Monday, February 4, 2013

One Year.

Happy New Year! I hope what's left of our faithful readership doesn't confuse a lack of posting with a lack of activity. We are overjoyed and overwhelmed, well-amused and poorly rested. The big news is how little big news there has been for us in our parenting journey of late, and just how ordinary so many of our days tend to be when compared to the lives of other moms, dads and their toddlers.

But we have some celebrating to do in the next few days.

One year ago today, we met Xiao Ya for the first time. We can't go into the details because of how it all went down and who was involved. But I'll say this -- it was very clear that we had been waiting for our new daughter longer than she had been waiting for us. And while she was a natural charmer, the stealer of the scene, the life of the party, we would have to spend some time selling a tough customer on what we had to offer.

I think we did.

One year ago, we were strangers except for a few photographs that let Xiao Ya see what we looked like and vice versa. We were first-time parents, and she didn't know what parents were. She spoke not a word of English, had met few men, and had experienced an extraordinary amount of medical attention for someone her age.

Today, she is 3.5 inches taller and 10 pounds heavier and pushes her way through clothing and shoe sizes on a regular basis. She knows all of her letters forward and backward, is pronouncing sounds and words more clearly every day, and still surprises us with a phrase here and there. (Ok: "Oh, man!" NOT ok: "What the hell?") While we can only hope we are investing the right kind of time and energy into giving our daughter a good set of values, we already know she is a kind and thoughtful person who cares about the needs of others. We have started weekly Mandarin classes and are considering soccer.

In the past year, we dragged Xiao Ya halfway across the country and up the East Coast nearly a dozen times and introduced her to a vast army of new friends and family members. (She seems better at remembering names and faces than I am...) We have made new adult friends because of her child friends, run into adoptive families in the strangest places, and even recently caught up with one of her little friends from Harmony House who now lives nearby in Virginia!

Ya Ya is much too young to know the intricacies of her adoption story just yet. But she has learned, from her books and our stories and the living examples around her, that families come in many different shapes and sizes and from many different places. Twelve months into this crazy adventure, we couldn't be more pleased at what she has added to our family.

 February 2012.

February 2013.

P.S. We're also far, far behind on pictures from the holidays...



Mary said...

Happy Ya-ya-versary!! Isn't it just the best feeling to all but forget how life was a year ago? Being settled in and boring is absolutely beautiful after all our kiddos have been through. Congratulations!!

MarthaB said...

Love the update! I just have to laugh at "oh man!" as that is Chen Chen's new favorite phrase :) Happy 1 year anniversary!

AnnaJ said...

Oh YAY, glad to see your blog, glad to know that you are all well, happy, busy, growing and smiling. The changes in YahYah are amazing. She is beautiful , funny and oh so brave. Happy New Year. Happy Second Year.

Kelly said...

One year - wow! What a milestone to celebrate. It was so much fun to see you guys last weekend and catch up!

Korinna Bauer said...

Happy Anniversary! What a wonderful new year to celebrate for all of us. Best wishes from Iceland.

Cory and Molly said...

She looks so big and mature in the second picture!! Wow! What a difference a year makes. It's hard to believe it's been that long--I remember poring over your entries while you were in China. Sounds like she's doing really well!