Sunday, April 22, 2007

So much has happened....

Christmas 2007

The girl will make a dress out of anything!

Swimming with cousins.'s been so long once again! Sorry to everyone for the lengthy lapse in posts. I'll try to get everyone caught up....starting with Alycia. She completed a very successful volleyball season and we all enjoyed watching her play this year. She just keeps improving all the time and is such a good "all around" player. She is currently starting her Junior Olympic volleyball season and continues to hit the weight room regularly. We're looking forward to seeing the results when the regular season resumes next year. Sydney will look forward to once again referring to her sister as "Shesha Bobbyball", since that's where Alycia was every time Sydney asked for her! The varsity team lost about 7 girls this year, so there are lots of spots to fill and her coaches are hoping she's ready to dominate the net next year.....Go Shesha!

Alycia is doing an exceptional job with her tough classes this year, she has some advanced placement classes and 2 science classes. She currently has straight "A's"...she gets her brains from her mother's side of the family?? She also completed Driver's Ed. and has her permit (she's not really old enough to drive, is she???). She is still an amazing, wonderful young woman that we truly love to have around....which is rather remarkable because she is technically a teenager!

Then there is Sydney. We had our 6 month post adoption visit from our social worker in January, which gave us the opportunity to go back through pictures and think about how far we've come in such a short time. Sydney's development has progressed rapidly in all areas. Her dad explains her language development the best by stating that it took her a little while to figure out English but once she got it, she hasn't stopped talking! She truly talks almost non-stop and uses complete sentences. Physically she is doing great and has jumped from below the 25th percentile to above the 50th percentile on the U.S. growth charts. She came to us in July with little ability to play and now can direct her own play activities, even engaging in make-believe play. My favorite part is her ability to sit and read several books in a row! When we started trying to read to her, she would flip through the pages of one book and she'd be off to something else! She is still a busy girl but now she takes the time to engage in activities. Emotionally, she seems to be appropriately attached to her family. She is such a contrast....she is a very brave and tough girl when it comes to painful situations such as falls, wounds, shots, etc. but she can be such a softie emotionally. Unless you get her mad.....then it's the "tough as nails" girl once again, who is very good at ignoring you until she's convinced you have suffered enough to get back in her good graces.

We all had a wonderful Christmas and Sydney quickly improved her math skills by calculating that Santa=presents and presents=lots of fun for Sydney! She did a great job of making sure her sister got presents to open too. Our next big holiday event was our first Chinese New Year celebration. We attended an event at MSU-Moorhead that we all enjoyed. The food was great and she seemed to recognize some of the songs the children sang. We look forward to having a larger celebration next year....Happy Year of the Pig :) Valentines Day also meant another party at preschool and some of her favorite treats C-A-N-D-Y (we now have to spell things in our house)!! Today, in fact, marked a rare event for Sydney. The little girl who only wants to wear dresses, wore pants today! Only because she got a new bunny shirt from her Granny Goo for Valentine's Day that she couldn't wait to show off at preschool! I'll have to snap a picture as proof. Some of her other favorite gifts are the pink puppy from Auntie Jo and the quarters for the horsie ride (we have to plan a trip to the Chinese Dragon soon!) and the teddy bear from Gran-Gran, who waits for her to get home every day and is frequently seen hanging out with pink puppy in her chair. We're sure that Easter will also be entered in Sydney's list of "top 10 favorite holidays".

In the time we spent looking back, we found ourselves truly blessed with the support we have received from family and friends. We thought about those "sanity saving" moments after we returned home from China from my sister Cheri who took care of us in our first few days home (which are still a blur), to everyone who dropped by to visit (an adult conversation!!), to those whom we dropped in on when we felt more than a little stir crazy (Jo), to everyone who called just to check-in, to those who said a prayer or thought about us, and to the grandparents and extended family members who bonded with our new addition at a level we never anticipated.....thank you!

Not flesh of my flesh
nor bone of my bone
but still miraculously my own.
Never forget for a single minute
you didn't grow under my heart, but in it.
~Adoption Creed~


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