Monday, July 29, 2013

Beach Vacation

When you arrive home with an adopted child, it is recommended that you limit their exposure to other people and that you stay home as much as possible to bond.  What is NOT recommended, is taking your newly adopted child to the beach the 2nd week they are home to spend a week in another new place with 2 grandparents, 3 sets of aunts/uncles, and 8 other cousins (all under the age of 10!).  Yes, that is what we did.  Every year we spend a week with my family at the beach.  My kids look forward to this week every year.  We knew it was not a good idea for Vivian, but we wanted so much for the older three to get to go.  They have been such troopers during this entire adoption and we decided they deserved for us to at least give it a try.  We told everyone if Vivian was struggling, we would leave.  Before we left, Vivian was still very clingy to me, hesitant to go to anyone else, and NOT a fan of the pool/water.  I was pretty sure this was not going to go well and was prepared to head home after a few days.

I was not prepared for the fact that SHE LOVED IT!!!!  Loved the pool, loved her cousins, loved  her aunts and uncles and had a blast!  I really think she enjoyed having so many kids around her again.  They really brought her out of her shell.  She was quite the star at the beach.  There was always an "entourage" around her of either cousins or aunts and uncles wanting to hold her, help her, feed her or just follow her around.  She wanted for nothing all week long.  The only thing she was not a big fan of was the beach.  She is incredibly neat and hates messes, and was not thrilled with sand on her feet or hands.  Most of the week it was hard to get her to put her feet down, but even that improved by the end of the week.  The last night she was running all over the beach having the time of her life.  

Have I said before that this child is amazing?

Loving the pool
having fun with all the cousins

making me wipe the sand off her feet

hanging with her aunts
Disney bingo

first bike ride

swimming with Daddy

Bonding with Pop Pop
and with Grammy

more spoiling by her aunts

We showered one night and did the family beach picture thing

me and my girls
me, my mom, my sisters and our girls

James, John and Kate had a wonderful week, also, and we were thrilled for them.  They have made us so proud the way they are embracing their new sister and allowing her to steal the spotlight for a while. Especially Kate.  She has been the princess in this house for 6 years and she is doing a great job sharing her throne. She has had a few hard moments, for sure, but all in all she has been handling it well.  We tried to make sure the big kids got some special time during the week

puzzles with Pop Pop
on her way to swim just her and  Daddy

and tried to give them some "big kid" things to do


I love these pictures of James and Vivian.  James has been working so hard since the day Vivian arrived home to get her to "like" him.  He is so patient and very good to both of his sisters.  The last night on the beach they really clicked and she was letting him play with her and carry her around.

I think about how, less than one month ago, Vivian had no family.  No mom, no dad, no siblings, no cousins, no grandparents.  I also think about how, due to the One-Child policy, so many children in China do not have cousins.  It is hard for me to imagine.  And here she is now ...  a daughter, granddaughter, niece and cousin.  She is so loved.   I love this last picture of her running back to where her adoring "fans" were watching and cheering her on.  I love seeing her running free and experiencing a whole new life.  It is such a privilege to be a part of it.


  1. Beautiful pictures. I have been following your journey since you got your referall. We have been matched with a 20 month old baby girl in Luoyang. We think she will be about your daughters age or a little younger when we bring her home. Would you mind sharing what size clothes she is wearing now and what size you brought to China?

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  3. I love seeing how happy Vivian is and how much fun she is having!! What a difference the love of a family makes!!:-) So happy for you all!

  4. Great post! We are packing a bit as we await our dates. Hoping September but could be October :(

  5. Maureen,
    Such a precious post.. That photo with "Pop Pop" is priceless.... What a fun week for your sweet new girl.. As for Kate, your words brought back so many memories. No matter what it's hard to be "de-throned.." Takes me back to 2007!! It looks like things are going great!!! Congrats again, and so happy you are back in the states safely!


  6. Love, love, love the photo of Vivian and her Pop Pop...he needs a framed on of that! I love how these little China Dolls capture the hearts of their grandfathers!!

  7. Very nice family

  8. Hello there. My husband and I are thinking of adopting from China. We are overwhelmed and full of questions. I came across your blog while researching and studying. I know you don't know me and I am sure you are busy, but if you get a minute or two, I would love to hear any tips or advice you might have. You can email me at Your family is beautiful!

    Thank you so much, Erika