Friday, September 14, 2012


I have been a very bad blogger thanks to facebook. Since we just celebrated one year home, I thought it was about time to update the blog.  I started writing posts about Anya over the past year, but only snippets.

Forever Family Day 8/14/11

We met Anya in a conference room of the Crowne Plaza in Nanchang on August 14. We woke up Nikolai from his afternoon nap and asked if he wanted to come with us to meet his baby sister. He said yes, so the five of us (with my parents) headed down to the conference room. I told Nikolai that I would have to hold Anya some, and he reached out to Chris to be carried (he ALWAYS wants me to carry him, so this was very sweet). When we got to the conference room, most of the other traveling families were already there and they told us our baby would be arriving second. We were all just talking when suddenly the first baby came in! Our guide jumped up and mumbled something about not receiving a call. A few moments later a girl walked in carrying Anya. We walked up and the girl turned around and was looking in a box. She pulled out a box of something and handed it to Chris – I think – I couldn’t take my eyes off of Anya! She was wearing a cute little yellow outfit with pale salmon colored socks. She had her name tag tightly clutched in her hand. When they handed her to me, she stared right into my eyes like she was trying to read my soul. We went back to our seat, and she continued to stare at us. Nikolai was really excited and offered her a toy and wanted to hold her. She didn’t cry, or smile – just stared.


1 week home 8/31/12

Anya is amazing! We are so in love. We are just starting to get to know her personality, but it is fun to see the similarities and differences between her and Nikolai. Like Nikolai, she really likes to get out and be around people and see new things. Unlike Nikolai, she is a snuggler, who pushes her head into our chest like she wants to meld with us. She gives big wet baby kisses – even kissing Nikolai, which thoroughly disturbs him. She is also more reserved - at least so far - and quietly smiles or giggles or complain-cries. The main time she really cries is when she is in the car seat. She cannot understand why we won’t pick her up!

1 month home 9/20/12

 Nikolai is an extraordinary kid. I know all parents feel that way about their kids, but he truly amazes us every day. September 6 was his first day back at daycare. It was a rough morning – in part because he had been up a lot at night with bloody noses. But apparently drop-off went well, especially after his friend Ben came up to him to show off his batman shirt. It didn’t hurt that his Captain America toy, who had been brought for Show and Share and lost the last day before going to China, was back in his cubby.  When I picked him up in the afternoon, as soon as he saw us he ran over and exclaimed “Anya!! I missed you so much.” His teachers said all he talked about all day was Anya.


6 months home, 16 months old

Anya’s words:

Uh oh
Kai (Nikolai)
Mo (more)
Boooo (book)
Boa (ball)
Cacker (cracker)
Pu or ff – but not both at the same time (puffs)
Goggle (bottle)
Mik (milk)
Bye/ bye bye
Kank ou (Thank you)
Shakes head no and yes
Growls for animals (all animals, even birds growl in her mind)

Today – 9/14/12

Anya has really come out of her shell over the past year. She is still really snuggly, and would prefer to be held almost all of the time. She is quite a handful and full of herself. I have lost count of the number of words she says and I think having a talkative big brother really helps her vocabulary. She pretty much runs the house, often ordering us to “come on, sit down!” At the same time, she imitates her big brother constantly and says and does just what he does. She has only minimal tolerance for reading books, other than looking at the word books with pictures. She loves dancing and coloring and singing. I think she would live outside if she could, and taking her outside so far is enough to head off tantrums. When she doesn’t get what she wants on occasion she will scream at the top of her lungs! She can walk up the stairs, alternating feet if she is holding your hand. Anya’s voice is so loud that even when she giggles everyone turns to look. Her favorite food right now is steamed broccoli! She has a particular smile that we call “Anya smile” that she will do on command (as will Nikolai) Life is good! Tiring, but good.