15 November 2008

Our Precious Peanut! Looks are deceiving ... our daughter is probably about 18 pounds soaking wet.

Here is a picture of our precious peanut, taken outside her orphange in October (age 18 months). Formerly referred to by us as "The Little One", we now think we have an formal anglo name: Willow Noelle ChunQi Stein. Willow represents our love of nature--may she grow strong, but remain flexible. Noelle, because we have been called to China on the 24th of December and will cross the dateline on Christmas (Noelle also has a Hebrew derivation). ChunQi is the name given to her by her orphanage: it translates to Spring Jade, as she was born in March.

Chun Qi was brought outside and dressed up to pose for this picture. We suspect that her balance might not be as good as the picture alludes? Nevertheless, perhaps the orphanage wanted to show us that she can stand (which can be uncommon for children in orphanges, at her tender young age). These pictures were a surprise "gift" via Brian Stuy (researchchina.org). I recommend his services; we also got a copy of Chun Qi's finding ad from Brian.

01 November 2008

We waited ... and waited ... and waited: one day the telephone rang

It was a Friday, late morning, when our adoption agency called. "China has placed a little girl on their adoption list, and we have her file to send you." Can you imagine what it is like waiting for the email to arrive, then opening the email. This is what I saw when I opened the file. A beautiful little pixie-vixen ... could she be ours?

Chris happened to be working in a very special place, half way around the world: Olduvai Gorge, in Tanzania (known as the cradle of mankind). This is where anthropologists Leakey and Leakey did much of their work.

I sent Chris an email entitled "I think we have a daughter"... by nightfall, Chris had made his way to a telephone to call and exclaim YES! On Sunday morning, the pediatric adoption medical specialist called me at home to say "there is something special, something exquisite, about this child." We felt the same way. I do not know how to explain it, but I knew this child: she was so familiar to me. Her name was Chun Qi, which translates to Spring Jade. Yes, she was our daughter.

Little Chun Qi (pronounced chewn-chee) was born cleft affected, a somewhat common "blip" in the womb (in China and elsewhere). All her pieces are there, but there is "some assembly required." She will undergo several surgeries here in the US.

Here she is ... with a plum blossom to protect her privacy. The first picture is the pixie-vixen at about 1 year of age.