Friday, November 20, 2009

What it means to be a "Little Citizen of the World"

*Update - Thank you to Tea Collection for the Honorable Mention :-)

One of my favorite brands for our kids is Tea collection Children's Clothes. I discovered their adorable, culturally inspired clothing when Emi came home in 2005 and now, I'm pretty sure that every kiddo we know (especially those adopted from Japan) wears this brand. :-) They are having a writing contest this month. The topic? What does it mean to be a “little citizen of the world?” As we prepare for Nikko’s big Welcome Home shindig this weekend, I figured that this was a great opportunity to write about how thankful we are that he and his sisters joined our family in such a unique and special way.

When I think of the term, “little citizen of the world”, I immediately think of my 3 little wonders. From a tiny Soviet-era orphanage in rural Kazakhstan, to a small southern village in Japan, and all the way to our humble home in California, Emi, Nikko and Miya have definitely transformed our otherwise ordinary life, into an extraordinary family.

Gregor and I trekked to Kazakhstan 4 ½ years ago with high hopes, anticipation, and very little experience with the world outside of the United States. Barely married for 2 years, we traveled there to find our daughter and came home with so much more. We gained an appreciation for a unique culture and realized for the first time how much bigger and marvelous the world really was. Kazakhstan is a part of Emi and a part of us. And it is place we might never have seen without her.

With the adoption of Miya two years later, I was able to see the country of my own ancestors for the first time. We remember fondly how incredible it was to discover Japan with our beautiful 6 week old bundle in tow. And, just when we thought our family was complete…

We learned about a little boy, living in Japan, and our hearts told us that he was meant to be a Cech. We had already been so blessed twice by the gift of adoption and felt so grateful to be blessed with one more miracle. How lucky we are to know and love this precious little guy. Every day brings new wonders and the things we sometimes take for granted leave him wide-eyed. Nikko Junya has a way of swiftly warming his way into anyone's heart, just as he did ours. The future has wonderful things in store for him and we can't wait to share in all of his experiences.

The journey to our family has been wonderful- so unpredictable and random, yet so meant to be. Three unique journeys have given us a global view we never could have discovered otherwise. Far better than the journey though, is the reward- our 3 remarkable, amazing children. Because of them, our world is forever changed and
our lives are complete. The biggest lesson my three “little citizens” have taught me? More than anything, a family is built by love.

One of my favorites- Nikko and Emi in Asakusa (Nikko sporting the Asakusa Dragon Tee, of course!)
Miya's favorite vest and shirt- a hand-me-down from her big sis that still looks brand new
Happy little man


~love said...

i found you when i entered tea's contest, too. your family is gorgeous. so happy for you. we just brought home a new son, too. =)

P and D said...

What a lovely post!! Hearing everyone's wonderful stories just fills me with happiness and a sort of wonderful sense of expectation. :)

Andrea S said...

I really enjoyed reading this post. Your children are beautiful! I have adopted two children who are alaskan native and hispanic. I am working on my adoption from Japan now.

Andrea S said...

I really enjoyed your post. We've completed the adoption 4 years ago of two children who are alaska native and hispanic. We are now working on our adoption from Japan. To hear your story was heartwarming.