6/27/08

A new life in our world

Today, we got the email from our agency's travel department, letting us know we have TA (travel approval) to go to China. We picked our dates to be in China, and the travel department will now request our consulate appointment from China. They have told us to expect our consulate appointment maybe Monday or Tuesday, and then we can book our flights!
We've chosen to travel around the 23rd or 24th of July, returning around the 8th of August.

Well, a lot of people have asked, so I'll tell you that when I first got this picture I didn't want to put it up. It felt private somehow, because it's so intimate. But M. convinced me that it was selfish not to share it. In his mind, there is no more perfect picture to describe what we are feeling.
This photo was taken just a few days ago and sent to our agency with her measurements. In this picture, the nanny is holding the photo album we sent in her first care package for her to look at. The album has pictures of the whole extended family, but in this photo she's looking at mine. It's an amazing thing to see this tiny girl who, so far, we have only known in pictures, halfway 'round the world, looking at "us" for the first time. It's a bit mind-boggling.

On an entirely different note - here's something I was thinking today as I drove around running errands in preparation for our travel. As I listened to the grim stock market numbers, I thought the following: I am not entirely unhappy at the idea of our daughter coming into her new life here in the US during this economic sea-change.
Sure, it's nice to have a strong economy, and none of us enjoy the uneasiness in the pit of our stomach that comes with uncertain times like these. We have to tighten our belts, worry more, watch where every penny goes. But in all honesty, I think we are coming out of a very long phase of vast and really unconscionable overindulgence in our nation. I think we have learned to spend too freely, acquire too obsessively, and live to easily on money that we don't have.
I think that the consumer mentality that has gripped much of our nation for a long time now has become rather appalling. I think this change has been a long time coming, and I hope this downturn in the economy will stimulate some massive changes in our national psyche, our lifestyle, and our attitudes. I have to say that I feared for children coming into a world that could produce that Super Sweet 16 show, and others like it. I feared for what sort of adults those children would grow up to be.
On balance, I would rather see our daughter grow up in a climate where we have to learn how to save and think about what we spend, where we have respect for our environment, where we do not live outside our means for the sake of vanity and acquisition. I would rather she grow up in a world where the imagination reigns supreme throughout childhood, and where the sheer number of toys and gadgets are no longer the benchmark.
This is my hope for her. I don't know how much this economic downturn will change our national psyche, but I hope it will bring us back down to earth. I am willing to tighten my belt, drive less, budget better, be more frugal, live through some lean times. It is after all a small price to pay if it means that our daughter grows up with a healthy and balanced attitude toward the world and her place in it.

23 comments:

Beverly said...

In 2005 we were in China from july 21 to Aug. 5. It is hot and humid there esp. guangzhou. Enjoy. Love the pic.

Torrie said...

This is the most beautiful picture. I nearly started crying when I saw it! We got TA today too! But we hope to leave on the 10th, so we'll probably just miss you. We're both in Denver so I"m sure our paths will cross sometime. happy travels!!

M@rgriet said...

Sob sob sob... how special is this: Flynn looking at her mommy!!!
Have a good trip, enjoy this super experience and come back safe.
xxx M.

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

Oh my... I had a little lump in my throat looking at Flynn looking at you... that is so great that you will get to travel soon and am glad that Mike talked you into not being so 'private'....yeah for Mike... hugs to you all...

Rhonda said...

What an amazing picture!

Melissa said...

That picture made me tear up. Thanks for sharing a private moment. It gives hope to all parents waiting for a referral.

BTW I couldn't agree more about our economy. There are so many people that are excessive with their spending. We are friends with some of them. My husband and I have always believed in living in a smaller house and driving a fuel efficient car. It looks like more people will be living this way and not by choice.

lisa said...

Very special picture!

On the economy-here here! One of my big fears in becoming a parent was how to raise a child in a consumer culture that I participate in as minimally as possible. How to teach my child the values that are important to me without making her feel deprived-and also, how she would fit in with her peers. I'm definitely fearful of the downturn, but I also feel a little relieved that she may grow up in a culture more similar to the way I was raised by depression era grandparents.
I was actually surprised, in a conversation with my mother recently. She sent a big check for S, representing what she had spent on the other grandchildren. I was hesitant to tell her that I wanted to put it in an account for S's future-all I spent was $50 on a tricycle-she actually really liked the idea and agreed that S doesn't need that many toys.
Then why do all of the other grandkids have so much?! I guess her thinking is shifting too. ~lmc

Chrissie Larkin said...

Thank you for sharing the picture! I would have wanted it all for myself to! I love it! That really is such a wonderful moment to have captured!!! Love!

Mamacita said...

Amazing picture, Maia.

Jen & Bill said...

Maia,

this is the most precious picture. you are very blessed to have such a great orphanage director to send updates.

I cannot wait to see you holding Flynn!

Stacie said...

I DID cry! It is so beautiful to see your daughter trying to process "mama" for the first time. I think it is such a fortune that you have this!

Amen sister, i say "climb, climb, climb to fuel prices" unfortunately, it is the only way for some people to make the change (my husband included). it is easy to be complacent and comfortable (myself included) I am also looking forward to the oppurtunity for growth in myself.

Maia said...

We have a photo like this - where her nanny is showing FF our little family for the first time - and you're right- it is incredibly intimate and intense - and mind boggling - you just wonder what in the world those babies were thinking when they saw them! Thank you for sharing yours. It's beyond lovely. And congratulations on TA!!!!

Juliette said...

Thanks Maia (and Mike :-)) for this amazing picture. How I wished we had one like that...
I'll be in France exactly at the time you'll be in China.
As for the second part of your post, I am 100% with you. I even think I can do better that what I do now to show the example to Maƫlle. We just went to see Wall E with her. It was depicting very well what can happen in some (not so far) years if we keep going in the same direction. Very smart movie that I think you'll like too.

C&A said...

Congrats. I think the best thing is just live and do what you think is right for this world and be active in being Earth friendly and spending money in the best way. We can turn our Children into how the world should be- That is how I seeing bring 4 plus kids into the world. Your a wonderful couple and you will show this child so many wonderful things and she will learn to be a wonderful person from you both!sorry so long you got me going!

operationtigerlily said...

That photo speaks volumes without saying a word. She knows you're coming mom and dad. She knows.

I like what you said about unconscionable overindulgence in our nation, so true. I have been using this time to teach the boys about saving money since they have small jobs at the shop, this year money they earn is going in their savings instead of immediately being spent on movies and video games. We have tightened up the budg on lots of stuff in the last few months. It is crazy to think where our economy might be heading.

I got your card today. You are so very welcome for the bibs. I know QQ will be needing her share and our girl needs to be rolling tight. Can I just say that I love Etsy.

Heather said...

Congratulations! Enjoy every single moment of your travel preparation and your journey to your daughter. That picture moved me.

Anonymous said...

Love love love the picture. What a gift to have that. I can't wait to meet her!

Jannine

tiffany said...

I love that you know that she has seen your face. I dont have the beautiful proof that you have, but I believe that each of our children was shown our photos before we arrived (more sure with the girls than with Levi but still) and think it helped with transition. That photo is just really special and I am glad you have it. :)

I also agree on the economy stuff. I am uncomfortable knowing things are unstable, but at the same time like the challenge of making the most of what we have and teaching our children that "things" are at the bottom of our list of priorities.

Excellent post on some important thoughts and a very moving photo of your daughter gazing at her MaMa. I am glad you chose to share it.

kris said...

damn it if I'm not crying again... beautiful maia, thank you mike for talking your beautiful wife into sharing that precious photo with us-

incredible.

Yoli said...

That is a beautiful picture, I have one like it but Sally is older. She is staring at my picture for the first time. You now have an idea of how such a picture can impact a to be parent. Your beautiful child, seeing your face for the first time, half way around the world. What a head trip.

I am glad you have your TA and that you will be traveling to China and returning by the time the Olympics commence August 8th. Oh Maia, we are SOOOO happy for you.

Jie Jie to Sarah Lu & Chayah Ru said...

Congrats on TA! That is so exciting! I can't wait to follow your trip! The picture is so precious!!!
~Staci
www.meimeiadventures.wordpress.com

insanemommy said...

I so agree with you about the economy and our over indulgence here in the USA! It is high time we all suck it up. Some more so than others. Amen sista!

insanemommy said...

I love the picture of Quinn looking at you for the first time. I can just imagine what it will be like your "first" time seeing her in the flesh. It will be something you've never felt before in your life. I promise. :)