Maggie Makes Four!

This journal started off documenting the adoption of our youngest daughter. It now follows the twist and turns of our lives as we raise these two amazing little creatures into the best women they can become.

Monday, December 27, 2004

2004 Family Update

Well..since we actually mailed some Holiday Cards and gave out this URL, I thought I better write some sort of "Year in Review" so our friends don't have to read clear back to Oct. 1 to get caught up. Besides, there was lots of stuff that happened before Oct. 1 worth mentioning.

As you may have guessed by now, the highlight of 2004 was adopting a second daughter from China. The process only took 10.5 months to complete, start to finish. It took us 18 months to adopt La Nina. We started our paperwork for our second adoption in January, assuming that we would travel to meet our little girl sometime in early 2005. Well, China had other plans and the process sped up considerably while we were waiting. By mid-September, we had pictures of the darling Sui Yu Zhen, soon to be our Margaret Michael Yuzhen aka Maggie. Our second daughter was in our arms November 15 and came home to her waiting sister on November 26.

Maggie was a little over 12 months old when we met her and walking, so her transition into our family has been very different than La Nina's. If you read further into this journal, you will learn she has evolved into perfect addition to our family. She is a happy, zany little girl who has no trouble keeping her older sister in line. Maggie is very loud and very busy. Not that La Nina isn't loud or busy, it is just Maggie takes it to a different level. Maggie just loves to make noise. Whether with her voice or with a toy, if it is loud, Maggie is happy.

La Nina will be three in early March and is turning into a little girl before our eyes. She started pre-school this Summer and it works well with her very social nature. She lives for Dora the Explorer and loves to tell us all about Swiper's latest antics. She also likes the Disney Princesses and enjoyed Disneyland greatly on her 2nd birthday. She and I participate in a playgroup every Friday and she has taken a couple of gymnastic classes this year. She really has had a fun year. Hard to believe we celebrated her 2nd Family Day a couple of weeks ago.

La Nina and Maggie's Dad continues to do well. The Hop Yards continue to thrive- hard to believe it's been some 11 years since opening the first one in Pleasanton. He has stepped down from some of his community activities to dedicate more time to our growing family. He loves being a Dad and hanging with his girls. He is bitter about Cal's BCS Bowl snub, but I am sure he will recover. And he is perhaps the greatest proponent of my blogging, since more "online" venting has equated to less "spousal" venting.

As for me, well, I have my hands full. The girls keep me on my toes. I am on leave from work to take care of Maggie until May. So far, the time is flying. I am working harder now than I ever have at any paying job. I still enjoy my Saturday morning hikes with the girls and dogs, and have greatly enjoyed writing daily to keep this journal up to date. I appreciate so much living near family. I don't know how I would manage without all of their support.

Family highlights from the year included: A trip to Disneyland for La Nina's second birthday in March, a trip to provincial China in April to visit La Nina's orphanage, a trip to San Diego in August with the families we traveled to China with to adopt La Nina and of course, nothing compared to our trip to China in November to adopt our precious Maggie.

Overall, 2004 was a wonderful year for us. We hope that it was a wonderful year for your family as well.


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