21 July 2010

Tornado's and Strawberries

Our first night out without Willow! Our friend's daughters came over to hang out and play with Willow, as we all headed out to a friend's 50th birthday party at Town Hall. After about 30 minutes the band came out to start their first set--within seconds the fire department alarm sounded, signalling a tornado in the area. We ran home whereupon we started a new party in our basement. About 45 minutes later the danger passed and we made our way to the surface :)

Strawberry season happened fast--with a few days of bright sunshine and warmth inbetween incessant storms. Willow takes a break by the kettle pond with Dad before heading out to help Mommy pick. This is a really nice local farm: no pesitides are used and it is run by kids from an inner-city Church.

How do you tell if every strawberry you pick tastes good? Willow has solved this dilemma (you taste each one, silly!):

15 July 2010

July: Surprise

Our adoption agency called us several months ago to share information about a little girl who was born cleft affected. Well ... she isn't a total surprise as our hearts were open to another cherub from China. We just received word that China has approved us, thus we are now paper-pregnant with a 16-month old living in southern China. She is 10 months of age in her referral photos and her name is Ming Huan, which means "brilliant", as in a very bright light, and "jubilant":

Below are two maps. The first a map of China, with Guangxi Province highlighted (Willow's province, Guangdong, is just to the East). China is similar in size to the United States, and lives on our planet spanning very similar latitudes. The second image is a map of Guangxi Province, in very southern China. She is living in an orphange (Luchuan Social Welfare Institute) in Yulin :

Now, we haven't seen a picture of her where she is jubilant yet--we look forward to bringing light, joy, and love into her life, and seeing her first smile. Below is a picture of her when she was ~4 months of age. It is from the newspaper which published her "finding ad" (a legally obligatory newspaper notice which is posted by the orphange in order to look for/notify her biological parents). She was teensy-weensy at birth (only 5 lbs), but not that unusual for Chinese babies. Otherwise, she has been healthy. She was born cleft affected and will have surgery here in the U.S.

Below is a recent picture (she is now about 16 months of age). We sent a care package to the orphange which included a "happy " cake. She is clearly uncertain what the heck it is. A friend remarked that it is probably because the cake is bigger than she is :) But, despite her knitted eyebrows, we think she is lovely and cannot wait to bring her the love of a family:

04 July 2010

Happy Birthday United States

"Feed Me!" Waiting for food at our friend's annual 4th of July brunch, which precedes our Town's parade. We participated in the Children's parade, sporting our patriotic stroller decorated with flags and "peace" balloons:

My friend, Antigone (and her husband), wave at Willow (if you are the praying type, please say one for Antigone who is battling breast cancer):