Life with 4 kids 6 and under. Our trip to pick up Tonito in China is: mid-March 2008 through April 12. Our trips to pick up Ricky in Ethiopia are in June and August of 2010.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Adoption Group Cookie Exchange and THE MESSIAH!!!

There is a nice adoption group in the area that plans playgroups, "field trips," and this time was a cookie exchange. Many of the kids are girls from China, but there are a couple of boys and a couple of other countries represented. We all brought a lunch dish to pass, there were cute crafts for the kiddos, everyone sang Christmas carols and played games, and had a great time.

Sometimes people ask me how we talk to Tonito about adoption. It is a very natural conversation that comes up in some way every day. For example: Maya is learning how to walk better and better. Vivi says "I used to crawl when I was a baby, and then I walked." Then Tonito says "I was a baby in China." And I say "And you used to crawl when you were a baby too! And then you learned how to walk." Since we don't know much about his first 3.5 years, and I don't want to invent anything that isn't true, I try to stick to the basics. I don't want him to think that the beginning of his life is this black hole of info (lack thereof) and then we sweep in and all of a sudden he has a life. That is completely not true: he hit many, many milestones in China, and we all know the first couple formative years are important.. I just wish there were a way to find out more about Tonito, but we are trying to incorporate what little stories and info we have about him, into everyday conversations. I also made copies of the couple of pictures we have when he was around 2 (?) and framed them around the house. He is so proud of these photos, and tells visitors "this is when Tonito was a baby in China" with his huge dimply grin. We even found a picture of him on-line on a mission trip's web site, sitting on a woman's lap!!!! I emailed the web site, who put me in touch with her, and she sent me 2 pictures she had of him from when he was just under 2! Amazing. She said he was a happy little boy who wasn't scared. Another girl who went on mission trips to Urumqi also remembers Tonito to be a very smiley and happy boy. We missed so many special moments, but we are trying to make up for it by living large and making new family memories.

So that was the Cookie Exchange (which was so fun! I had never been to one before- we brought home 6 dozen cookies!!!!). Then in the evening we went to the Civic Opera House for the 2008 Do-It-Yourself-Messiah!!!!
"The music of Handel comes to life in Chicago every Christmas with his magnificent Messiah performed by an audience of thousands, featuring world-class soloists and a full orchestra of local amateur musicians."
First of all this is FREE. You bring in your tickets, and then you pick your section: soprano, alto, bass, tenor. We had no idea what to expect- here we come with our 6 pages of just the lyrics printed out, and they are selling 280 pages scores in the lobby with all music, etc. Thank God we bought the scores:), so we could actually follow along and sing with the rest of the audience! It was awesome, there is no other way to describe being swallowed by this gorgeous energy. How exhilarating. We were on the border of alto and soprano- next year we have to sit farther from the sopranos, who-wow- a couple of the seasoned members were really, really obnoxiously loud (I'm not saying they were bad, just LOUD- they even had their scores in a three ring binder with notes).
Anyway- amazing experience, and I hope this becomes a tradition if we can get the tickets each year!
I will post a video clip as soon as my sister gives it to me.

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