Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ariana's First Haircut

Ariana got her first-ever haircut on July 25th.  We're trying to grow her bangs out, but she had a long stringy layer in the back that covered a much shorter layer.  We looked for one of those salons that specializes in children's haircuts but settled for the place her cousin Brice goes to.  Naturally he came along to supervise and protect her which made for a tear-free experience.  I'm thinking we're going to need to borrow him when we attempt our first dentist visit!  Best of all, we can still manage some teeny tiny piggy tails.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sweet Summertime

Ariana and I have been spending the week with her much-adored cousin Brice, Aunt, & Uncle and finding lots of photo opportunities.  I am taking class with the fabulous Lisa so that has worked out perfectly.  These are a few of my all-time favorites.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ice Cream Outing

Ariana is fascinated with the drive-thru concept.  She thinks it's magical that we talk to people in a box and then food appears for us at a window.  Disclaimer:  We don't ordinarily give her junk food, but she does occasionally enjoy a few french fries.  This was her first soft-serve, but we do give her real ice cream.

Monday, April 2, 2012

One Year with Ariana

We cannot believe it has been one year since we first held Ariana in our arms.  She has gone through so much in her short life and we are in awe of her spirit and resilience.  Over the past year she has learned about love and family, learned to walk, talk, and trust.  We love her more anything and she is the greatest blessing we could ever ask for.

*Scroll to the bottom of the page and turn off Playlist before starting the video

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Gifts and Late CNY Celebration

This past weekend we attended our local Families with Children from China Chinese New Year get together.  Last year the event was held shortly after we got our referral so everyone was pretty excited to see Ariana in person. At first she was a little intimidated by the crowd, but before long she was leading the older girls around.

She even loved the dragon parade! Every year they lay down tons of bubble wrap to simulate the sound of firecrackers and she had a ball stomping on it.  The pictures don't do the dragon justice as it's made from a very beautiful silk one of the families brought back with them.

Thursday we opened the mail to find some adorable bows from Mia!  Her mommy also sent a template so my creations aren't so lopsided.  Thanks Gina!

Our friends the K's gave us a Lamb Chop puppet.  If you are as old as me you might remember his TV show. It has a voice box and we're pretty sure Ariana thinks it's alive.  So cute.

My fabulous cousin Brice was in town and helped me get ready for the party!

These three beauties are all former students of mine.  Ariana really took to them.

Now, if only my hair would grow!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Love at First Sight

It is almost impossible to believe that today marks one year since we saw Ariana's picture for the first time. I remember every detail of that Friday afternoon like it was yesterday.  My fifth grade students all knew what was going on and why I had my cell phone out.  At about 1:40 p.m. it went off and when I saw my agency's name I started jumping up and down and the kids all started cheering.  Lynn, my social worker, told me I'd want to check my email. I sent my class off to PE and waited (very impatiently) for Steve to get to school so we could look together.

We opened the email we had waited so many years for and found a beautiful 11-month old named Songhao Jiang looking back at us.  She was at the Jiangcheng SWI in Yangjiang, Guangdong, China.  I remember the mixture of excitement and happiness and also being surprised by how much genuine love I already felt for her.

The time since then has moved at warp speed.  We broke out one of our silk outfits today and headed to my parents' house to take some pictures.  They have big windows with lots of natural light but my subject wasn't having any part of sitting still.

Hundreds of pictures later this will always be my all-time favorite.

She looks a little spicy here and she is!  We think these pictures
 were probably taken in November of 2010 when her medical paperwork
was put together so she would've been about 8 1/2 months old.

Then and now

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Christmas Card

This is a copy of the Christmas card we've been waiting years and years to send.  It was surreal to finally see it in living color.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Best Christmas Ever!

Ariana loves her new kitchen and spends lots of time each day cooking up a storm.    Mommy and Daddy have eaten a lot of plastic food and air.

Two new babies moved in and she's especially fond of this one's "binky."

After a nap the party moved to Grandma and Papa's house where she opened everyone's presents.

Even though she was still playing with her new toys at 11:00p.m. the next day we got up early and headed to the Twin Cities for round 3 at Grandma Judy's.  On the 28th we headed back home where Ariana's much idolized cousin Brice and her fabulous Aunt and Uncle spent some time at their cottage near us.

The boat pulling has become somewhat of a ritual whenever these two are together-so cute!

Monday, January 9, 2012

22 Months Old

Today Ariana turns 22 months old.  We can't believe how quickly time has passed or that she'll be two in just 8 weeks.  Every day we love her more than the day before.

December 26, 2011

April 6, 2011
White Swan Hotel