Tuesday, July 04, 2006


I'll try to be as terse as possible in this post, which as you may imagine if you've been following this blog, does not come naturally to me. ;) But terseness is necessitated by the vast panoply of events to share from the past week, and the additional need to document these experiences with many, many photos.

Last Thursday Jarrah met her Australia grandparents (henceforth known as "Nana" and "Granddad") for the first time. They are visiting from Perth, where apparently Jarrah has quite a fan club (hello dear readers in WA!) The first audience did not disappoint on either side: Jarrah adored tearing open her myriad gifts, and Nana and Granddad patiently participated in watching the removal and then facilitating demands for replacement of the orange knitted booties on Jarrah's first doll. They even got to watch her in her natural habitat at Soup Plantation before the evening was through, happily hurling chunks of muffin to mark her territory.

Friday was a historic day for the family, since it contained not only an official first birthday party for Jarrah and Joy (on account of there being no actual Jarrah or Joy to appear at the party we had on December 28) and Jarrah's re-adoption in Juvenile Court for the state of California. No, readers, Jarrah is not paving an early path to juvey. Re-adoption means she'll have a US birth certificate which can be easily replaced if she needs copies for college or employment. Her Chongqing birth certificate is a lovely document but one of a kind. Our judge was a charming lady who happily posed for photos and gave the five-minute cermony (which really just consisted of signing a couple papers) an appropriate gravitas and congratulatory ambience. Then Jarrah got to pick out a stuffed animal as a souvenir. It was a surprisingly enjoyable experience, and the next morning we awoke to a feature in our local paper, not only on the topic of re-adoption, but featuring our own judge! Here's the link to the story:

After court, we met Mary and Paul's extended family at--of course--a Szechuan restaurant, where we all yummed up a sumptious feast, and then over to Mary's brother and sister-in-law Ben and Debbie's for birthday cake. It was in point of fact Mary's birthday that day, so there were two cakes: one with an "over the hill" theme (not that Mary is any such thing) and one shaped like a panda. Readers, Debbie is clearly the Martha Stewart of cakes: the panda was sitting upright. Anybody who conquers gravity in the production of baked goods gets my respect. And, in true American spirit, we had a whole mess of present-opening, an activity for which both Jarrah and Joy are developing an assiduous knack. Cute photo ops abounded, as you can plainly see.

On Saturday, my folks came down to complete the grandparent quartet, and it was a love-fest all around. It was a beastly hot day and I'm not sure who complained more during our walk at Balboa Park: me or Jarrah. However, we capped the family reunion in grand fashion at Cafe Zucchero in Little Italy, where David and I had our family rehearsal dinner prior to our wedding just over five years ago. The hot day ceded to a sultry evening perfect for lounging on their sweet back patio with a nice, cold Pinot Grigio, some ripe tomato bruschetta, some creamy gelato, and some wearing of penne noodles over our fingers. (Too bad Jarrah polished off my wine while I was busy modeling those noodles. ;0)

Sunday morning was another grand occasion: Hannah's third birthday! Jarrah arrived at the pig-themed gala ready to party in her swim diaper and ruffled bathing suit. She enjoyed coloring pig faces, eating some (hopefully) non-toxic pig paint, and splashing wantonly in the blow-up pool. Again, see adorable photos for evidence.

I know you're probably already reeling from the historic import of this extended weekend, but hold on to your Bumkins bibs, because the most historic is still to come. On Monday afternoon we had the pleasure of hosting three of the eight families from CCAI Group 906 in our own backyard for a barbecue and swim party. That's right, Readers: if you've been following along you know there were six litle girls and two little boys adopted from Chongqing back in February, and we got three of them in the same pool! Two-year-old Sedona, accompanied by her parents Kim and Michael, paid us a visit from Albuquerque, and Paul, Mary and Joy joined us for some baby cuteness to the third power. If I thought it was scary how cute the three of them were splashing in the blow-up pool (a brief aside: until one has children, one has no concept of how difficult it is to purchase a blow-up pool on July 4 weekend in the thick of the first, long heat wave of the summer until one has called every Target, WalMart and ToysRUs in the greater metropolitan area. Props to Mary and Paul for finding this one at their local Albertsons!) then I was frankly terrified out of my wits by the sight of three little darlings lined up eating ice cream out of bilious green cones. It was a wonderful visit and so great to catch up with Kim and Michael after nearly five months of parenthood.

And now today is Independence Day, and hopefully Jarrah will experience her first fireworks tonight in some fashion. And you will no doubt hear about it when she does!


Anonymous said...

Wow, what a week !

I LOVE the photo of Jarrah belly laughing over the ches set! :)

Best, Gail

Anonymous said...

And I love the photo of her scarfing the green ice cream cone while standing on the car seat! All of the pix are wonderful--what adorable little girls they all are.

Miss J

Aaryn said...

Congrats on the re-adoption and also on surviving all grandparents in such a short time! What a lucky (and darling) little girl Jarrah is. Also love the pic of her belly laugh.

Cheri said...

What a post! What a busy long weekend. Yay! We had that same, lovely judge when Tom adopted Kristen and Courtney. :) I love the photos and wonderfully told stories. Keep 'em coming.

Amy said...

Sounds like you have been BUSY! I don't know what it is but Jarrah is one of the most photogenic kids ever!!! Even her quirky pics come out so totally awesome!!!

Alleen said...

Congrats on the readoption! I get exhausted just reading all of your adventures!

Martha said...

Congratulations, Sam and David. What wonderful news and pictures.

Is it wrong of me wanting to give Jarrah a big kiss? She is just the bees knees!

Type (little) a said...

And here I thought my daughter was the cutest. Jarrah's gaining on her, let me tell you! I could eat her up! (what a ridiculous expression!)

Congratulations Jarrah on offically being a California girl!

Julia said...

I came across your blog about a month ago and was hooked by your writing style. I spent almost a day catching up all the way back from your trip to China and laughed (and sometimes teared up) along the way. You have a very beautiful daughter, and a very fun blog to read.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to say that I also love the photo of Jarrah with the pig's nose on her chin! Hilarious!

Miss J.

Trish said...

Lucky, adorable girl!
My parents let me have 2 birthdays. the day I was born and the day I was adopted. My "special day." My mother still sends me cards on my special day. Congratulations!!!

Cheryl Rourke said...

Hello to you all, from all of us in the West.

The visit of the Grandparents seems to be very successful. Joan and John...you must be so enchanted! I know I am.

Sam, it is such a delight to see the family photographs and read your wonderful commentary on your life, love, parenthood, food and the human race.

All our best wishes from Cheryl and David Rourke.

Anonymous said...

Your little California girl is the cutest, congratulations. We are in the process of adopting from Kazakhstan and saw the article in the Union about the re-adoption process. If it's not too much to ask, might you PM me the best route to take for us in the future? We hope to have to go thru this by new years!