...and other misconceptions I made 06-9-25
2006 Sep 25

Archive for August, 2006

August 31st 2006
I got myself a new toy

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And since I love my wife, I got one for her, too ;-)

Motorola has not always made the best phones. We both had the Motorola V188 before and the user interface can only be described as terrible.

But during my visit to Beijing I was able to pick up the most popular smart phone in China (which for reasons only the marketing gods at Motorola can explain, is only available in China, Hong Kong and Singapore). The Ming is a Linux based smartphone with camera that is simply beautiful. It also has a nice user interface (which can be modified quite easily) and excellent sound quality. And it supports Bluetooth and can therefore act as a GPRS modem for my computer if I can’t get to a HotSpot.

Very nice. I’ll write a little more about how to set this up on my tech blog.

August 30th 2006
School picnic

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A year ago we were in Guangzhou, waiting for our visas and paperwork. I keep looking back at my blog entries from back then. Oh my God. How little did we know what the next year would bring…

Life as a family has been good to us. Yes, there’s the “we haven’t slept in a year”. And some other losses that we notice every once in a while. But they all pale compared to the amazing change in our life, now that we are a family. Today we went with the girls to a school picnic where we got to spend time with many of the other kids from day care, their parents and of course the teachers.

We had a great time. The girls didn’t eat as much as we might have liked and S2 got tired rather early, but they both played a little with some of the other kids and some of the teachers. And we got to talk to some of the other parents (and I got a chance to talk to Holly, the head teacher of the “bigger toddler room” where the girls will be once we are back from Germany…).


August 27th 2006
It’s good to be home

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girls playing catch Of course, I came home yesterday. But somehow there were other things that I wanted to do that seemed more important than to spend time on my computer. I’m sure you’ll understand.

Today, to make up for at least some of the time that I leave her alone with the girls, K2 had a relaxing “spa day” (well, half day… picky, picky) – and I had fun with the girls. They are doing better (thankfully) and here I caught them playing catch, running around one of our chairs…

They are so cute. And I am so glad to be home again.

August 25th 2006

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Sometimes it is good to observe your own feelings and thoughts. This trip has given me quite a few opportunities to do so. And it is interesting to notice just how much I want to understand the reaction of people here in China to our adoption of these gorgeous little girls. So I showed their pictures and told our story at more than one occasion. And I saw reactions ranging from complete denial (simply changing the topic), to somewhat obvious discomfort, to very obvious interest (and I am happy to say that this last reaction was by far the most common). The obvious interest seemed to be driven by trying to understand why we wanted to adopt from China, how we feel about our children and how we deal with them being Chinese.

During an interview that was related to my business trip I was asked about my own Mandarin skill. And how much I knew about Chinese history and culture. And was (in a very nice, friendly way) told that the topics that I mentioned on the history and culture weren’t the real highlights that I should read about.

During a conversation on issues around open source drivers I was asked why we picked China and why we picked these twins (to which I went on explaining that it is the CCAA that matches parents and children). During a lunch conversation that had spent quite some time on the economic situation I was asked to explain the adoption process. And if I was proud to have Chinese children (to which I said “isn’t that obvious”, which created a lot of laughter).

And I heard a lot of very nice words, very positive and friendly comments both on the cuteness of the children and the kindness of us as the adopting parents (and I must have said a dozen times “we (the parents) are the lucky ones”).

I made new friends, experienced surprising acts of kindness and help by people I had met only hours earlier. One wonderful young woman sent me an email after we met (as part of an interview) in which she told me that she was “touched by [my] story” and went on to say “They are the luckiest kids I’ve ever seen and you are the greatest father I’ve ever known. I wish you every happiness in your future life, and hope the twins can grow up healthily under your love and care.”

You will understand that this email made me cry. And I hope she will forgive me for quoting her words.

What a wonderful experience – and what wonderful new friends. Now the hard part will be that I’ll have to live up to that praise.

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