Sunday, January 21, 2018

Ten Years since the day we met

Every year on the anniversary of the day we met,  I have posted on either my blog and or facebook.  Some years I felt I did a better job than others, and I know I have a favorite where I felt I really captured everything, but none of them are as good as what ZuZu created and posted on facebook on Saturday. If you haven’t seen ZuZu’s video yet, be sure to check it out.  It is on my timeline on face book or attached here.

This is what she wrote:

10 years since the day we met. It's crazy how life changed over the past years. The last 10 years for me has been incredible. To think, this is the same amount of years I have spent in China. China was not the same as it is for me here in America. All I can say is that I have survived everything the world has thrown at me. When I got knocked down, I got right back up. Not many people know my past story and can't understand nor imagine. 
But now.....
Having somewhere to go is a HOME.
Having someone to love is a FAMILY.
Having both is a Blessing. 
Happy Anniversary The Day We Met Momma & Baba!

And the video:

I teased her that I was going to have to up my game and change what I wrote, but beside adding a few things that connect to her video, I didn’t, I wouldn’t even try to measure up.

January 20, 2008, 10 years ago, 3,653 days ago, we meet. Everyday and every year with you is special, but this year marks the year that we have known you for more days of your life that we didn’t.  You spent 3,604 of your life before we meet you, and 3,653 days of your life that we have known you.
Never in a million years could I have imagined the love and joy we share. I will always remember that day 10 years ago when you walked into our hotel room, finally I was able to meet you.  But I had to play it cool, couldn’t just snuggle you up in a ball of love like I wanted. I can only imagine how scary that must have been for you, but you walked in like you owned the place.  I would tell you I fell in love with you that day, but that is not the case. I fell in love with you on the weekend of June 23rd, 2007 when I spent the weekend looking at your referral pictures and reading your referral paperwork over and over.  Meeting you face to face 7 months later, made my heart so full and complete, I thought it might burst..  And to steal a piece of your post, at the end, when you were looking out the window, and the song says “Everything’s alright”, that’s how your Baba and I felt 10 years ago.

These last ten years have been amazing!  We love watching you dive into life with such a zest for all the  things you love.  You have already accomplished so many things and you have so many things in life ahead of you.  We are so blessed everyday that we are going to be a part of it all.  I can’t imagine what the next 10 years of life will bring your way, but I am sure excited to be a part of it all.

As always, continue to live life to the fullest, continue to be the kind person you are, and you will continue to do amazing things.  Stay true to yourself and know how much we love you! To the moon and back, and as Baba says, infinite!

And ditto my love, the world is a better place since you came along.

And some pictures:



Saturday, June 3, 2017

Graduating High School!

On Feb 14th, 2008, I brought ZuZu to Elementary school for the first time. I remember that I went to pick her up after a few hours (the plan was to ease her into it) and she basically told me "no" she wanted to stay.  So I said "goodbye.”  According to my blog, I got in trouble for saying that goodbye, she was there for 1 day and I was already embarrassing her.  ;)   As I walked out the building, with tears flowing, I couldn't believe how brave and strong she was.  To be in a classroom, where she couldn't understand 99% of what was being said, takes an amazing amount of courage and strength.   Here we are, 9 years, 3 months and 20 days later, and she has graduated High School.  She has worked so hard the last 9+ years, she had a lot of catching up to do, a lot of language to learn, all while trying to learn the new things being taught year after year.  Every year she continued to learn more and more and the gap kept closing.  I don't know that I can find the words to explain how proud of her I am.  You see, learning a second language is hard, it can be really hard, but it is even harder, when you don't have someone at home that speaks your native language, and ZuZu didn't.  But we always found ways to communicate and she always found ways to learn.  Lots of hard work and long hours at the kitchen table and it has paid off.  She is graduating with a 3.69 GPA and after taking a GAP year, she is looking forward to attending a Division 1 college for Criminal Justice and shooting on their Rifle Team.  ZuZu, we are so proud of you and can’t wait to see where the next chapter in your journey takes you.  We love you to the moon and back. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

9 years!

I think Luke Bryant say’s it best in his song Fast: 
Sixty seconds now feels more like thirty
Tick-tock, won't stop, around it goes
Sand through the glass sure falls in a hurry
All you keep trying to do is slow it down, soak it in
You're trying to make the good times last as long as you can
But you can't, man
It just goes too fast”

Earlier this week was our 9 year anniversary of the day we meet.  On Jan 20th, 2008, Rich and I met ZuZu for the first time.  That day, our lives were forever changed, in ways we could never imagine.  The only complaint I have, it goes by too fast, a complaint she sometimes has as well.  ZuZu has brought us on a journey we never could have imagined.  She dives into everything with a positive attitude and lots of drive to succeed!   ZuZu, we love you to the moon and back, keep reaching for the stars and stay true to yourself.  Love Mama and Baba.

Nov 2016, lots of changes in 9 years - Lots of changes in 9 years - this was on our way to the Zippy Open at Akron, a college, how did we get to the point that we are thinking about college

2008 - She loves this picture, notice how when I took a picture of ZuZu and Rich they are both smiling, and when he took our picture, not so much... she thinks it is hysterical.

2008 - Flying home to America

2008, in the airport - one of my favorite pictures

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Prom 2016

I am so happy for ZuZu that she went to the prom. I think she loved being a princess for the day. We had a lot of fun together, from dress shopping, picking out accessories, ordering a handbag that came in the day before, getting nails done, hair done and getting help from Gloria Tuttle for makeup. And I can't forget the first seamstress we went to that tried to charge $450 to hem the dress, and no that is not a typo (long story). No we didn't use her. We learned that when you get your hair done, wear a shirt that buttons up, next time we won't have to cut the tshirt off. We will never forget her awesome Uncle Bob Demetrius and Christina Divigard that drove an hour to be a part of her day. They were only a little disappointed that after dressing up for Prom, they weren't able to crash the actual event in Holyoke;). When I look at her pictures (thank you Uncle David Aj BOtte, you are amazing), I realize I can't stop time. She is growing up so fast, I feel the need to take a deep breath and make sure I am living and enjoying each moment. I am afraid that I am going to wake up one day and she will be off to college. Yikes! But seriously, bring it, I am ready. I am amazed at her beauty, inside and out. I feel that the whole look is a perfect fit for her. She wanted flowers in her hair, but we both knew that fresh ones wouldn't last. So we found the head band. The pearls, were purchased on our trip to China over 8 years ago. The dress, when I saw her try on this dress, I hadn't even looked at the price tag, but when I saw her in it, I thought, wow! It doesn't even matter, this is the dress. I had tears in my eyes. She has a good eye, it was the only one in the store she wanted to try on. Overall she tends to be a simple girl that likes the natural look. To me, this is simplicity gone princess with style. ZuZu AkaBigz, I love you to the moon and back, continue to be true to yourself.

If you are looking for a great charity

Check out ZuZu went to camp via this program in August 2006. She had an amazing time and we think it is such a great program. You can check out our post from April 7, 2008 to see a slide show of the few pictures we have.