Things are going good

Life is starting to settle into the comfort zone. I think that Sophia is starting to figure out what it is like to be in a family. Sophia continues to be quieter and helpful.

The Girls playing out in the snow

The Girls playing out in the snow

Katie in the Snow

Katie in the Snow

Trying to keep busy during snow

Trying to keep busy during snow
Sophia and Maddie making Monkey Bread

Sophia made a heart in the Cinnamon/Sugar

Sophia made a heart in the Cinnamon/Sugar

Monkey Bread-Finished Product

Monkey Bread-Finished Product

Children's Museum

Children's Museum
On the Runway at the Barbie exhibit

Children's Museum

Children's Museum
Maddie on the Runway

Children's Musuem

Children's Musuem
Katie on the Runway

Children's Museum

Children's Museum
Katie on the Barbie Phone

Children's Museum

Children's Museum
Sophia and Katie

Almost Home 5 Months

We have almost been home 5 months with Sophia which is so hard to believe. It seems like we are in kind of a settled mode but confusing mode. When Sophia first came home she laughed a lot and was very loud. There were times that her laugh seemed kind of fake or a nervous laugh. She seemed so happy but yet nervous as well. Sophia has gotten a lot quieter all of a sudden. I wonder sometimes if she is missing her life from before or if she is just settling in with our family. She doesn't seem sad but just not as giddy as she was when she came home. I keep thinking that she will hit a low at some point where she finally realizes that this is her life now and she really has left her whole world behind her. I wouldn't blame her at all. I just can't imagine at 14 leaving everything behind to make a new life with complete strangers and to be surrounded by people that don't speak my language at all. I feel that Sophia is such a strong young person for allowing herself to be adopted and to try to make a better life for herself. I often wonder what she has been told by the people in China about American families and I also wonder what has happened in her past 14 years. I am hoping that some day Sophia will open up completely with us and tell us about her life in China. We have heard some but I am sure there is so much to hear. Then I also wonder if there are some bad things that happened to her that she has completely blocked out of her memory. When we first came home Sophia was very clingy to me. She would sit practically on top of me on the couch or on the arm of the chair where I was sitting. That was hard for me at times. This past week I have been sick and we had a major ice storm which caused the schools to be closed for 4 days this week. Also along with bad weather Dave is at work most of the time. The past week has been somewhat stressful and I have been a bit short tempered. I also don't want my kids to get my cold so I try to keep my distance. I found myself asking Sophia to not sit so close to me on the couch. I wonder if because of my actions if that is why Sophia is quieter. I am trying to correct Sophia on mothering Katie so much. She is always telling Katie not to do something, to put something down, to be quiet, not to whine, etc. The funny thing is that Sophia does a lot of these things as well. It was interesting today, Sophia and Maddie were playing ball outside and wouldn't let Katie play with them or should I say Sophia wouldn't let Katie play with them. Katie was whining about it and Sophia just kept telling her to stop. I found another ball in the garage and began to play with Katie. I feel sorry for her being the younger one and getting dumped on. While Katie and I were playing ball Maddie decided to go in. Sophia then came over to us and as Katie and I threw the ball back and forth she began to whine because the ball wouldn't come to her. Her whine got as annoying as Katie's had. I told Sophia that she didn't want Katie playing with them so we were playing. I also told her that she was whining just like she had told Katie not to do. Sophia didn't like that and went in. I feel that we need to correct Sophia on these things because if we don't then she will think that it is appropriate behavior for our home. I feel like lately that is about all I get done with Sophia. I think that I am feeling comfortable enough with her to be her mother instead of her best friend. Sophia is beginning to help me with things around the house. With Dave being gone she will help out with dinner or help me put the food on the table when it is ready. She says, "I help you". Sophia is always wanting her clothes cleaned. It seems like to me that she has plenty in her closet but she still wants the dirty ones cleaned. I keep telling her that she can clean them if she wants them. I'm not very good about getting to the laundry on certain days of the week. I thought that it was interesting tonight at dinner Sophia asked if I would show her how to wash her clothes. Wow, I was shocked. I told her that I would and she seemed happy about that and said "tomorrow". We are continuing to take a few hours on the weekend to pick up and clean the house which I like a lot. Not only does it give the kids responsibility but it also helps me out so much. This is too big of a house and too many people in it for me to do on my own. I have found that Maddie is keeping her things picked up better knowing that she will have to pick them up over the weekend. Maddie is also beginning to take showers more often and without being asked. Sophia takes one daily so I think that is starting to rub off on Maddie as well. So I am seeing good things out of Maddie and Sophia. We still have our sibling issues but for the most part Maddie and Sophia are getting along pretty well. This weekend we had about 3-4 inches of ice hit on Friday. Our yards were a solid sheet of ice. The girls had a great time taking sleds and sliding down our yard. Then on Sat we got 5 inches of snow on top of the ice which covered the ice on the yard and took away the fun of sliding down the yard. Sophia seems to enjoy playing in the snow but tells me that she doesn't like the cold. I am sure this summer she will complain that it is too hot as well. Katie continues to do good and is a typical 4 year old that likes to push buttons and drive the two older girls crazy. Katie is so smart but doesn't seem to have a bit of common sense. I can't wait to see what this little girl becomes when she grows up. This weekend was the Chinese New Year. We had planned to go to a Chinese restaurant in Mooresville Indiana to have lunch with some other adoptive families. We were invited by a lady that I have been chatting with on a yahoo group that has adopted 10 kids from China. It was today at noon and at about the time that we should be leaving the snow was coming down very heavy. We were afraid of what the weather would be like when we got done with lunch and started to head home. We decided not to go. I was really looking forward to meeting some of the families that I had chatted with. One being the lady that gave us the name of our Social Worker for Sophia's adoption that we just love. Hoping that we can make other plans to meet some of these families at another date. The one family that have adopted 10 kids from China has a 15 year old daughter that was adopted at 11 years old. She can still speak Chinese. I was really looking forward to getting her and Sophia together. I am hoping that they can develop a relationship. Sophia hasn't made any friends that she does anything outside of school with yet. I think that will help so much when that happens. It would be nice to see her make a friend that she can go shopping with, go to the movies with or just hang out. We have a 13 year old girl that just moved in 3 doors down and her mom and I would like to get the girls together some time. They stand out at the bus stop together every morning but it doesn't appear that any of them speak a word to each other. Sophia is doing wonderful with her English so hopefully once she gets to feel more confident with her English she will make some friends. Things continue to move forward here at the Huffman house. Hoping that school goes back Monday but I'm not holding my breathe after 5 inches of snow today and more to come tomorrow. Plus the bus stop still has about 5 inches of ice on it. I will continue to update the good and the bad of our crazy little world. I have a few pictures to post as well but for some reason Sophia has decided that she doesn't want to be in the pictures at all. Ok I guess we will see what tomorrow brings. Tomorrow is always another day.

Need to stop looking at files of kids

I occasionally look at emails that I get that have kids waiting to be adopted. I know with both of our adoptions I just knew when I saw them they were to be part of our family. So usually I just look and that is it. The kids are so cute but then when I read their special needs it is usually something that I don't feel that our family or at least me could deal with. Well the other day I received the newsletter from IAAP - Bringing Hope to Children and there was a little girl that was 6. She had been found by herself on a train when she was 5. She was so cute and I just couldn't imagine anyone leaving her on a train by herself. I showed her picture to my husband. I also told him that she was deaf. Dave went to college for Sign Language but has not done much with it except for helping a deaf boy at our church's youth group. I have always wondered why God had lead him into taking Sign Language classes. During both of our adoptions I wondered if we would be led to adopt a child that was deaf. Maybe this was Gods plan all along. Dave and I have both said that we don't see us adopting again but if it is Gods will then we will follow. 5 years ago I couldn't imagine that we would adopt one much less 2 and travel to China with 9 months of each other. Anyway Dave and I had lunch together yesterday and he asked me if I felt like we would adopt again. I told him that I didn't know but I kind have been wanting to do something to stay involved. Whether that be advocating for kids, starting a business to either help people with adoption forms or travel to Indianapolis for adoption business for families since we live so close. I asked him what he thought. He said that he didn't think we would until I showed him the picture of the little 6 year old girl that was deaf. I was shocked. I figured if I ever got the adoption bug again I would really have to talk him into it. I told him that I thought that we would adopt a deaf child but hadn't felt led at this point by God to do it. Well now he has gotten me thinking about this beautiful little girl. It is funny because Sophia keeps asking us to go back to China to adopt again. The last time she said it though she said that she wanted someone to talk Chinese with. I told her by the time we even would get thru the process and bring a child home she probably wouldn't be talking much Chinese. This child being deaf she can't talk but I guess Sophia could talk to her but I don't think that she is wanting. I guess we will pray for now and see where God leads us. I know with the other two I knew that God wanted us to adopt and there were signs all over the place and I jumped in with both feet running, not looking back and without thinking. I really don't feel that our family is ready to start this process at this point but we will see what the future holds. Maybe this will be the beginning of my advocating for these kids. Only God knows.

Still doing good

Sophia is still doing good. Her and Madison continue to get along for the most part. Of course we have small things here and there but the girls are learning to just go their separate ways for a bit or to leave the other one alone if they don't want to be bothered. Sophia brought up the other day that when she turned 18 she wanted to go back to China. I said to visit or live. She said to live. I had had a very long day with my mom at the doctors office and was very hurt by that comment. My first response was then why in the world to you want to be adopted. Madison thought that was a mean comment. I don't think that Sophia followed what I said because I said it so quickly. I know that we have been home under 5 months and it is still early for her to be attached to our family and the US at this point. I know that if I was 14 I would be thinking that I wanted to go back to live where I was from. I am hoping that in 4 years she will change her mind about all of that. That evening when I was sitting on the couch Sophia came up and sat almost on top of me (as usual) and laid her head on my shoulder. I kept thinking if you want to move back to China when you are 18 why are you clinging on to me so much. I have thought about her comment and have come to realize that this is a normal thought for an older child. I have been told that these kids are told to come to America and get an education and then they can come back. In realty I wonder how many kids actually what to go back after a few years of living in a family that loves and cares for them or try to go back. Dave made the comment to her that she was an American citizen now and he wasn't sure how easy it would be for her to go back and live. I hadn't really thought about that. She could probably get a visa and go back for a visit but live there I'm not sure. I guess we will cross that bridge when we come to it. I went to the Social Security office yesterday to apply for Sophia's SSN card so that we could file our taxes as soon as everything was in. They said that I had all of the correct paperwork but since Sophia was over 12 she would have to be with me when I apply for it. I wondered about that but never looked into it. How crazy. If they ask her any complicated questions she probably won't be able to answer them anyway. Hopefully she needs to be present. The only problem is that they are open 9-4 and that means that I would have to take Sophia out of school to get that done. Sophia gets home at 3:10 and not sure that I could get to Anderson before 4:00. I need to call and see if as long as I am there by 4:00 will I get helped. If so we would probably be ok.

Moving forward again

Well we seem to moving forward again. Yeah. Sophia got over her mood regardging not having any computer, ipod, ect. Thank goodness. This past weekend Sophia's friend from China that was adopted to a family in Illinois came to stay with us for an overnight. They seemed to have a good time. Playing out in the snow, chatting, watching Chinese videos, listening to Chinese music, doing each others hair, talking with other friends that were adopted to the US on the phone and skype, laughing and just having fun. Exactly what you are suppose to do with a friend at a sleepover. Sophia's friend can speak a little more English then Sophia can. It was interesting hearing that the girls came into the orphanage about a month apart, leaving the orphanage when they were 8 years old to live with separate foster families that lived close together, went to school together their entire lives, adopted a month from each other about a week before each of them turned 14 and would have aged out of the orphanage, and now live about 4 hours from each other. 4 hours may sound like a far distance away but considering other girls have been adopted to families in Florida, Texas, California, North Carolina and South Carolina which are a pretty good travel distance from Indiana, 4 hours is pretty good. Sophia was adopted in Sept 2010 and her friend was adopted August 2010 and they have already been able to visit each others home. 2 visits in 5 months isn't too bad. They both come from a rough childhood so I am sure that it is nice for each of them to see that they are now with forever families that care for them and love them very much. That has to be a huge relief for these 2 girls that have been together their entire lives.

Dave and I got into a conversation with Sophia last night about hitting. I don't remember why we started this topic. She has been bad about smacking Dave. Not is a mean way but joking but still the hitting really bothers Dave. We know that is just a way of her showing her affection for Dave without getting too close. I told her that we don't hit anyone and that she shouldn't hit her Daddy. She said ok. She said that her "China family no good" and said that they hit her. Dave told her that we would never hit her. He said that we would give her high five (and he gave her a high five) and told her that we would hug her (and he hugged her) but not hit. She seemed very happy about that and hugged Dave back.

Last night we decided to give Sophia back her iPod. We weren't going to give it back to her at all after what had happened but she has been very good about not asking for it and snooping for it. We decided to put some of her favorite Chinese and American music on it. No qq and no internet access. She asked about getting utube but I told her only music for now, no internet and utube was on the internet. I also made it very clear that the it would be collected at night at bedtime on school nights. She said ok. Sophia and I sat down at the computer and looked for some music on itunes. Amazing that you can find Chinese music on itunes. Who would have known. Sophia picked out 30 songs and I downloaded them on to her iPod. Sophia also loves Hannah Montanna so Dave downloaded the songs of hers that we had onto her iPod as well. Sophia was so excited to get her iPod back and to have her music. The bad thing was that we did this close to bedtime on Sunday night. What was we thinking. She was running around listening to her music and wasn't ready to go to bed. We let her listen to it for awhile and then I went into the girls bedroom and collected the electronics. Sophia happily gave hers over asking if she could have it in the morning to listen on the bus on the way to school. I told her yes and she was excited.

Last night I was looking thru pictures on the computer and Sophia saw a picture of our house with the firetruck ladder going to our roof. I explained to her that right before she came to live with us that our house had been hit by lightning and Jake's room had caught on fire. That got us talking about the weather that we get here. We were talking about thunder, lightning and tornados. She came downstairs and was telling Dave about it. When I came downstairs she was sitting right next to Dave on the couch and Dave had the computer showing her pictures of lightning and tornados. They also looked up a map on the computer and Dave showed her a map of the United States and was pointing out where all her friends that have been adopted live. I know a small map is so hard for her to understand how far apart they all live. They are told that they are being adopted to the United States and I think that they think that they will live close enough to each other to visit whenever they want to. Dave was telling her how far it was to each state by driving and flying. She told us that she didn't like to fly. I found that odd since she traveled about 20 hours on a airplane when we came home from China and never said a word about it. I am sure that she was in a state of shock during the travel home. I bet that if we would tell her that she could get on a plane tomorrow and go visit one of her friends she would be there in a heart beat. This was a great bonding night for Dave and Sophia. I was so excited to see them sitting close together on the couch looking at the computer together. Sophia is usually all over me all evening and saying Mommy this and Mommy that. I have felt like changing my name to something other then Mommy. I have noticed the past few days that she is not all over me constantly and not yelling my Mommy a million times in an evening. Those two things are huge steps forward to our family bonding. I am sure we will take steps backward again at some point but for now we are going in the right direction.

Oh one more thing that I wanted to mention. Last night when we were talking about weather Sophia went and got her translator to tell us about the weather in China. When she was typing on her translator she paused for a minute and asked her what was wrong. She said I forget my Chinese. I said, "already, you have only been here for 4 months?" She said, "just alittle". I found that interesting since she spoke and wrote Chinese for 14 years. I told her that I didn't want her to lose her Chinese.

Sophia's New Glasses

We picked up Sophia's new glasses tonight. When the eye doctor examined her eyes she said that she couldn't see distance at all. She said that she probably had no idea what she was missing. When I told Sophia that we were going to pick up her glasses she said that the board at school was blurry. I told her that her new glasses would help that. She then told me that she had glasses when she was in China. I was shocked. Now why in the world didn't her glasses come with her. How sad is that. What would they do with glasses that helped her. When she put her glasses on she ran to the end of the hallway of the eye doctors office and gave me the thumbs up. I wasn't sure what she was doing. She said that China family would tell her to go far away to make sure she could see. Obviously she had gotten glasses before. Well now she can see better and we will make sure that continues in the future.

Sophia's new glasses

Sophia's new glasses

Camera Shy, I don't think so

Zoe with Sophia's new glasses

One Step Forward Two Steps Back

Like all adjustments in life you take one step forward and two steps back. We are in the two and maybe even more steps back. It all started two days ago. Sophia wanted to go shopping to buy a birthday gift for her friend that was adopted to a family in Florida. I told her that once we were done cleaning the house as a family then we would go to Justice to find something for her friend. We had gotten a sale book in the mail from Justice and that is where she wanted to go. After cleaning Madison decided that she wanted to go to a friends house so I thought that it would be a good time for just Sophia and I to go shopping. Sophia found her friend some clothes that were on clearance. Madison called on the way home and wasn't too happy that we had gone without her. It seems like it is a big jealous fest here and I am suppose to keep track of what eat child gets. All I heard was I do everything for Sophia and like I don't do anything for Madison. Madison was so busy getting upset that I never got the chance to tell her that I had picked her up a couple of things from Justice as well. All she was worried about is that I wouldn't stop somewhere on the way home to pick her up some $.99 breath mints. After dinner Sophia came down and asked me to come up to her room and see something. She pointed at a couple of pictures on Madison's photo board that hangs on the wall. On those two pictures someone had drew a mustache and beard on Sophia's face with black marker. I immediately took the pictures down to ask Madison what had happened to them. She admitted that she had done it. She also said that she had those pictures in her tub in her room so Sophia must have gone thru her things and found them and put them on the photo board. Madison said that she was mad at me for taking Sophia shopping and drew on the pictures of Sophia. Madison was wrong in drawing on Sophia face on the pictures but Sophia was also in the wrong for going thru Madison's personal belongings to find the pictures. Not sure if Sophia knew the pictures were there or was just snooping and found them. Sophia has already been caught on a couple of occasions going thru drawers in mine and Dave's bedroom to find her ipod. Now that brings us to the next issue. Yesterday Dave sat down and cleared Madison and Sophia's ipod to the way it was when we bought it. We needed to get qq off of both of the ipods. Every time Madison turned hers on it was alarming her that someone was trying to get ahold of her. It was the 20 year old boy from China and I am sure since he hasn't been able to get ahold of Sophia for a few weeks then he was trying to get Madison. Madison got impatient to wait for things to be downloaded back onto her ipod and took it. Sophia was looking at it and noticed that it didn't have anything on it and you weren't able to get onto the internet. She kept saying "Mom, Madison's ipod broke." I kept telling her that that was between Madison and her dad. Well that started up Sophia to ask for her ipod. I told her that she didn't have an ipod anymore because she had gone thru our drawers and gotten on it when she wasn't suppose to. I also told her that it was just like Madison's and didn't have anything on it. She wasn't too happy about that. Especially after Dave had just deleted all of her qq and whatever else that she had downloaded onto our computer off. I told her that she had control over what she had done and she was the one that had to take the punishment. These older kids have no clue on boundaries and what it is like to be a family and that seems to be the hardest lesson for them to learn. She then mumbled No computer, No Ipod, No friends (this came out because she had tried to call a couple of her friends yesterday and they weren't available), etc. I couldn't hear the rest of it because she was walking away when talking. Sophia went to her room and shut the door. When Dave went up to tell Sophia that dinner was ready she said "No eat". She stayed in bed the rest of the evening and didn't get up until this morning. I have no idea if she got up in the night and went downstairs to sneak something to eat. When Sophia got up this morning she didn't seem to be in a great mood still. We got a new IMac to replace the computer in our bedroom. We have had it for awhile and after all of the Chinese stuff that Sophia had downloaded on it the old one just wasn't running very fast or smoothly. We are clearing off the old computer and trying decide if we are going to give the kids access to it with stipulations. First I want to find out how to block the access for qq for Sophia and put blocks on it so they don't go to any sites that are inappropriate. We thought about putting the computer in Sophia and Madison's bedroom but didn't feel that there would be enough adult supervision in there. Plus we could see Sophia trying to be on it during the night. We would have to some how cut off the internet connection for that computer at bedtime. We can't turn the internet off at night because my mom is usually up late and the computer is about the only thing that she has besides her tv. We thought about setting the computer on in the living room some how. That would be a good place for a adult to always have visual of it. But we are still down to the internet connection at night. Sophia is known to come down in the middle of the night for a drink or snack so we could see her sitting down at the computer. We want the girls to have fun but we want to also have some controls in place. It may take awhile to figure these things out and in the meantime the girls are bugging us for their computer. Sophia's blocking is going to be harder. She goes onto Chinese sites that we obviously can't read or understand. Wondering if there is a way to block all Chinese sites. She is able to go onto utube and find some Chinese videos which is nice but as we all know utube has some major inappropriate things on it. So we will take one day at a time and hopefully someday we will all figure out our place in this home and in this family. I realize that with Sophia she doesn't understand what it is to be a daughter, a sister (and older at that), part of a family, a Chinese/American girl, etc. There are times that I wonder why in the world we adopted a teen girl but there are times that I am glad that she is here and not in China where she was abused and not cared for. Sophia will just have to learn that what we do is out of love for her. And we will just have to remember what Sophia's past was like which is why she does most of the things that she does. I have no doubt that we will get there, it's just a matter of when. Thank you to all of you that still check out my blog. This is a place for me to vent, to share my feelings and experiences, to maybe help someone that is going thru the same things, to help a family considering adopting an older child to get a view from our experience, and to just sort things out in my head without exploding. Blessing to each and every one of you whatever reason that you visit my blog.

Update on Katie

I have been told by a friend that checks my blog quite often that I don't update on Katie at all. I started a blog for Katie when we adopted her and then I started a new one for Sophia when we started her process. I wanted them to have separate blogs because they were separate adoptions and they are two different kids. I guess I should start a family blog that would separate their adoptions to our family life now. Maybe someday I will get around to that. Katie is doing great. She has been with us for just over a year now. It seems like she has been her even longer and if you would ask her she would probably tell you that she is our bio child. She has no memory of China, the orphanage or her Chinese language. She can repeat the Chinese that she hears on Kailan but that is about it. This school year Katie has been going to preschool at a local Elementary School. She absolutely loves it and loves her teachers. She was accepted into the speach and language Early Learners Program and attends Mon and Wed for about 3 hours. The provides bus transportation to and from which surprised me since the Kindergarten age kids are only provided with one way transporation. We started out with Katie riding the bus both ways but it got to the point that I couldn't even bring up that she was going to school until I saw the bus pull in the neighborhood. She would get on the bus but wasn't too happy about it. We starting talking one day and she asked me to take her to school. I started taking her and then her riding the bus home and that has worked out great. She drives me crazy all of the time to go to school. Wow what a difference. Katie is your typical 4 year old child. She loves to watch tv, ride her bike, play dolls and ask a million questions. Boy can she ask questions. She will ask daily why I am getting ready, why she is getting dressed, why I am eating, why this and why that. Katie is so full of joy and giggles. She is such a delight and we are blessed to be her parents. I have never seen a child that can be laughing from the time that she gets up to the time that she goes to bed. She has the most contagious (sp?) laugh. Katie for her size is quite the little helper. She likes to help me put laundry in the washer and put the clothes in the dryer. Her helping with the dryer is great becaus she is just the right heighth. We have started picking up and cleaning each weekend. I decided that the house is just too big for me to take care of by myself. There are too many able bodies in this house for me to do it all myself. Katie is a trooper. She is right in there with everyone else cleaning away. She is very good at keeping her bedroom picked up so that usually doesn't take much for her to do. I usually let her dust the furniture in the living room because it is right at her level. She has also helped clean the baseboards in the bathroom because it again is right at her level. Katie is very smart for her age. She can say her ABC's, recognize her ABC's by site, spell her name while doing sign language, write her name, she can count to 100 with the help of me saying each 10's number as she gets to it, she is able get on the tv to find her stations, switch the tv to netflix and find her shows, switch to the Wii and play games and switch to whatever she wants to do. Katie loves to mess with the remotes and usually switches around just to be able to do that. Katie is very interested in the medical or dental field and I will be very surprised if she doesn't do something with that. My mom has a doctor come to visit her at the house every month and Katie loves to help the nurse take her temperature and her blood pressure. When my dad was still with us Katie loved to help his nurse care for him. Dad had a area on his foot that wouldn't heal and it didn't bother Katie at all to watch his nurse clean that out and change the bandage. In fact Katie would try to get right in there and help. Most times she had gloves on like the nurse and was ready to help. When I go to the dentist Katie is right on my lap almost in my mouth. Dave and I can't wait to see what God has planned for this amazing little girl. As far as the adjustment with the adoption of Sophia. Katie seems to be fine. I think that she is still young enough to not really be affected. Sophia is very bosy with Katie and I am sure that comes from the way the older kids treated the younger kids at the orphanage. I try to correct Sophia when she does that so she will learn how we treat our siblings and other kids. Katie is left out at times with Sophia and Madison but she is very good at playing by herself in her playroom (our sunroom) that she calls her house. Katie is very silly and loves to dance around wiggling her tushy. Katie loves to be the center of attention and will do anything to get a laugh. Katie is shy if she is approached by someone but if it is her idea then she is your bestfriend. I promise that I will try to update on Katie when I update on Madison and Sophia.

Reflecting over the last 4 months

We have had Sophia for almost 4 months now. The past few days I have been reflecting about what has gone on with Sophia, Madison, and our family. Lets start with Sophia. Of course Sophia has gone thru the most transition. I can't imagine what all has gone on in her mind. Leaving all that she has ever known for 14 years and coming to a country so far away with a family that she has only seen in pictures. What a brave girl she is. Sophia has always had a great outlook on the whole situation. Very rarely is she in a bad mood or without a smile on her face. Less then a week after we were home Sophia started 8th grade at our Jr. High School. She was so excited to go. This is coming from a girl that was kicked and hit by the other students as well as having food thrown at her just because she didn't have a mom or dad. I have recently been told that she was hit by her teachers as well. Why in the world would this girl even want to try to go to school here. Sophia was the one that asked when she would go to school since Madison and Katie were in school. Then sitting in class all day and not understanding anything people are saying around her. We got a short taste of not understanding what people say while in China so I just can't imagine sitting in class for 7 hours aday, day after day and not understanding a thing that is being said. Sophia has come along way with her English. From the beginning she was so excited to learn English. Her favorite classes at school is PE, music and her English class. I am amazed at how much better our communication is getting. Sophia pretty much understands what we are saying and tries really hard to speak English back. Maturity is another issue with adopting the older kids. Sophia seems 14 in certain ways but then in others she is like a 5 year old. When we first got home I took Sophia to a CVS. You just don't think about what these kids haven't been exposed to. From the automatic doors to the candy to the hair accessories. Wow like a kid in a candy store. As soon as the doors open away she went. Running around like a toodler. After a time or two she headed right for the candy and hair accessories so I knew where she was. Thank goodness it was a small store. I do my grocery shopping while she is in school or while Dave is home. This past weekend we took Sophia to the Chinese grocery store in our area to pick up some noodles and snacks for her. Dave and I both noticed that she walked slowly into the store and we were able to keep track of her the whole time. What a difference. She walked around taking it all in and getting excited to see a small bit of where she came from. She looked at things carefully and put a few items in the basket. At one point she said "Ok lets go." That bring me to another point. At the beginning Sophia would eat everything that she could get her hand on and the whole thing in one setting. And while she was eating it was saying "Mommy, you buy?" I am sure these kids are not used to having a fully stocked pantry with all kinds of food. I have noticed that lately that Sophia doesn't eat the whole package of something any more. I think that she is realizing that it or at least something will always be there for her to eat. Sophia has always ate just about everything that I put on the table and has complimented by cooking. She eats anything from tacos, lasagna, hamburgers, bbq pork steak, french fries, corn dogs, etc. Don't get me wrong she still likes to eat Chinese. Our family loves to eat at the Chinese resturant and Sophia gets pretty excited when we go. Now the clean deal. Sophia likes things to be picked up and clean which amazes me coming from the dirtiest place that I have ever been. She will make it known when we are at a restaurant that it no good because it is dirty. Sophia likes for her and Madison's room to be kept up and beautiful. She would would tell me to vacum her room while I was at school. This amazed me coming from a child that lived with a foster family that probably made her clean everything in their house. I was amazed that Sophia never seemed to lift a hand at helping around the house. I have come to find out that she just didn't know what to do or how to do it. Once you show her how to do something she is very willing to help out. On Saturdays we take a couple hours in the morning for everyone to clean their rooms and clean the bathrooms. She is very excited to help with this. She loves for things to be neat. Loudness we are still working on. Sophia is very loud with her laugh, her jumping off the top bunk of her bed, and whatever else she does. I am constantly telling her to be quiet or to talk softer. Sophia is very attached to me and is constantly yelling mom, mom, mom. I find that she doesn't like to be interrupted but she is very good at interrupting a conversation. There are times that I think about changing my name. She is usually not too far away from my side. If I am sitting in the chair she is usually sitting on the arm of the chair watching what I am typing on the computer. She can read English slowly and not sure if she understands what I am typing. If I am on the couch she is sitting right by my side. When we are out she is usually holding my hand. She likes to watch me do my hair and put on makeup. She has started to put some makeup on herself. She is such a beautiful girl and with makeup, Wow. As for her and Dave. She's not as affectionate with him. Her way of showing affection for Dave is to hit him. On a few occasions and more lately she will give him a hug. I told Dave it is like what they always say, when a boy hits you that means he likes you. She doesn't hit him out of anger just a quick smack kind of joking. I can definately see Sophia moving forward in her language, maturity and bonding as a family. As for Madison that has probably been the biggest in the adjustments. Madison is the one that started the adoption process with Katie. Madison has the biggest heart. It is so easy to want something but once it happens is another story. Sophia and Madison are 4 years differnce in age but maturity Madison is older just because of her experiences. Madison and Sophia share a room which has been interesting. Madison is very sloppy and like I said earlier Sophia is very neat. Sophia would complain about how Madison would make a mess in their room and say "it not beautiful". Madison is very sensitive and gets her feelings hurt very easy. Madison has been the center of attention for so long and now she is having to share that with 2 sisters. How hard is that. Madison has grown thru this process as well. She is learning to keep her thing picked up and help out more around the house. She is actually excited to clean on Saturday mornings. Madison is a typical 10 year old girl that doesn't want to take showers or brush her teeth. Sophia takes a shower every day. Those things are rubbing off on Madison. She seems to be more interested in taking showers and last night I caught the girls in the bathroom before bed washing their face and brushing their teeth. Madison even brushed her teeth when she got home from school as well as before bed. Wow that is 3 times in one day. I think that is a record. Madison and Sophia are learning to be sisters as well as friends. It is so neat to see them enjoying the same thing. They both like music, love to ride their bike, love to iceskate and whatever else girls like to do. Madison is at church with a friend tonight and Sophia keeps asking when she will be home. She seems kind of sad that she's not home. Big difference from the beginning. Everytime Madison would leave with a friend or go to spend the night somewhere Sophia would get so excited. That would make me so mad. Madison is my daughter and that really bothered me. It is nice to see them bonding as sisters. As for me adopting a teen child has definately been harder then adopting a toddler. Sophia has been like a stranger staying in our house for the pat 4 months. I kept wondering when I would enjoy this girl being in my home and love her like my own. As an adoptive mom you fall in love with this child, you go thru this massive nightmare of paperwork and you can't wait to get this child home. We go thru so much and then when you finally go and pick up your child it is totally different. I know that I had feelings of what in the world have I done. There is no magic number to when things finally fall into place. Every child and family are different. Ours seemed to be 4 months. I'm not saying that it is all perfect but it is definately much better. I am glad that Sophia has joined our family, I feel like Sophia's mom, I don't get worked up when it is almost time for her to get home from school and I love her like the daughter that she is. I am still waiting for the day that Sophia isn't so loud but I am sure that will come with time. For now our home is very loud but it is a place where 3 girls have learned to become sisters even though they were born on opposite sides of the world. How amazing is that. And what an amazing experience our family has had bringing these 2 amazing girls to join our family. God is so good!!!!



Things continue to go good!!!!

Things are still going good. I am posting quickly while Sophia is in the shower. She always seems to be looking over my shoulder reading what I write. I am glad that she is trying to read English but there are times I just don't want her to read everthing that I write. Not sure how much she understands what she reads. It seems like the whole ipod issue has made things a lot better around here. Madison and Sophia are getting along so much better. Madison has been helping Sophia with math and they both like to do word search puzzles. Madison goes on a computer website and makes up word search puzzles for them to do. Madison sets up puzzles with names of their friends which makes it fun for Sophia. It seems like each day they find more things in common. Tonight Madison brought a string and was doing things like cats whiskers etc (I am blank on some of the names now) and Sophia also knew how to do those tricks. They were trading the string back and forth showing what they knew. At dinner Sophia started folding paper (orgami) into things like a double heart, a flower and in some way when you took the paper and flicked it, it made a very loud sound like a firecracker. It scared the animals to death. Tonight Sophia even helped with dinner. I made chili. She helped brown the hamburger and opened the cans of tomatos, tomato sauce and chili beans. She even helped set the table. The one issue that I would still like to calm is how loud she is. The loudness has gotten better but at times it is way too loud for the inside. We are getting there. I am finally not anxious when 3:00 hits and I only have 10 minutes until Sophia gets home from school. I am usually counting down the hours, minutes, etc until she gets home. Evenings and weekends are going smoother and we are starting to settle in like a family. Sophia is doing really good on her English speaking. I am amazed at how much she is communicating with us and she has only been home 4 months. Well I need to go, Sophia is out of the shower and I am sure she will be at my computer any minute.

Sophia at the skating rink

Sophia at the skating rink

Madison at the skating rink

Madison at the skating rink

Katie at the skating rink

Katie at the skating rink

Sophia and Madison at the skating rink

Sophia and Madison at the skating rink

Sophia and Madison before we went Iceskating

Sophia and Madison before we went Iceskating

Another great day

Today we got up and everyone chipped in cleaning the house. Wow two weeks in a row and no complaints from the girls at all. They were actually excited to help out. I am so excited about this. Madison and Sophia had started their bedroom on Saturday night so they wouldn't have to do so much this morning. Since we cleaned the bathrooms last Saturday they weren't too bad, just needed a light cleaning. Last weekend we didn't really do the downstairs so I started out with the kitchen. When Sophia was done with cleaning she came and helped me in the kitchen. She wiped down the outside of the cabinets. After baking so much for the holidays my cabinets were kind of dirty from the flour, etc. While Sophia and I cleaned the kitchen, Katie dusted the tv stand and tables in the living room. Since the girls cleaned the upstairs hall bathroom last week Jake cleaned it this time as well as swept the living room. Dave even started the wash so this week should be pretty easy for me. For a treat after cleaning we took the girls ice skating again. Jake and his girlfriend Brittany joined us this time. Everyone seemed to have a good time. It was neat to see all the kids doing something all together. Things seem to be going pretty good with Sophia after the whole iPod issue. It seems like a good thing as come out of all of that. Dave and I both said that we have started to feel glad that Sophia is with us. I have read several blogs and the timeframe to fall in love or feel comfortable with your adoptive child is different for every family. Adopting a teen has definately been harder then adopting a 3 year old. The older child has so many of their behaviors already set. For 3 months now we have felt like a stranger was living in our home. Sophia seemed to be happy and adjusting but it was us that was having problems with accepting another child and personality into our home.

Girls ready for the Colts game

Girls ready for the Colts game

Sophia's new haircut

Sophia's new haircut
What a beautiful face!!!

New Year = New Rules

I have decided that this house it too big for me and Dave to keep up and the kids are old enough to help out. We got up Sat morning and broke the news to the kids. I was surprised how excited the kids were to clean the house. I just hope that excitement continues. Dave and I cleaned up our room, Madison and Sophia cleaned their room and Katie cleaned hers. Katie keeps her room pretty picked up all of the time so she didn't really have much to do. Afterwards everyone split up to clean the 4 bathrooms. At one point Sophia called for Madison for help. When they were done with their bathrooms, Sophia came into our bathroom and said "Madison helped me, I help you." Who would have thought that cleaning the house would be so much fun. After we were done cleaning we took the girls iceskating. Sophia and Katie have never been iceskating but they were both excited to go. Katie hit the ice at full force. I couldn't believe how well she did. The ice rink has orange cones that kids can hold onto and help them skate. What a great idea. For 1 1/2 hours Katie went around and around the skating rink. She fell down and got herself right back up and kept on going. Sophia was a bit slower hitting the ice. She held on to the wall and creaped around. Little by little Sophia got up the courage to let go of the wall. By no time Sophia and Madison were zooming around together holding hands. Madison was a natural at iceskating from the first time she hit the ice years ago and this time wasn't any different. After the girls were done skating we all sat down and shared nachos and had drinks. We will definately be doing this again. It is so hard to find something that all kids like when they are 4, 10 and 14.

What a fun Saturday!!!!

We have had a great Saturday. This morning we got up and went to the Eye Doctor for Sophia and Madison. When the doctors in China examined Sophia's eyes they said that she would probably need glasses. I was just going to have Sophia's eyes looked at but of course Madison started in that her eyes had been blurry. Imagine that, Monkey See Monkey Do. Our friend opened her own Eye Place a few months ago so she was nice enough to fit Madison in as well. Sophia went first and Tammy said that she definately need glasses for distance. She said that Sophia probably had no idea what she was missing. Sophia wasn't thrilled to have to get glasses but we went out to look at the frames. She immediately picked out a pair that were purple and had glitter on the side with a peace sign. They were kind of big on her face but she loved them. She tried on several other pair and kept coming back to purple glitterly ones with the peace sign. The girl helping us said that she would wear them more if she really liked them. Next was Madison. She used to wear glasses but the place that examined her eyes the last time said that her eyes had gotten better and they didn't feel that she needed her glasses any more. Well this time we heard a different story. Tammy said that Madison needed glasses and she needed bifocals. What a 10 year old with bifocals. The doctor said that her vision up close and far away was so far off that it wouldn't do her any good to make glasses to fit one of the other needs. So bifocals it is. Maybe this explains why she struggles with reading. We had a great time. Tammy had these wonderful carmel apples that she had gotten from QVC, cookies, gold fish crackers, and hot apple cider. Wow what great treatment. Afterwards we went and picked up Dave and headed for the Chinese Grocery Store. We have told Sophia about it but have never taken her. She was so excited when we pulled in. When we walked in the door we felt like we were back in China, there is a unique smell in a Chinese Grocery Store. Sophia went around picking out several treats to take home. Most looked like (as Dave put it) something that belonged on a bird feeder. Several items had sesame seeds on them. When we were standing in line waiting to check out Sophia kept hugging me and saying "I Love You Mommy." On our way home we stopped at the Chinese restaurant that we liked to eat for lunch. The food was yummy as usual. After lunch we went to get Madison and Sophia's haircut. Sophia wanted to have her bangs cut short and our course Madison (Monkey See, Monkey Do) wanted her hair trimmed. Both of the girls hair ended up really cute. Sophia was pretty excited about hers. She just kept saying how beautiful it was. We then came home. The girls had fun playing and getting ready for the Colts game. Madison went up and put makeup on her and Sophia. Sophia is very beautiful but the makeup just lit up her face even more. Madison and Katie put black eyeliner under their eyes like the football players do. The girls have put passing the football most of the evening. I am amazed at how well Katie can catch the football. She has no fear. What a great Saturday and we still have one more day to the weekend. Last Saturday we started a new thing. When we get up in the morning we all clean rooms and then chip in to clean the bathrooms. Since we weren't able to do that this morning due to the eye doctor appt. we are going to get up Sunday morning and do that. Then we are planning to take the girls iceskating again.

Update on the Huffmans

Well the holidays are over and we are trying to settle into a daily routine. We have good days and bad days. It seems like we are getting more good days then bad lately so that is good. We have gone thru some issues with Sophia lately but are hoping that it is setting some boudaries and show her what it means to be in a family. Sophia was given quite abit when coming here including a DSI and iPod touch. She was also given alot of freedom on the computer. We have found that Sophia (as a friend calls her) Sophia "Bill Gates" when it comes to the computer. Our computer was running nothing but Chinese stuff and we weren't even able to do any of our things on there. Hopefully someday she will be able to put that to some good use but for now we need our computer back. Dave deleted all of the chinese things off of the computer. Sophia wasn't happy about that but she seemed to accept it. Then we come to the iPod and DSI. When the girls were on winter break they had access to their DSI and iPods pretty much 24/7. A couple nights before going back to school we began to take the electronics at bedtime. Sophia wasn't too happy about this at all. The first night she gave them up but you could tell that she didn't want to. The second night Madison went to collect the electronics but Sophia gave her the DSI but refused the iPod. I went in and asked for it and Sophia acted like she was asleep. She fumbled around acting like she didn't know where it was. I asked her again and she looked at me and yelled "What you want?" I don't think so. I asked her again for the iPod and again she fumbled around looking for it and laid back down. Dave came in and took over. She immediately sat up and got the iPod out of her Pillow Pet. She knew all along where it was and she hid it there so noone could find it. We told her that she wouldn't get her iPod for a day. The next night Madison asked for her electronics and we told her where we had put them. Later Sophia asked for hers and we told her that she could only have her DSI since she had given it up the night before without a fight. Later on Sophia went up to take a shower which she does in our shower. Madison went up and found that Sophia had taken her iPod out of the drawer and was on it. I went up and got it and told her that she wouldn't get it back for 1 week. I hid the electronics in another drawer. Not well but in another drawer in our bedroom. The next night Sophia went up to take her shower. Dave went up to do something and our bedroom door was locked. He unlocked it and Sophia was in the bathroom and her iPod was out of the drawer. She had to go thru my drawers to find it. Dave and I sat there until she came out. She heard us out there and when she came out she slowly opened the door halfway and with a guilty voice said "Daddy, what you doing?" Dave told her that he was waiting on her iPod. She had that look like she just got caught with her hands in the cookie jar. She handed the iPod over but was very upset and went to her room. I went in the bedroom with Madison when it was time for bed and noticed that Sophia was still awake. I put my hand on Sophia arm and she immediately pulled away from me, turned towards the wall and grunted. I told her that I loved her. Madison said "She is bad at you". I told Madison that she had no one to be upset with but herself. The next morning I got Sophia up for school. She was very quiet which is very unusual for her even early in the morning. When Sophia came down for her breakfast I just gave her a hug and said "I Love You." She said "I Love You Too". When Sophia came home from school she seemed to be back to normal and like her old bubbly self. She hasn't asked for her iPod or DSI so I think she understands what she did was wrong.



Christmas 2010

Christmas 2010
Way toooooo many gifts

The girls in front of the tree

The girls in front of the tree

Beautiful Madison with one of her gifts

Beautiful Madison with one of her gifts

Katie with her new babydoll

Katie with her new babydoll

Wow Sophia's face-Priceless

Wow Sophia's face-Priceless

Maddie with her new boots

Maddie with her new boots

Katie taking her blood pressure

Katie taking her blood pressure
Katie will be a doctor when she grows up

Katie with Jake's girlfriend Brittany

Katie with Jake's girlfriend Brittany

Katie helping with sugar cookies

Katie helping with sugar cookies

Sophia helping with Christmas cookies

Sophia helping with Christmas cookies

Katie helping with Christmas Buckeyes

Katie helping with Christmas Buckeyes

Huffman Christmas 2010

Huffman Christmas 2010

Huffman Kids

Huffman Kids
Christmas 2010

Jake-20

Jake-20
Christmas 2010

Madison-10

Madison-10

Sophia-14

Sophia-14

Katie-4

Katie-4

Dave and Karen

Dave and Karen
Christmas photo shoot 2010

Mom and Jake

Mom and Jake
My baby boy grew up

Katie's 1 year Gotcha Day

Katie's 1 year Gotcha Day

Sophia signing her Certificate of Citizenship

Sophia signing her Certificate of Citizenship

Everyone waiting for Sophia to sign her Cert of Citizenship

Everyone waiting for Sophia to sign her Cert of Citizenship

Sophia on the trampoline while playing in the snow

Sophia on the trampoline while playing in the snow

Cute Cute Katie in the snow

Cute Cute Katie in the snow

Katie and Sophia in the first small snow of 2010

Katie and Sophia in the first small snow of 2010

Katie, Dad and Sophia at the lighting of the lights on the Circle in Indpls

Katie, Dad and Sophia at the lighting of the lights on the Circle in Indpls

Sophia, Mom & Katie at the Lighting of the Lights - It was so cold....

Sophia, Mom & Katie at the Lighting of the Lights - It was so cold....

Sophia at the Lighting

Sophia at the Lighting

Sophia with the Lights in the background

Sophia with the Lights in the background

Madison and Sophia at the Indpls Zoo

Madison and Sophia at the Indpls Zoo

Madison and Katie love to play baby dolls

Madison and Katie love to play baby dolls

Madison cooking her and Katie french toast

Madison cooking her and Katie french toast

Katie at her Thansgiving Feast at Pre-school

Katie at her Thansgiving Feast at Pre-school
Doesn't she make a cute Pilgram

The girls at Incredible Pizza Company

The girls at Incredible Pizza Company

Goofy Madison

Goofy Madison

Beautiful Sophia

Beautiful Sophia

Silly Silly Katie

Silly Silly Katie

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Things are better

Well I thought that I better post an update after the post that I made about the girls the other day.  Things have gotten better.  Never did find out what happened.  PMS for Sophia, how knows.  They are now back to talking and playing together.  When Madison came home from school yesterday the girls hugged.  Yeah, all is good with the world again.  The kids all (including Jake) played hide and seek before bed time.  The only problem with that is that gets everyone wound up and it is harder for them to go to bed but you hate to tell them that they can't play together.  I am amazed at the hiding spots that they find in the house.  The best one last night is Madison put Katie on the shelfing between our clothes in the closet.  We have 2 rows of hanging (top for tops and bottom for pants) and Madison put her on the shelf inbetween and pulled the clothes over her to hide her.  What a great place for little Katie.  Just glad that I didn't know about it when they did it because I would have been scared that she would fall.  Somethings are just good for me not to know.  Sophia just got home from school and she came in quietly.  Wow that was different.  Usually she hits the running and screaming MOM.  In so many way she acts so much younger then 14.  Maybe she is starting to understand how things are done around here and we don't go around yelling everything.  I asked her if she was ok and she said yes and I asked her if school was ok and she said yes.  I am loving the quiet.  Sophia keeps asking for things here and there and I have just been picking things up for Christmas.  I know that she doesn't understand any of that yet but last night I sat down with Google Translate and told her that on December 25 when she gets up there will be gifts under the tree for them.  She was pretty excited and said "a case for my ipod.  I said yes.  Maybe now she will quit asking me to go shopping for a pink case for her ipod.  She seemed to understand what I was saying.  A friend of hers is being adopted in China right now and her and her family are leaving soon for home.  The mom took her daughter to the bookstore in China and got her several books in Chinese for her to read.  I asked her if she went back to pick some up for Sophia.  They went back yesterday and were going to pick up several books to send to Sophia.  Not sure why we didn't do that while we were in China but we didn't.  We had just been to China 9 months prior so all we could think about was getting home this time.  Isn't that terrible, you don't get to China everyday.  When we did go shopping in China Sophia didn't seem to want to buy anything there at all so I guess that is why we didn't do the bookstore.  The books in China are so much cheaper.  We received a magazine from China Sprout the other day and Sopia was pointing out books that she wanted.  The books were all around $9.99 to $14.99 which is normal for books here as well.  The books in China are around $19.00 YUAN which is like $3.00 US.  You get a lot more books for your money there.  Sophia has an ipod touch and I am amazed how she has been able to switch the language to Chinese as well as download Chinese music, shows, videos and games.  We have the ipod set up with a passcode to download any apps or games.  One night for some reason the code continued to work after we put it in for one game.  Sophia downloaded something that cost $85.99.  WOW.  I was shocked to see that coming out of my account.  Dave emailed itunes and luckily they understood and put the money back into our account.  We have since taken our debit card info off of the itunes account so that doesn't happen again.  I am sure that itunes wouldn't understand that too many times.  I have seen so many moms that their new older daughters don't like American food and don't like the American fashion.  We have been so lucky in that respect.  We have been lucky in so many respects.  Sophia loves all American food and pretty much wears anything that I bring home.  We haven't cooked any type of Chinese food since she has been home.  I have cooked things the same way that I have always cooked them.  Just wanted to let everyone know that the Huffman house is back to normal or at least as normal as it can be.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sophia finally finds her friend

Ever since we got home Sophia has asked me about a friend from the orphanage.  She didn't have any pictures of her and I couldn't make out the Chinese name very well.  I posted on the Guangzhou SWI yahoo group looking for this friend with the limited information that I had.  I never did get a reponse from that post.  Well on Friday there was a post on the GSWI yahoo group looking for a friend of this families daughter that was adopted this pst summer.  The girl that they were looking for was sweet, bubbly and had a bobbed haircut.  They said that this girl held hands with their daughter while saying goodbye at the orphanage during her adoption and they cried together.  I knew then they were talking about Sophia.  The girls name is Yulian.  I started thinking back to the name that Sophia kept asking for.  It was something like Tan Yulian.  I knew that I had finally found Sophia's friend that she was wanting me to find.  I emailed the mother and found out that sure enough these girls had finally found each other.  They were both so excited to hear the news.  The girls were able to talk on the phone for awhile on Sunday evening and were able to catch up and let each other know that they were both safe and happy.  How exciting to find another friend of Sophia's that is in the states.  And to also find out that this family lives near Chicago Illinois which isn't too far from us at all.  At least closer then Florida, California, North Carolina and South Carolina where her other friends have gone to be with their forever famlies.  This family has 14 kids ranging in age from 20 to 2 1/2.  Wow, I can't even imagine.  13 of their kids are biological and they adopted Yulian right before her 14th birthday just like we did Sophia.  Come to find out these two girls lived with foster families that lived close to each other and went to school together.  This mother shared with me where the girls lived and that Sophia didn't like her foster family.  We had already been told that story and Sophia shared that with us as well after she had yung up the phone with her friend.  Sophia shared that she had been hit by her foster family.  I couldn't get out of her if it was the mother or father.  Plus she corrected me that she didn't call them mother or father.  She lived with them for 6 years, I can't imagine what her life was during that period.  This mother also shared with me that Sophia had been hit and kicked and had garbage thrown at her at school in China.  Their daughter shared that this happened because she didn't have a mom and dad.  The mother asked her daughter if that happened to her and she said, "of course". How said that these girls were abused at home and then went to school and had to deal with all of that there.  No wonder Sophia likes her school here so much.  She may not understand what they are saying but at least they are hitting her or my goodness throwing garbage on her.  I can't believe that these girls could be so happy or even trust kids or teachers at these schools.  These girls have such a history together and I am so excited that they have been able to find each other.  We are planning to get the girls together.  We are hoping to meet half way at some point so the girls can spend some time together catching up.  The mother has asked if Sophia could come there and stay at some point.  She also mentioned that her husband would be bringing 2 of their kids for a gymnastics meet in Indianapolis and he could bring Yulian along so her and Sophia could spend some time then.  The gymnastics meet isn't until Feb or March 2011 so we are hoping to get the girls together before that time.  When we first found Sophia our agency had a camp for her orphanage and at that time we got several videos of interviews that they had with Sophia.  In one of those interviews Sophia mentioned a friend from a close by foster family that was going to either attend one of the camps or was being adopted.  I have always wondered who this girl was but now I think that I have gotten my answer.

I spoke too soon

Well not sure what has happened between Madison and Sophia but boy is not only cold outside but it is also cold inside.  The girls have had their issues in the past but have gotten over them pretty quickly.  I know that Madison bugs Sophia in several ways.  Sophia doesn't like the way that Madison sings ever song especially in the car, she doesn't like when Madison makes a mess in their room and she doesn't like when Madison shows her typical American girl attitude.  The girls don't communicat that well with the language barrier but it is amazing how the attitude can shine thru on both of them.  Madison had a friend spend the night this past weekend and Madison said that Sophia told her and her friend to get out of the room.  Well it is Madison's room as well so she has every right to be in there.   Ever since then Sophia has given Madison the cold shoulder.  We are assuming that something else has happened but we don't know what.  That was Friday night and this is Monday night and Sophia is still not giving Madison the time of day.  Madison has really tried to talk with Sophia and try to make her laugh but Sophia just looks away from her.  Sunday Sophia was wanting to go and get her ears pierced and I told her no because her and Madison weren't being nice to each other.  I have seen Madison several times try to get Sophia's attention but no matter what she does it doesn't work.  Sophia gets home from school before Madison and Katie so I thought that I would take that opportunity to try and talk with Sophia to see what was going on.  I asked her what was going on with her and Madison.  She looked at me and said "I don't know, I only speak alittle English".  I knew that was what she was going to say because that seems to be what she says when she understands us but wants to play like she doesn't.  I explained to her in several different ways and she just continued to act like she didn't know what I was talking about.  Obviously something is really bothering her and hopefully she will talk about it or get over it soon.  Sophia isn't being very nice to Katie eiher so I'm not sure that it is something that Madison has done.  I am wondering if there is some jealousy and sharing issues with me and the other girls.  Sophia seems to be very attached to me and always wants me to do things with just her.  When she was wanting to get her ears pierced she kept saying, "me and you go to get my ears pierced, I like you.  She had already started to be nasty to Madison and Katie and I wasn't going to allow her to isolate her and I from the others.  Instead of going to get her ears pierced we all went to McDonalds to eat lunch.  Madison and Sophia got stuck sitting together at one table while me, Dave and Katie sat at another table since there wasn't enough room at the first one.  Sophia worked her hardest at completely ignoring Madison.  Everytime Madison would say something Sophia would look completely the other way.  Then Dave approached the table and asked Sophia if she was done with her food.  She tried to ignore him as well.  He asked her several times and then he got kind of in her face and said "You won't ignore me, are you done with your food".  She finally answered him.  After lunch Sophia wanted to go right home but we drove around wasting time so we didn't give into her to go right home.    Hopefully this will all blow over soon.  In the meantime Madison and Katie have been having a good time together laughing and playing their Mama/Mei Mei game.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

More Updates on Sophia

Well where do I start.  I haven't been very good at updating Sophia's blog since we have been home.  I email with a few moms that are in the process of adopting friends of Sophia's and I seem to get wrapped up in all of that and never get around to writing on the blog.  Let's see, we have been home about 2 1/2 months.  All and all things are going really good.  Sophia seems very happy and is always laughing and smiling.  The 3 girls get along for the most part but there are times that they are true sisters and drive each other crazy.  They have started to play the wii daily and that brings out alot of different issues all together.  Sophia is very competitive and that comes out during play on the wii.  Everytime Sophia scores a point she makes a big deal out of it.  When she is playing Katie it seems worse because she gets a million points to Katie's maybe 1 point and Katie doesn't really care.  She just playing to be able to push buttons(which is her favorite thing to do).  During wii Sophia constantly yells at Katie because she keeps changing the games and doesn't really play the game right.  What does she expect when she gives the control to a 4 year old button pusher.  All you hear from Sophia is "Katie, no!"  Well Katie showed her by changing the game to 1 player and started to play by herself.  Sophia left pouting up the stairs.  It was kind of funny.  Sophia is doing very well with her English.  Much better then we expected her to be doing at this point.  Last night we took her back to youth group at the Chinese Church in our area and Grace couldn't believe how much English Sophia was talking about being gone for 2 weeks during Thanksgiving break.  Sophia tries really hard to speak English.  I have heard of so many kids that have come home at this age and will not even attempt to speak English even after being home a year they aren't speaking much English.  We can actually have a somewhat of a conversation with Sophia.  She is constantly asking how to say a word.  We haven't been letting Sophia on qq the past few weeks which is kind of like a Chinese facebook.  One is has messed up our computer and 2 there was an older girl on there that was telling girls here how to use and manipulate their American families.  We limit qq now.  We told Sophia that she needed to bond with us as a family and also learn more English.  Being on qq she is just hearing and talking Chinese and we don't feel that it helps her much.  Since we have taken her off of qq Sophia is spending more time with the family and like I said speaking more English.  Now qq is a treat for her every once in awhile.  One of Sophia's friends from the orphanage is being adopted right now in China.  Sophia and Sha Yang were able to skype the other night and catch up and hopefully they will be able to chat tonight again.  Madison  is doing good.  This whole thing has been a big adjustment for her.  She says though that she has really enjoyed having a new sister.  It seems like Katie and Madison have become closer since Sophia has come home.  Madison plays more with Katie.  They like to play Momma/MeiMei.  This is something that Katie and Madison made up.  Madison is the Momma and Katie is MeiMei which is little sister in Chinese which doesn't fit with the Momma part.  They basically play house.  Madison and Sophia share a room which doesn't always work well but it is good for them.  Sophia likes for her room to be picked up and beautiful as she says and Madison is a bit messy.  In fact before Sophia came Madison's room was such a mess that you couldn't even walk thru the room.  Sophia would have definately had a fit then.  Sophia will come to us and say Madison mess come see.  We know that she is talking about the room.  We then tell Madison to pick her stuff up.  One day when that happened Sophia said "We do it together".  That was pretty neat.  The room is a mess right now because Madison had a friend over for a sleep over so I am waiting for Sophia to say something.  Madison and Sophia are totally different girls.  Madison likes skinny jeans, short sleeve shirts, the colors black, blue and green.  Sophia is a girly girl and likes things that are beautiful.  She likes skinny jeans as well but she likes long sleeves and pink, pink and more pink.  Not sure how many things that you can have pink without starting to look a like.  It's December and we live in Indiana so it is time for cold weather as well as snow.  We had a dusting the other day and Sophia was so excited.  She has never seen snow.  I explained to her that the snow will get deeper and be hard to walk in.  She was so excited.  It is neat to see all of these things from her view for the first time.  I figured that this would be too cold for her and she really wouldn't be interested in the snow.  Boy was I wrong.  Today it has snowed all day even though the accumulation has only been a couple of inches.  Sophia has tried so hard to show her friends in China and a friend that was adopted before her that lives in California the snow today on the webcam but it won't reach to the window.  So all in all things are going well.  Sophia seems happy, likes school, is learning English, likes American food and loves I mean LOVES snacks and sweets.  Sophia is very attached to me for some reason.  I bet she says my name a million times a day.  So much that it makes my head spin.  She usually doesn't leave my side.  And if we are out somewhere she usually holds on to my arm.  She likes to hug on me but it is usually in a goofy manner and she wraps her leg around mine and at times she wraps both legs around.  Sophia is very tall and weighs 84 pounds and that is alot hanging on you.  She is starting to say "I Love you" to me.  It is usually said in a silly way as well at night when we is going to bed.  We go thru the whole thing, "Goodnight, Goodbye, See you in the morning, I Love you".  I am amazed how well Sophia has done in the short time that she has been with us.  I can't imagine at 14 leaving everything that I have every known and moving to the other side of the world with complete strangers.  And Madison is amazing for allowing Katie and Sophia to come into her world and share her family, her home and her life.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sorry that it has been so long since I posted. My life has been such a whirlwind lately. Once we got home from China I had to work nonstop on getting my parents things in order to apply for Medicaid for my dad. What a pain. I finally got things done and in order on October 29th. On October 30th my dad past away. It is still so hard for me to believe that he is gone. It has been a very hard and sad week. I received a call from the nursing home at 4:00 am that he was dead when they went into his room to check on him. The nurse said that he had a peaceful look on his face and they felt that he died peacefully in his sleep without pain. Praise God for that. We had his funeral this past Wed and today we went to the cemetary to place his urn with his ashes in his niche. The cemetary is a very peacefully place and I am so glad that the funeral home suggested it. My dad is in a much better place with no pain and we will see him again some day.

Sophia is doing good. More and more she is doing things with the family. She is learning to communicate in English more and more each day. We still have a long way to go but she is doing great. We went to vote the other day and our voting place is Sophia's Jr. High School. After we voted we noticed in the other gym was kids having a gym class. I told Dave,"Wouldn't it be neat if Sophia would be in that class?" Sure enough there she was. The class was running around skipping and then running. Sophia seemed to be having a good time and was following instructions really well. There was a girl that she would wait for when she got ahead of her. I was glad to see her participating in class. At home Sophia still likes to be on the computer quite a bit. She likes to be on qq chatting with her friends, listen to Chinese music and watch Chinese shows. Sometimes I feel that she spends way too much time on the computer but I can't imagine what it would be like to be in a world where people don't speak your language at all. About the time that I feel very strongly about this Sophia will spend more time with the family. Tonight the girls turned off all of the lights and were running all around the house with flashlights. They were having a great time. They were looking all over the house for our cat that was outside the whole time. Sometimes Madison and Sophia don't get along very well. I think that their level is about the same so it makes it hard for them to see eye to eye. But then again I think that they are getting along like typical siblings. Sophia was Alice in Wonderland for Halloween. It was neat because this was her and Katie's first Halloween with us. Katie didn't come home until January 1st, 2010. We went to our church for their fright free Halloween night. The girls all played games and got quite a bit of candy. They all seemed to have a great time. We came home early enough to go to a few houses in our neighborhood. Sophia felt like she had gotten enough candy plus is was a bit too cold for her that night. Katie did a great job. She had watched Kailan's Halloween show over and over again and knew exactly what to do when she went to the houses. Sophia is a great girl and we are blessed to have her as our daughter. She always has a smile on her face and never seems to be in a bad mood.

Update on Sophia

I know that it has been forever since I updated. I apoligize to all of my friends that check my blog on a regular basis. Things are going good so far. Sophia seems very happy and is a very sweet girl. We weren't home a week yet and Sophia asked if she would go to school one day. She has now been in school for 2 weeks. She doesn't give us any problems in the morning when she has to get up for the bus. The language difference is the biggest problem that we are having. Sophia has picked up a few English words but the communication is really hard. She says "Go shopping", "I hungry", "Go to School", "I don't know", "Go home to computer". Sophia likes to be on the computer. Too much in fact. She gets on qq which is a Chinese facebook and chats with teachers and friends at the orphanage and also friends that have been adopted here in the states. Today Sophia came home with a project from school. She drew a picture of a rose and a chinese girl. It was amazing. I will have to scan it and post it on here. We might have a future artist or clothes designer. Who knows. This past Sunday was a really rough day. I was so afraid that we were taking a turn for the worse. I keep in the back of my mind that things can change at any point. I think that Sophia was missing her foster family and what she has know her whole life. On Saturday I let her call her foster family in China. I don't know if that made her a bit homesick or what. She told me that she missed them. I can't imagine leaving a family that you had lived with for 6 years and going on the other side of the world with strangers. And on the other side I can't imagine being that family that took care of a child for 6 years and not knowing that she was safe and happy in her new home. We don't want to take away her past. Monday everything seemed to be back to the way it was. I wondered if the date had anything to do with it. It was 10/10/10. I am just blessed that things are back to the way that they were and that we are again moving forward in bonding as a family. Last night Dave brought home a trampoline for Madison's birthday. She will be 10 on October 19th. Dave got it set up just before dark and the girls jumped on it for a while before bed. The girls had a great time jumping on it and it seemed like a great bonding time for us as a family. When we went up to bed Madison and Sophia were running around and then started to try to tickle me and throw a blanket on my head. It was good to see them work together on something even though they were teaming up against me. There has been a struggle between Madison and Sophia. Madison sometimes likes to boss around friends and Sophia doesn't seem to like that at all. Also when Madison starts the drama queen scene Sophia seems to stay away from her. So far Sophia doesn't have that girl drama but I am sure it won't take her long being in the states for that to happen. The other night we went out looking for Halloween Costumes. We went to Party City and Sophia was waving at two girls there. Then she went up to them so excited and hugged them. Ended up to be 2 girls that was in some of her classes at school. They really seemed to enjoy seeing each other. They told me that Sophia was good in class and that they loved her electronic translator. I am so glad to see that she is making friends already.

Sophia at Quinn's adoption & party at McDonalds

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Getting Closer to Sophia

Well we are getting closer to the day that we leave. 3 days. I can't believe that the time is almost here. I also can't believe that it is late Tuesday night and we haven't even begun to pack for the trip. I have made a list of items that we need to take so that should help with any last minute packing. We leave Saturday morning at 6:00 am. That is way to early but we will survive. It's not like we're not going to have any time during our 20 hours of flight to sleep. I sent a letter to Sophia thru Gifts to China with Love to tell her that we would be leaving this weekend and that her Gotcha day is on Monday. Gotcha day is the day that you receive your adopted child. Mondy has worked out. We had a family a few weeks ago that said that they would make up the difference of our needed funds if need by at the end. We collection almost $2,000 in donations thru our LifeSong account which is simply amazing. We are blessed with some amazing people in this adoption group. We ended up not needing as much as we thought we would in the end but it was nice to know that someone was there to cover us so we knew that we would make it to China to get Sophia. Hotel Room-booked, airfare-booked, spending-check. I still need to do some grocery shopping so our 20 year old son and my mom have enough food and etc to get thru the next 2 weeks while we are gone. I also would like to pick up a few items for Sophia besides clothes. I sent almost 100 pictures to Target to pick up tomorrow and plan to purchase a photo album to put pictures of our house inside and out, picture of our backyard, pictures of our animals and all of the pictures that other families have sent me of Sophia and her friends while visiting the orphanage. We will be visiting the orphanage this time around. We can't wait for that. Plus we are hoping to be able to throw a party for Sophia and some of her friends at McDonalds for a going away party. That will be arrangement once we get there. Sophia asked in one of her letters to have a party with her friends. Plus she had attended a few other girls going away parties. It still doesn't seem realy that we will be leaving in a few days to go back to China and adopt a 14 year old girl. Sophia will be 14th on September 19th so we will be able to celebrate it with her. I bought her a digital camera so that she could take pictures of China thru her eyes. I am also planning to get yer a DSi for her birthday so that her, Katie and Maddie will have something alike to play with. That should help during those long flights home. Well I am very tired right now so I am going to sign off.

Blessings to all of you for either your donation or your prayers. I continue to pray for each of you that your time goes very quickly.

Karen
www.anothersisterformadison.bogspot.com.

AirFare

I have spent the past 2 days trying to find flights for all of us to travel to and from China. My head is about to explode. I have spent numerous hours on the phone and internet looking at different flights trying to find the one that is right for us money wise and timewise. I have talked to a few different travel agents and it seems like I get one story when we are figuring out the flights and the price seems pretty good but when you go to book it it seems like a totally different price. We would love to fly into Hong Kong and take the train to Guangzhou but that just seems way to confusing and at this point I don't need any more confusing. It looks like we may be flying out of Indy early Saturday September 11th to Chicago to LAX to Hong Kong to Guangzhou. Yes we will be flying on 9/11. Not too sure that I am excited about that one. We will arrive in Guangzhou late on Sunday September 12th and then meet Sophia the afternoon of Monday September 13th. So just alittle over a week and we will have Sophia. I can't even believe that it is happening. I am sure that it will be like our trip to China December 2009 and feel like a big dream. A wonderful dream with a beautiful teenage girl becoming our daughter. It looks like our flight out will be late evening Thur September 23rd. We are scheduled to get Sophia's visa in the afternoon so we should be fine with leaving late that evening. We should get home Friday September 24th around 10:55am. This will give us the weekend to pull ourselves back together before Madison has to go back to school and Dave back to work. I will be glad when our flights are book. One more thing to check off our list. We need to book a place to keep the car at the airport while we are gone and then after that we will concentrate on packing. We are hoping to pack light this time since the weather is much warmer then it was in December. Plus we aren't planning on taking so many snacks with us. There were plenty of places in Guangzhou to pick up Amerian type snacks. I need to sit down are evaluate our money situation after the airfare is paid for. The airfare looks like it may run a bit higher then I expected. Sophia we will be there soon.

Praise God!!!

Praise God is the only thing that keeps coming to my mind over and over and over when I look back at the last week and even the last 5 months. We have so much to Praise God for. God has shown up in our lives and showed us that he loves us and he will provide if we just try in him and live our life to glorify him. 5 months ago God spoke thru me when I called Madison Adoption Agency to ask about a beautiful girl that was about to age out of a Chinese Orphanage and immediately blurted out of my mouth "I want this girl, what do I need to do to make that happen". 5 months, only 5 months to get done piles and piles of paperwork and only 5 months to work thru all of the red tape of the United States Government and the Chinese Govenment in order to bring this beautiful girl home. Well we did it or should I say God did it. We received our Consulate Appt yesterday but it was for September 27th. We were planning on leaving the 24th so we would have to stay in China for another 4-5 days. Dave doesn't have 4-5 days in vacation time and there is no way that we could go without his pay for 4-5 days. I would have to stay and finish things up and Dave would have to come back early to go back to work. We could make it work if we had to but not my idea situation. Our adoption agency emailed one more time to the Consulate asking or should I say pleading our case so they would move our date up to the 20th or 21st. I checked my email last night before I went to bed and found an email from our agency saying that the Consulate had changed our appt from September 27th to September 20th. WOOOOHOOOOO!!!!!!! I got up first thing this morning and booked our hotel reservations. We have decided to stay at the Victory Hotel this time instead of the White Swan. It is a lot cheaper and it will be nice to experience something different. I used the Entertainment Book that I bought from my daughters school fundraiser and got a great price for 12 days at the Victory Hotel. I spent $759.12 for 12 nights and that included 2 buffet breakfast. We will just have to pay for the kids breakfast once we get there. I looked on the Victory Hotels website and the price for their buffet is only $10.00/person/day. The White Swan was $30.00/person/day. That would be $240.00 instead of $720.00. We need savings like that where ever we can get it. The room will only have 1 king bed which will be great for me and Dave and then we are taking 3 cheap inflatable beds for the 3 girls. I found some at Walmart for $11.88 apiece. That is only $35.00 compared to the $360.00 for just one cot at the hotel. Today we should get our itinerary and see what other cost we will incur for the guide, our tours, etc. I have already given our agency $3,000 towards that and since I have already booked the room (which they would have done) I am hoping that I get some of that back. I will book our flights as well today as soon as the Travel Agent gets in. Praying that the airfares are still at the price that he quoted me last week.
I just want to thank everyone that has followed along with this crazy journey of ours. I want to thank those who have prayed for us and helped us out financially. I have been amazed at how many people have donated to our Life Song account and I thank every one of you. Most of the names on the list I don't even know. I am blessed to have people that would donate money to complete strangers to help bring a girl home that is about to age out of an orphanage. Blessings to all of you.

Sophia we're almost there

In 2 weeks we will be on our way to China. Hard to believe that we are that close. We are still waiting on our TA from China. It was suppose to be faxed to our agency on either Thur or Fri but it never arrived. Praying that it comes on Monday. We haven't been able to book our flights yet because we have to have to TA to get the Consulate Appt and the Consulate Appt to know for sure the dates that we will be traveling. We have an unique case though because Sophia will age out on September 19th so we have to get our Consulate appt on a certain date. The date that we need though is booked but our agency is going to try to get them to squeeze us in. Or our agency is going to see if we can make the Consulate appt before Sophia's TB test is read. Pray that they will be able to squeeze us in on the booked date. I have posted some new pictures of Sophia. Boy she looks different everytime we get new pictures. There is a family in China right now that are adopting their daughter Quinn and they gave her a party with her friends from the orphanage and boarding school. Sophia was one that was invited. We have been so blessed with so many pictures of Sophia during our process. Below is an email that I received from Robert (the adoptive father of Quinn). It was so nice of him to write such a great description of our daughter Sophia.

Hi,This is Robert, Beth's husband. I was the most impressed with your daughter, Sophia, out of any of the children at the party. She was very mature and self-confident with her peers and adults. She was very kind and considerate with our 3 year old daughter. She seemed intelligent and calm, yet fun-loving and outgoing. She is very tall and beautiful. You are quite blessed to be adopting her. Good luck to you.Robert

We are excited to travel to China to make Sophia our daughter. I think that she will be a great fit with our group. We were told by the adopting family that is there now that Sophia said that she was jealous that their daughter Quinn was with her family. Oh sweet!!! Hold on Sophia, just two more weeks and it will be your turn.

Our beautiful daughter Sophia Meifang

Our beautiful daughter Sophia Meifang

Help bring Sophia Home-Tax Deductible Donations

We now have an account set up with Life Song for Orphans where people can donate to our adoption fund for Sophia and receive a tax receipt at the end of the year. Go to http://www.lifesongfororphans.org/ go towards the bottom on the left and click on "Make a Donation". Then go down towards the bottom and click on "Donate". Under purpose put "Huffman-Acct: 1151". You can pay by credit card, we get credit for the full amount and you get a tax receipt at the end of the year for your 2010 taxes. We are short $5,000 for our trip and we have to be in China by September 11th in order to adopt Sophia by her 14th birthday on September 19th. Please continue to pray for us for the following:



That we are able to come up with the rest of the money.



That we are able to get all of our things packed and organized by the time we need to travel.



That things will be ok here at home with my parents and Jake.



That Sophia has comfort that her family will get there in time.



That our transition with Sophia will be a smooth one.



That Katie will be ok with going back to China.



That Maddie doesn't have too much homework to take with her.



We give so much praise to God. He has shown up so many time during this adoption, Katie's adoption and just in our life in general. God is good and his timing is perfect.



PUZZLE PIECES

DON'T FORGET TO PURCHASE YOUR PUZZLE PIECE TO HELP BRING SOPHIA HOME. WE HAVE SOLD AROUND 18 PIECES AND I WILL BE POSTING A PICTURE SOON OF THE PIECES THAT WE HAVE SO FAR. WE ARE GOING TO SALE PIECES AT OUR GARAGE SALE AS WELL THIS WEEKEND SO I WILL KEEP YOU POSTED ON THAT AS WELL.

Puzzle piece fundraiser for Sophia

I have purchased a puzzle with Sophia's picture on it. Please donate $5.00 or whatever you feel led to donate to help bring Sophia home. Hit the Chip in button to donate online. I will be putting the names of people that have purchased a piece of the puzzle on the back of the puzzle pieces to remember all of our wonderful friends and family that helped to bring Sophia home. I will also frame the puzzle so we can see the front and back of the puzzle to give to Sophia when she is home. I will be posting pictures of the puzzle as the pieces come together.

Purchase a piece of the puzzle to bring Sophia home!!

Huffman Family

Huffman Family

Sophia and her friends from the orphanage

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Updated picture of Sophia

Updated picture of Sophia

Sophia with the bear that we sent her

Sophia with the bear that we sent her

Isn't she beautiful

Isn't she beautiful

Letter from Sophia

I couldn't copy and paste or download Sophia's letter on here so I am just going to type it in:



Dear parents,



How are you, ni hao!

Today I saw the pictures of you all. I hope you can come and take me home !



I love the pictures of our house and sightseeing. I love you all. The older brother and younger sister I would like to get to know you all according with your name. I love to see your smile.



I love the stuff bear which you sent me. It is so lovely. The orphanage is a very nice place. I have some good friends. And we play together. I am studying English. I just learn a little. I know FATHER, MOTHER, SISTER, LINTER in English.



I love the PHOTO (she knows this word). I love this family. I feel soooo happy. I love BANANA (she knows this word). Because the banana just like the moon on the sky. I love dogs and cat and it is because they are friendly and have kind hearts.



I am Mei Fang from China. I just love the way you smile. I want to say thank you FATHER and MOTHER. OK!



Your daughter, Yue Meifang



P.S. Ms. Zhuang said Yue Meifang also drew a painting for her parents. When they come to China Ms. Zhuang will give it to them.

Envelope with Sophia's letter in it

Envelope with Sophia's letter in it

Letter and Bear that we sent to Sophia

Letter and Bear that we sent to Sophia

Sophia's translated letter page 1

Sophia's translated letter page 1

Sophia's translated letter page 2

Sophia's translated letter page 2

Sophia's translated letter page 3

Sophia's translated letter page 3

Sophia's translated letter page 4

Sophia's translated letter page 4

Sophia's translated letter page 5

Sophia's translated letter page 5