The Straka Family

(left to right) Kelci, Noelle, Chris, Andy, Bonnie, Aimee, Lily


Andy and Bonnie February 2009

-Beijing  (New Day Foster Home, Love Without Boundaries Heartbridge)

-Jiangxi province (Luke's home province for adoption)

-Guangzhou (American Consulate)

February 18, Red Couch Picture White Swan Hotel, Luke, Mommy, and Daddy Preparing To Return Home!

February 18, Red Couch Picture White Swan Hotel, Luke, Mommy, and Daddy Preparing To Return Home!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Luke and the Lions

We never fail to be amazed by the sometimes strange and wondrous process our adopted children have gone through to develop a healthy mother/child and father/child bond.  The change can happen in only a few days.  But often, it takes weeks, months, or even years.  

Luke apparently has his own ideas of how to begin forming an attachment with his "Mama" (Mommy) and "Baba" (Daddy).  His favorite bedtime reading has been Mama, Where Are You?, a picture book written by Diane Muldrow and illustrated by Rick Peterson.  At first, he loved to go through the pages with Bonnie repeating "!" as he gleefully pointed to the pictures of the animal mothers and cubs.  Of late, he has begun changing this routine to alternate his exclamations. "!!" he says as he moves from picture to picture.

But by far Luke's favorite way to begin conceptualizing his idea of Mommy and Daddy are the ubiquitous Chinese stone lions standing guard in front of thousands of buildings here.  These statues are always displayed in pairs, with the father lion to the right, his paw on top of a ball representing the world, and the mother lion on the left, her paw playfully atop an upside down cub.  

Whenever Luke spies these statues, he begins running back and forth between the two figures,  crying out "Baba!" at the male lion, then "!" in front of the female lion. He never fails to elicit smiles from everyone in the vicinity.  

What could be more universal than this?  

A little boy trying to come to terms with what a family means to him.



  1. Bonny,I´m sorry because I going to write in spanish, but what I want to say is so important than I cannot express in english. A part of Seth-Luke is mine too, and I´m very happy, so happy to see him with you, he is my angel, my special baby, I´m fall in love with him too.
    Luke soy muy feliz, verte asi con tu familia, con esa cara llena de alegria y de luz,.... Ahora te escribo y lloro. No puedes imaginar cuantos días he llorado por tí, deseando que en tu vida se hiciera la luz, que volvieras a disfrutar del amor de unos padres. Y no sé por qué a ti en especial, quizas porque tu cara ha expresado como ninguno el dolor del abandono. He sufrido desde la distancia cuando has pasado por el hospital, te he seguido en las distintas fotos que iban poniendo en New Day. Te he visto todos los dias desde que llegaste allí, soñando que a ti tambien te pusieran esta señal "*". Y ese día llegó, y a ti que te he soñado como hijo mío te veo ahora como hijo de otra mujer,... y soy muy feliz. Luke te bendigo, mi familia entera te bendice, y solo te deseamos que disfrutes por mucho tiempo esa maravillosa familia a la que has llegado. Contigo estaremos, desde la distancia, en los duros momentos que te quedan por vivir, sabiendo que saldrás victorioso.
    Te quiero pequeño, que seas MUY FELIZ.
    Leonor, desde España, mama de Héctor 9, Leonor 7, Julia Qiao 5 y Beltran Yong 2, soñando todos los días con aquellos niños que esperan... una familia.

  2. Hi Bonnie!

    Just catching up on your blog. Luke is such a handsome little guy. Glad things are going well and he's loving his mama too now!

    We are enjoying our time in Wen's province, but I am starting to feel a little worn out! Hopefully, I'll perk up a little once we get to Guangzhou. It doesn't help that it has rained every day since we got here so maybe a little sun will help :)


  3. Congratulations on your newest addition! You don't know me but I'm a fellow mom of 5 amazing kids - all adopted with special needs. The youngest son is named Luke and he was born with a heart defect. Zoe, also born in May 2005, was born in China. While adopting her, God put on my heart to do MORE for those "left behind" ...

    So I'm headed back to China in 2 weeks to take supplies to some of the orphans in Beijing and Taiyuan, Shanxi. We're going to get to visit
    New Day Creations ... which is how I heard about your site.

    Do you have a suggestion of what types of things they might need most? They have a standard list which I can follow, but I was curious if you had a suggestion of what might have the most impact.

    Again, Congratulations!!

    Beth Gore

  4. Bonnie & Andy: Congratulations on the newest addition to your beautiful family. You don't know me but I just wanted to send along my best wishes and prayers to you and your precious Luke. I have come to know Luke over the past year plus through e-mails and updates from New Day. I (and my family) were one of Luke's sponsors. My husband, Frank, and I are the proud parents of Matthew, who is almost 19 now (and our biological son) and Kayleigh Le Ping Ge, who turned 3 on Jan. 21st (who joined our family on Oct. 22nd. 2006). Kayleigh, like your Luke, came through the Le Ping Social Welfare Institute. She was there just a short time before being fostered by Fang San Mei - who also happens to have been the foster mother of Doug Bush' daughter. I have so enjoyed following your adoption journey on your blog! Luke captured my heart the first time I saw a picture of him. What a beautiful boy and what a beautiful family you have. God bless you and thank you for sharing your son with me and with so many others.
    Sincerely, Emily Shute (Darien, CT)