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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