This is what our family looked like two years ago tonight, in a government office in China:
and this is what we looked like tonight, celebrating Chinese New Years with our most special friends, right here in Chinatown:
When Susan sent out her now-annual invitation to join her and her family for dinner in Chinatown, of course, we accepted gladly and made sure to clear our schedules and make sure we were free. It fell perfectly between my return from New York and Mortimer's Dad departure for a quick trip to Florida. Then we took a good look at hte calendar and realised it was in fact the anniversary of BB's adoption, the day we completed our family. So it felt particularly appropriate to celebrate with Susan and her family, which by now includes a merry gang of other adoptive families and friends.
It feels unreal, the last two years. That first day, in China, Dumpling was the happiest kid on earth and BB was seriously the unhappiest kid ever. I don't think DUmpling had ever been as unhappy as BB was that day. And now. Well, it couln't be more switched around. BB is still the ray of sunshine in this house and everwhere she goes. She is so secure in herself and in who she is. Just a few weeks ago, she finally became a Canadian citizen. We tried to explain it to her, but citizenship is hard for a 3.5 y.o. to grasp. "I'm not from Canada mommy. I'm from CHINA. It's very far. I live here now, but I'm not FROM here."
To quote from Dirty Dancing, "Nobody puts BB in the corner" That kids had major Cajones! It's of course given rise to a serious was between Dumplingdom and BBstan, a war of such proportions that sometimes 3 adults in the house is in fact barely enough to monitor the situation.
BB loves to dance. It's a bit Elaine-ish, but man, she loves to dance. She has dance parties in her bedroom with her "friends", aka the large collection of stuffed animals and dolls. She can now draw pictures that actually resemble something. Not always, but when she wants to.
And the eating. It's never stopped! You guys all told me to enjoy her appetite when she was little, that it would wane with time.... WRONG! you were ALL WRONG! This kid will eat until she pukes and then eat again. No, that is not a figure of speach and I am not exagerating for effect. She LURVES food. Except fruit. And vegetables. OK, so she loves meat and carbs. But she will agree to eat the fruits and veg in exchange for more of what she really wants. She is a most excellent bargainer.
She only is now starting to learn the fine art of manipulation from her sister. Unfortunately for her, her fake-crying skills are rather poor and we can smell a rat the instant she begins. But she is honing her skills.
She has no favorite color. No favorite toy or blankie. EVERYTRHING is her favorite. She loves everything and everyone she meets. Just tonight at dinner, she finally realised that rather than fighting for Dumpling and Cara-Li's attention (Susan's daughter), she should make her own very best friend, little G. who is 4. It took 20 minutes and then she proclaimed that she too had a bestest best friend and walked around the restaurant holding her hand. And went to bed singing a little song she mad up about her new best friend.
BB. She truly completed our family.