Friday, April 8, 2011

Meet Family G!

Parents Name (s) Elise and Jeff

Name of Child : Violet AiJiang Vivienne (4 years old)

Siblings : Chloe (9) and Claire (7) both from Fuling, Chongqing

Age : 4 years old

Travel dates : August 16– 28th, 2007

Family Day dates : August 20, 2007

What made you decide to adopt from China?

A long time ago, I read an article about adoption in China. Both my husband and I thought it would be a wonderful way to build a family. In 2000, I was reading an alumni magazine for the college I was working at and there was a spotlight on an adoption agency owned by an alum. We went to an open-house at the agency…and signed on right away! In 2002, we received our referral for daughter Chloe in Fuling. The trip was amazing and wonderful, and we adopted again, from Fuling, in 2004. In 2007, when we received Violet’s referral, we were amazed to be going back to the Chongqing region, an hour or so north of Fuling to DJ!

Is this your first child or have you previously adopted from China or a different country?

Chloe was adopted in 2002, Claire in 2004 … both from Fuling, Chongqing, China.

Please tell us about your journey:

In 2002, my husband stayed home with Chloe and I travelled to China for our second daughter, Claire. I asked a college friend, Elisabeth, to join me, knowing I’d need her support and luggage-carrying skills as I travelled. When we met Claire in 2004 in Fuling, Elisabeth was amazed at the number of babies at the SWI, in awe of the emotional events of “family day,” and in love with China as much as I was. Once home, she and her husband decided to adopt. I was more than ready for baby #3! We did all of our paperwork together, met to have our dossiers state certified, and I drove the precious papers back to the agency. We were in the same travel group! For this trip, I brought along another college pal, Brian, as Elisabeth, her husband, and I prepared for travel! The wait at the time crept close to 2 years and having each other for support meant the world to me! Finally, July 2007 was referral day! Our daughters were from DianJiang! They were beautiful! The trip was wonderful and the day we travelled to the DJ SWI was amazing. We met the babies at the SWI and briefly toured the facility. We met many nannies and had lunch with the staff. Watching Elisabeth meet her first daughter, first child, for the first time was wonderful. My daughter, Violet, was initially not happy to meet me, though I won her over with cookies and toys. On our second day together, I set her on the floor to stand….and she let go of my hand and, at 10 months old!, walked off! Yes, walking at 10 months! Her legs were strong, sporting rolls of chubby baby fat, and she smiled endlessly. All the babies adjusted well in our time in Chongqing and Guangzhou, and Violet’s sisters anxiously awaited her back home. However, a cancelled flight and 6 hour delay for the next one home brought Elisabeth and I to tears…we were lucky to have each other there. To have this special connection between Elisabeth’s daughter and mine is more meaningful and magical than I can express.

Once home, we were fortunate to live near a first rate Clinic where Violet, though a NSN adoption, required surgery for her eyes. Months later, a DJ parent sent me some photos of babies at DJ…and there was Violet, at three months old at DJ, formula dribbling from her chin and tucked in a crib with one of the other babies from our travel group, Anna. Another special bond that these girls have. I am so fortunate.

What is the BEST thing about adopting?

Creating a family. Families are created and come into being in different ways. Learning to be a family, sharing my experiences with my children, has been amazing. Right before we first adopted, I would attend events and always think, “I can’t wait to share this with my child…”

What has been your BIGGEST challenge about adopting?

The unknown medical challenges. While in China, it was clear that Violet had a wandering eye; the severity and the required surgery were surprising and challenging. Also challenging is making sure that my girls grow up with diversity, and I am fortunate to have them in a school with diversity and am lucky to work at and live near a college where diversity is celebrated.

Do you plan to adopt again?

I would love to adopt again but daddy would like to relax…we’ll see J

What do you like to do as a family together (name some activities/hobbies).

Travel, eat ethnic foods (right now, Korean Bulgogi is the favorite!), have game night, ride horses, attend events at the college, play music.