Thursday, October 11, 2012

Kindergarten Girl

How time does fly!  Our Kathryn has been home for 4 1/2 years already.  She is doing fantastic. She is making friends at her Mandarin Immersion school.  Every night she studies the pictures of her classmates and works on memorizing their names. She was talking in her sleep last night - in Chinese - whatever she was talking about, she looked happy.  She loves gymnastics, playing cards, petting our cats and of course spending time with her big sister.  From the very start she has loved making people laugh and now that she can talk she always has a joke for us.  What a fun age!   Loving every minute.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

One Week Home

Because she is not quite over her jet lag, Kate sleeps in a portable crib in our room.   Although it is another big adjustment for her, we had our 2 year old start preschool the week we returned.  She was ready for something more than play at home and the park, and it gives the girls a break from each other 2 days a week.  We give them one one on one time with each of us too, as they both need our focused attention. 
It has been a long journey to this point and there is only one person in the world I could have taken it with.  I am fortunate to have a caring, kind, sweet, funny, interesting and understanding partner who is the perfect husband for me, and the perfect Dad for these two special girls.  I know that whatever life brings us, we will face it together, handling the challenges that come and sharing in the joyful times as well.  
Thank you for reading our story.
I will do another follow up in early April, when we have been home for one month.

First Outings

Our second day home, we managed to get out to lunch and to the park as a family of four!   Only took three hours to get out of the house!:  
"Where are this one's shoes?"  "This one needs a diaper change!"  "Do you have keys?"  "Oh - I thought you brought money!"  
It's all new, it's all great!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

United at Last!

When we arrived home from the airport, I left Kate sleeping in the car while I ran up to see my first daughter.  I could have hugged her for a week!  Drank her in.   She changed so much and seemed so grown up!  She also seemed so big, partly because I had been toting around her new sister for two weeks who was just half her size.  Finally I asked her "Are you ready to meet your sister?"  "Yea!"  I brought her up from the car and we all gathered in our living room.  There are no photos, as my sister in law was taking the video and the rest of us were "in the moment".   Our first daughter was very excited and kept bringing toys to her sister.  She brought over Kates' water bottle and said "I hold it, you drink it, that's the plan."   It was just wonderful, they both sat on my lap and it was just like a dream.  Our family of four that we had imagined since we found out we were pregnant with a girl during our homestudy process for our Kate, in the summer of 2005.  

Coming Home

Kate (her new name!) and I have been home for 9 days, and this is the first chance I have had to write a note on her arrival.  The flights home were fine, she slept through the 3 hour leg to Beijing in the Ergo on my chest.  The 3.5 hour layover we spent playing in the airport lounges, then she was just a bit "twisty" on the 11.5 hour flight to San Franciso, finally sleeping the last 6 hours. She became a U.S. Citizen with our landing, and I dutifully stood in the "Foreign Passports" line with the Chinese passengers.  Could we have stood out?  Airport staff came right over, took the briefest look, and said: "Adoption?"  Was it that obvious?  Turns out we should have been in a "New Immigants", of course!  Unfortunately this is also the line for the flight crew who work very long days and do not let even tiny and cute New Immigrants go ahead.  When we got to the front of the line I handed over the mysterious brown envelope.  The man said "Welcome to the United States!"  I told him she would be an excellent addition to our fine country.  He let me look at the paperwork!  It was just the forms we filled out in China at our various appointments.   Then we were done, and free!  I have never been so happy to see my husband as I was that morning at the airport.  Joy, love, relief, it all came together in that moment I saw him standing there, video camera in hand, capturing a moment we had imagined for so very long.  All that was left was to get our family of four together.  Big Sister was waiting at home with Aunt and Uncle.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Play Time!

We played in the Swan Room again today. Kathryn was very interested in the only other child there, a 6 year old named Katie. Looks like Kathryn will enjoy being a little sister, she followed Katie where ever she went and wanted to do everything she was doing! Too bad Katie didn't enjoy it more; she had just become a big sister herself and was a bit tired of playing with baby girls!

What's in a Name?

Kathryn Ying Zi Anhalt. Right now we refer to her as Kathryn but still call her Ying Zi most of the time. Since she isn't hearing any other words from us she recognizes, we want to at least let her know we know who she is, even if she doesn't quite know who we are yet. We think we will eventually call her Kate, but right now that doesn't feel right somehow. We do want her to learn her new name though, so unless you hear otherwise from us, please call her Kathryn and let just us call her by her special nickname for now. We also want to ask another favor of our friends and family: We know you are happy for us and want to get to know her, but until we say it is OK, please understand that initially we will be the only ones holding her and caring for her. Thank you so much for understanding, and for all of your encouragement over the long wait for her arrival. We finally have our family together and we can't wait to share her with all of our other loved ones.
We hope you have enjoyed following along on our journey via our blog.
We will have at least one more post of our return home.
Our long wait is over, and now a new journey begins!