Q receiving a handmade (in Brooklyn, from repurposed materials) gift from one of her mommy's oldest and dearest friends.
Bags...BAGS!!!! The Q loves her bags.
Q playing under the table with my friend Nina's youngest son, Mila. This is wonderful and strange to me for a couple of reasons - first, I love that Mila's energetic and athletic personality drew Q in from minute one. Second, this beautiful, stable and streamlined table was my family's dining table from early days. Since I did not have siblings, nor did I have cousins, nieces or nephews in close range while I was growing up, I am not used to seeing children play in the same environs where I played as a child. It's a little bit surreal, and a lot superb.
Q receiving presents (pigs, no less...she loves pigs!!) from my mum's partner-in-crime.
Showing off her balloons to the newly-arrived guests.
On the left is Nina, with whom I grew up from a very, very early age. On the right is Carol, with whom I spent a great part of my late teens and early twenties. In the middle is Q, she who has become my daughter. It's more than a tad miraculous, all of it, isn't it?
And, in more recent (and blog-related) times, here is our first meeting with blog friends Maia (you might have been confused by her name showing up on my blogs), Ryan, Spike, and Fang Fang. Fang Fang hails from the same Eastern-Chinese province as Q. They have a lot in common, and I was SO glad to finally get them together, if only briefly.
The kiddos playing furiously on the play structure that was loaned by a good friend for the occasion.
Three families playing together for the first time. Sigh.
Guests gathering around the koi pond on a lovely late-summer evening.
Laura and Emmet (at left) are the family of the brilliant photographer who took our gorgeous family photos in a recent post. Laura and I were in school together in our childhood years. Before this day, I had not seen her in decades.
It was so amazing to see so many friends from so many generations, and from so many different eras of my life. Really amazing. I am so very grateful.
A little help from a friend.
Dick getting the kids all riled up!
Q was distracted by balloons while LaoLao brought out the cake.
The second shot shows a very (very!) rare moment of bashfullness in the Q, as she buries her head in my shoulder when the entire crowd begins to sing to her. She really didn't expect that!
Blowing out candles.
Still trying to puzzle it out.
Mike and LaoLao serving cake.
Possibly the first 2-year-old birthday when absolutely everyone - three generations-worth - ate cake.
QQ and FF sharing some very important bonding time. Two girls from the Jiangsu province of Eastern China, both having experienced adoption, cleft surgeries and speech therapy, rejoined in upstate New York. Does the heart good.