Saturday, June 30, 2007
There's nothing like a hotel and a pool, especially a hotel like the Ritz Carlton. We stole away for a luxury few days to celebrate Mommy's new job and soak in the sun. Jemma was extremely friendly, as usual, making friends with all the swimmers. We were a little concerned, however, when she ran up to an old man to give him a high five while she was in the nude.
Friday, June 29, 2007
We spent a glorious afternoon splashing in the pool at the Ritz and we were joined by Mary Frances and Grace Li Qi. The girls whacked the noodles around in the hotel room first and then made quick use of them in the pool as they were meant to be used. Nobody lost an eye and everybody had a ball.
anymore... What was once a humble berry farm is now over sixty acres of thrills and chills. Jemma's first experience at an amusement park was a memorable one. Though it was a week ago, she still talks about all the rides - "the balloon was high up" and "I steered the truck" and "the cars whipped around" and "I was scared on the bus but now I'm not." The bus might have been a tad too high but nonetheless, she let out that familiar squeal of "I wanna do it again!" We believe the rides have seeped into her dreams. She is going through a phase of having scary dreams and is able to tell us about them the next day... we think. She says, "I see the pictures in my head." Oh boy, now as parents our scary ride begins...
We want to assure you dog lovers out there that while the blog has neglected to reveal recent photos of our pets, they have not taken a back seat to Jemma... well, okay, maybe an arm rest. But the blog is called "And Jemma Makes Three" after all. The pooches are well and thriving and Jemma has gotten particularly sweet with them - oops, there we go again, talking about Jemma!
Monday, June 25, 2007
Turns out today is the day Jemma's episode is on our local PBS station - it's called "Sibling Rivalry." We happened to notice it as we went to TiVo it for tomorrow. They sent us the wrong date on the announcment. Clearly, PBS needs more funding!
Thursday, June 21, 2007
A few months ago, Jemma and Mommy had a special brunch together at one of our favorite hot spots, Madame Matisse. Jemma was especially charming that morning and caught the eye of a TV producer who was dining nearby. Lo and behold, Jemma was scouted out to appear on a PBS show called, "A Place Of Our Own" for a little activity segment. It was a blast to do and Jemma loved the experience. She was a little nervous at first being blinded by the lights and all, but as soon as the cameras started to roll, she eased into the activity and seemed very natural (spoken like a true stage mom!) Her episode is finally airing after all these months, so be sure to tune into your local PBS station on JUNE 26, 2007! In Los Angeles the air time is 1:30pm on channel 28. Wouldn't you know, the producer has already contacted us for next season, so if you miss this one, you should be able to catch her next time... We will try to post our first video when we get the DVD, so stay tuned. Our little star!
We belong to an online chat group specifically for all the parents who adopted babies from the Social Welfare Institute (SWI) in Gaoyou, China. It's wonderful to "meet" people from all over the world who share this experience. One of the members, Charles Day, spent a lot of time researching the city and put together a beautiful picture book of Gaoyou, which most of us have purchased.
During his travels, Charles made a connection with the Vice Mayor, Ni Wencai, who used to be the director of Jemma's orphanage. Though we have never met him, Ni Wencai is a very special man and cares a great deal about the orphans from Gaoyou. He has reached out to the parents and many of us have been corresponding with him. Now, Ni Wencai is hoping to put together a book about this orphanage and the people who have adopted. He has requested many of our blog posts and photos for the book and we have been assisting him in any way we can. While it is almost impossible to locate the birth parents of our daughters, it is not improbable, and Ni Wencai may be able to assist in the process by way of his book, should any of our daughers care to pursue this. Regardless, this book will be a very special gift from a very unique and heartfelt man.
This weekend, the Gaoyou group is holding a reunion and while we are not attending this year, we plan to in the years to come. Ni Wencai has sent a special letter on behalf of this reunion and I thought I'd share it here. The translation is a little awkward, but his sentiments come through loud and clear:
Dear Parents and children of the adoption families, How are you!
I am really glad to hear that the 15 adoption families will hold a reunion party in June which is the most beautiful season. I would like to give my warm greetings and sincere regards through my mail. I wish that every family would be healthy, happy and blessed everyday.
Your reunion party is a party of love. Because of love, you had come to China, to adopt your daughters. Even though, they have lost the care of their biological parents for different reasons and circumstances. But you had come. You had become the parents that they have been waited for a long time, the parents they had seen only in their dreams. When they smiled in your arms, when they grew under your care, when they called you father and mother with tenderness, your love had lightened their lives. You are the best parents in the world. Your hearts are deep and big.
Your reunion party is a party of communication. You share common experiences, common subjects, because you all have a daughter from Gaoyou. You have taught them to understand themselves and nature. You have taught them the way to deal with the reality, and the way to distinguish love and beauty. And yes, because of love and beauty, everything will be right, be in order and be harmonious. You have let them know Gaoyou through map and picture book. During the party, the calling of all beautiful memories will build the friendship between adoption families and children.
Your reunion is a party of sweetness. A famous person said, "Nothing is sweeter than a baby." You will harvest sweet happiness after your hard work. The pure soul, the smiling face like a flower, the clear look of the children will penetrate into your thoughts and lives little by little. It is like a river of vitality that flows through your heart.
The people of your home town will share the success and happiness with you. They will watch the grouth of the children with you. They will praise the life of the children with you. We will wish the best for the children under the same blue sky!
Finally, on the behalf of Gaoyou People, I would like to welcome you to revisit Gaoyou!
Monday, June 18, 2007
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
After coming to rehearsal week after week, Jemma finally got to see the whole show. She was loving it... singing along to all her favorite songs... until that plant started to sing! We never fully prepared her for the power of the plant. Talk about horrors! We took her outside and her little heart was beating out of her chest. And we had, and continue to have, long discussions about puppets. Jemma says over and over, "The plant on the stage is a puppet." Regardless, Jemma still enjoyed the experience and especially loved getting up on stage with her thespian friends.
Jemma hosted a Sunday brunch for her gal pals... okay, we organized it, but Jemma definitely hosted. They played forever at the water table and in the sand box, and with the thousands of tiny pebbles we have in our yard area. The girls are at such a great age now - they're really getting the concept of taking turns and sharing, that is, of course, until one of them wants something back!
Monday, June 11, 2007
Jemma had a grand old time with her grand parents when they came to visit. They read books to her, watched Elmo with her, played with jewelry, filled up her piggy bank... We think Jemma's favorite part, though, was climbing the steps up to their bedroom to visit them first thing in the morning. We had the steps gated up till now so it was a new adventure for Jemma to climb up and down. Mt. Everest is next!