I love this picture of our pretty girls headed to the party. It's been hard lately to see Madeline growing up so fast. I can't believe she's nearly in the double digits! I have to cherish these "little girl" moments with her.
Thankfully we have two other girls who still absolutely qualify as "little"! I am having so much fun during the day with Abby and Qiu Ju! I think since it's been several years since I've had such a tiny one at home, I'm really cherishing this time. Maya is just eating up (literally- she doubled her weight percentile since coming home!) her new life. She is such a joy.
We enjoyed a visit from aunts Cari and Jean and cousins Blake, Sophie, and Tacy. Unfortunately, I didn't get a photo of them all together, but I know Cari and Jean were taking pictures, so hopefully they'll post some. Tacy is just as sweet and smiley as she can be!
I did get a few pictures of Blake with Charlie. Cari and Tony, this boy needs a hound!
I hardly ever get any photos of Adam because he usually hides when he sees the camera coming. This, however, was his "self portrait". He started Junior High this year, and although it's been a big transition, and a bit rocky, he's really making strides. Sometimes I look at him, and just have to do a double-take because I can't believe he's getting so big!
He cracked us up the other day when he came home from school and said, "Well, I've met my goal. I've made 18 friends." We're not sure why he chose that particular number, but he sounds like he's reached his maximum. He may need to start a waiting list.
Abby isn't always in a camera mood either! Seriously, she can be so sweet, but boy can this girl do feisty! She continues to be an absolutely fabulous big sister and tells us numerous times a day how much she loves "Show Joo", as she says it.
Abby gave a talk in Primary today and she did such a great job. She READ the talk, which she was very proud of. Abby kind of holds out on us. Recently I dropped by her school and was shocked to see her writing sentences! She had told me she couldn't even write all of her letters. Hmmmm. This girl is a mystery!
Some friends from church held a little baby shower for me and Maya. She doesn't have many opportunities to wear her China outfits, so I thought this was as good a time as any. She is SOO close to walking! She's gone as many as 5 steps, but really doesn't want to do it. She pouts and plops down on her rear. She'd much prefer to crawl.
We went to our first "Families with Children from China" event last week. There was a big potluck at a local church and there were about 25 girls there along with lots of siblings and parents. Maya was the youngest, with most girls in the 4-5 year-old range. The oldest looked to be about 9. It was so heartwarming to see all of these little girls, all abandoned, looking so well-adjusted and happy with their new families. I would like to have some of these contacts for Maya as she grows older and maybe wants to talk with someone who can relate to her experiences.
We were thrilled today to hear that Maya's orphanage friend, Summer, came through her open-heart surgery like a true champ! These girls amaze us with their strength and resilience.
Bathtime brings out the craziness in this little girl! She does animal-like screams and makes funny faces. During times like these Adam likes to call her, "Thing from Guiping". We also call her Qiu Qiu, Qiuster, Qiuey, and all sorts of really horrible derivatives of Qiu. Really, we're trying to call her Maya, it's just been hard. Everyone else does, so I think she's accustomed to hearing both names. Whatever we call her, we sure think she's sweet! We're so looking forward to taking her to the temple in December! Let's hope she leaves her "Thing from Guiping" alter-ego at the door!