Lucy is doing well health wise. She had surgery in China for a heart condition known as VSD - ventral septum defect - a whole between the lower chambers of her heart. She'll be monitored her whole life, but it should not cause any reason for her not to do whatever she wants to do. And she is definately taking that to heart!
Ella has started kindergarten, although sometimes this little 6 year old of mine seems like she is 26 instead of 6. She is bright, articulate, and thoughtful. She is a ray of sunshine for me on the tough days, and makes me smile no matter what is going on. Ella still struggles with not being the youngest any more, but loves her little sister, and is a great role model. Matter of fact, today Lucy dressed herself with Ella's help for the first time! Ella is healthy, although we found out this past fall that she is a Thalassemia Type B carrier - not a big deal, but she will need to deal with genetic testing before having kids. She has promised me not to get pregnant and have children until she is very old - like me - at 40 or so... Great.
Gwenn is now in 3rd grade, and is going to be 9 years old this spring. This year has been a busy one for us. Last year was sort of a wasted year at school, and so this year I'm working hard to be sure that we've identified all of the issues that are going on with my little sweet potato. She is such a sweetie, but she is definately the one that makes me the happiest, but also the most frustrated. Besides her SPD (Sensory Processing Dysfunction) we know that she also has a slew of other things she has been diagnosed with - RAD, OCD, ODD, LBLD, CPD, APD and more. My goal is to get her whatever help is the best so that she is a happy adult. She is amazingly bright and such a good kiddo, and it's hard to see her struggle - in school, with friendships, and in activities that she wants to do.
As for me, I'm extemely grateful for my three amazing children. No one could have prepared me the challenges, but the extreme thanks that I feel each day when I watch my children grow. My job continues to be a bright spot - I'm so lucky to have found such a great employer as Microsoft, and I contstantly am challenged to learn new things, and push myself to new limits. I also have had the honor to start an adoptive parents group that is really taking off - and that has been a lot of fun. I'm now President of Families with Children from China NW. We are having growing pains and it's been a challenge in determining how to get through them all and bring the organization out on the other side, stronger and more vibrant.
Well, I've promised the girls to head to bed before midnight so that Santa can come, and I'm not one to get in Santa's way. The girls left him cookies and milk, and I left him a glass of wine. We'll see which he prefers. Since he's been going for a long while, and we are one of the last time zones, I'm putting money on the wine...
If you click on the picture, it should be hyperlinked to the Norad site where you can view video of Santa on his rounds...
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!