Friday, May 12, 2006

"Operation Smile:" The Movie

Come journey back with us to March 2006 on our "Operation Smile" mission to Esther Joy Xiao Tian. The movie is done and now able to be viewed on the web. It's long at 23 minutes, but there was just too much to be left out. So grab some tissues if you're the crying type and get ready for another exciting journey to China and back. =)

You will need quicktime installed on your computer to view the movie. Also, I've received e-mails from Apple that my bandwith for this month has exceeded my allowed bandwith, so they might be cutting off my site. I just tried it and it was still working, but I'm not sure for how much longer. If it is turned off, it will be back up and running on the 1st of May. A pain in the butt, I know!!!

The music for the first 4 songs is from Disney's "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimmaron" Soundtrack. This is Esther's favorite movie and the words to the songs are meaningful to me. When we met Esther (Tian) my dad and I were both saying how it was as if she walked in saying, "Here I am. What took you guys so long?" The following songs are also from the soundtrack, and the last two are "How Great Is Our God" by Chris Tomlin (Do I really need to give an explanation for why I chose this one?) and "I'm Only Getting Started" by Steven Curtis Chapman. You'll see in the movie why I chose the last one. =)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Summarizing our Journey

I found this site online that takes words from your blog and summarizes them into a little word cloud. I thought this was a neat summarization of our journey to Esther.. either that or I've used these words way too much in my blog!
Here's the link:

Thursday, May 04, 2006

It's May!

Since we've been home from China, it's like we've just kept going and going, and haven't had any time to stop and rest! (Except for our Easter break) But finally, school is over and summer is here!!!!
Tian is doing great. She's really a very easy and happy child. She loves to eat, play, watch movies and sing. Her English vocabulary is expanding every single day. I hardly notice her speaking Chinese anymore. She mimicks every word of Emma's, or everything you say to her. She understands almost everything, and what she doesn't, we use pointing gestures to help her understand. She loves to tell people "I Love You More!" and "I'm Hungry!" No longer does she yell "BaBa" when Dad comes home.. it's "Ba-dee," a mix of Daddy and Baba. =)
We've really been blessed by how well she has adjusted. However, things haven't gone as smooth for Emma. At first, it was Tian who didn't like Emma, so they were fighting all the time. Now, it's the opposite. Emma has regressed considerably in the last few weeks. Before, she was doing really well in potty training and only had a few accidents a day and was going #2 in the potty all the time. Right now she refuses to use the potty and only wants to go in her pull-up. This gets real frustrating since I HATE poopy diapers!! She's also quite mean and hits and pushes Tian anytime she's mad at her. This is to be expected since it's been a huge adjustment for Emma. However, it's been very difficult! Over the last few weeks our patience has really been tested and right now it's running real thin! Emma's going to be the 'difficult' one for my parents. She's obstinant and very independent.. boy are they in for it in the new few years!
Initially, Tian and I hadn't bonded very well. I think we bonded in China to survive each other, but once we came home we both became distant from each other. I came home and went right back to my normal activities.. school, tennis, dance, etc. Tian started to trust my mom and Elena more, and bonded better with them. The first few weeks it seemed like Emma was being a bit neglected, not in a bad way, just everyone was focused on Tian and not much on Emma, so I tried to spend as much time with Emma as possible. It's easier for me to handle Emma because I've bonded so well with her and we're a lot alike. It was differant with Tian because we had only known each other a few weeks and she is oh so very sensitive! The littlest thing would send her off into a meltdown.. and I really do not like crying!! Our bonding is getting better. It's just taken some time. It's funny because she really is a VERY easy child, thanks to her learned orphanage behaviours. If you leave her in a room with some toys, she will stay there for hours. Which, is SO different from Emma who is into EVERYTHING!!
I've started a new blog called "Two Twin Terrors" that will be about both girls, since this one was mainly for Tian. I'll be adding more pictures and updates soon, but for now the link is: (You'll probably have to copy & paste this into your browser, since I can't get blogger to link it for me!!)
That's a little update for now- I'll add more soon once there's more interesting things going on! =)