Friday, December 25, 2009

Dear Virgina

Reprint of a letter written in 1987 by a little girl named Virginia to The New York Sun. Read it and believe.

Dear Editor—

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O’Hanlon

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Manifest Your Dreams Today

“The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.” Frank Lloyd Wright

Everything I have hoped and dreamed for has now come true. The future is wide open and I am grateful for all that has been given to me.

Arwyn, Arwyn, She's Our Girl!

I know, you want more about our girl. Part of me wishes I could hold on to her forever right here and not share her with anyone, but she is larger than we are and is ready for the world.

To be delivered to parents from an orphanage is a blessing for all involved. Great joy is given to us as parents, to the children (hopefully) in being with a forever family and to the orphanage staff as they often find joy in seeing their young charges find a home. Those who work with the children know the possibilities of what awaits them later in life and it is sometimes not very pretty, but I will not write of that here.

First, she is a very healthy little girl. She has rolls of fat that hopefully will melt away as she runs and plays with Noah and all of our friend's children. She was still on formula when she was brought to us, though we have taken her off since. She is a fairly good eater but still leans toward rice, which I gladly give her. Luckily, she loves fruit and I think over the next few weeks her palate will broaden and she will embrace more of what we eat at home.

She is one of the funniest children Nathan or I have ever seen. The facial expressions that come from this kid and the antics she presents us with have us in stitches. At first we just did not know what to do with her! We laughed some, but some of her expressions were so serious, we thought she was being serious. Upon flying to Guangzhou, she was in the sling and we were waiting for Noah and Nathan to pick up the luggage. She was making this very serious face at me and I mirrored it to her. She laughed and laughed! She had been trying this for a week and we did not realize it was part of a game. She and I did this for probably 10 minutes and were both laughing hysterically with people standing around watching and laughing with us. It was such an incredible bonding moment.

I know more of those moments will come. Most of the time, I feel that bonding is on fast forward and she is doing so well and then there are times when I realize what a long way we have to go and how patient we all have to be to get her where she needs to be.

She is so precious to us and we are so lucky to have her. Our nighttime issues are getting better and tonight I am awake watching her sleep. I am glad of this as when she begins to stir I can settle her down preventing what I am sure are night terrors. Some nights her sleep is sound but we have some nights when the terrors are strong. I know that as we attach they will get better.

Also, once we get back into a schedule with her life will flow more smoothly.

I'm uploading more photos of the girl as she is cuter than...well anyone but Noah of course!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

the Buddhist Temple in Guiyang

I think...okay, I favorite this thusfar has been visiting the Buddhis temple in Guiyang.  We were so sad we did not have more time on this excursion as it was the best for our entire trip.  Our guide and driver too us to Liang Park.  This park is a natural sanctuary that is capped with a very old Buddhist temple.  We drove through and out of the city and eventually hit a little (I mean little) dirt road through an old part of town (that is very much lived in).  We finally came to the sanctuary which was such a stark contrast to the rest of the city.  There was a man made resevoir which provided much of the drinking water to the city at the base of the mountain.  It was obvious that the area was untouched and was a lush area filled with incredible greenery. 

One of the special things about the park was the monkeys that were indigenous to the area.  They come out in the morning when the park is busiest with morning excercisers and tourists.  We took several photos of the monkeys as you can see! 

After visiting the monkeys, we journeyed up to the temple which was very beautiful.  I won't say much about the temple, as our time there was filled with peace and joy as well as sadness.  If you want to know what I mean, you can ask me, but I will not say here. 

I will say this, the monks were singing while we were there and no matter what tradition it is from, there is nothing more beautiful and peaceful than listening to monks sing praises to their higher power.

We are so blessed to have made this special visit.

More on Guiyang

It was probably obvious to you that I did not enjoy Guiyang City in the province of Guizhou.  However, there were a couple of high points I want to talk about.  On our third day of having Arwyn, our guide Aggie took us to Qian, a 600 year old village outside of Guiyang.  Though this is what many of us think of when we think of China - and these areas do still exist - they are being lost or rather drowned out with the progression of a much more modern society. 

I applaud China, though as they are making efforts to preserve these areas for future generations.  Qian is a very beautiful village that is a living village.  Not like Williamsburg where people pretend to be a living village.  Qian is a real village where people live how they have for the last 600 years, including farming in the traditional ways (okay, all except some of the folks drive new Audis).  We did some shopping in Qian and had a wonderful visit in the local tea shop, which was enchanting.  I am including some photos in this post of our time in Qian.

If you look behind us in the photo of the 4 of us, you can see the tiered gardens where the locals grow their food.  And, the photo that looks like a temple, with the incense, is a temple.  It is a Taoist temple where I was honored to be able to make an offering and ask for blessing on our family.  I was so grateful to be able to honor the Taoist tradition in this way for us and for Arwyn and to offer our thanks for the gift we have received.

We also visited a Buddist temple in Guiyang (see next post).  The Taoist and Buddhist temples were probably my favorite parts of the trip! I wish we could have skipped the Great Wall and other touristy things to see all of the temples in China.

Gyuiyang, Guizhou

While the thoughts are still fresh in my mind, I want to write about Guizhou (Arwyn's province), specifically the capitol city where we stayed, Guiyang.  We flew into a smallish airport on Sunday evening of last week.  Our guide, Aggie and our driver for the week, Mr. Wu, picked us up after a 3 hour delay from Beijing due to heavy fogs.  Guiyang is in the center of a ring of mountains and misty fogs often settle over the city.  That day, however, the fogs had lifted and it was sunny and around 60 degrees.  As we drove into the city we saw that the area was a natural beauty.  In fact, the province boasts the largest cave and waterfall in China.

We drove into the city and it seemed very metropolitan.  Over 1.3 MILLION people live in the city with nearly 3 million in the area immediately surrounding the city.  We went to our hotel, a new Sheraton that was built as a sort of a business destination and was built to seriously appeal to Westerners.  I won't say too much about the hotel, however, they were SO kind to us the entire week.  They went out of our way to make our stay as pleasurable as possible.  The only negatives in regards to our stay in this VERY posh hotel were the smells in the bathroom.  The bathroom was very nice but smelled like cooked cabbage.    We also were in a hotel that turns off the entire heating and cooling system in moderate weather.  Outside, the weather was around 75 degrees.  The first night we were able to use our AC which was sweet, but the next day it no longer worked.  The manager was nice enough to send up  housekeeping to open our windows (a big help, not) and bring a fan.  At least he tried! 

This was the hardest leg of the trip for me.  Beijing is very metropolitan and our agency guides were with us as was the rest of the group.  Doing everything en masse made life fun and manageable in Beijing.  Going into Guiyang was like being slingshot into a foggy dream.  I found it very difficult to navigate the city.  Very few people we encountered spoke English.  I don't mean to sound like an American who expects everyone to speak English.  I do not feel that way.  But, we were expecting to have our guide with us more than she was.  The first day we were dropped at the hotel.  We were dirty, tired and hungry and was hoping our guide would help us get acquainted with the area before leaving us.  She did not.  We were completely on our own.

We did manage on the next day, after getting Arwyn, to get out and get to Wal-Mart....okay - we stopped shopping at WM years ago and I we only eat at McD's a couple of times a year.  Since being in China I have eaten McD's 3 times and shopped at Wal-Mart (a horendous experience!).  In Guiyang there is no air conditioning.  Coupled with the large number of people crowded into the shops and restaurants, I felt like I would pass out each time we went into a building.  We finally found a very posh 6 story department store near the hotel (also unbearably hot) but in the basement there was a very nice grocery store (reminded us of Whole Foods) which was VERY air conditioned.  We went there a couple of times for refuge!!!

Let's talk about the food.  In Beijing, we had a fabulous breakfast buffet.  For lunch, we went with the group and our guides ordered our food for us.  They did a great job ordering for such a large group of people.  We also had a nice buffet in Guiyang, but had a very difficult time eating outside of that.  Okay,  Noah and I had a difficult time eating.  Nathan was fine anywhere.  We ate several times for lunch in the hotel and ate dinner mostly in the room with room service.  We ventured out once to the Chinese restaurant next door which was okay but not great as we did know what to order.  On the last day we finally ate a cheap local restaurant with our guide and it was DELICIOUS.  And, the 4 of us plus our guide and driver all ate lunch for around $12.00.  This was what we were wanting the entire time, but could make her understand that we needed her help.  Her English was excellent, but there is an assumption that wanted to eat at the finer local restaurants, which were more like $30 per meal. 

Oh well.....We had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner at the hotel with a most delicious Turkey!  We were very impressed.  Apparently it is very fashionable to celebrate Thanksgiving here in China and the restaurant was full with double the staff.  We know that because we were fortunate to get to know the restaurant staff during the course of our stay.  But, how could we not, with Arwyn Croy - Ambassador to China - with us.  She appears to be attaching well to us and does not attempt to go to other adults, but she is more than happy to smile, wave and blow kisses at all passersby. 

The culture here is very different from the culture of Beijing and VERY different from Guangzhou, where we are now.  I won't go into details as I do not want to seem disrepectful, but it is obvious that poverty is much more extreme in Guiyang and the average person is much less educated.  This is not in reference to lack of English in the province.  This is in respect to the habits of the people on the street and more.  It was also obvious that Westerners rarely visit this city.  We gathered that by the stares of MANY of the people.  We got a few stares in Beijing, but nothing obvious and few here in Guangzhou, but no one really pays attention to us.  In Guiyang we had people stare hard at us and had children look and laugh and stare wide eyed. 

Well, not a very well written blog post, but my thoughts on Guiyang nonetheless.  I am having more difficulty putting my thoughts in order now as we near the end of the trip.  We are travel weary and ready to come home.  I'll post more as I want to share a few more things about Guiyang. 

Peace Out.  Dana.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Let's Talk About Arwyn

Hey Ya'll.  Well I'm remiss in my posting duties!  Tonight we are in Guangzhou, Guangdong in the SouthEastern part of China.  I am hanging in the Starbucks listening to Louie Armstrong and really missing home but glad to be here and thankful for Nathan, Noah and Arwyn.  We arrived in GZ on Friday night around 8:30 after a short flight from Guiyang.  I want to tell you about Arwyn, or at least a little bit about her, tonight.

I'll start with our first meeting.  Last Monday, after 3.5 years of waiting, the director of the  Tongren Social Welfare Institute along with one of the teachers, walked into the Guizhou Center for Adoption Affairs with a confused but smiling little girl who instantly won our hearts.  She was introduced to us and pretty much came right to us (which concerned me just a little - but now I think all is well).  Right away the paperwork started and our guide and the adoption center folks worked on that while we all got acquainted.  Arwyn right away seemed as if she was beginning a grand adventure and was happy to be with us. 

I remembered the picture album we sent to her and asked for it.  Luckily the orphanage director remembered it and gave it to her (it is often forgotten so I was thankful for this.)  We began looking at it with her and gave her a couple of more things to occupy her while we worked on our portion of the paperwork.  She was so pleasant the entire time and looked so big (thanks to the many layers of WOOL she was in.  Of course, it was VERY cold that morning, so I was glad she was dressed warmly.) 

We then had the opportunity to ask questions of the teacher about her and her habits and what she likes and doesn't like.  They seemed very fond of her and her of them, which is a good thing.  I have to tell you, Arwyn is SO healthy compared to so many children that come from orphanages and foster care - I don't mean just in terms of China, but the US, parts of Africa, Asia, all over.  The care of the children in the orphanges in China is SO much better now than it was 5 years ago even, thanks in part to the donations made by adoptive families. 

We have folks in our travel group whose first children came malnourished, had scalps covered in boils, were covered in bugbites.  Not to say that does not still happen still here of a few orphanages that do not provide adequate care for the children....but out of the 10 families in our travel group, all 10 children seem well cared for (they came from 8 different orphanages)

Back to Arwyn!  She has the most incredible spirit and she loves us so much.  The days have been fairly easy with her.  We have been wearing her in the sling quite a bit ( not small feat as the girl is heavy!).  Yesterday we finally bought an umbrella stroller as we are getting tired of  carrying girlfriend everywhere, though she loves it!!!!  Actually, we are still wearing her part of the time as we understand the importance of touching her and caring for her to facilitate our bonding. 

She is picking up English very well. She is really lacking in her Chinese.  We thought this was due to her cleft issues, and largely are.  However, what we have realized is because of her cleft the orphanage workers more than likely allowed her speech to develop on its own without correcting her pronunciation.  Judging by the English words she is already saying, I am guessing that once she is in speech therapy, the mechanics will come easily. 

Arwyn is so independent.  She is not used to adults doing everything for her.  Part of me wants to be sure to not curb that independent spirit but I also want her to know that we are here to love and help her.  We have put on her shoes almost everytime they were needed and I dress and undress her, but she can do that and more on her own.  I can tell you that she can do things that Noah could not do until he was 5 - all due to having to do everything herself.  She also is a clean freak, which Nathan is thrilled about.  If anyting is out of place, she immediately puts it back.

She is one of the silliest children that Nathan and I have ever seen.  She has these faces she makes at us.  Though I felt like we were doing great as a  family and one on one bonding with her, it was not until the past 2 days that things really clicked.  While waiting for our luggage on Friday night (I had her in the sling), she was making faces at me.  She had been making these faces at us all week, but we had no idea what she was doing.  I finally started making them back at here and she laughed hysterically.  She had been waiting all week for that reaction!  She and I stood making these faces over and over again for 10 minutes while waiting for Nathan and Noah to get the bags.  We both laughed and laughed.  People around us were staring and laughing as well!

Then, yesterday, we were finally able to get her down for a nap (thank God!).  She was so rested and last night was the first night she went to bed with no fears and no tears.  We made a huge breakthrough on that one.

We are both so amazed that this kid has not been with us forever.  I think that most of us adoptive parents have many fears surrounding our adoptions.  Are we making good decision?  Will we be good parents?  Will we meet their needs?  Will we be able to attach???????  Every fear melted away when that little girl walked in the room.  We are so happy with her and she seems to be happy with us.  Noah loves her and she him.  In fact, Noah was probably the first thing she said after "mama" and "baba." 

Well, I'm exhausted and want to get back to my book - The Lost Symbol.  I'll try to post more in the next couple of days.  I want to share my thoughts on Guiyang here as well while they are still in my mind.

Have a great night....see you in 8 days.  (Someone make me some sweet tea.....PLEASE!)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

More Photos

Ni Hao Ya'll.  Here are a few photos from Day 2 in Beijing.  They are mostly of the Forbidden City and the Great Wall.  There is one of Nathan and Noah in Tiennamen Square (notice Chairman Mao's picture).  Finally, there is one of the mountains we flew over into Arwyn's province.    The children with Noah are the children of the other parents in our travel group.  If Noah looks unhappy in a couple of the photos, don't get alarmed.  He is pretending to be the Emperor.  Please keep us in you thoughts today as today is the day we get Arwyn.  I am visualizing an easy transition for her over the next few days that are full of love and without fear. 

Day 3

Well, here we are once again waiting for a plane.  I'm beginning to see a pattern.  I'm several chapters into The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown and Nathan and Noah are playing travel checkers so I thought I would take this opportunity to blog. Our plane to Guiyang is delayed due to heavy fog.  Luckily, the Beijing airport is very nice and modern.  In fact, we are in Terminal 3 which is a magnificent structure built to accommodate the heavy plane traffic from the 2008 Olympics.  Of course, that would indicate that there is not normally heavy plane traffic.  Let me assure you, there is heavy plane traffic at all hours of the day.  This airport is not the 3rd largest airport in the world and is built to represent a turtle when viewed from the outside.  It is all glass and steel and has every modern convenience imaginable, including all Western potties! 

I want to find a way to convey to you some of my thoughts thus far of China.  First of all, there are many minorities in China.  Very many cultures and peoples melted together into one, much like the US.  Of course, in China, there are similarities in appearance, unlike the US where we have many different complexions, hair color and eye color.  As a Westerner, I have walked through life having largely two ideas of what China is like.  The first is a bit romanticized and looks like a movie set in ancient China.  The next is a much less positive view of China set in post Mao times where the colors of grey and green dominate everything.  The reality???? Amazingly, somewhere in between. 

The people of China seem both very solemn and very joyful all at the same time.  We have seen so many smiles and so much laughter from the people, but there is an air of harshness that hangs over life here.  I am not sure why.  It has not been so long that China has been largely industrialized and in the larger cities there are many people that have migrated here from rural areas in recent times.   Life is definitely harder here than many Americans are used to.  To be clear, many Americans do not live in cushy suburban or urban areas and I realize that.  But it is obvious here by the cramped living quarters, laundry hanging in the windows of even the tallest apartment buildings, the still many people who not only travel to work on a bicycle but use thier bicycles to conduct work....that life here is harder than in the US.

Many of the younger people - most really - have embraced the modern times.  Cell phones, lap tops, very hip clothing - these things dominate the younger culture.  Many of the older folk that lived through uncertain times still wear the Mao jackets in the color of Army green and have a very tired look in their eyes. 

Among all of that is the dominate color of red.  Of course, Westerners immediately associate that with Communism, but it isn't so.  Red and yellow were the imperial colors and are still used today.  It is so fascinating to see a country who is working so hard to modernize and throw off all ideas of superstition and religion to embrace these ancient symbols and colors in such a profound way.  I don't even know how to fully put into words my thoughts on this.  I am thrilled to see the continued use of the principles such as are seen in the art of feng shui and am saddened at the same time to know that many of China's youth are throwing out the traditions and superstitions that have long since guided this ancient country.

We are so fortunate that our adoption agency employs such incredible coordinators/guides.  Our guide Cindy is a history and culture buff and was such a fount of information.  She answered so many questions candidly.  She is a native of Beijing and has an obvious love of her culture.  In addition to working for CHI, she is a local guide and worked during the Olympics as a guide for the athletes and their families.

Speaking of the Olympics.  We drove by the stadium and it was very interesting.  Immediately upon entering the Beijing airport I was struck by the fact that everything was not only in Chinese but also in English.  I had been under the impression that very little English was in the airport - anywhere really.   I wondered how much impact the Olympics had on Beijing.  Apparent it had a huge impact.  We saw few store fronts, malls, restaurants, etc. that did not have English signs while on our whirlwind tour of the city.  The airport was easy to navigate thanks to the signs as well.  In preparation of the Olympics and the unveiling of the new China to the world, much transformation took place.  Much of the city was razed to make way for new hotels and skyscrapers.  The city streets were cleaned up (okay, I cannot imagine how they looked before if this is the cleaned up version), pollution cut (see previous statement about the "before"), roads where created, Western style toilets added (I'll post separately on the squatty potties).  Ultimately I am sure these changes were for the better.  From what I understand, the last 6 years have brought great change to the citizens of this capital city.

Well, that is all I have for now.  Noah wanted to send a shout out and you can read that below.  I am uploading some photos of our 2nd full day in China that  include the Forbidden City, Tiannamen Square and the Great Wall.  Oh, Noah fell asleep yesterday around 5:00 again and slept for several hours.  I am hoping that today will bring more of a settling in as we will spend the next 6 days with Arwyn in Guiyang, Guizhou.  We miss you all and will see you soon.  Hugs.

Noah's commentary:

We are going to see on Saturday my friends that I saw the last few days.  Their names are Avery, Julia, Emma and Jade.  They are all 6 years old and were all adopted from China.  They are the children of 4 other sets of parents in our travel group.  My favorite thing I saw was everything.  We went underground so we could get to the Tiennamen Square.  And, I went on the Great Wall of China.  I climbed many steps.  It was freezing cold.  And there was snow everywhere (but it was melting) except for the airport.  And, our plane was delayed in Newark. 

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day 2

Hi All.  It is 4:47AM in China and I have been awake since 12:30, yes, AM.  We've all been up for a few hours.  Apparently my stirrings woke up the sleeping King and Prince!  Actually, Noah had been asleep since 5PM yesterday so, he was scheduled to wake up.  Today, we will all try hard to stay up later so that we can sleep better.  We are packing our bags and heading to Guiyang which is the capital city of Arwyn's province.

Once we arrive and get settled, I'll send another post with photos of our Great Wall tour yesterday.  I have so many thoughts to share about China and have been journaling for Arwyn.  I will try to share some of them here after we get settled.

For family wanting to know where we have been staying in Beijing, here is a link to our hotel so you can see:

For now, keep us in your thoughts as we hop to the next city where we will receive a great gift tomorrow from the country of China.  We will be thinking of you all as Thanksgiving approaches.  We have so much to be thankful for during this season of gratitude.

"Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul." - Henry Ward Beecher

Friday, November 20, 2009

Day 1

It's 4:00 AM  Beijing time.  Nathan and I are wide awake having slept for the last 8 hours.  Noah is still conked out, thankfully.  I cannot tell you when the last time was he fell asleep in the car during the day time, but after lunch yesterday we could not keep him awake. 

I have to tell you that the entire trip is a little surreal.  Part of me feels like it is a normal vacation, except we are coming home with a child.  Part of me feels so out of sorts and knows this is really monumental but I can't quite wrap my mind around it.  We have 2 families that have adopted previously and it seems sort of the same for them.  It has been interesting to see many of the Chinese people really staring at us.  Also, since two of the families are traveling with older adopted children from China,  many of the locals will stop and openly stare.  It will be interesting for us once we get Arwyn in Guizhou.  I am wondering how people will react to us.  With a population of a billion, I suppose the 10, 000 or so children adopted out each year are not really very many, so I am guessing many people have never seen a foreign family with adopted Chinese children. 

We began the day with a great Western style breakfast buffet in the hotel and then our group of 4 families left for the tour of the Temple of Heaven.  It is an incredible example of Chinese architecture and Feng Shui.  It is a sacrificial temple where the Emperor made sacrifices to the God of Heaven for the prosperity of his people.  We were there for quite a while and I can tell you that it is cold in Beijing.  The Temple park as it is now covers several hundred acres and much of it is barren of any landscape (right around the Temple) and it is cold and extremely windy.  We did not bring heavy coats but we are very layered and fared well in the cold.  Some of the families were not entirely prepared and as we were out in the cold most of the day, were quite chilled.

After the tour of the Temple we were taken to a traditional Chinese restaurant complete with entertainment.  We were served Chinese family style and it was quite tasty.  While we ate, dancers did traditional Chinese dances on the stage in front of us.  Today several other families will join us but yesterday there were 4 of us and two of the other families each brought a 6 year old girl with them.  One of those families has 5 girls (they brought one and the other 4 stayed home).  They are an amazing family.  One of their children is a bio child, 1 adopted from China and the other 3 are adopted from Ethiopia.  We were so touched at lunch yesterday as they shared their Ethiopian adoption story. 

She told us of a young mother that was clearly starving that showed up at the guest house where the Mom from our group was staying.  She was in labor and the families staying at the guest house held a piece of plastic over her while she gave birth on the doorstep.  They brought her in.....there was more, but in the end they helped her to the orphanage where she could get formula for her child as it was apparent that she was too malnourished to make milk.  Her stories were touching and heartbreaking and to hear them reminds me that while we are not adopting to save a child, in the  back of our minds, we know that these kids need help.

After lunch we headed to Hutong, the last remaining part of old Beijing.  Around 20 years ago, the older traditional areas of Beijing began to be torn down to make room for the hundreds of skyscrapers that are here.  We had the pleasure of taking rickshaws through this old city area and visited a traditional family home.  In fact, this family has owned this courtyard home for 40 years and one of the grandchildren was there giving tours of the family home.

By this point, we were all quite chilled having been outside since early that morning and we took the tour bus to our final destination, the Acrobatic show.  Noah and one of other children slept through the show, as well as myself and a few other parents.  Jet lag has definitely set in. 

After going to bed around 8PM last night and getting a full 8 hours of sleep, I think we are finally acclimating to the time change.  We are all starving - no dinner last night - too tired!  Today we are seeing the Great Wall and the Forbidden City.  If I had it to do over again, we would have hung out at the hotel all day yesterday and rested.  Oh well. 

I'm posting some photos of our tours yesterday for you guys to see back home.  There is Temple of Heaven, Noah, and the 3 of us in the rickshaw.  I have my face covered as the area we were in was very dusty and the wind was blowing.  Will post again tomorrow of the adventures of the Croys in China!

Hugs (2 days to Arwyn).



Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
-Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, November 19, 2009

We Have Arrived!

Hey Ya'll, we have arrived in Beijing.  I won't give you all of the dry details of the trip, but here is a brief synopsis.  We left the house at 4:45 AM Nashville time on Wednesday.  Our first flight was on time and after a couple of hours layover we prepared to leave Newark on a Boeing 777.  After boarding the plane, we sat on the runway for approximately 2 hours as a maintenance problem was checked out.   Luckily, we were seated with and within a couple of rows of several other adoptive families.  2 other moms and I got up and "visited" the empty business section and chatted while the dads and kids vegged out in front of the seatback entertainment systems (every Waldorf child's dream - movies and games on demand!).

After 2 hours we were told the fuel pump needed to be changed (not exactly reassuring) but they allowed us all to disembark and gave us vouchers for lunch.  The fellow adoptive families regrouped after lunch and hung out until we boarded once again.  The flight itself was uneventful (what we want in a flight).  13+ hours later (6 hours late) and we were met in Beijing by a representative of our agency and taken to the hotel.

The hotel (the Radisson SAS) is an older but very nice hotel.  We had a very late dinner and hit the bed and are now back up (only 5 hours later) to prepare for a day of sightseeing. Nathan and I are very tired but ready to go.  Noah slept for at least 6 hours on the plane so he was not that interested in going to bed.  Now that we are here we hope we can get back on a good schedule of eating and sleeping.

It has been years since I have traveled on a long flight such as this one and now I remember why.  Noah and Nathan did very well but my severe motion sickness kicked in.  I snacked, wore sea bands for acupressure relief, took Bonine and ginger pills and still was extremely ill.  We have two short plane hops to take while in China and the plane ride home is 2 hours longer than the one here.  So, happy thoughts are appreciated for our trip home if you want to send them my way.

I have talked about this before and will tell you that the adoption program in China is slowing down and it will not surprise me if it comes to a complete halt within the next 5 years.  My personal thoughts are this is a good thing.  For China to no longer have the need to find homes for its children outside of its own walls means that it has reached a good place economically and more people can either afford to pay the fines associated with additional children - thus bringing the abandonment numbers down; it means more as well, but I will not write about that in this post. The reason I am saying this is all of the families we met are travelling for a special needs placement.  With the slow down of healthy China referrals the placement of SN children has increased and I cannot tell you how positive I believe this is on so many levels.  

Well, we are off now to breakfast, the Temple of Heaven and a Chinese acrobatic show.  I hope you can see the photo I posted of the Croys at the Nashville airport getting ready to leave.  Nathan's sister stayed with us and took us to the airport and we are so appreciative of her.

I'll try to post each day a little something.  We have 3 days before we will be given Arwyn and we are looking forward to that day but trying to stay in the moment and appreciate the time we have in Beijing.  Hugs to all and we miss you.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
-Henry David Thoreau

Monday, November 16, 2009

Less than 2 Days!

Hi All.  I have only minutes to spare as we are on the countdown.  We leave in about 36 hours for Beijing.  We are so thankful for so many of our friends and family and the support that has been given to us.  We look forward to seeing you all upon our return.  We'll be posting about our trip and uploading photos. 

Please keep Arwyn in your thoughts as she transitions over the next few weeks.

With love and thanks.


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
-Henry David Thoreau

Monday, November 9, 2009

Getting Close

Well, I thought I would update where we are!!!

First, we are waiting for the US Consolate to grant us an appointment prior to leaving China. So, a few prayers in that direction would be great!!!!

I am busily getting us ready to go. Today, I am cleaning the den and putting it back together after the plumbing work we had a couple of weeks ago. Yesterday, Nathan did some deep cleaning on that front as well.

Tomorrow...committee work for school and on to Yankee Candle.

Wednesday and Friday will be spent painting Arwyn's room. Yes, I know we leave in a week.

Saturday we'll just be cleaning and doing laundry and getting ready to go.

Sunday Nathan's family is coming over to see us.

And Monday will be serious packing mode getting us ready to leave Tuesday or Wednesday, not sure which! is all good and we will be ready.

We'll post in China, so stay tuned for more updates. As you can see, right now I can do more than create simple sentences!!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

17 Days

Happy Day of the Dead. Or, Happy New Year in the Pagan World! I'll post later on Halloween, but right now my focus guessed it.....our journey of a million miles. Okay, 11,402 miles according to Google to be exact.

We are slated to leave on November 17 and are anxiously, and I mean anxiously, awaiting a final document allowing us to travel. It's our I-171. It had to be updated with new fingerprints. Along with the fingerprints, our social worker had to send and updated homestudy detailing our new home and our updated financial information. So, that's where we are.

The next two weeks for me will be so wonderful and intense. I am not working much, thankfully. I will be putting the house back together from the major plumbing overhaul we had last week, deep cleaning, finishing Arwyn's room and prepacking.

We are all getting really excited. Last week Nathan shared with me that he is "ready" to get Arwyn. We are so ready to be parents again. So ready to bring this little bundle of joy into our lives.

And, can I tell you how supportive folks have been? It has been wonderful.

Now, if I could just get my little girl shower Thank You's mailed out, life will be good!

Monday, October 19, 2009


Much needed relaxation at Radnor Lake on Sunday. The "difficult" trail nearly did me in! But, it was a glorious day to behold.

Another Photo of Our Girl

I have to say she really resembles me in this photo. Amazing. The older Noah gets the more he looks like Nathan, maybe I'll have one that looks like me!

4 Weeks and Counting

Well, the countdown has begun. I cannot even begin to explain the excitement and anxiety that is running rampant through our home right now!!!!!! We have lists of things that need to be completed and I am attempting to stay very organized about the entire thing!

I'm going to be blogging lots more as it is sort of like releasing the lid to let some of the steam out as we move quickly through the next few weeks. Today I began looking at packing lists and started making my own lists of what we will be taking.

I also did a little more shopping for Arwyn's room as we try to get that wrapped up! If you are up for a little painting, give me a buzz!

I've posted a map with this blog posting so friends and family can see where we are going to be going.

We will begin in Beijing where we will visit for two or three days - just the three of us and the 6 other families we are traveling with. Then, it is off to Guizhou where we will be given this precious gift. The four of us will stay there for 5 or so days and then it is off to Guangdong for more siteseeing along with official appointments to get the important visas, medical appointments (all for Arwyn), etc.

Keep checking back as we progress toward our (tentative) travel date of 11-19-09.

Peace Out.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I just had to share this photo. This is one of Noah's favorite things to do! He brings out toys and boats and makes a river. Big fun in Mimi's front yard.

Should We Be Worried?

See Photo. Enough Said!

Friday, September 11, 2009

It's never to early for Christmas music, is it?

What a merry Christmas we will have. I can't wait!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Another Reason for "Why Waldorf"

Pressure-cooker kindergarten
"A new emphasis on testing and test preparation -- brought on by politicians, not early education experts -- is hurting the youngest students."

Read On: Boston Globe

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Another Photo

Hi All. I have not posted pics other than our referral on the blog. You may have assumed we did not have more. But, we do. I think I have been holding on to them for myself. I look at her every morning and tell her good night every night. I realized today that I just want her photos for us so that we can get comfortable with her. It all seems so unreal.

I started unpacking all of our girl clothing. Most too big for her. We have updated stats for her and she is tiny if they are correct. But, the good news? I now know what sized to start buying. Let the fun begin!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wicked Countdown

Okay. I know I should be counting down to China...but, as we have no firm dates for travel, so I am counting down to Wicked, the musical. September 13, 2009, Nathan and I along with his parents and sister will be sitting in fabulous seats at TPAC viewing Wicked. If you have not read Wicked or any other Gregory Maquire, run, don't walk to the nearest bookstore and pick up one of the most intriguing and unusual stories to grace fiction bookshelves.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

She's Ours ! (On Paper!)

Words cannot express how happy I am to introduce Dang Yu Qian, at 3 1/3 from the Tongren Region of China.

Today Nathan and I received our Seeking Confirmation Letter, our official paper from the Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs letting us know they have formally approved our petition to adopt Yu Qian.

We now are awaiting our Travel Approval.

Miracles happen in our lives each and every day and today's miracle came in the form of a little piece of paper!

As soon as I can find the cord to the camera, I'll post our referral page with a photo of her!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Why Waldorf and Why No Media?

Last night as Nathan, Noah and walked down the Shelby Bottoms Greenway I had time to think about our day which led me to further reflection about the media policies in Waldorf Education. Of course, these are my personal thoughts and not nesseccarily from a Waldorf pedagogical stance.

First, let me tell you a little about our week. Noah watched television last Sunday. We had no TV again until Wednesday afternoon which was his first day of school. It was a half day but was still overwhelming due to getting up early, mine and Nathan's committment to the Hospitality Committee that morning and Noah's first day of getting back to that routine. And, it was seriously hot. So, by the time we arrived home, we were both overheated and just plain exhausted. He asked and I said yes, so PBS was turned on for about an hour and a half and I vegged out in front of the computer. Noah did not see the TV again until Saturday morning.

Over the weekend, he watched a little television, some on Saturday morning and then on Sunday. We have been listening to Harry Potter and the SS on CD and as we have finished it, I decided we could watch the movie on Sunday night. So, from Sunday to Sunday, he probably watched a total of 8 hours of TV which works out to an hour a day, which, quite frankly, is still too much, but compared to what the average child watched - 28 Hours - I'm feeling pretty good. And, considering that out of those 8 days, only 4 consisted of TV time - I'm still feeling good.

There are days when we are torn. We would like to eliminate the television entirely, but Nathan and I also enjoy it and we want Noah to grow up with access to some media as we do not want him to be an adult that cannot carry on conversations with other adults when it comes to pop culture. That may sound silly, but I have met those people and it is not pretty.

That, coupled with the fact that MANY of the kids we interact with have seen so much more than Noah and he is already feeling a little left out, leads us to this. But, I want to be clear about the media and its affect on our children. Noah and his friends can scarcely carry on conversations without them including references to television shows. Noah is NOT allowed to watch cable television shows such as Spongebob, but so many of his friends are - even the Waldorf kids - and it is somewhat disturbing to me that even at this young of an age that the media has so much influence over them.

I was thinking of these things last night and what I realize is that the media policies that exist in Waldorf education serve many purposes and it is my hope that as families turn to Waldorf schools and enroll their children there they will follow the policies to the best of their ability. Though I have no PROOF of this, I would daresay that the day for an average child in the US goes something like this:

Get up in the morning, get dressed, have breakfast and turn on the TV. If the child is not at a school that has a dress code, they might put on a Dora or Scooby Doo shirt. They go to school where other children are wearing character clothing. At some point during they day they may be shown a movie (yes this happens, I remember it as a child and have recently had families tell me that their child is regulary shown movies at school and I KNOW that MANY daycares use movies for toddler/preschool children). They spend much of their free time disucssing TV shows and then come home to turn the television back on.

There is really not a point during the day when the children are free of the distractions of television. I say television but I also lump video games into this category. Most of the families we know outside of Waldorf have at least one gaming system, many have them all. We go to restaurants and see children as young as 5 walk in with DS games and never once look up or talk to the parents. We see kids texting and never interacting with their families at dinner.

It is incredibly sad.

So...that is one of the reasons we are so grateful for our school and the Waldorf perspective. While at school the children are not allowed to discuss TV or pop culture. No cell phones are allowed. No video games. No clothing covered in Bakugan. None of those things. The children are able to knit, read, paint, do their work in a media free environment giving them the one respite they may have. Our children will have MANY years to be rammed by the media machine. Childhood only happens once and I am glad we have chosen this path for Noah where he will have at least a few years of having a few precious hours of each day in a media free environment.

With that said, I would LOVE to have a Wii. Oh well.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

No News + A Few Good Books

For those following along, we are still waiting for our SCL (Seeking Confirmation Letter) Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs). As soon as we know, you will know. I suppose it is not entirely a bad thing we are still waiting. Our social worker came by last week to see the new digs (a formality) and we realized our homestudy is not written to allow us to adopt a 3 year old with special needs. So, that is having to be rewritten (or will be as soon as we get our new police reports showing we have committed no crimes). When I have told people that adoption is not for the feint of heart, I've been serious. So, for now, we update and wait lots of good books.

One of the pluses of living in Nashville is access to the great library system they have here. Noah and I frequent 3 of the libraries, including the downtown library and it is so much fun. We have gotten lots of great books and one of our favorites lately has been Thea's Tree by Alison Jackson. This is a clever take on the Jack and the Beanstalk fairytale and is great for older kids.

We are huge fans of the Nate the Great series by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat and we found some of the books on CD, so our car rides have been filled with listening to the story of a 9 year old detective who loves pancakes solving neighborhood mysteries. Big fun!

And, of course, we are listening to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone again...and again...and again. Noah really gets it now and says he is ready to move on to The Chamber of Secrets. We are going to try it. It is a little scarier and the kids are a little older, so I'm not sure. Maybe when he turns 8. We'll see.

See keep checking back here for more book recommendations and updates on our journey to Arwyn.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Well. You can imagine what is often on my mind. We first saw her face 3 weeks ago. We were in the middle of a SERIOUS crisis involving the sell of our home and the purchase of our new digs. I had told Nathan the day before that we would have our referral that week and it came within 10 minutes of my calling Nathan to tell him our house was not going to close.

Though we reviewed the file and consulted with the international adoption ped and we both knew we would accept the referral, neither of us had the emotional or mental awareness to click in. We sort of put the entire thing on a back burner for a few days. One we got through the move, in fact, our first day in the new house, we received an update and it all began to sink in that she was going to be ours.

Now, here we are, three weeks after seeing our little girl's face for the first time. Actually, let's go back to last night. Nathan's BFF Mark came over for dinner and I quickly got him downstairs to see her photos on the laptop. As I zoomed the photo, it hit little girl is living in an orphanage on the other side of the world. The photos up close did not paint a pretty picture. I am telling myself that she is being taken care of as well as possible, but to see the state of the part of the orphanage in the photo was not encouraging.

I didn't cry last night. The Universe knows how many tears I have shed these last few years waiting for this adoption. But, it was there, nonetheless. We have received our pre approval and now I we are waiting for our Letter of Acceptance. We hope it comes soon.

Please keep all of the orphans of the world in your thoughts as you lay down tonight. And, keep of their caregivers in your thoughts as well.

Peace Out

Special Needs Adoption


Hi All,

We received our PA (Pre Approval) from the CCAA to adopt our little one. It came yesterday. Now, I have to put together a care package (with joy!) to send to her.

It will have a little stuffed gift from us as well as a photo album with photos of us. The nannies in the orphanage will show the pics to her and hopefully she will have some idea of what is transpiring.

I have more thoughts to share but that is all for now.


Monday, August 3, 2009

It's A Girl!

That's what I've been telling folks. It's a girl! We have received (and accepted) the referral of a beautiful 3 year old from China. I cannot share much about our little one right now as she is not officially ours, but we will soon be parents again.

I have so much I want to post about her and will as soon as we get the official word from the Chinese Center for Adoption Affairs, but as far as we know, she ours.

Now....what the heck do we do with a 3 year old?

Just kidding. It's going to be interesting bringing a really small one into the house again. We have so little to do and so much time! Wait. Reverse that.

Truly, though, we are so excited. Nathan has been quiet and is digesting it all. We are just coming through getting moved into our new digs and are still trying to get settled. So, I don't think it has really sunk in. But, I can tell you that we all look at her photo many times a day and I'm really connecting in such a heartfelt way.

I spend a large part of my day imagining meeting her and introducing her to Noah for the first time. So, it's finally here and we are finally going to be parents again and we are truly grateful.

Peace Out.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Answers

We don't always have the answers, we parents. It's too bad, really, and often quite stressful. Sometimes we don't have the answers because we are the problem. The problem: 1 pair of stressed out parents who have been trying since June 26th to close on their home and move the family to a new home; one home stood on its head - mostly packed up - often a disaster zone; things breaking all over the place and having to be repaired; 1 bored kid; 1 babysitter who is also the aunt who has not been given clear instruction by the aforementioned parents on how to take care of the 1 bored kid. So, a recipe for disaster.

Now, we are in recovery mode. We are attempting to recover any sanity and peace that once existed in our home. We are attempting to keep the peace during the next 24 hours when we find out once and for all if we are going to have someone buy our home and close on the new home.

To reconcile the issues within our home I have been burning lavender candles and sage like crazy. I am attempting to give the 1 bored kid - the Sun - more attention and have been attempting to keep the home clean and clear of clutter, a sure stress builder in any home.

To be truthful, he's been a real trooper. We have shown our home, looked at countless homes, packed up the majority of his toys and books and he's really hung in there. This week, though, this final week when it all comes down to the end, he has sort of lost it.

We are now the meanest parents ever and he does not like us, or so he said before bedtime. Hold the phone! It's family meeting time. I find when we are in these situations with Noah the best thing to do is to give him room to cool down and realize what has occurred, then sit down and ask him why he is behaving a certain way and what we can do to help the situation. Don't get me wrong, there are those times when I'm the Mom and you'll do as I say, or else. But, there are these times which we recognize and we make a huge effort to find the underlying cause of bad behavior because for the most part, he's the best kid ever.

I know I'm rambling at this point, but it is so hard. As parents we are expected, by ourselves, to know the answers, but truthfully, we are just winging it most of the time.

Happy Parenting.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Bloom Where You Stand

What I'll miss from our house are my glorious flowers. Well, the gladiolas are actually Nathan's but I get all of the benefit from them. Can't wait to see what blooms at the new place! Even Hammie likes the flowers.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Avast Ye Matey, It's My Birthday

Well, another year is marked today. I have hit the age of 37. I was not really happy about the approach of this day, but now that it is here, it is fine. Yesterday was delightful. I received 2 gifts of $25.00, one in check form, one as a GC to Panera. Then, after work I went out with my oldest and dearest girlfriends. I cannot express enough the joy of being connected to these women after all of these years. One I have been friends with since the age of 12, one since 13 and one since 15. Due to my work schedule, they met and had dinner and then I met up with them and we scooted over to Dan McGinness - an Irish pub. We stayed for 3 hours just talking and catching up. We had a great time. I do wish we could do it more often, but life happens. Perhaps we will begin to see one another more regularly, that is my birthday wish. One of them anyway!

After a scant 4 hours of sleep I met with the chair of the parent alliance and we discussed the upcoming school year's volunteer duties. I returned home and the rest of the day was so wonderfully relaxing and organic. After a short nap, Nathan, Noah and I snuggled in bed, then left for one of our favorite places, Moe's for lunch. We spent the rest of the afternoon shopping for mattresses. Once we returned home, it was more of the same, lounging around the house.

The high point of this relaxing day was brownies prepared by my guys and having sandwiches in the living room. Here are some photos of Noah from tonight. Well, the high point may not have been the brownies. Seeing Noah in the mustache he painted on with eyeliner may have been the highlight!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Well, we attended Bonnaroo again this year. We only went for one day this year. With all we have been doing I decided one day was enough. Usually when we go in for the day we arrive before 10AM, so the entire place is very subdued. None of the booths are open and most folks are still in the campgrounds. There was no one we wanted to see until noon. So, we headed over to our beer both, sponsored by the Millenium Repertory Company in Manchester. Nathan's folks and some of their good friends were there and we set up and went to work.

Very quickly, Noah was bored and the smell of corn dogs began wafting through the air as the small city of Bonnaroo woke up for the day. We were not yet busy with customers and I gave in and got Noah a hand dipped corn dog with Applegate Farms organic sausage. This is one of my fave organic sausages so I was okay with Noah eating it (organic/nitrate free). He also had Sprite along with it, though I was less thrilled with that!

Noon came quickly and we were getting excited. On Thursday it was announced that Jimmy Buffet would make a surprise appearance and Noah, Tina (MIL) and I were going to the show. Of course, Noah wanted to eat again, so he and Nathan set out in search of a vegan pizza (no cheese). They found one and Noah ate it and drank a lemonade. I wasn't part of this food frenzy and really didn't realize what he was ingesting. In other words, he ate more between 7AM and Noon than he sometimes eats in an entire day, plus getting sugary drinks which he is not used to. So, a little while later we headed over to Buffett and after a couple of songs the little guy began to feel ill. So, he and headed back to our booth. Luckily, there was not a band playing on the stage by us so we could hear Buffett loud and clear.

We spent much of the rest of the afternoon serving beer and sodas to the masses though we did duck out for a little while to take Noah over to the kids tent. There is a kids tent each year that offers a respite from the sun, an inflatable, face painting, clowns, and more. Here are some photos of that portion of the day.

After the kids tent we finished our time in our booth and then set out with Nathan's parents to see the sights. We found out that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was appearing on the Solar Stage for some Q and A. We got drinks and headed over there.

Wow is all I can say. He is very passionate and has done the work. It is things like this that makes me glad to be a mom and glad that Nathan and I have exposed Noah to so many things. He was really impacted by this part of our day and told us he wants to help the environment by creating a natural habitat in the backyard to bring in wildlife. It gave me so much food for thought about my own life and how I do things. Probably the most important thing he said is that if you want to do something about the environment change your politicians and don't worry about the light bulbs. Of course, he also said that Obama has basically continued to screw the environmental movement much for the liberals!

After seeing Kennedy, Nathan took Noah up on the ferris wheel. Here are some of the "arial" shots of Bonnaroo he took.

After that we headed over to the main stage to wait for nearly 3 hours for Bruce Springsteen. We sat with the in-laws and all had a lovely dinner. Wilco was playing which was a great show. Kennedy spoke again to the masses and then the sun slowly set on the little town of Manchester. Though there were many folks there for Wilco, the grounds quickly filled up as Springsteen's set approached. Very close to 9PM as Springsteen prepared to go on, Noah lay down on the blanket to go to sleep. he had on ear muffs (hunter style). He had a hard time getting comfy so eventually I picked him up and held him in my lap. Eventually, we both dozed off. Unbelievable I know! Luckily, we cannot find the cord to Noah's camera or there would be a picture of me here asleep with Noah on my lap, both with mouths agape! But, I woke up in time for the big hits, such as Glory Days and Dancing in the Dark.

Oh! And Santa Clause is Coming to Town. That was AWESOME! Someone actually brought a 3 foot tall poster of Santa and held it up to Bruce to request the song! We were sad that Noah was asleep as it is his FAVORITE Christmas song and when he hears Bruce singing he really belts it out. Bruce played an unreal 3 HOURS with no break. I have never seen anyone sweat so much in my entire life. But, it was a great show and I'm glad we were there. And now, I can add BS to my list of concerts. So, Bonnaroo is over for another year. Stay tuned for next year's tale of the most rockin' show on Earth!