Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Fun with Friends

I am so thankful that I joined a play group last year for local FCC families with children Mia's age. Not only has Mia made some great friends, but I have, too. I really look forward to spending time with these women, and Mia just loves her little play dates with her China pals. This afternoon, we made some last-minute plans to meet a few nearby friends at a local park. We had a great time and I'm looking forward to seeing more of our play group friends later this week.

Here's my dilemma... I regret not finding a group like this for Leila. We do not have a very active F*RUA group here and I feel like I should have done more for Leila so that she would have some Russian friends. I know that Leila feels it, too. She has been asking a lot lately if we would adopt another child from Russia after Da Xin comes home. "I don't care if it's a boy or a girl, Mommy. I just want someone else in our family from Russia." Trust me, I am not making any promises to her, but it does make me feel badly that we have become so active in our local FCC organization simply because it's a much more active and involved group. She also sees that Mia has something in common with Da Xin and her cousin, Lucy. My nephews are both from Guatemala, which leaves Leila the one-and-only from Russia in our family. I have tried to get her involved in Russian language classes, but she has no interest at all. Other than going to the Russian grocery store, which we've done a few times lately, there really isn't anything else Russian going on in our community. (Trust me, I've asked the owners, who also own the only Russian restaurant in town and are in charge of the Russian Club.) I do believe she is proud of being born in Russia and special that she is unique in her school, but I still wish I was doing more. If anyone has any suggestions, I welcome them.

OK, now that I've got that off my chest, let's get back to today's play date....

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Mia and Alex, the Giggle Girls, doing what they do best.



Our other friend, Mia, and Abby, Alex's new sister - home just two weeks!! Isn't she just the cutest? Look at that beautiful smile!!



And Molly.



And Gracyn. Can you tell she just got back from vacation?



What a fun day!! I look forward to seeing these ladies and more of our play group on Friday!


Jill said...

Oh Michelle! I hope I can make it on Friday!! It looks like you guys have such fun...
I am sorry for your struggles with finding things for Leila. I did meet a friend of my "China mentor's" who had adopted from Russia, but I think she is only around 5 now. If you are interested in hooking up with their family, just drop me an e-mail and let me know.
Hugs, Jill

a Tonggu Momma said...

Michelle ~ My neighbor down the street empathizes with you completely. She has two children adopted from Russia and often longs for an active equivalent to FCC. Her children are now 11 and 9 and really have little Russian cultural experience. Just wanted you to know you aren't alone in this.

Jboo said...

What a great fun group! Those girls are just so sweet all together!

Hope you have a good week!


Gail said...

Beautiful pics, they are all so cute together. I'm really looking forward to the workshop and meeting you Michelle. :)

JG said...

I hope this doesn't come out the wrong way, but what you have written has actually encouraged me. We plan to adopt when we qualify (read: age a few years) and I've wondered/worried if the child/ren we adopt will care about their heritage as much as I do mine. The fact that Leila is so aware and takes a sense of pride in who she is at such a young age tells me that you have done a good job in teaching her about who she is as an individual and where she came from, enough that she cherishes it. I don't think most American-born kids her age think about such things, and you should be proud of her, which I know you are :)

Anyway, yet again, thank you for sharing. Your adoption and day-to-day stories have really blessed me and make me look forward to the day I can follow in your footsteps.

Missy said...

Hmmm, I see your dilema and think it very valid. Perhaps you and Leila could plan something very special each year (or more often) and invite her friends or your family over to celebrate all things "Russian". It's hard when there isn't an active group for her to be involved in. Are there any adoption agencies located close to you guys to see if they have any suggestions? Leila is such a precious little girl!

Love the playgroup pics! The girls look like they have a blast :)

Tisha said...


I know we have talked about this before and I was just talking about this very thing to a Russian acquaintance today. I too, am open to suggestions and look forward to reading what your followers have to say. The Ethiopia adoption community hasn't been in existence very long and they are already on fire. I saw where they even have an Ethiopian Cultural Camp for families with Ethiopian children. Maybe we need to start our own? :)
How can we form a more cohesive, involved group? To borrow a line from Ferris Bueller, "Anyone, anyone?" ;)


Terry said...

What a bunch of cute girls! Looks like a lot of fun! I can understand what you are going through for Lelia. We were in the same situation with our son from Vietnam. Not many families had adopted from Vietnam, (at that time). Everything was mostly Chinese. But our China families group gets together once a year for a "family" reunion, and they have just taken to him as the big brother.

LaLa said...

Love all the shots of the girls!! I know exactly what you mean (except that Coby isn't old enough to care) We are involved in our FCC and outside of that do a lot of "China things" but there aren't a lot of Vietnam families here. I am sure in the years to come he may care, or may not..boys : )

Tisha said...

P.S. Love the playground pics. What an adorable group! Mia is indeed blessed!

Stacy said...

Love the pictures...I may have to get some copies of them, as they are way better than mine..

Thanks for the last minute phone call, I was happy to see all of you!

Anonymous said...

How sweet Leila is to want to learn about her culture. After coming back from Ukraine I helped some families back home in WNY with children from Eastern Europe and Russia start a "Culture Club". If you need any ideas, I would love to brainstorm for you:)

Blessing to sweet Leila (and the rest of the family too:)

PS - Thanks for your comment on my photo - you were the inspiration - wink, wink!

Kristen said...

what beautiful faces!! so sweet!! :)

Sharon said...

One of my best friends from high school is in russia right now . she had her gotcha day yeasterday and has a son at home already. I don't think she has ever thought of it. They look so much like everyone else, it doesn't feel like an issue but you are right, it might be. Or not. I also met an older adotion for China couple with a 13 yr old. They had lost touch with the FCC and she had all her own friends. I don't know. I am trying to make some FCC friends for bailey, it would seem to be such a support.
I am praying for you about travel soon. I just wanted you to know that!!!

Sharon said...

PS amazingly cute shots. Really love thge one of the girls all on the playground stick twirly things. haha

Sarah Dawn said...

Delighted to meet you. Thank you for sharing your journey as an inspiration to those of us just beginning this path of adoption.

Blessings from Costa Rica,
Sarah Dawn

Krista ~ Bits and pieces said...

I love seeing all those little ones together, so precious, so amazing, so beautiful, and SUCH BLESSINGS!!!

What you wrote regarding Leila touched my heart, I pray that God will guide you through this, so that you may know exactly how to meet this.



Joe and Jane said...

Could the girls not be any happier or cuter?! What fun! We have a similar playgroup for our kiddos and I enjoy it too; I think it will be especially good in the future.

Felicia said...

What a great play group and sweet friends.

BoufMom9 said...

How fun! All of these little girlies are just beautiful! LOVE the Giggle Girls!!!!

Kelly Green said...

Hi Michelle...thinking of you as you are getting ready for the next part of the adventure...and jealous of your trip back to China. It's been 2 years 5/13 for us since we've had Maddie...so many reflections.

I'm jealous of your playgroups! FCC isn't as active as I'd like here in Phx. And...I enrolled Maddie into Chinese school only to have them lose their funding :( Still searching.

Take care out there!

Faye said...

I sure love those Giggle Girls

Steffie B. said...

OMW....that top picture is the best....Can't wait to meet you! ;)

Blessed Mom of Four, Now Five said...

Wow! What fun it looks like you all had. And, it what beautiful photos. I love the ones of your girls in the sidebar.

Heather said...

Hey there friend - I am just getting around to catching up - AGAIN! I hav accepted a long term sub position through the end of the year...it is a blessing, but really changes the dynamics of things 'round here.

Now, onto your post...Emily recently said, "Well we ALWAYS celebrate Hannah." Reunions, Forever Family, Agency International Day...UGH. It made me feel horrible. We certainly don't mean to do that, we just have made so many friends through the adoption community...but it drove home a message and an indicator as to how she was feeling, so we are dealing with it. If I know you, I know you will find the perfect solution to your dilemma! You are a wonderful mommy and Leila will always know how important her heritage is.

Thank you for your transparency and candor. Prayers will be lifted as you find just the right group.

Have a great Mother's Day!!