Gung Hay Fat Choy

February 4, 2013 in Adoption, Best of Both, Chinese New Year, Family Fun, Friends, Fun, Holiday, relationships, traditions, vacations by MyBestofBothWorlds

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Gung Hay Fat Choy means “Best wishes and Congratulations. Have a prosperous and good year.”  Chinese New Year marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring.  It is a time for family reunions, for honoring ancestors and for being thankful for our blessings.

We’ve been celebrating the Chinese New Year each February with a very special group of people since we all came home from China in  2000 – our adoption group.  In the hot summer of 2000 we traveled with Alliance for Children along with thirteen other families to China to bring home our daughters.  Ever since this trip, we’ve all formed a very special bond that is hard to articulate, unless you’ve experienced it yourself.  Expanding your family along with others is a very unique experience to say the least.

Each year, we travel to a family friendly place in New Hampshire called The Inn at East Hill Farm.  It’s a real working farm, where you can collect eggs, feed the animals, go on horse-drawn sleigh rides, go ice skating – you name it.  The reason we have gravitated there year after year is the friendly and accommodating nature of the family that owns the establishment.  We’ve been going there for the same weekend since 2001.  We look forward seeing our extended family and to all the things we do year after year like Friday night Bingo and the corny prizes you can win.

We are lucky enough to see our adoption group twice a year as that’s when we plan our semi-annual reunions.  One for Gotcha Day (when we adopted them) and then for Chinese New Year.  The Farm reunion as its lovingly referred to is a much-anticipated event coming in a close second to Christmas.  And that’s exactly when the countdown to the farm begins.  We shop for token gifts to give out to each of the girls and their siblings as well as money envelopes as its good luck to give out lucky dollars.

Now that our girls are teenagers, they talk more regularly via texting and instant messaging, but the excitement of seeing one another is priceless.  The girls aren’t the only ones that get excited about our reunions, the siblings and speaking for myself I really look forward to seeing the other Moms and Dads.  This year will be slightly different as many of the girls have older siblings that will be away at college and not able to attend.  Trust me, my oldest was trying to plan it out with the other older siblings to see if there was a way they could swing getting into the area.  But alas it doesn’t look like a possibility.

One of the many things I look forward to are the many hugs and kisses are exchanged upon arrival.  It’s amazing that our daughters or special sisters as they call themselves are so connected to one another.  It’s like a day hasn’t passed when they are in each other’s presence.  When I watch my daughter Kristen interact with all the girls, I see my daughter at her most confident and comfortable.  There is a total acceptance that I see demonstrated among the group.  Sure there have been little spats and quibbles over the year as girls will be girls, but they are resolved in short order.

I’m going to enjoy these reunions for as long as they last, as I know one day my baby girl Kristen will be off to college as well.  I just hope we can keep our annual summer Gotcha Day reunion at that time. Ut oh, starting to feel the sappy sap coming on. So before I get there I want to wish all the readers of My Best of Both Worlds Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Special sisters (and photobomber brother Sean Eddie) <3

Our 2012 adoption reunion weekend at the Farm!

 

Unfortunately, we had to MISS THIS YEAR’s reunion, because I was diagnosed with Influenza type A the day before we were supposed to leave–very sad to have missed all our hugs and kisses!  Can’t wait until we see everyone for Gotcha Day in the summer.