It's our anniversary!
...I know. 
Not the most glamorous of shots. We had just rolled out of bed a couple of mornings ago, both still in our pjs. 
Mike hugged me, and Q - needing a piece of the action - slipped in between. Peanut butter to our sandwich, as we like to say.
This is a better shot of us - taken by my mum a few days ago at the lake. Q still had tubes in her nose. 
 Our wedding day, five years ago! Those are not our children, btw. They are our nephew and niece, ring-bearer and flower girl at our wedding!
On horseback, just before the ceremony, September in the Vail Valley.
But I can't really talk about our anniversary without talking about our adoption of The Q, because we married with the idea of adoption in mind. We had already been together four years when we wed, and our main motivation for making it legal was the right to start our legal adoption process. This is us in Beijing during the days preceding our first meeting with the child who would be our daughter. 
And here I am with Q in my lap on adoption day, holding up our adoption certificate along with Ms. Tang, director of Q's orphanage. 
Mike feeding Q on the streets of Guangzhou during our first days as a new family.
Returning from the spice markets off-island in Guangzhou. 
My new daughter inspecting my jade necklace.
This picture makes me sad. In the French restaurant in Guangzhou, waiting for our coffee. She looks so wan and lost. A tiny child, just a month short of her first birthday, out of her environment for the first time in her short life, in the hands of total strangers, and trying to figure out her new life.
This picture makes me even sadder. This was on the main island, Guangzhou. We had stopped in a cafe to buy her an icecream bar...trying to make her comfortable. She is holding her ears and trying not to cry, because for the first year of her life she had not been outside her orphanage. It was a great deal of stimulus, noise and light. She was with new people whom she did not recognize. She was also very sick and weak. She had had intestinal parasites for probably most of her young life. She also had a rollicking sinus infection that had moved into her ears. I can hardly stand to think how hard this transition was for her. How scared and disoriented she was at this moment. Poor little creature. I
But oh, how far we have come! 
Here is Q today (literally), a few days after her 4th birthday, two weeks after her third major surgery, on her way to a party in her new Anais & I tulip dress. 

Happy anniversary to my beloved husband and daughter. 
How far we have come!!


Ling said...

happy anniversary to everyone! the universe knew what it was doing when it brought the 3 of you together!

Amélie said...

Dear Maia, it so moving seing the photos of baby Q... tears came to my eyes. But then, the first and last picts, of joy and happiness, the bright smile of Q ! She's such an extraordinary girl. Wish you many many happy years. Happy anniversary to your beautiful familly

Darja Charapova said...

Happy anniversary for you 3!
What a beautiful journey you have made so far together, the pictures and your story really touch me in my hart.
You are a great family!
Wish you all the best!

Michele said...

Happy Anniversary all around. September is truly a very special month in your family.

Vivian M said...

Happy anniversary! Enjoy!!!

Carrie said...

Happy Anniversary- Hugs and love form the Kreuers!

sanneke said...

This post takes my breath away. How beautiful, the two of you on horseback. How sad, little Q just out of the orphanage and fantastic to see the three of you now, looking so happy together.

Kickcan and Conkers said...

What a journey - Happy Anniversary to you all.

有力 said...

Happy Anniversary to you and may you have many many more years of happiness with Mike and your beautiful Q. She is a world away from those early pictures. She is so self assured, beautiful and strong. Wishing you love.

Anonymous said...

How the time flies! We have followed your journey all the way back from the wanderersdaughter days as we waited our own referral. Thank you for sharing your wonderful journey. Happy anniversary!

FDChief said...

And your journey has really only just begun, hasn't it?

Yet you have already come so far.

Congratulations, and all of our good thoughts to you for the next stage in your journey.

kitchu said...

oooh, shedding fresh tears. of joy, of remembrance of those first days and thinking back on our own transition as we approach our 2 year anniversary of Fammily Day this wednesday....

how Q has bloomed, and how strong her spirit is. and how much love there is, there in your marriage, and in this family of 3.

happy belated anniversary.

Shaista said...

I echo Ling... what a gift to the world - your love, the three of you, the expressions of joy you share with us. You make my life better, truer, just by being.
Happy Anniversary to all three of you xxx

Evelyne said...

Joyeux anniversaire à toute la divine famille.

Yanyan said...

Happy anniversary! So emotional to read this post. Much love, wish you many many many many happy years together!

Jamie & Baby G said...

Oh my goodness, Q's and your guys' journey is so amazing. You have come so far! How fortunate the 3 of you are to have found one another.

Blessings from California!