Sunday, August 23, 2015


on august 21 we re-finalized our adoption! it's not required, as it was finalized in china, but it is strongly recommended as it's the only way she can get a birth certificate. additionally, if we ever lose our chinese paperwork, there's absolutely no way to get another copy, so we'd have no proof of adoption.

so, now it's extra final! we had a very quick and easy court appearance with a judge that seemed nearly as excited as were are. we found out our court date the week before, so we didn't get much time to plan or invite people. fortunately, lao lao and ye ye were able to move up the closing for their house and came out for just 24 hours between two other flights to be there for big day. unfortunately, i misplaced my phone just before the big event, so i was only able to get a single picture that our attorney took for us. no matter, though, it's a wonderful picture and we'll forever have the day in our hearts.

nearly as exciting is the most recent milestone of learning "no!" it's by far Yun's favorite word, and it's getting old really fast. it is funny how intent she is in using it at every possible opportunity, but she manages to find far more opportunities than seem plausible. here's to hoping she gets more vocabulary very soon!

she's still growing bit by bit, and thankfully we're enjoying a nice stretch without an appearance from another tooth. and while we're sure you find these details just as thrilling as we do, we're going to give you a break from all the day to day happenings. so, this will be our final post for awhile. we'll update you with any major news as it comes, but otherwise please call or visit for updates!

love, tay

Sunday, July 19, 2015

'tis the season

as parents of school-age kids get ready for back to school season, i'll be gearing up for back to work! i've finally hammered out a schedule with the daycare and my office, and i'm pleased to announce i'll be returning to work part-time in august! i'm so very thrilled to be going back to work - i've missed it so very much. and i'm feeling so much better about daycare since we've been able to work out a plan to slowly phase her in to full-time care over a couple of months. i'm sure it will still be difficult, but we'll adjust. we always do.

although Yun hasn't grown as much as i'd have liked over the past month, she is still learning and changing every day. her first english words are "good girl," which she proudly proclaims to frankie as often as possible. it's only natural that she's selected an opportunity to praise frankie as one of her first forays into spoken language. those two are just ridiculously adorable - and patient with one another.

Yun recently had a visit from her Nai Nai and uncle and had such a nice time getting to know them. i know she'll enjoy getting to know each of her relatives with every visit. hoping to see more family soon! Yun loves any adoring attention!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


Yun continues to gain weight and has grown nearly an inch since her last appointment with the pediatrician. as awful as they are, all the appointments between visits to the pediatrician help us track her growth more closely, which is nice. with every appointment, i'm always so anxious to see how much she's gained. she returns to the pediatrician next week, and i'm pretty sure we'll have more good news on the height and weight front.

beyond all the medical appointments, we've been spending an increasing amount of time discussing and preparing for my impending return to work. we found a daycare that we love. it's home-based care, with all the teachers being primary mandarin speakers. they do about an hour of english a day, but the rest of the day is all in mandarin. we think she'll really love it.... eventually.

she's had a few short visits to the daycare and seems to be really struggling upon coming home each time. i know she's simply not ready. no kid should have to go to daycare before she's ready, but i think a lot of people don't understand the struggles that adopted children face. Yun isn't yet attached (a normal, healthy attachment process for an adopted child takes about a year), so putting her in daycare at this point can seriously damage and/or delay the attachment process. she has been abandoned at least once and then removed from everything she knew at least twice. she has had major surgery with no one to hold her and comfort her while confused and in pain. she is not just like any other kid (who has had the same parent(s) throughout life) transitioning to daycare. and our visit from the social worker today (adoptive families have to submit reports to China for 5 years after placement) confirmed my instincts. in her words, "she's clearly showing signs that she is not ready for daycare."

unfortunately, i have to return to work. as the sole income earner for our family (with medical bills piling up), it's just not possible for me to stay home any longer. it's kind of surreal for me to advocate for family leave and hear so many horror stories day after day to now be one of those stories - sick baby, but can't afford to stay home. yet, i'm considered the one of lucky ones as i've had twelve weeks with partial pay. many people don't get nearly that. and while i'm grateful, i certainly don't feel lucky.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


it seems we have already instilled good manners in our little babe. she's started saying "xiexie" or thank you. it's the funniest thing. and with a perfect tone, unlike her mama. she is also fond of "wei," which is used when answering the telephone. she holds her hand (or fork, or monitor) to her cheek when she says it, imitating us answering the phone. funny what they pick up and start to mimic. when you call her name, she points to herself, so her comprehension is getting better. she has a hearing test on monday to make sure any delays aren't because of auditory problems. in the meantime, it's clear she's starting to pick things up. looking forward to seeing what her next words will be!

Monday, June 15, 2015


i cannot say enough about the wonderful, wonderful weather we've been having. it's ridiculously amazing. what's that, you came here to read about the baby? well, okay.

she is FINALLY gaining weight! you cannot imagine the joy i experienced when the doctor told me her weight at her last appointment. she's on her 3rd infection, still has symptoms of giardia and currently has 2 molars coming in. but she's growing! at last! her walking is improving, and she is all over the place. she's getting much more accepting of grass (she voluntarily walked in it today) and even of water and cold foods. things are looking up!

today i learned from our adoption agency that international adoptions by americans have dropped by 70% in the last decade. i imagine there are a lot of reasons for this, but the one they point to is the fact that international adoption no longer means bringing home a "healthy infant." today, the children waiting for families are those with special health needs, most of whom are aged 5 and up. these needs are all across the spectrum, but apparently must be a turn off for people who may have considered adoption, otherwise.

of course we knew this information going into the process, but i cannot tell you how unprepared i was to read about so many children with serious needs (through the agency's blog and other announcements. families don't scroll through kids and read about them and pick their favorite. not how adoption works.), but also their incredible spirits. looking into the face of my own daughter, i am amazed at the resiliency of children - children who have suffered and hurt and experienced unbelievable loss during the most important periods of their lives.

every day i am so grateful that i trusted myself (and that anthony did, too) and chose adoption. we are so lucky to have been on this journey and to now continue it with Yun.

Friday, June 5, 2015

baby steps

since my last post my computer crashed and my phone took a swim in the toilet. i was panicked because all my pictures are stored on the computer and i hadn't backed up since our china trip. i couldn't believe i lost all the pictures of my first moments with Yun (not to mention the last 15 years of my life, including our wedding). i ended up completely rebuilding my database, doing a bunch of updates and then backing up. fortunately it worked, but my hate for apple devices has only grown deeper.

the phone is another story. it died instantly and i was without for several days. i bought a new one but hadn't backed up in over 6 months, and despite restoring to that backup, lost every text, note, ibook, photo, etc. it was all gone. fortunately, i had sent videos of Yun's first steps to people and was able to recover that. phew! (again, hate has grown deeper.)

SO - Yun is walking!!! we're thrilled that she's making developmental progress. she's had lots of doctor's appointments, and things are looking good. her kidneys are good, and it appears we can hold off on surgery for now, if not altogether. she still has to get a bunch more screenings and more doctor's visits now scheduled into september, but fortunately she's doing well. she's not gaining weight and still has symptoms of giardia, which is troubling but not uncommon. we'll get her re-tested in about 2 weeks. in the meantime, we're hoping she starts feeling better. and starts sleeping. good god let this baby start sleeping through the night.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

by the way

For those of you who donated, we wanted to let you know that we received a document from the Civil Affairs office in Guangzhou, certifying our donation of 35,000 RMB (at the time, about $5,850 USD) to the orphanage. Very official and all good! While in Guangzhou, we were also able to donate bags of diapers and formula. The orphanage takes in hundreds of new children every year (yes, hundreds every year at this one orphanage), so all of your support is very much appreciated and needed. Thank you, again, to all of you that made this happen.

We're all getting settled in and going to seemingly endless appointments. Yun's given 12 vials of blood so far, and if she liked ice cream (she doesn't!) we'd surely have given her all she wanted after the string of rough appointments she's had in just her first 2 weeks home. We've many more to go, on top of day care tours, which are actually going pretty well! In the meantime, we're still getting wonderful food deliveries and taking lots of walks around the neighborhood. Thankfully, the weather has been absolutely glorious since we returned home, so we've been able to spend lots of time on the deck (no grass, grass is scary) and out and about in the stroller.

Still haven't gone through pictures, but it's still on our list. Hope to share more soon!