...and other misconceptions I made 06-5-27
2006 May 27

Archive for December, 2006

December 31st 2006
What a year

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H2 and S2 12/31/05I look back to my posting one year ago and it couldn’t be more obvious just how much our lives (and our girls) have changed. For example, a year ago I only had two thousand pictures of my girls. Ha! I’m closing in on nine thousand now… :-)

S2 and H2 12/30/06The picture above was taken exactly a year ago – S2 is on the right. The picture on the left was taken yesterday, this time H2 is on the right.

The year brought us first steps, the first time they ran, first climbing on a play structure, first ride down a slide, first sentences, first singing, first hopping, first somersault, first time “reading” a book all alone, first temper tantrums, first “real” answers to questions, first walks to the village, first “successful” potty usage, first time they dressed themselves (H2 was wearing two pants today), first trips to Germany… so many amazing firsts that my head spins just thinking about it.

K2, H2, S2 and DI’m as happy as I’ve ever been, as excited to see them smile as I’ll ever be and as curious about this next year as anyone.

To all of you, I wish you health and happiness and success in your endeavors.

Frohes Neues Jahr 2007!

Update: I just had to add the picture on the right that Denise took today, as it shows so much of what has changed. This is the family walking to the village. Aren’t they big???

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December 30th 2006
Sponsoring foster care for orphans in Fujian province

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Fujian mapAs those who have followed our journey will know, our girls were born in Fujian province in the Southeast of China – in the PRC, just across from Taiwan.

Early on, right after we got our referral, we looked at Fujiankids.Org for information on the province and on the Datian orphanage where the girls were living at that time. I am embarrassed to say that it took us until this month to finally get around to sponsoring other children in Fujian province who are receiving foster care (i.e., are living with a family instead of living at an orphanage). A few weeks ago we finally did it. Today we received our first set of reports on the two children we chose to sponsor. And just reading about the amazing improvements that living in a foster family had brought to one of them (an eleven year old girl) in the past year or so brought tears to my eyes. (Another family had been sponsoring her earlier)

So if you are reading this and think you want to make a difference in the life of an orphan in Fujian – take a look at the Child Sponsorship page at FujianKids. I know that there are a million ways to donate and do good things in the world. To me, this one is very personal and feels very close to home. Our daughters could have been in that situation. Take a look.

December 29th 2006
They got us, too…

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our minivanA few weeks ago, when Mary-Mia gave in to the siren song of the minivan, K2 and I both still snickered… but even then we knew that it would happen eventually. And with her back pain getting worse (and the year end sales getting actually interesting) we finally gave up.

Two more card-carrying members of the “we don’t drive a minivan”-club went down. But at least we put up a fight for 16 months!

Having said all that – it’s actually a really cool car and we both like it. We picked the Toyota Sienna (from the picture it seems that M3 went with a Honda Odyssey) – all wheel drive, nicely equipped, even with a navigation system and a DVD player built in. It allows K2’s iPod to connect and has also the little things that make people like minivans. Like sliding doors that open when you press a button on the remote. Etc.

I was excited enough about the car (and busy enough getting the seats installed and the iPod connection figured out) that I even forgot to take a picture while there was still light outside – so I apologize for the sub-standard photo…

Update: While the picture is the same, I love K2’s view of what did and did not happen here :-)

December 27th 2006
How about some video?

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This is something that I haven’t tried before… a video of the girls. Mutti, as long as you don’t have DSL, don’t even bother – it won’t work for you. Everyone else: this shows that it doesn’t take much to entertain the girls. They are hopping around and playing on their mattresses. The final part I think of as “ping-pong” – you’ll understand what I mean…

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