This is our attempt to blog our life's journey with our newest family member, Cecelia Grace Zhifan. Our family adopted Cecelia Grace on December 2, 2007, from Jiangxi Province, China. We began the process in December of 2006, picked Cecelia from our agency's Waiting Child list in April of 2007, and then waited...NOT so patiently for our travel to China. We returned home with Cecelia on December 13th, 2007 - one of the greatest days of our lives!
Our family is a BIG family, by most standards, but we would have it NO other way. Cecelia is our 6th child! Our oldest son, Jonathan, is 29. He has been married to Julie for 4 years. They live in Massachusetts where he is the IT manager of the biochemical dept. of a major university. Julie is a post-doctorate researcher for the national gov't. Our second son, Ryan, is 27. He is a computer engineer and is also working as an adjunct for a local college and pursuing his doctorate. He was married in November to Gillian, who is a 2nd grade teacher. Our third son, Evan, is 25. He is an RN at a local hospital, and is pursuing a graduate degree in order to become a nurse practitioner. He was married last year to Erin, who is a voice teacher at a local school. Our first daughter, Kaitlyn, is a freshman at Hobart College and would like to be a veterinarian someday. She is a biology major. Our fourth son, Collin, is a home-schooled 5th grader. He just turned 11. Finally we arrive at Cecelia...she will two years old on February 17th. She is just a delight! What a wonderful life we have!
John and I have been married for over 30 years! When we were first married we naively thought we would have two children and live happily-ever-after. The happily-ever-after is definately true, but who were we to know that we would fall so much in love with our children and with parenting! We are so proud of each and every one of our children and our daughters-in-law! They bring us joy each day. It is for this reason that we just knew we were NOT finished in the parenting category. Many of our friends and family thought we were off our proverbial rocker when we told them of our plans to adopt a new little one. But WE knew it was part of our life's plan! So our intent for this blog is for you to enjoy a small part of our incredible life!
The first pictures are the referral pictures we received for Cecelia. Her Chinese name is Zhi Fan. We have incorporated her Chinese name into her American name as we feel it is an important part of her unique heritage. These pictures were taken two months after her surgery and and she is about one year old in them. Cecelia was born with a cleft lip and palate. Her lip was repaired in China at the Jiangxi Women and Children's hospital. Our guide showed us the hospital in Nanchang, China, where she had the procedure done. She will have her palate repaired soon. We have seen a cleft group where we live and are also researching a cleft group in Boston.
The next pictures in our blog are from Christmas. We had only been home with Cecelia for one week when these pictures were taken. Already she was showing bits of the person she really is. She was only crawling in these pictures and was just beginning to enjoy REAL food. Until we got Cecelia, she had only had formula and rice cereal. She LOVES food. As a matter of fact, she would eat all day long if we put food in front of her. She weighed 17.6 pounds at her medical check-up for immigration. By the first week home she was up to 18.4 pounds. It will be interesting to see her weight at her next check-up! She is "filling out" nicely although this girl is one tiny person!
The next set of pictures is from last night. Most of our children were here for the evening and Evan was trying out a camera. Enjoy the pictures! What a difference in Cecelia! She is now walking, running, and climbing. She has grown a shoe size and a clothes size. She now wears a perfect size 12 months. Her receptive language is unbelievable. It almost seems as though she can understand nearly everything we say to her. As we were researching Chinese adoption, most every blog raved about the incredible development of these children once they are home. It is actually UNBELIEVABLE! The human spirit is an incredible spirit! When we first received Cecelia, she had marks on her ankles where we think she may have been tied to her crib. Well, it is our profound discovery that you may tie a child physically down, but spiritually and emotionally they still soar! What a baby girl! Just take a look for yourselves!
The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break.
- ► 2009 (33)