Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Phone Call Day -- One Year Later

One Year Ago today (13 October 2009) we sat by the phone waiting for THE call. The video camera was set up. The phone was fully charged.  And then. . .telemarketer, wrong number. . .and more waiting. Finally, on that rainy Tuesday morning, our agency called and we were parents. Poof, just like that! (As long as you don't count the 4 year wait.)


Today, Orli is eager to meet new people and curious to explore new places. She is speaking, singing, playing, and never sitting down for more than a minute or two.

Orli has a mind of her own. She is very certain about her likes and dislikes, her wants, and her "needs" (which are really her "wants"). She eats most anything that is offered. And, true to her Szechuan/Chongqing roots, she loves spicy food. Of course we were warned that girls from this region are "spicy" -- and she is!

Orli loves to perform. The bigger the crowd the better. And, if a microphone is handy, she is ready to grab it and take over.

We're still figuring out how to be parents, but Orli is already very settled in to being our little girl. She is happy, healthy, growing, and a blessing to our entire family.

Phone Call Day

Monday, April 5, 2010

Wow! It is hard to believe we have been home for FOUR months now! Where has the time gone?! Well, we figured that a four month anniversary is as good an excuse as any to post to the ole blog, so here goes.

What has happened in the past three months? Well…

On February 11th we celebrated Orli’s first birthday! She had her requisite cake, which she enjoyed, and then destroyed. Then the clean-up crew took care of the mess.

We had all of our family in that weekend to celebrate Orli’s baby naming, when she officially received her Hebrew name, which happens to be the same as her English name. Orli was a complete ham (not so kosher) throughout the entire naming service, babbling non-stop, grabbing the microphone, and absolutely enjoying the laughing and awwwwwing response of the several hundred folks who came out to celebrate with us. The Gordons were so moved by her performance it prompted them to get her a microphone of her very own. ☺

Orli is a regular fixture at Ted’s work on Friday mornings, and she even has her own desk in his office.

She loves music—listening to, dancing to, and making her own! Here, she is enjoying the traditional Tupperware/wooden spoon kitchen instruments.

She also loves playing guitar with “Da-dy,” who has yet to hear himself be called that, despite the fact that many others have heard her say it in his absence. At least there are witnesses now who can vouch that it truly issues forth from her mouth!

She is taking very good care of Simon, offering him a portion of her food at every meal. A friend of ours has dubbed him “Big Boy,” and that he is. But luckily, the brutal Southern California weather is lightening up, and he is getting more frequent walks so he can try to gain back his girlish figure for bikini season.

And speaking of which, although it was quite cold on this day, here is a picture of Orli on her very first trip to the beach! She enjoyed dumping sand, the wind blowing against her face, and seeing all the dog-dog-dogs.

As for dog-dog-dog, it is her first real word (other than “yay”) and it is the first thing she says every morning upon waking, each time she arises from a nap, sometimes as she is getting ready for bed, and oh, about two dozen other times throughout the day. We hear “dog-dog-dog” so often now, that the other day when Corey was teaching her yoga class, she cracked herself up with a cue of “sink your heals down and back and find your down dog-dog…” catching herself before the final “dog” was added.

This week we celebrated Passover, and Orli got to experience the myriad of ways to eat matzah! Her favorite was a schmear of butter and a dip of honey.☺

She’s crawling all over the place, pulls up on pretty much anything she can grab a hold of, cruises from place to place, especially when tempted by the sight of a remote control, a telephone, or anything else with buttons. This week she started pulling up to standing and balancing without holding on to anything. As for holding on, I guess that is the advice for us. The ride is about to get a lot crazier as soon as this little girl starts walking around…

Thanks to everyone who keeps prompting us to update the blog and post pics. I think we’ve settled into a fairly good new-parent groove, and promise to blog with a bit more frequency.

Monday, January 11, 2010

By the way. . .we're home!

We cannot believe that a month has already gone by.  And. . .what a month it has been!

Our flight from Tokyo to LA was quite a test for new parents. Though we had three seats, we probably would have done fine with just one – yes, we were “those” parents walking the aisles for 10 hours. 

Somehow we ended up being almost the last folks through passport control and customs. We had to go through the “non-US citizen” line because Orli was traveling on her Chinese passport. However, when we got to the immigration officer, he greeted her with a beautiful “welcome to the US”. Customs was then fairly quick because Orli was really the only thing we were “declaring”.

As we exited the secure area, we were greeted by friends from both Thousand Oaks and Encinitas with tears of joy in all of our eyes and a banner welcoming Orli home.

At home we were led into Orli’s new room. When we left, it was our old guest room with a freshly painted purple (plum) room with a dresser and cabinet. When we returned, it was really Orli’s room – a crib, rug, lights, gifts, handmade crane mobile, and a most amazing painting of a plum tree on the wall, decorated with blessings, fortunes, and wishes from family and friends. Tears, of course, flowed again.

The next 5 weeks have flown by. Orli has met most of her extended family and many many friends. We celebrated her first Chanukah and she is now a regular at TAE. Nights have not been as restful as they were in China, but she is getting used to a new routine and we are figuring out parenting (with lots of great tips from friends, family and the occasional surf on the internet).

We’re now busy planning her naming for February 12, the day after her first birthday. (We can’t believe our little girl is already about to turn ONE!)

Orli really seems to be thriving in her new environment.  In China she only wanted her bottle (her foster family even asked us to please try to get her to eat supplemental foods), and now she is eating everything we put in her mouth!  She loves music and does a mean head bob to anything with a beat.  She delights with squeals in seeing her dog, Simon, and he is doing really well with her too.  And as predicted, each time he hears the click of the high chair tray he runs from wherever he is to sit beneath her, graciously receiving whatever falls to the floor.  We are happy to report that today he got his very first Goldfish (crackers) for Simon!!!

When we traveled in China the locals always asked us where Orli was from.  Upon hearing she was from Chongqing (previously in Szechuan province), their response was always the same—“Oooohhhh…Spicy girl!!!  As we watch our little girl’s personality come out more and more each day, we know that she truly is a spicy little thing, and we love that spunk and verve.  But her spicy side is tempered by a sweetness that is filling our hearts with so much joy, and we feel truly blessed by the privilege of having her in our lives.

We hope to put up a short video soon. Keep checking back for the video, more photos and the occasional update.

With love and blessings,
Corey & Ted

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California, United States