Monday was my last day of school until August.  Aidan got out last Thursday.  This summer I will have Brody every Tuesday, Ricky and Matthew Monday through Thursday, and Aidan will go to summer school for five weeks (half-days) Monday through Thursday beginning next week.  Here are some early shots of summer:
Picture
Picture
Aidan picked flowers for me today; this is his first bouquet for his Mommy, so it's very special.  This afternoon I went to check on what he was doing, and found him very busy making a book for Daddy.
Picture
Picture
Here is what the book, called All About Daddy, says:
I work on the race car
I smile at Aidan
I sleep with the dog
I go to the store
I eat eggs
I play with Aidan
I play fetch with the dog
I eat bacon
I work every day
I watch the Red Sox

Remember, this from a child who has only been in America since October of 2008 and knew no English beforehand.  He just turned six in April.  This is amazing!  Our first daughter could not write one sentence until June of her first grade year, and she had been to both preschool and kindergarten and English was her first language.  She is certainly no slouch academically-she definitely caught up-but Aidan is really very bright.
 
 
Picture
I am addicted to Diet Coke.  I used to drink TaB, and made the switch to Diet Coke about 13 years ago by alternating one TaB, one Diet Coke, until I made the transition.  I have tried many times to give the Diet Coke up and have even asked doctors for help.  One said to reduce my intake by 1/2 can a day until I was done with it-any addict can tell you that that works for only a few people.  One said to have a small amount each morning, never again during the day, and no other source of caffeine during the day (no problem-I don't drink anything else except water and milk; but I don't like to drink soda in the morning).  So I'm going cold turkey this week.  The cravings and headaches might be happening, but as luck would have it, I've got a double ear infection, sinus infection, and strep throat, so if I'm sick from Diet Coke withdrawal, I wouldn't know it; a blessing in disguise.

 
 
My father (1923-1993) has one word on his tombstone beneath his name:  Steadfast.  Mom chose it, and it is appropriate for him.

If I were to choose one word for G, it would be the same.  He is constant.  Reliable.  Giving.

Aidan has already figured this out.  He tried to have his first overnight with his big sister at my sister's house.  I stayed up, expecting a call, and at 10:15 we got it.  He asked to come home, G went and got him, and in the truck he said to his father, "I just can't sleep without you".  G lays down with him every night.  So this morning G says to me, he may not say I love you yet, but he's mine.
 
 
I had a page called The Second Time Around, but now that this adoption is moving again-all of my ducks are starting to get in a row-it is time to move the information about our little girl into the main blog.
Picture
She was six in March and when she comes home she will be in kindergarten-one year behind Aidan, even though she is exactly eight weeks older than him.  At some point, after language mastery, she may move up to be in his grade, but this will give them separate identities at first which I think is good.

Her name is Min Yu Qiang which means that she is probably called Qiang or Qiang-Qiang.  That would be pronounced Cheeyong.  She lives in Guizhou Province and is officially referred by the Anshun City Social Welfare Institute, but lives in a foster home.  She is shy and very close to her foster mother.  She has untreated club feet, the true club feet, but can do everything any other kid can.

Our homestudy visit was on March 12-we only needed the one since we are returning adoptive parents and our last one for Aidan was in November.  This week we should get our last document needed to complete that leg of the journey.

The last week of May I met with the pediatric orthopaedist who operated on our first daughter, PB, when she had a growth defect with one leg.  He also sees her youngest, Matthew, for his turned foot.  He says that, despite the way this girl's feet look, she has no pain.  When she gets home, she can have surgery right after coming home or wait a few months.  We can have one foot done at a time or both.  She will have callouses just like we do on our heels, but on the side of her ankles.  He said whether or not she has the surgery at six or seven doesn't matter, but the difference between, say, six and nine would be pretty significant and then complicate things.

Her name will be Eva, after my mother's mother who died three years before I was born.  Aidan doesn't like that name, but too bad-this will be my only chance to use it, and no one else in our family is going to since they're all done having kids.
 
 
Aidan has eight days of school left.  He is spending every afternoon building forts with all of his bedding and one of our sofas.  He has even commandeered the flashlight kept just for emergency power outages.  This weekend I took him to a graduation party for three of the girls in my women's studies group and he fell in love with the hamster.  Now he wants one of his own.  I don't think this is an idle request; I think he wants very much to have something that is just his, something that he chose for himself.  As much as he loves Mangus, the youngest dog, who sleeps with him every night, he didn't pick Mangus out.

This weekend our son and grandson came over for a while and played ball with Aidan outside.  Brody and I also picked some strawberries.  All the recent rain has helped plump them up.
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
We finally got our tax return back this weekend.  Our accountant had to give up his tax customers due to his wife's illness, and we've been spoiled by him for 20 years, but honestly, this CPA firm had our stuff for two months and only filed it after I called three times this week asking where our return was. 

Then today we had our final medical appointment, so within a week we should probably have the last notarized document we need for the home study.

So now I'm able to actually move forward in many ways and feel like we're moving forward, with the second adoption.  Phew!
 
 
Picture