We come from large, extended families. Whenever we are in the U.S. we spend our time either with Ty’s family on the east coast or Virginia’s family on the west coast. Ty’s family all live in Philadelphia, and maintain a tradition of getting together for Sunday dinner, an important and lasting memory from Ty’s childhood. Ty’s mother is a retired administrative assistant, and eagerly awaits the arrival of this grandchild. Ty has a young niece and nephew who look forward to having a cousin to play with.
Virginia’s family is based on the west coast and often come together at her brother’s house in Southern California to celebrate family events or just to have a barbeque. When Virginia's father was a young child, he lost his mother. His best friend’s mother, who was named Virginia, took him under her wing and stepped into the role of mother and made him feel a part of her family. As a result, Virginia was named after her and grew up calling her ‘Grandma Gini’, calling her kids her aunts and uncles, and their children her cousins, despite not being biologically related. Her ‘cousin’, Cathy, is her closest friend. This has been a lifelong lesson for Virginia on the power of the heart in how we form ‘family’. Now, Virginia has two nieces and three nephews who are ready to welcome a new playmate into the extended and loving family.
We live in a sunny house on a quiet street in central London. Our house is a lovely 4-story townhouse with three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms, and the nursery overlooks both our private backyard and terrace, as well as a communal greenspace behind our house. Our street is very diverse, with a mix of young and old, singles and couples with children. Speaking of children, there is a small secluded park and playground just across the street, and when the weather is nice the air is filled with the laughter of children. In fact there are so many children who come to the park that our neighbor opened a children’s clothing store right next to the park, and she does a booming business! Our neighborhood is very popular with both British and Americans because of the American International School (only two blocks from our house). Recently the neighborhood has become the center of London’s Halloween festivities, as all the Americans decorate their houses and hand out candy, while the rest of London comes from miles around to see this great American tradition!
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