Monday, June 29, 2009

Ian and Mia

I was looking through some old photos tonight and came across these. Most everyone knows that Mia and Ian are from the same orphanage in India and were actually crib mates for a little while. Ian was born in March 05 and Mia in May 05. They spent 8 months of their lives together in a small orphanage in Kolkata India and now are a mere 90 miles apart in Oklahoma. We have always said that it's a God thing. These children could have been placed anywhere in the world and both of them are in Oklahoma...just a short drive on the turnpike. We have a special place in our hearts for Mia and her family. While that 90 miles isn't's hard to get together with a total of 4 little ones. We must do a better job.

Tuckers....we love you guys! These photos were taken in August 2006...just a few months after Ian and Mia arrived home. This was their first India Heritage Camp.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

India Heritage Camp - Days Two and Three

What a great weekend. It was fun seeing old friends and making new ones. This, as I mentioned in an earlier post, was Ian's first year as a real camper. This camp is work. The kids had their classes from 10:00am - 3:30 on Thursday and Friday. Then again from 10 - noon on Saturday. No wonder Ian was tired.

I have to give a huge thanks to the Staff of Dillon International....and especially to Whitney. They all did a fabulous job this weekend. This was Whitney's first year to be in charge and she did an incredible job. She is organized, calm, collected and so sweet. While the Dillon staff are great...the India Association of Greater Tulsa is FANTASTIC. They provide so much support for this camp. They come up with the activities and lessons...they help during the camp...and you can tell they love these sweet little Indian children. We are so blessed to have a group like this in Tulsa.

Back to the camp stuff....

Friday started off with a group picture. Anyone who's ever tried to get a group of people together for a picture can understand what a cluster this can be. By the time everyone gets in place, the little ones are really restless. I'm sure it turned out fine...but it was a challenge getting the group together.

After pictures....the campers headed to their classrooms. Charlie and I took this opportunity to run a few errands and then head home with Drew for his nap. I went back around 2:30 to wait for Ian. When I got there, his class was practicing for their Saturday performance. I did my best to hide so he wouldn't see me. After they finished...they played a few games. He had spotted me, so I played games with them.

Then it was time to go back to class for one last activity of the day. Ian was having none of it. He was tired, cranky and just wanted to go home. Plus...mommy was there and he wanted to scream and act like a crazy man. So, after I convinced him to participate in the crafts...we headed home. He was so, so tired.

Now we're up to the last day.

This morning Charlie and I attended a parent workshop while Ian was in his class and Drew was in the nursery. An Indian adult adoptee, Stephanie, spoke to us. She was open and honest. She answered any question we asked. It was good to hear things from an adoptee's point of view.

After the workshop it was lunch time. Yum, yum, yum. Lunch was catered by India Palace. So, so good. Ian ate a few bites, but was more interested in getting on the stage.

After lunch...the kids headed back to their classrooms for one last rehearsal before their performance. I was so excited. I couldn't wait to see the sweet little Mango class perform. All of the kids came in and sat in front of the stage and waited until it was time for their performance. The Mangos (ages 4-6) were first. The informed us about the Indian flag. Ian was on stage, but I don't think he said anything. Drew decided he needed to help at the end, so he ran up on stage just as they were finishing.

The Tiger, Camel and Peacock groups followed with their performance. All of the kids did a wonderful job. We closed the day with the Indian National Anthem and the "circle" dance. So much fun.

What a great opportunity for Ian to be exposed to a minute taste of his heritage. Such a good weekend. We were all tired...Ian especially. I hope he continues to enjoy India Camp.

Again...lots of pics on Facebook and a few here. Enjoy!

Friday, June 26, 2009

India Heritage Camp - Day One

Yesterday was the first day of India Camp. This year, Ian is old enough to be an actual camper. He was a little apprehensive about things, but once we arrived...he was fine. Then as soon as he saw Mia...all was well with the world. Mia and Ian were crib mates in the orphanage in Kolkata. They are so stinkin' cute together. They laughed, ran and played a lot until it was time for the groups to go to their classrooms.

Ian and Mia are in the "Mango" group this year. When their names were called, they walked hand in hand to the front and waited for their teacher. I didn't get a picture, but as they were standing there waiting, Ian put his arm around Mia. So sweet.

While the kids were in class, I was able to spend some time with Angie (Mia's Mom) and her mom Julie. It was great to catch up without the kids in the background needing immediate attention.
After lunch, I ran a few errands and then headed home for a little while. Charlie picked Ian up from camp. Ian was excited to see his daddy and tell him all about his activities.
One of the Dillon staff made a comment on my facebook page last night. She said that they "made American Idol microphones in arts and crafts today in honor of Anoop Desai. Ian took his and treated everyone to a great rendition of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." I had to laugh out loud when I read that. Ian really gets in to his Twinkle Twinkle song from time to time so it's hard to tell what he actually did.

He was quite tired last night but he was looking forward to day 2 of camp. When I asked him what his favorite part of India Camp was he said "seeing Mia." How sweet.

More updates tomorrow...or maybe later tonight. Lots of pictures so far on Facebook.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Vietnam Family Weekend - Day Two

It's late on Sunday afternoon and I'm finally posting. Tired, tired, tired. But, it was so much fun.

Saturday began with pictures of the kiddos in their Ao Dai's. How cute. Then we did a big group picture. That was challenging, but it happened. I'll look forward to getting a copy of it.

Then the planned activities began. We had so much fun planning the weekend. Lots of crafts for the kids to do. Fans, slap bracelets, picture frames, street scenes, Ox hand print bags, leaves, and many more. I have to say Natasha Perryman is a creative genius. She has more creativity in her little fingernail than I've ever had in my entire life. We had four "rooms" was outside. The kids and families rotated through each room for about 20 minutes. It was a lot to do in a short amount of time...but it was great. The kids were able to take home a little piece of their homeland.

I was in the room with the Ox hand print bags. Kerrie Sala worked her tail off for 2 hours making hand prints with all of the children. I was a very popular station. Jordan Bayer was a huge help. In that room too was the Street Scene. Very popular. The kids were given a blank street and a sheet of stickers with all kinds of Vietnamese items (including a dancing dragon). What kid doesn't like stickers? Great fun. I wasn't in the other rooms, but if they had half as much fun in them as they did in our room...then the kids had fun.

After activities was a great Vietnamese meal from a local restaurant, Re Lei. He loves doing this for the kiddos each year. The food was fabulous.

After the meal, the kids went back to activities or to play while the parents had their workshop. Kim-Lan Carlson spoke. She is an adult adoptee as well as an adoptive mom. Her sweet little girl, Maile, came home in March 2007 from Ninh Thuan. Kim-Lan's story was amazing. Such a wonderful testimony. I was moved to tears on several occasions...especially seeing pictures of Drew's orphanage. Kim-Lan was funny, informative and sincere. We were honored to have her speak to us this year.

Drew slept through almost all of Kim-Lan's talk. Which was fine...I could listen and enjoy her. He fell asleep before lunch, woke up just as lunch was being served and fell asleep just after Kim-Lan started to talk. He was so tired. My arms were totally exhausted by the time we left. He's a heavy boy. He woke up with the applause and started clapping too. How sweet.

While I was exhausted...the weekend just wasn't long enough. There were so many people that I didn't get to talk to. least I've been able to put faces with names now. Maybe next year, we'll have more time to talk and catch up. As the kids get a little older, I think it will be a little easier.

Looking forward to next year already. I hope that our Vietnam Family Weekend will just continue to grow and grow. I've posted a lot of pictures on Facebook and only a few here. Enjoy.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Vietnam Family Weekend - Day One

Today, well actually yesterday (Friday), in Tulsa was a crazy day. Our morning started out a little cloudy. Less than 2 hours later....BOOM...major thunderstorms, tornado watches, heavy rain. But, in true Oklahoma fashion...the storms were over almost as quickly as they began. Then it was just plain sticky hot.

After a couple of hours of set up time this afternoon, we were ready to head out to Vietnam Family Weekend. When we arrived, we saw Shelley, Brian, Zoe and Sam. How cool it was to FINALLY meet Shelley face to face. We've talked via Internet for over a year. Sam ran up to me and gave me a hug. I'm pretty sure he remembered Drew from the orphanage. He's as cute as he can be.

We made our way inside. So many people. We are so excited to have over 200 people this year. That is amazing.

As I walked around, I saw so many people that I "know". This blogging stuff has it's perks. I was walking across the room and I heard "Nadra"....I turned around and there was Scarlett with her precious Dillon. I remember holding him at the orphanage. He's so cute and he has a great tan right now. I'm so jealous. He and Drew looked at each other for a second and then they were off. Cute little Ninh Thuan boys.

Little Caleigh was sitting ever so pretty on the steps of the stage. She's adorable folks. Ruth was there with Izzy all the way from San Francisco. Kathy and Adam are here from New Jersey. It took them 18 hours to get here because of the bad weather in Dallas yesterday. The Lloyd family had a change in plans due to the Dallas weather as well. Instead of flying, they drove all the way from College Station. I finally got to meet Kim and Isaac. Kim was so sweet to send me some pictures while we waited for Drew. She traveled in December 07 to pick up Isaac and had several pictures of Drew as well as some video. It helped me get through those long days as we waited.

The Dragon Dancers performed. My boys were mesmerized. It was truly entertaining.

The kids went off for their activities and then it was time for the parents to just sit around and chat....without the kids....for about an hour. Well...there were lots of little almost 2 year olds that didn't like that plan. Poor little Drew didn't make it. He cried and they had to bring him to momma. Other little ones were brought in one by one. Some were real troupers...but some were tired and wanted their families.

Tomorrow there are lots of activities for the kids, a great Vietnamese lunch and then Kim Lan Carlson will be speaking at the parent workshop. I've posted some pictures on Facebook and I'll try to post some here tomorrow night.

Jill, Julie, Dianna....I miss you guys. You'll be here with us next year.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Another talker?

Oh my...we may have another talker on our hands. It seems that since Drew's ear surgery a few weeks ago, he's trying to talk more and more. Things are sounding more like real words instead of grunts. He's been saying momma, da-da, ee-na (Ian), baby, dog, hamma (shamma), zo (rizzo), up, nie nie (night night) and other for quite some time. In recent days here are some of the new Drew speak...

kirkle - circle
qurrel - squirel
onge - orange
cup - cup
diapder - diaper
helcopter - helicopter
choo-choo - self explanatory
bok - book
muk - milk
jeece - juice
nanna - banana
that mine - hmmmm, I wonder where he's heard that?
I poo-poo....

and my favorite...

aaafly - butterfly (written doesn't do it just have to hear him say it.)

Also....we're on night number 4 without a bottle. So far, so good. I'm shocked. It just happened. I'm not sure why, but it just did. He hasn't even asked for it. He still gets his sippy cup with milk in it before bed, but no bottle. Wow. Wonder if potty training will be that easy for him? :) OK...a mom can dream.

Thursday, June 4, 2009