After many years of trying every possible method to build a family, we were finally blessed to adopt a newborn baby girl in January 2015. In the previous years, we'd tried intrauterine insemination (IUI) and multiple invitro fertilization (IVF) procedures. We even tried surrogacy twice, before finding adoption facilitators Cindy and Jim who run A Loving Alternative. After a couple of false starts, we were matched with a wonderful and caring birthmother. Many stressful and tearful years finally and thankfully came to an end.
We named a daughter Xaria, the American meaning of which is, “gift of love.” We like to believe Xaria is “our gift of love” from God, and so began another new and exciting chapter in our lives." Three weeks after her birth in Knoxville, TN, we made the 2,300-mile journey back home to Southern California. This road trip was the first of Xaria’s traveling adventures.
We took Xaria on her first camping trip when she was eleven weeks old. You might think camping with an eleven-week-old is crazy, but it turned out to be straightforward enough. Xaria's needs were simple, “keep me warm, keep me fed and let me nap a lot!” Over the next four years, our family has ventured all over Southern California. We regularly visit the desert campgrounds at Anza Borrego State Park and Joshua Tree National Park. We have been to all the local beach campgrounds and into the nearby mountains; spending most of our time in the Cleveland and the Angeles National Forests. You can read about our camping and other travel adventures in Xaria’s Travel Blog.
Xaria is the inspiration for this website, and the travels we take together as a family. Xaria is currently in pre-school but knows that we’ll start on our extended travels soon. She’s excited about the prospect. She has already visited China with Yafei, Nanny, and Grampy. They have a lovely three-bedroom apartment in Nanjing, and this was the base for a two-month adventure. Xaria's father Gary's latest book, A Life Redesigned describes how the family got to this point, their chosen travel style, and their preparations.