Cowgirl and I just spent the weekend attending a Chinese Heritage camp. Last year she attended a culture camp with her friend Ava, whose family we met while in China 4 years ago. This year's camp was different in that it is for families brought together through adoption with parents attending workshops and volunteering for various support duties throughout the weekend. While Cowgirl's story is her own to tell, what I am taking away with from this weekend is the power of older children and young adults as role models for my child. As a mother, I am aware of my responsibility to provide situations where my daughter can have contact with positive and supportive individuals with whom she can identify with and who inspire her. This past weekend I watched her fall in love with her counselors and be enthralled by the culture of her birth country.
It was an amazing experience to walk into a room and be the minority; I was a volunteer in an art class and with the same group of third graders in the Culture Village where music, craft, food and costume displays were set up for the kids to experience. To see the children excited to learn about their heritage and celebrate their connectedness was a privilege. These kids did not know each other before this weekend and yet they all fell into a camaraderie that was effortless and intense. Cowgirl was particularly smitten by her counselors, young adults who volunteer their time to work with these kids with a desire to give back to their community. The community being Chinese-American but also adoptive.
There is so much for me to process from the weekend and Cowgirl and her best buddy have been in perpetual motion, so I haven't had the chance to catch my breath never mind shift through my thoughts and feelings. We have more travels ahead as we are off to visit family for a couple of days before heading home. We will be returning tired and worn out but from having a full out balls-to-the-wall level of fun that only a five year old is capable of maintaining. We added onto our Life book, the story of our Family which began 4 years ago this past week when we received Cowgirl's referral picture and report from China. Much of what Cowgirl experienced seemed to skim over her, but I believe seeds were planted that will support her as unravels her identity and begins to map out her story. a Memories were made, positive impressions planted and Cowgirl found the love of her life and his name is Eddie.
the grand finale: each grade performed a folk tale or song; here the girls are enacting "Pulling the Carrot"
The first night families gathered at a splash park to cool off; Cowgirl was in her element
Summer is in full swing ... do tell, what are your plans for fun? What summer memories are you planning to create?