Thursday, May 6, 2010

beautiful girl

My friend and colleague, the writer Maia Rossini, with whom I worked on the anthology, "Mamaphonic; Balancing Motherhood and Other Creative Acts", is one of those women you meet only every once in awhile who, so naturally and without any effort at all, inspire you to live your life more fully. On top of being a really fine writer (READ HER BLOG -- it'll BOWL YOU OVER), she is also a magnificent hostess (I stayed at her home -- an absolutely stupefying old ruined and restored farmhouse in Upstate New York -- when we were on the book tour for Mamaphonic), a glorious gardner (check out the breathtaking photos on her blog), and she is DROP DEAD GORGEOUS, to boot (ah, the injustice of it all!)

But when you know her, it is very apparent that where she is truly extraordinary is as a mother. Her son, Spike, who I think is 10 now, is one of those little boys you could just sit and talk to all day -- so sweet and funny and kind and smart. And two years ago, Maia and her husband, Ryan, decided to add to their family by adopting a BEAUTIFUL baby girl from China. As Maia recounts, they journeyed to that ancient land to meet their daughter, found the other half of the sky -- and their lives were changed FOREVER.

(On a selfish note, I do hope Maia plans on writing a book about this journey they are all taking together, as I am first in line to buy it.)

Anyway, that little baby is now a most lovely and LUMINOUS preschooler...and she is known by her Chinese name, Fang Fang (which, if I am not mistaken, is pronounced "Fong Fong"...though I must say I do LOVE the idea of a little girl running around with the name Fang Fang, pronounced the good ol' fashioned American way. HA!) FF is like a little blossom, burgeoning with life and love and beauty -- all with a little help, of course, from her amazing Mama, Daddy, and brother.

I originally saw this remarkable video a few weeks ago -- taken during the family's first few hours together there in China -- and almost not a day has gone by since that I have not pulled it up just to silently watch and listen. It is honestly one of my most favorite moments that I've ever had the privilege to witness. Be forewarned: it will take your breath away with its profound, quiet beauty. Thanks for sharing it with us all, Miss Maia.

In Maia's own words:

"Two years ago today we met FF for the first time in an office in Nanjing, Jiangsu.

She cried for about fifteen seconds, then quieted down and became the silent, watchful girl she would be for the next 24 hours or so.

Except, for this miraculous moment, when I started singing to her - a Chinese lullaby called "Ibiyaya". The minute I started singing, her head snapped up, she grabbed my hand, looked me in the eyes, and started rocking in time. It was an incredible moment of connection. The first of so many we'd have."

Beautiful Girl.

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