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6 posts from July 2005

July 29, 2005

Where's the FedEx Guy?

I've been waiting all day for Gwen's picture to arrive via FedEx from USAA. Every time I hear anything remotely sounding like a FedEx truck, I jump up and run to the door! So far, I've greeted the trash truck, the #31 City Transit bus, the yard trimmings collection truck, and the mailman.
~~~~ * ~~~~
(Later) Hey! Look who finally showed up!? I actually chased this nice FedEx guy down and made him back up the truck and get out and pose for this picture! I told him he was "delivering" our baby girl (in that envelope) and he needed to pose just like any proud Obstetrician would! He seemed very happy to play a part in this wonderful journey. (Pictures of Gwen below)

July 28, 2005

The City of Gwen's Birth...

This is Shenzhen in Guangdong province.

Shenzhen is a city in southern China in Guangdong province. It is located on the border with Hong Kong on the Hong Kong-Guangzhou Railway. Shenzhen and the area around it became China's first Special Economic Zone in 1980. The Chinese government established Special Economic Zones when it began to open the economy to foreign investors. These zones offer lower tax rates than the rest of China and other incentives to investment. Before 1980, Shenzhen, then called Bao'an, was an undeveloped town of 20,000 inhabitants. It grew rapidly once it became a Special Economic Zone. Its central location between Hong Kong and Guangzhou also made it an ideal place to locate industry. Light industry, especially the production of arts and crafts, textiles, footwear, clothing, medicines, and building materials, is important to the city's economy. Shenzhen also supplies food and water to Hong Kong. Population (1991) 204,972.

Gwen's Orphanage

Here's Gwen's orphanage. It's located in the city of Shenzhen (Guangdong Province) in the People's Republic of China. Click on the picture to see a larger view.

I've heard conflicting reports that there are between 150 and 600 children here. In 2003, Wal-Mart donated several air-conditioners to the Shenzhen Social Welfare Institution (SWI). This would make it one of just a few in China to have such a luxury.

There are many different age groups of children here and many of the rooms look like a typical school classroom. The "Baby Room" looks more like a middle class US day care center than an orphanage. There are soft play mats on the floor to protect the babies from bumps and falls and lots of bright colors and light to fill the room. There are lots of toys and it seems to be very well organized. I've heard that the children are very accustomed to structure.

Some orphanages have steel cribs with no mattresses or bedding so I was really relieved to see that the cribs at the Shenzhen SWI are very nice. There are mattresses and blankets and even pillows for the babies! There are toys attached to the cribs too!

It's much easier to endure the wait knowing that Gwen is not physically suffering. Hopefully we'll have her home soon and someday we'll show her all of these pictures of her first home and her first playmates.

Our Referral

           Introducing our daughter,

Born: June 2004
Place:  ShenZhen SWI in Guangdong Province
Height/weight: 18.7 lbs and 27.9 inches tall at 11 months

* She has four little toothies!
* She can pull herself up to stand
* She’s able to take a few steps if you hold her hand
* She can stand unassisted for a moment
* Recognizes people and is close to her caretaker
* Can pick up toys
* Can sit unassisted
* Can crawl
* Likes to eat biscuits
* Likes listening to music
* Likes playing with toys




Look at those cute little toes!










Such a serious face!  I bet she has a smile to light up a room though!  (update:  Yes, she does!!)

July 21, 2005

Proof that babies do grow up...

We just got our son's Senior pictures in the mail today.

If you're a parent already, you know how fast our kids grow up. If you're not a parent yet, it'll be one of your first big shocks!

As we prepare for Gwen, I can't help but still remember every detail of Michael's babyhood just like it was yesterday. I remember his favorite clothes and toys and foods. And look at him now... 17 years old and wearing such a look of confidence on his gorgeous face! My first baby! Smart, funny, kind, and a gifted musician. My heart still swells with pride when I look at the person he's become.

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