Thursday, November 04, 2010

Oh Pioneers!

Kenzie's school had been studying pioneers and their history.  One of the things they had to do was to create something that would represent what pioneer life was like.  I'll have to get Kenzie to pose with her project.  I was quite proud of her work - and she wants to finish the project. 

The school also encouraged the kids to dress up like pioneers for Wednesday.  My mom had bought bonnets a long time ago when she had been enamored of the "country" look that had been popular in the 90's.  I thought she was nuts at the time, but now I know that there is always a plan for all of this stuff.  I also used an old apron of mom's from the 80's for the outfit.  The only things I bought were the dress and boots (reusable).  When you don't have a lot of money - you find ways to create.  

The kids did speaking lines to talk about pioneers (each kid had a line to speak).  They also sang a lot of old pioneer songs. It was fun to watch.

Then the really fun stuff began.  They got out on the gym floor and danced.  Oh my gosh!  That was adorable to watch, and the kids had a lot of fun doing it. But by the end of the night, Kenzie was exhausted - as you can see.     

Big update!  Richelle finally lost her first tooth.  Now she talks funny.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Halloween pics

Of course, can't beat Halloween for dress up and pretend.

Kenzie was a vampiress (again) and after watching the movie The Karate Kid (with Jackie Chan) Richelle just had to dress up as a karate kid.  The outfit is an actual karate outfit purchased from someone who advertised it in the local newspaper (her son was taking karate). I got it for $10... Just the way I like to buy things. I wanted to make her out to be a bloody mess, but Richelle opted only for the "black eyes". 

She was more than happy to show off her standing splits... 

And..... I voted today.  Hope everyone makes their vote count.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

She flies through the air with the greatest of ease....

Kenzie jumping rope (and posing).  She's like a gazelle.  Or a flea (she can jump pretty high from a standing position... and she's in the 25th to 35th percentile range for height.

Richelle wasn't interested in jumping rope... she preferred the more sedate diversion of playing with sidewalk chalk.  She showed me how she "blends" the colors together.  Um... yeah.... now wash your hands.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Too much going on....

Since the summer, there has been a lot happening.  Too much for me to even contemplate just sitting and writing just to catch up the blog.  I'm tired.

The kids finished up summer learning to swim a little.  I was really pleased with the progress they made.  Kenzie can hold her breath the longest of the two of them (they had contest after contest until we'd have to stop them and tell Richelle that she had to breathe for awhile to replenish her body and cells with oxygen - she just kept wanting to do it over and over immediately after she'd lost...).  They got so they could swim a little more than halfway across the short end of the pool.

Mom had fallen and fractured her hip in June.  No one realized it was fractured (at the time she fell, she only complained about hitting her head).  However, after a while, she ended up not being able to walk or put any pressure on her feet because of the pain.  When I took her to the emergency room, they did an x-ray, but it showed nothing.  We had a very astute emergency room doctor, who said an MRI would show up any fractures that might be there, especially in the elderly.  Sure enough, there it was.

They gave us a choice.  Operate and put some pins and plates in the hip, or she could be bedridden for a long time to allow it to heal.  Both had their downsides.  They said they had a choice of doing an anesthetic given in the spine, which I preferred over a general anesthetic. If they could do that, it might help mom get over the operation quicker and wouldn't affect her mind as badly.  If we opted for her to be laying in bed for what I was told could be months, she ran the risk of pneumonia and bed sores, plus her muscles could atrophy to the point she wouldn't be able to walk. 

I thought I was choosing the lesser of two evils and opted for the operation, asking them to do the spinal if possible.  The anesthesiologist tried to, but she had such bad arthritis in her spine, they couldn't get the needle through.  They had to do general anesthesia.

This has exacerbated her dementia.  She can no longer walk, toilet herself, dress herself, and can barely feed herself (she uses her fingers, she can't even use a utensil).  We've had to move her from the assisted living home to a nursing home. 

Worse, when she was there, she was highly agitated.  She would want to go to bed.  The nurses would take her and lay her down, and she's yell she didn't want to be in bed, she wanted to sit up in a chair.  They'd put her in her wheelchair, and start to wheel her out and she'd yell, "What are you doing? Where are you taking me?  I want to go to bed!"
Back and forth and back and forth.  Same with going to the toilet or not going to the toilet, watching tv or not watching tv.  I felt sorry for the nurses.  They suggested that mom get some help from a program that is well-known in the area for helping seniors get their medications straightened out to help with these behavioral problems.  However, there are some people whose behavioral problems have nothing to do with the medications and everything to do with the progression of their dementia. This is the third week mom has been at the clinic for behavioral issues, and still no word as to how it is going.  I go to see her, but it seems it just agitates her because she can't see her granddaughters, and she wants to come live with me. 

There are days I feel like I'm such a bad daughter.  But my first priority is my family.  I am taking care of mom as best as I can, given our limitations.

Kenzie and Richelle are back in dance and gymnastics.  Kenzie is doing tap again, and she's really pretty good at it... she is also doing a class that teaches more tap steps and has the girls practicing those new steps every week.  Richelle chose to do poms instead of tap this year.  She is actually better at poms - and looks adorable doing it. She takes the poms quite seriously.  I'll have to get some video of Kenzie in her gymnastics.  She's finally learned how to kick herself over from a back bend.  She's getting so much stronger.

And last but not least, there are the school pics.  Richelle's looks like she's got a million dollar smile.  Kenzie - I have no idea what happened to her.  She looks like she wasn't too thrilled to be there. I had been telling her to part her hair on the side (that was the way the cut was supposed to be styled) but she insisted on pulling her bangs down in front.  Poor baby...  after seeing this pic, she's been styling it my way since then.  She looks TONS better - too bad this didn't happen prior to school pics. 

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Video of the haircuts

Thought I'd share the video of their haircuts.  Richelle has this rubbery face that just seems to change constantly.

Both kids are wonderful about getting their haircut.

Millennial Makeover: MySpace, YouTube, and the Future of American Politics

Too busy!

I have been busy since the last post... too busy, as a matter of fact.  Roy had the girls scheduled to be here there and everywhere during the summer...  and that meant mama had to jump all over the place... 
The girls started swimming lessons again this year.  They are becoming more comfortable with the water, but they need a lot more time to trust that if they do what they are told, the water will hold them up.  Richelle finally learned how to float, but can't kick very well or use her arms and hands properly.  Kenzie can't float, but has a strong kick and can hold her breath forever (well, it seems like it to me!).  Kenzie finally got over holding her nose every time she went into the water, which means she'll be learning how to do that forward crawl soon.

Then there was the matter of their hair...  Both the girls' hair was getting horribly dry and brittle with the chlorine in the water.  I wondered if the chemicals they were using were worse than usual, because we didn't have this problem last year.  However, no matter what shampoo we tried, it just didn't help.  So it was haircut time.  Actually, Roy decided that they needed a haircut - it's going to be an extremely hot summer, and the kids were coming home all sweaty and red-faced every day. 

We went uber short.  For Richelle, the look was great.  Kenzie just has that face that begs for longer hair... so as it grows out, we'll probably not cut it much shorter than a bob again... unless I find a better style that frames the side of her face.  I let the kids pick the hairstyle they wanted from some I found on the internet.  


The kids have to admit... they are a lot cooler and feel a lot better with the new do's, but they still love their long hair.  Can't blame them... they are waaaay cute in the longer style.

Friday, May 21, 2010

In Defense of the Teacher and Richelle

I'm not sure if I got spanked or not...  LOL!  I think I should set some things straight...  there may have been a misunderstanding with a reader.  I value her opinions and her insights, and am fascinated by the stories she tells... but I think perhaps I need to go into more detail about the teacher in question and what happened with Richelle's buying with money not her own something for a classmate. 

In defense of the teacher, she did not call Richelle any names or label her. What she did was talk to Richelle about how taking something that didn't belong to her without that person's permission is stealing.  That is a fact. The teacher has never, over the course of the year, seen Richelle buy stuff at school, and the fact that she did it and bought something that she didn't need (I just bought her a new journal recently) that would be fairly expensive (by a child's standard) made the teacher wonder what was going on...  and she wanted to make sure that there wasn't a problem. I am willing to bet she told Richelle she would be telling us what happened - this teacher is older and a bit more old-fashioned, and I like that; she won't hide anything from a parent.  Parents need to know what is going on so they can properly parent their children.  
I have to applaud the teacher, because I do not want in any way to have a child think they can do something like take money from us without asking permission and get away with it. We talked to Richelle about the fact that in the future, if she wanted something, she needed to ask us permission for it...  we usually say yes (such as when they have book orders - we pretty much let the kids pick what they want, but we do set limits on how much can be spent).  

I grew up in a close neighborhood, and everybody looked out for each other.  When any of us kids did something that the parents knew wasn't right, they got hold of the offending child's parents and told them what was going on.  It was up to the parents to discipline or punish their child.  Believe me, we grew up knowing that we would "get it" if we did something wrong (and got caught, which was more than likely, given that the neighbors and our parents were pretty sharp about what we were up to).  And if we hurt someone else in the process of  breaking a rule or what was considered generally accepted practices, we had to apologize and make it right.

I agree that Richelle had to have learned some survival strategies in the orphanage to have gotten attention and to have some sense of self...  I am probably more lenient in some ways because of that...  but the  point is, she needs to learn early what will or will not be acceptable behavior and actions in society (that starts out early as the family, and then extends to the school, the neighbors, the community, etc.).  And explaining to her and labeling the action as what it is (in this case, taking something without permission is stealing) she can understand what she did wrong.  We can't wait until some time later to teach her these things.  I cannot make excuses for her just because she came from an orphanage. 

She had a rotten start in life.  No child should be separated from their parents, IMO, unless the parents are abusive or unable to care for their child properly.  She will be fighting those learned habits and life skills from the orphanage most of her life... if we don't start teaching her the appropriate life skills that are accepted in the society she lives in now, it will be harder for her to change from what she learned from living in an orphanage.

Both my husband and I have compassion for the reason she did it...  to help her friend.  We both believe that the child in question is a friend of Richelle's and not just someone whose friendship Richelle is trying to buy.  Roy has observed the two of them together, and says they genuinely like each other and play well together.  We also have compassion for teaching her what will help her to live a good life in the future...  I don't want to ignore any of this and later in life get a call from the police telling me that she was caught shoplifting - just because her "friend" needed a skirt, or whatever.  The underlying message is still the same...  we don't take what isn't ours. 

She has had to deal with and learn a whole new way of life.  She came into the family still trying to use her old ways from the orphanage - it's all she knew.  She has learned a lot over the past 18 months, but the old ways are ingrained and have a way of sneaking back into her life.  As I've said, it will take many iterations of the message for it to finally embed itself as deeply into her brain as her former orphanage habits have.

All this reminds me of a story.

I remember that when I was 20, I was living with my cousins.  They had a 3 year old boy, whom I adored... he was such a sweet child.  One Thanksgiving, we were gathered at my grandmother's house and cooking the meal in the kitchen.  Andy (not his real name) was pushing people in the butt saying "Out of my way!" as we went through the kitchen. 

I stopped him and said, "Andy, if you want people to move for you, you need to say 'Excuse me, please'.  Can you say that for me?"  He did, and immediately his grandmother (my aunt) said, "He doesn't have to say that.  He can do what he wants."

I told her if he didn't learn how to have proper manners now, when he was young, not only would it be harder for him to learn them later, but he will most likely not appreciate other things in his life.  

One thing led to another and my aunt just went a little too far.   She began berating me, saying it was no wonder no one would marry me (I mean c'mon, I was 20 and not interested in getting married at the time... even though I'd had three marriage proposals from the time I had been 16).  I decided if she was going to be a bitch, I could dish it out as well (we DO come from the same gene pool).  I told her it was a wonder that her husband stayed married to her - that he probably had someone on the side to make life bearable. Little did I know I hit the nail on the head.

Well, I got what I deserved with that one...  she went ballistic and began to smack me about the face and shoulders with her fists - to which my brother Richard stepped in (the one time he was on my side...  imagine that) and grabbed her wrists telling her "You will not hit my sister!" (My hero...) All the time she is cursing him and me and... well, things broke down from there.  Everyone, and I mean everyone, took my side on this, and she was alone in her opinion.  However, that didn't help Andy any.

He grew up to be a young adult dependent on his grandmother. She was about to put a second mortgage on her house because he was in default on a truck he had bought (and couldn't afford in the first place) when she died.  He was left with nothing.  I don't know if he has grown up since, but I know he had not been able to keep a job since he had been working. Even after she died, he had trouble keeping jobs.  Maybe today he has learned to take care of himself...  but I have lost track of him.  But I do believe that if you bring your kids up right, there is less likely a chance of this happening.  It was almost inevitable that this kid was going to fail, because no one taught him the kind of life lessons that would help him understand how to be grateful, how to be independent, and how to show others that they matter.  It was just all about him and what he could get. And my aunt (and Andy's parents to a good extent) were responsible for how this turned out.

Teach your kids when young!       

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sneaking. Stealing. Lying.

Yesterday, my husband got an email from Richelle's teacher.  It said that Richelle had bought some items (four pencils and a journal) from the school store, and when asked where she got the money, she finally told the teacher that she took it from home without us knowing it... that it had been her father's money.  Her teacher had a discussion with Richelle about stealing.

I thought something was up that morning when she took her back pack upstairs and was holding a small purse of hers (that had been filled with coins - we knew she'd taken it from Roy's can of coins he has, but weren't worried about it at that time).  I didn't pay it any real attention, just kind of made a mental note of it.  I went about my business while urging them to get ready to go out to the bus.

Then the email.  When she got home, she started taking things out of her backpack, and then got a furtive look on her face, and held her backpack tight to her while she said she was going upstairs.  I asked that she give me her backpack, which she was reluctant to do.

I pulled out the purse full of coins.  I asked her if she bought anything today, and she said yes. When pressed for what, she showed me two pencils.  I told her that her teacher had emailed us and told us it was more than that.  She admitted that she bought two more pencils and a journal.  I asked to see it... and she said she gave it to one of her friends at school.

There were tears welling up in her eyes at this point.  I asked why she would give it to her friend, and Richelle explained that she only had one page left in her journal and she wanted to give her another one.  And she wanted to give her a couple of pencils.  This is her friend, after all.

My heart went out to her, but I had to go on.  I told her to come upstairs with me.  She began crying in earnest at this point.  

We went to the living room couch and I put her on my lap.  She was nothing but a puddle of tears - so Kenzie and I removed her shoes and I held her.  I told her it wasn't her job to buy things that the kids need for school, and she shouldn't have sneaked out money to do so.  If she needed something or wanted something, she should ask us, not take money that wasn't hers.  

She said she didn't want us to know about it.  I told her that's exactly how sneaking and lying are - doing something you don't want someone to know about.  From now on she was to talk to us about it.

She really is trying to be a good kid - but she gets some things wrong once in a while...  and her intentions (if her explanation was really what happened) were good, if not misguided a bit.  She always has had a good heart.

Roy is still punishing her... three days without any TV.  I told Roy that perhaps what we should be doing after this is having the kids do chores and paying them an allowance.  That way, they would feel they have some control over things they want.  And we could use it to teach them to save a little, put some aside for charity, and then they would have some for spending any way they want to.  It will be good to try and instill good money habits now while they are young, rather than them trying to figure it out when they get older.

To be continued.  

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Dance Recital - the Video

Here's the video.  Richelle is selling it - really emphasizing the steps.  Kenzie is her usual demure self.  She didn't like the music at all...  can't blame her.  Yellow Submarine wasn't exactly a favorite Beatles song of mine either...  but the outfits rock...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Recital was Saturday

The kids' recital was Saturday - and they looked so beautiful.  I had to put makeup on them so their faces wouldn't look all washed out on stage...  I don't do a dramatic enough job to really make it work well onstage - but if the kids are going to continue to dance, then I'll have to learn.  The song they danced to was Yellow Submarine, which the kids really didn't like very well...  it just didn't grab them like the Charleston did for Kenzie last year.

I will have a video up later, probably tomorrow.  Somehow, a circuit at the house tripped and my home computer doesn't work right now.  I brought everything to Panera to download and edit the video on my laptop, but (STOOOPID STOOOPID STOOOPID!!!!!!) I forgot the 4 pin to 4 pin cable to connect the camcorder to the computer.  I'm kicking myself as I say this... GRRRRRRR!!!!!!  Otherwise, it would have been uploaded today.
But - I DO have pictures I took on that day before they danced.  And as a proud mama - I think they look gorgeous!  The little ladies are shining through.   I am so proud that they are doing the things I didn't get a chance to.  I don't want to live through them, but I do want them to do things that they are interested in.  They get a chance to discover things I never did  - I want them to know they have numerous opportunities available to them, and if they put for the effort, they can accomplish anything.  Dance is a great way to teach them that.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Whatever happpened to AuntSpode8899?

I hadn't heard from this person in awhile, and usually when I post a video on Youtube,  she would reply quickly.  I was hoping to get some insight into a couple of the vids... I always look forward to hearing from her.  She has given me a lot to think about.  But I checked her account on Youtube and it was closed.  I hope everything is okay.

Gotta tell you, I miss her.  I enjoyed reading what she had to say.  

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Like a favorite blankie...

I have to thank my friends. You are like my favorite blankie - one that I love to wrap myself up in when I'm feeling cold or tired or down-hearted. Having all of you to be there and support me is a great feeling.

I love that people from our adoption group read the blog and post their support.

I love that others who share an interest in raising their children (bio or adopted) read the blog and share their support.

I love that other Chinese around the world read this blog and give me so much insight into our children's heritage and what it means to be Chinese. I can't give them that, but I can share your perspectives and messages. They will get some idea, at least.

You are all such a blessing.

As my blood relations dwindle in size through death or insufferable differences in philosophies and opinions, I find my family resides in you. I don't need blood to make a family...

Strange comments won't get posted

OK, I have to admit, there are a lot of things I won't tolerate.

I don't mind having this blog open so others can read about our daughters and see how they are doing. And I don't mind people leaving comments - relevant comments - about the posts.

However, there are some comments coming to me with their website embedded in their comment, or it is all in Chinese or some other Asian script, and since I don't know what is being said, and for goodness sake, folks, I can't tell what the meaning of the comment is when using an online translator... I'm not going to post it.

No matter how many times you guys try - it won't get posted. I go to the embedded websites to see what it is, and personally, I think it looks like soft porn, or an intro to a pornographic site. I can't tell, because I can't read it. But as long as I'm unsure, I won't post your comment.

Enough is enough. This is about my children - not your effing porno websites and your eff-ed up notion of how you want to portray Asian women. Why would anyone who is Asian want to have their women portrayed as whores, sluts and tramps?!!!!!!

It's time for the world to wake up. I am NOT a feminist - that is for sure - but I believe in women and their power to shape the world (the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world). I don't mean in a boardroom or as a CEO. Women have so much power over themselves and their children and (yes) even their husbands (if they know how to work it - with husbands, sex can be a beautiful thing, and very empowering, just by giving in to his masculinity. I am talking about a husband who loves you and cherishes you, not some creep who is using you, OK?).

I also believe that it's time for all of us to not stereotype Asian women. From the old movies to the current ones, Asian women are portrayed as cheap whores or evil dragon ladies - rarely is there a positive role for them. The time when we would think that the only thing they could say is "Ooooh, me so horny! Five dollah me love you long time." is OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ya hear me, Hollywood? If that is how you want to portray a race of women - then I can say that you aren't worth the money to buy the dvd third-hand, let alone see it in a theater. Very little good comes out of Hollywood, anyway.

I have two beautiful, SMART, funny and engaging daughters, and they are Chinese. They are going to have to work much harder to gain respect because of how Asians are portrayed in movies and on the internet. Worse - the thing that breaks my heart - is that the Asian women themselves denigrate their own integrity, beauty and worth as women to that of a cheap whore (go on Youtube and see what they are doing... it is so sad). Because of you, my daughters will have to fight these images even harder.

I'm just so pissed off right now. Women in general need to wake up. If you make your value as a person only worth what kind of sexual pleasure you give to others who have no interest in you other than the prurient, then you value yourself too cheaply. Trouble is, you also devalue the rest of us as well.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Strategy games

I think I've mentioned that we gave Richelle one of my old laptops after putting Windows 7 on it. Well, she's been exploring it.

She found a ton of games on it... and the one she loves to play (and has me scratching my head) is chess.

Now, my daddy loved to play chess. He loved the strategy and planning involved in making just one move. He always told me that you had to think several moves ahead in making up your mind which move to make.

I never caught on, even though he tried his best to teach me. But I found it boring... I had no patience and would get mad if I got my men captured and didn't win... I just had no stomach for it as a child. So I never really learned how to play the game.

However, Richelle found the chess game on her computer and LOVES it. She wants to play it all the time when she plays on the computer.

And she got a big kick out of playing the game for real - with game pieces and all. So, I need to get online and search for the rules of chess (I've forgotten most of it... and can't remember a lot of the moves, other than how each individual piece moves). It would be great if she developed a love of the game and continued with the play.

Although Spring is finally here... I am not feeling the love yet. I am having a bout with ennui - just not enough stimulation. I helped Roy with some of his tax prep when it got down to crunch time... but it's not enough. We're planning on what to do with the kids for the summer... and that's not enough. I'm not sure that there is anything I can do that will get this boredom out of my system. We took the kids to the zoo - that was fun - but they spent more time playing on the playground and eating than they did looking at animals. What the heck - it's their time to do what they like - what matters is that they have fun.

Oh good grief! A guy just came walking into Panera with his hair all colored bright green. I'm sure that makes him feel like he's "special." On that note, I'm going to skeedaddle and get ready for tonight. I have to work the carnival for the elementary school serving food.


Told you I had ennui, didn't I?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Warm days are welcome here...

It's just not warm here at all... The playground pics below are from the week before spring break... and we are treasuring each warm day as it comes, even if all we get to do is go outside and blow bubbles. But to get out to the park is paramount. However, spring break didn't allow for much fun during the week - it was cold and damp.

Seems Spring is going to be coming in spurts, with several days of cold, wet weather in between. Waaaaah! (Yes, I'm whining a bit... but don't tell Kenzie. She's my whiner and I tell her all the time I don't like whining, which I don't, but if she knew I did it, it would be all over with trying to teach her not to.)

During Spring Break, we went downtown to eat lunch one day and to walk around. We stopped at one of the bollards downtown and the girls posed for pics... with a pic of the courthouse (and the fast traffic) in the background. They insisted on getting on top of the bollard - and I don't think I want them to do it again - it was just too scary for me as the cars rushed past. Quite frankly, the worst that could have happened was they'd fall off onto the sidewalk - they've taken falls from higher up than that.

Then, Richelle had her 6 year old well child checkup. Uh.... 50th percentile in height, 75-90th percentile in weight. She now officially weighs more than Kenzie, even though big sis is a year older. Let's just say the kid loves to eat.

Last year, she got 5 shots... and then I thought she was done for a long time. Turns out she had to get 4 more shots. That was a hard sell... I had to hold her down and man! Did she fight it and scream bloody murder. But prior to that, the girls were goofing off at the doctor's office. Oh, turned out Kenzie needed a shot, too. She just cried so pitifully. I felt so bad for both of them.

I have to say, the last picture here tells me what a beautiful young woman Kenzie is going to grow up to be... I took a long, hard look at it and I can see the young woman she is becoming. Richelle... there's still so much of the baby in her... I don't yet see the young woman yet.

Here's to hoping the warm weather will be here to stay soon. But even this weekend looks like it will be rather cool and damp. C'mon April - it's just got to get better.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

6 Years Old!!! And a heron....

Richelle had her party yesterday. She had a few friends show up for the roller skating - and the kids had a great time. She kept saying all day "I'm the birthday girl."

Wished I'd had a video camera that day - Richelle was really speeding along roller skating, and having the time of her life. Here are some pics to show for it.

Finally, this morning, when coming back from taking my mother her medication, I saw a HUGE bird flying down to a small pond in our area. I pulled over and got my camera out to see a blue heron. Took some pics of it. I was surprised that it didn't fly away as I approached the pond... but it simply watched me. I didn't go too close - I didn't want it to fly away - but being early morning and heavily overcast, and only having my Sony Cybershot available, I wanted to take advantage of whatever pic I could get.

I love big birds.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Year of the Tiger

I'm late in posting this. Last Saturday, we had our FCC celebration for the Lunar New Year. As anyone probably knows by now, it's the year of the Tiger. The girls still have some Chinese silks that fit... and I wish I'd bought a ton of silk dresses when we were there last. I can only hope we'll return to China again soon for a vacation trip and to connect with our daughters' orphanages.

Anyway - back to now. I have some really cute pics of the girls from that night. They were in seventh heaven running around in their silks. Richelle looked at herself in the mirror and was proud to be a Chinese girl. I'm glad they take such joy in their heritage and their race.