One month

One month ago Brian and I were driving on the way to the adoption center to meet Anna. I was amazed at all I saw around me, getting a little sick in the van, and SO anxious about the meeting that was about to take place. It is so hard to describe but it will be a long time before I forget that feeling. And here we are a month later. Anna is totally integrated into our family. I am amazed how much she has learned and how much she understands. Sometimes I catch myself talking to her along with the other kiddos as if she understands everything I am saying. The funny thing is, I think she gets almost all of it. Her English is coming right along as well and she actually sang Happy Birthday, in full, to my brother yesterday. She knows the routine and will let you know when you stray from it. She loves her siblings and literally squeels with delight when she sees of of them after they have been at school or away. Sometimes I feel she has been with us for such a long time and then there are times when I am reminded that she is still so new, to us and our life.
I know people talk about bonding and attachment with us a lot. I really think the bonding process for her is slow. She does not like to be held, or cuddled so one on one time is rare. She almost prefers her siblings over me. She is still leary of Brian (and all men in general) and I keep telling Brian that this is normal and it will take time. She still needs to be at my side in our house and screams if she loses sight of me. But when we are outside she is fine wandering around a playground without knowing where I am. She loves to play with other children. She is doing great with eating. I've noticed that she is starting to be able to leave a small bit if food on her plate. She used to eat every last drop and I was trying to be careful on her portions so she wouldn't eat until she got sick. (She had done this twice!) She is very observant and definately wants things EQUAL between all her siblings. If one gets something, she wants the exact same thing. She has done great sleeping. She takes a short nap and sleeps through the night in her big brother's room so they come paddling in to my room together in the morning.
Anna is full of personality. She is rarely shy and very outgoing. She is such a happy girl. She knows how to throw a good tantrum and be extremely stubborn too. I can't even imagine what another month home will bring. I can't wait to see.

Carter looks pretty pleased with this arrangement.

I love baking and now we have an extra little helper. She was excited about licking batter once she figured out she could stick her little fingers in.

Two pees in a pod, unless they are fighting with each other. It's love/hate. The best is when they are having an argument and Carter is yelling at her in English and she is yelling back in Mandarin. I don't even think they realize they aren't speaking the same language. They are speaking frustrated 2 1/2 year old language which they certainly understand! T-shirts read brother and sister.

Having a little ice cream for dessert. Who doesn't like ice cream!

Anna playing with her cousin Morgan. Morgan was lifting her up over and over and she loved every minute of it.
Anna with her Nana. Once my mom got to China I realized the difficulty with having Anna learn her name and calling my mom Nana. They sound so much alike. Even Carter calls Anna "Nana" although he obviously knows the distinction. My Mom has been a Nana for too long to switch so for now Anna may be confused about the name but that's O.K. We usually use Anna's first and middle name and call her Anna Ting.

Anna and Callie. (Yes I am a sucker for matching outfits. My boys have been matching for years.)

The crew.
We did take Anna for her medical appointment with our pediatrician and we have all labs back and everything looks great. We feel so lucky and blessed to have such a healthy little girl. As I have written about in the past, Anna's special need is that she has a malformation in her brain. We were given the findings from her brain CT and MRI and age 4 months and again at age 2 in her file. I was fully expecting our pediatrician to write the orders for another MRI now that we have her home. Anna seems to be functioning so well on all levels we just don't see an issue with her brain. That obviously doesn't mean there isn't something there. Our pediatrician suggested we wait and get her a little more acclimated because the MRI requires being sedated. While part of me feels the need to know about Anna's brain, I certainly respect her thoughts about it. So for now, we are waiting.


  1. Horray! One month already! I can't believe it! She is doing so well! Faith enjoys when the siblings get home from school as well!

  2. Such great news about your healthy little girl! Your family looks like they are adjusting so well! Our little girl (just came home from China in December) had to have a MRI after two months of being home. Thankfully, it wasn't as scary as I thought and she did so well. By the way, we 'twinned' as well -- come July, I will have two 2-year-olds.
    Your Anna is adorable!

    Emily (from RQ)