special day

Tuesday, April 29, 2014
April 4th is the day we celebrate our Forever Family Day with Kate. Dave and Will traveled to China to bring Kate home 7 years ago.  They met sweet Kate at the end of March 2007 but we were all together for the first time as a family on April 4th.

Over the years, I have struggled with how to honor this day (or whether to honor it at all). In fact, in 2010 we opted not to do anything as I was feeling really conflicted about celebrating. See, while it was a very happy day for us, the process of adoption can be so painful for the adoptee.

In the end, I have let Kate decide.  And she wants to celebrate.  She calls it her "special day."  We used to call it Forever Family day but I like Kate's title better.  I let Kate choose whatever she wants to do on her special day (within reason of course). Some years, we have gone for ice cream or a cupcake.  Some years we've had a cake and Chinese food.  It is up to her.

This year, Kate asked to go to a fancy tea at a hotel.  I thought that was a GREAT idea.  The problem was this was decided the day before her special day.  I called The St. Regis Hotel (where we go for Teddy Bear Teas each year) and they were booked solid.  They suggested another week.  I explained the special occasion and the gentlemen repeated that they were booked and there was nothing they could do.  There are not many places that serve traditional tea here in town. At that point, Kate and I really kind of had our hearts set on this so I politely asked to speak to a manager.

I told the manager what we were celebrating and that we come there every year for the Teddy Bear Tea. I told him we'd sit anywhere if the tea room was full and that we're small so surely they could squeeze us in somewhere in that big hotel.  He was happy to help us and offered us the bar or the conservatory.  The bar is quite dark, so I of course, choose the conservatory.

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So, they led us to a beautiful light filled room ann we had it all to ourselves.  It was gorgeous.  They immediately brought us champagne and sparkling cider so we had a toast.

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Then they brought the teas out for us to sniff and choose.  
My girl is not a fan of tea, so she she choose hot cocoa.  I had a delicious tea.

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Kate is such a ham with her pinky up!

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Since it was a Friday during Lent, they were kind enough to offer me salmon and other meatless tea sandwiches (children are allowed meat and Kate desperately needs the protein for her 4 hour gym workouts).

We had two managers serve us and they gave us the royal treatment.  I truly cannot say enough about how fabulously Corniche and Jeffrey treated us.  We felt so pampered. 

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The clotted cream was a huge hit!

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We LOVED the sweets!!!

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As the tea was coming to an end, sweet Corniche brought out a little something for Kate.

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{I know it's blurry, I had put my camera away and had to quickly pull it out!}

  The gave her a beautiful handwritten note thanking us for celebrating such a special day with them.



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They also gave her a sweet bear and yo-yo. Kate loved this thoughtful gesture.

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It was such a special afternoon that I will never forget.  Kate and I had a delightful time together. It was so nice to just sit and spend time with no one else around and enjoy each other.  Kate is funny and charming and really good company.  Not one day goes by that I don't thank God for bringing Kate into our family. She has changed all of our hearts in ways that none of us could have imagined. We all love her so much. I also pray for Kate's birth family and wish that I could tell them just how incredible she is.

P.S.  Just before the tea, we snuck out of school a little early and got mani-pedis too.  We only do this once or twice a year and she loved it!!!

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17 comments:

  1. Love the idea of going for tea, but am confused at them being full. All the tables around you are empty? adorable! Not sure how we will celebrate this day as my other children don't like the idea of the day. They feel that outside their birthdays there is no additional special day, so why should Avery have one. We still have 8 months before we need to figure it out! Happy Forever Day!

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    1. Kelleyn,

      There is a "tea room" and it was full so they put us in another room by ourselves. Sometimes my boys express the tiniest bit of jealousy that Kate gets a special day. But I have taken them aside and explained her circumstances to them in my own way and they support her having this day. Their entrance into our family was so much different and they will never have questions like she will. My boys are older so they "get it" and really are fine with it.I think it is tough. One year Kate just wanted to bake a cake at home for our family so its not really always this special!

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  2. What a special day for both of you. As a fellow adoptive Mom, I love your comment about her birth family!

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  3. How incredibly precious! Your Kate is blessed beyond measure to be in such a loving family. It's a win win for you all!

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  4. What a perfect day and way to celebrate sweet Kate! Love this!

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  5. What amazing service at the hotel! They went above and beyond. What a happy day!

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  6. What a sweet, sweet day! Love how you celebrate. And I want a pedicure like Kate's!

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  7. I love that you pressed on politely! As women, I know we rarely do that. But it seems like you had the best of all worlds in the end having that pretty room all to yourself! What a sweet and special celebration. And so touching that they gave Kate a gift and a hand written note. Such amazing service!!

    KK

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  8. What a fabulous day! Your post made me cry and brought back memories of when we brought Bruce home from China. It is amazing how 7 years have gone by so quickly. Kate is a beautiful young lady. Thank you for sharing.

    Linda

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  9. Thank you so much for sharing this day with us. It brought back memories of when we brought Bruce home from China shortly after Kate. She has grown up into a beautiful young lady.

    Linda

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    1. Linda! So nice to hear from you. I remember when you brought Bruce Home (back in the good old Rumor Queen days). Hope you are all well:)

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  10. I love that you celebrate this special day and I also appreciate your tenacity to achieve what you want. I am big on customer service and I love that you gently pushed and was able to achieve positive results for the day.

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  11. I read your blog pretty regularly, and this is probably the first entry that has moved me to tears. Just before I read this one, I read about Kate wanting to sew, knit and garden. I have a daughter who is very, very similar (and also loves dance and gymnastics) and I think that I saw a lot of my daughter in these two posts. You have an absolutely beautiful family!

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  12. I am also writing to you with tears in my eyes. Thank you for sharing your special day and the inspiration of love and caring in all your posts. I also loved the other post, and I think it is a wonderful way to honor your neighbor and help us all remember that love is what really matters.
    Thank you so much for each and every post,
    With love and gratitude,
    Sanna

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  13. I am also writing to you with tears in my eyes. Thank you for sharing your special day and the inspiration of love and caring in all your posts. I also loved the other post, and I think it is a wonderful way to honor your neighbor and help us all remember that love is what really matters.
    Thank you so much for each and every post,
    With love and gratitude,
    Sanna

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  14. Thank you for sharing your lovely day with Kate! I am adopted, and my parents always celebrated what they called my 'special birthday'. We never did anything big, but I was allowed to choose to either go out to a restaurant for dinner or get to pick a special meal to make, movie to see, etc, and I usually received one small gift. As a kid that was adopted, I always felt that it was so special to have a 'just for me' day. I love that you gave Kate the choice and celebrated with her!

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  15. Looks like you and Kate had such a fun day! I was also adopted as a baby from China and look forward to celebrating my "adoption day" every year with my family! I always remember these special days I had with my mom as a child. Still love them to this day! - Steph

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Thank you for your kindness.