and it was a ball! That girl Lin has no fear... she would happily hop on the biggest, fastest and tallest rollercoasters at the amusement park and Ruby couldn't get enough of the "spinny rides" like the Scrambler and Tilt 'a Whirl!

Ruby and Mama riding the front seat on the Jr. Gemini!

Time for Lin and Mama to ride the Woodstock Express

Not gonna lie... there are some days I wish we had this at home!

The view from our cottage at Cedar Point

Ruby showing off the black eye she got at the water park on our first day of vacation. It didn't slow her down one bit!

Isn't she a cutie?!


The girls after riding the Tilt 'a Whirl for the countless time

Dancing the night away!

Taking a "quiet" stroll through Dinosaur Island!

Cedar Point at night, a beautiful sight

Getting ready to head home after a great time!

Another crazy aspect of this Summer has been getting our rock band back together! We're called Lisa Can't Sing (pretty cool, huh?) and it's been fun for the girls to watch their "Rock Star" parents on stage... mom singing away and dad pounding the drums! Here are a few shots from our latest gigs!!

Lin and friends enjoying the show!
So there you go... a quick update as our Summer vacation comes to an close. It definitely ended with a bang! This week, it's Taekwondo testing for Lin, ice cream social at our adoption agency, back-to-school shopping and, most importantly early bedtimes... for everyone!

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Week Away

Sorry for the long lapses between posts, but it's been a busy Summer! This week, Ma and Pa will be getting a little quiet time as both the girls are heading off to different activities. Lin is spending a week at an all-girl's camp and Ruby is spending a week with her grandparents. What will we ever do with the house to ourselves for a week. We actually talked about painting the kitchen and tearing up the carpet in our living room... ha!

Lin will be sleeping in the cabin on the right
Lin checking out the cabin and picking out her bunk for the week

Lin hanging out with some of her cabin mates

Needless to say, Ruby was a little pouty that she couldn't stay with her big sister at camp

Ruby feeling better about the world! We took her out for a nice dinner after dropping Lin off at camp

Ruby loves edamame! She even ordered edamame dumplings for dinner

Saturday, June 23, 2012