Sunday, September 30, 2012

a month-in-photos : september

September. An incredible, life changing month, for our little family.

We spent the greater part of the month of September in the very beautiful, China. And Lilah Grace Xiao Tong, became an amazing, big sister. I could not have been more proud of our Lilah girl... than I was on this trip.

How she adjusted in travelling, sleeping, eating and taking on one of the biggest roles in her life so far, the role of 'big sister'. She was truly, incedible.

And we had the most amazing time, in everything, between Beijing and Changsha and back to Beijing... it will be a journey we never ever forget. And it was Lilah's first time back in her birth country, since she became part of our family, in December 2008. We were on the go non-stop and our Lilah girl barely stopped, she soaked in everything... the people, the food, the language, the sights, the culture, etc, etc. Wow. And she was a fantastic big sister to top it all off. She fed her sister, held hands with her sister, played with her sister, shared with her sister, loved her sister...

I barely have words adequate to describe how amazing our big 5 year old was, and still is.

We saw so many amazing sights while in China, the great wall, summer palace, beijing zoo, ming tombs, forbidden city, jade factory, tiananmen square, hutong, drum tower and bell tower, donghuamen night markets, martyr's park, hunan embroidery, changde swi, soooo many restaurants! ...we even got to a McDonalds!

I don't think any other month this year could top September.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

sisters... and friends

Soon I will type up a post on Lilah's time in China, her birth country. And the wonderful time we enjoyed in the two and a half weeks we spent there. But for now, let me leave you with these photos, that I took yesterday... she and her new little sister at the park.

Their relationship is such a beautiful love story.

There are many reasons we went back to China to get another little one, but one of the main reasons was very much for Lilah. We never wanted her to be an only child. We wanted her to have the company of a sibling. And we knew when we started this process, to adopt another child, that it could have went either way, they could have loved each other, or not so much! Well the Lord is overall and He definitely hand picked Phebe to be Lilah's little sister. These girls have a beautful relationship already. They get to be sisters and all being well, a lifetime of forever friends.

We feel so thankful and blessed that our girls already have an incredible bond. Thank you Lord for these two blessings and the love they share.

first trip to the park first trip to the park

Before I took these pictures Phebe had just sat on the tire, then she shifted over and patted
the area beside her for Lilah to sit down. Lilah tried to squash her butt down beside her,
but realized there wasn't enough room. She then proceeded to pick Phebe up, set her on her
knee and then swayed her back and forth, much to Phebe's amusement!

I love them both so much.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

and we're away - to china again!!

lilah & phebe

The time has finally come...

I sit in Toronto airport typing this, we are about to board the plane to Beijing, China - to meet our newest daughter.
I plan to blog about it as much as possible on Phebe's blog.

Here is the link:

We are SO excited.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

'bonjour' senior kindergarten!

senior kindergarten - Sept 2012

I can't believe my big 5 year old is starting Senior Kindergarten this year! Wasn't it just last week that she started Junior Kindergarten?

Lilah LOVES school. So much so, that recently she's been dreaming about her school friends, because she misses them SO much.


And school has given her more confidence than I ever thought possible!

So Lilah was supposed to start SK today, but since we're heading to China tomorrow, I didn't think it would be fair to tease her with the idea of school and then we'd be gone for three weeks, actually 4 weeks, counting the time I've factored in to recover from different time zones and jetlag! So I emailed her new teacher this week and told her that Lilah will likely be starting school on October 1st. That gives us one whole week after returning from China, to try and adapt back into routine and time zones. I'm being a bit optimistic, yes?! Ha!

This is a big year for Lilah, the writing on her shirt says "bonjour"! Well, it's all too true, Lilah is starting French Immersion this year. So it's a big year of change for her, but I know she will thrive. And seriously, learning another language as a five year old, it's such an incredible opportunity.

I love her in bunches.

Oh yes, and I took some pictures of her last week outside her school, which is just a block from where we live. I figured I better get a few pictures now, because I might be a bit busy for pictures when we get home! You never know! Just trying to prepare myself for the inevitable! Ha!

senior kindergarten - Sept 2012 senior kindergarten - Sept 2012 senior kindergarten - Sept 2012 senior kindergarten - Sept 2012 senior kindergarten - Sept 2012 senior kindergarten - Sept 2012

[ note: that booty shot above, was a mix of Lilah's confidence, silliness and French all mixed up...
when I was taking her picture, she turned around, wiggled her bum and said "Oooooooo la la!" ]

Monday, September 3, 2012

a double-decker bus tour

A double-decker bus experience was on Lilah's bucket list of 'things to do' this summer.

And since we aren't heading to London, England anytime soon, I decided a bit of research in our neighbourhood was necessary. Anyway, it turns out that the only way we could ride a double-decker bus, in Ottawa, was to take a guided tour of the city. So we did just that! I've been on a few different guided tours of Ottawa, over the years, and it seems that I always come away with a bit more knowledge each time. Lilah really enjoyed the experience too.

So there it is, the long Labour Day weekend and our last hurray of summer, aboard a double-decker bus!