Sunday, January 27, 2008

Looking back on our trip to China with love

Here are some emails we sent and received when we first arrived in Beijing:

Subject: nI HAO! We have arrived and ARE FINE!!!!

Dear Mom and everyone,

>>Good morning my darling Harry! We love you!<<

Here we are at the SAS Radisson in Beijing. We're going to rest for awhile, then go out and buy bottled water (can't drink or brush teeth with tap water here) before we have a good clean-up after the plane. More details will be on the blog in a few minutes, so follow the continuing saga of Bringing Xiao-Ling Home! Now things are starting to get exciting.

Mark & Jacquie
From: Aunt Jackie in Westchester

hi jacquie & mark...
i think there's a dash between xiao and ling in the address of the blog because it didn't get highlighted in blue in my email...just fyi
harry is very good and listened to your phone message this morning. i had a dentist's appt and he came with me AND HE GOT TO PICK A PRESENT FROM THE TOY CHEST!
afterward we went to pizza pizzazz where we had guess what for lunch and he got to play games in their little arcade...with his winning tickets he got to pick a prize...are you so proud? a whoopie cushion!
his favorite thing to do was play test drive where he sits and steers a car on the video screen...
love to you all - hope the day was great!
mark: glad your dream was just a dream and you picked the right starbucks!
ps harry sends kisses and love...


great to hear from you, my and zeida's wishes are with you. much love ,
grandma bubbe Molly


We are soooooooooooooooooooo excited for you. The blog is wonderful. Mom just called and said that she spoke to her granddaughter!!!! Zowee!!!! Sounds like she is a real sweety!
Love you! Elaine & Elliott

Everytime I come home, I run to the computer to see if there is nore on the blog or an e mail from you. This is soooooooooo wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Xiao-Ling sounds and looks adorable. Quite a little independent little girl! We are hanging on your every word!!!!
Love you.
Off to bed-- it is 11:21 PM and time for some shut eye.
More tomorrow.

I am thrilled with all your messages. She sounds like a real sweetheart. Talked to Harry, he actually talked to me, seems very happy & they love him. So what's not to love !!! Hope you get this Love Mom, Mama Omi.


I have been devotedly reading your blog and am quite in love with our newest little one. She looks so American in her little jeans! I know the anxieties you both are facing and yet in a year, not really, probably like six months, they will be long gone memories. She will be watching sponge-bob with Harry and they will be fighting as if they have always been brother and sister. And they have, they just didnt know it the day they were born.

And now for something totally different. I was reading the comments on the blog and one person asked you to bring them back a Starbuck's mug. I too collect Starbuck's stuff, but only the cards that you put money on. If you wont mind, would you pick me up every different one that you see? They are free and you dont have to load any money on them. It would be a real coup for me to have Starbuck's cards from China. I would be totally indebted to you. Selfish, I know, but my gratitude runs deep.
kisses to you and X-L. what a sweetie.


Back to the voice of the mom now. Xiao-Ling loves Spongebob Squarepants! All I have to do is sing or whistle "who-lives-in-a-pineapple-under-the-sea" and she responds in perfect rhythm!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Name of the Dame

On Sunday we formally, publicly welcomed Xiao-Ling into the Jewish community. At last, we unveil her names to you:

Given name: Miriam Xiao-Ling Leora Shuchat-Marx

Hebrew Name: Ariel Rina Devorah bat [daughter of] Moshe David v'heHazzan Yaakova Leah

Here's the lowdown on how she got her names:

Miriam = for Mark's grandfather Morris "Red" Shuchat, whom I called Zeyde. Zeyde did live well into meeting and knowing Harry. We have some great photos and film of him all smiles as the wee boy crawls all over him. Also for Mark Whitt and for Marc Orchant, both of blessed memory.

Xiao-Ling = well d'uh, it's her birth name! Means "dawn bell."

Leora = for my paternal aunt Leonie, who raised my father from a pup, prepared his Bar Mitzvah luncheon of calves' foot jelly (in their Orthodox community I'd have to assume it was the front feet) and other South German delectables, cooked for at least five generations of family in her 94 years and could make "Don't fall" sound like "I love you."

Ariel = for my other paternal aunt Anny, who also raised my father from a pup, taught him how to live, and sent him home-knit and -sewn comforts while he fought in WWII - including a double-sized sleeping bag she'd made by fastening two together.

Rina = for our dear friend Renee, a lovely cantor who left us far too soon. Rina was Renee's Hebrew name and it means "singing."

Devorah = for another dear soul who left too early - my sweet Dara, the most loving wife, mother and friend you could possibly imagine, and the funniest too. Her heart was made of Torah.

it was a perfect day, surrounded by family, friends and congregation. What more could we ask?
Don't ask!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Happy New Year!

Greetings, everyone. I know we've been terrible at keeping up with you. Last night was my first near-normal sleep since December 15. The kids are crazy about each other and we can't keep them asleep upstairs because they play all night, so they're sleeping in our room for the time being. I know, I know...but if somebody (namely Mark & me) don't get a proper rest, it won't be good for any of the four of us. So, onward!

This past Friday night, as we sat down to prepare lighting candles for Shabbat, Xiao-Ling said, "Baruch Atah!" before we even mentioned what we were about to do. Wow!

Ta-Ta for now.