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December 2014

December 2014It is time of the year to reflect and pause and express thanks. Here are some of our family’s personal reflections we recently discussed at home.  I captured them and am sharing with you, our friends.
Family and friends are the ones we appreciate the most.  For me, besides my parents, my husband, my children, my friends and the staff  at Lotus Travel, I am thankful for meeting many people whom I’ve met either in person or not throughout my life.  I think each encounter is one I can learn from (http://leahereandthere.blogspot.com/ ).  The flower man who sold flowers everyday downstairs of our Guangzhou apartment; the bike dak guy who worked to pursue his dream of meeting his loved girl; and many others who taught me to appreciate, love and be totally present in the moment.

December 2014

The year of 2014 has been filled with challenges and blessings. Our girls have had a big transition with change of countries, language and schools.  The hardest transition has been the language.  Louie and I have been working around the clock again without helping hands after living in China for six “comfy” years with a nanny to assist us. The transition has been smooth so far. It turns out our girls LOVE the school here; they are blessed to have GREAT teachers.
Louie works the same as before.  A lotJ! This year he has traveled twice to lead groups; during the summer time he led two groups and he also is leading one during Christmas time.  He continues loving what he is doing and has more followers to Uncle Louie Tours each year.  I take a lead role at home with a focus on the girls’ schooling, including communication with teachers, volunteering and after-school activities.  There is also chauffeuring the girls for dancing, singing, swimming, soccer, piano and more! Selena still loves reading; her favorite book right now is “Fault in our Stars”. Being in the school here for just six months, Selena has already become one of the top students. Liane loves sports; she plays front position on the “She-Hawks” soccer team and scored 13 out of 21 for her team (undefeated so far) this season.  Jasmine continues her voice lessons; we have learned that Jasmine was nominated in five categories of the Top Ten Chinese Children’s Singers. Also, we’ve been notified that one of Jasmine’s songs was nominated among the Top Ten Chinese Children’s Songs. This is the very first time that the Chinese Songs Listing Board has given awards to Chinese children. We are really proud of her. Selena and Jasmine are also learning Chinese dance and Ballet from Mr. Li HengDa, the judge for ‘So You Think You Can Dance?” China-US Competition.  All three girls play piano; Louie is a good monitor/supervisor of daily practices

December 2014For me, two memorable events happened this fall.   First of all, I traveled and visited the FCC group in Vancouver, BC.  Also accompanying me was Jenni “Fang” Lee of the documentary “Somewhere Between”.  Though we had talked on the phone previously, this was our first in-person meeting.  Spending time with Fang was as delightful as I had anticipated!  While she spoke to FCC kids, I spoke to adults; then I was able to hear her perspective as an adult adoptee and appreciate her experiences of traveling back to China 14 times following her adoption.  Her discussion/ Q&A time with parents was compelling.  I also was able to share about our family’s experience of living in China for the past six years.  There were lots of rewarding experiences to discuss about living between two cultures. 

Another delightful experience was joining 2014 Holt Portland Gala December 2014in order to raise funds for providing medical support to children in China.  Lotus Travel was one of the key sponsors of this event. Our youngest daughter, Jasmine was honored to sing a beautiful Chinese song at the VIP reception of the event, and it was a rich time with Holt families, board members and friends at Holt.   I recently read (in Chinese) that provided a comprehensive overview of China adoption during the last twenty years. Mr. and Mrs. Holt were highlighted in the article as the pioneers of international adoption. All of this caused me to stop and consider how fortunate we have been.  Louie and I started working with families twenty years ago, about the time that adoptions from China began to get started.  We have been involved in a very personal way, with helping families connect and travel to meet their child for whom they earnestly worked and waited.  This opportunity – to be in the midst of this life-changing journey for so many – has enriched us immeasurably.   I wish you and yours the very best this coming year!                                                

Lea Xu


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