Monday, December 29, 2008

Merry Christmas, one and all

(details and more photos are coming just as soon as I can catch my breath)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Somebody cue the snare drum

Saturday morning, Mama picks up Ting Ting, who is nibbling on a cookie.

MAMA: I love my Ting Ting!

TING TING: I love cookies.

MAMA (in mock exasperation): You love cookies? What about your Mama?

TING TING: My Mama loves cookies, too.

I have seen the Light

Sunday morning, Ting Ting and I were in church, making our way to the sanctuary, when one of our associate pastors came up the stairs with supplies for her children's sermon.

"Jesus!" cried Ting Ting, greeting her with her arms outstretched.

Pastor Beth assumed Ting Ting was commenting on her advent sermons, in which she has invited the kids to open a different box with a little character inside every Sunday as they wait for baby Jesus to arrive. She told Ting Ting that they would not see Jesus that day, but soon. And she promised Ting Ting she could open that day's box.

But I knew better -- Pastor Beth has talked about Jesus so much that the two are intertwined in Ting Ting's mind. She has decided Jesus is our pastor's name.

And guess what, Daddy? Jesus IS a girl.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Two years of citizenship

Two years ago today, we returned from China with our new daughter. As soon as the plane touched down at O'Hare, Ting Ting was an American citizen.

This has to be one of the worst photos ever taken of me, but I'll treasure it forever because it was taken by my sister Kay, who shocked the heck out of us by flying all the way from Nashville to Chicago just to be at the airport when we arrived. She brought us a balloon and homemade cookies, took a few photos and some really bad video (she was too excited to focus, so much of the footage is of her sweater or the floor) then got back on the plane to get home before her son came home from school. She's crazy, but that's why we love her.

My parents were waiting for us at home when we returned, so Ting Ting got to meet her Lao Lao

and her Papa.

Then, in one of my favorite photo ops of the day, she and her Daddy sneaked upstairs to recover from jet lag:

Sweet, sweet memories.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Keeping the faith

Looks like China has matched some more families; referrals are reportedly in the mail. If you want to see some of the new babies, our friend the Rumor Queen is starting a list. Congratulations to all the new families!

The matches apparently cover families logged in through Feb. 23, 2006. My new friend Holly and her husband were logged in on Feb. 24, 2006. Long-time readers will remember the awful day I reported we had missed the cutoff by only three days (and really it was just one, because two of them were the weekend). But Holly has a much better attitude than I did -- she says she's thrilled to know they're next! She says she is actually a bit relieved because her husband is out of town and she wants him home with her when they get the call. Still, they've been waiting a long time, and I know she appreciates everyone's support. So ya'll go on over to Holly's blog and show her some love.

My heart goes out to all the families still waiting to be matched with their children. The wait is rapidly approaching three years and shows no signs of speeding up soon. I can't imagine how difficult it is to wait -- but I know from experience how joyous the result is. Hang in there!

Comic relief

Things have been a little crazy around here. Last week we had more layoffs at work, then Monday my employer filed for Chapter 11 protection. And Tuesday we were in the national news again when our governor was arrested and charged with being very, very naughty -- we put out an "extra" edition, the first time I can remember doing that since Sept. 11, 2001.

Anyway, this morning I thought it would be fun to see what was on the memory card in my camera . . .

and it was.

Ting Ting put on this old costume dress to be a princess, then I had the great idea to dig through a box of toys from her cousins to see what else we could find. That's why she's wearing a Snow White crown, Tinkerbell wings, a Christmas purse, a Cinderella magic wand and Snow White shoes.

She wanted to watch the "princess" episode of Dora because she was dressed for the part.

Later she changed into her nightgown, but kept most of the accoutrements. Except when I called her to the table for dinner, she calmly removed and hung up the wings, then removed and carefully placed the wand, shoes and crown in a safe spot.

This was from Thanksgiving weekend. We had the Christmas decorations out, and she loved this bow. So my mom put it in her hair.

But enough with the mamarazzi.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Is it just me?

Am I the only one who ever gets a call at work in the late afternoon demanding that I settle an argument between a nearly-3-year-old child and a 48-year-old man?

No, I didn't think so.

Now tell me the best way to settle it when the engineer is technically right but the child is demonstrating creativity and conviction in looking at the "facts" in a fresh way.

("Mommy, Daddy says Jesus is not a girl.")


Friday, December 05, 2008

Two years

Yesterday marks two years since we first held our daughter in our arms.

Today marks two years of officially being her parents.


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Then and now -- Thanksgiving edition

Family portrait, Thanksgiving 2007:

Thanksgiving 2008:

We have so many reasons to feel thankful.