Saturday, January 7, 2012

Happy First Birthday, Baby Girl!

We spent much of today celebrating our new daughter's first birthday. We love you sweetie! 
For those of you familiar with Korean culture, first birthdays are one of the most important days of someone's life.  It was definitely bittersweet for us - celebrating her big milestone, but wanting so much to be with her to share it.  We spent time dreaming about how her special day was going and wondering when we might actually see photos of her in her birthday Hanbok - we can't wait!  In the meantime, here are two additional pics we received with our referral.  First, posing for the camera:
And here playing with Pororo the Little Penguin, a popular Korean cartoon character.  (Note Pororo's trademark aviator glasses... they resemble Zander's aviator goggles pictured in our previous post).
We started out the day at the police station... getting (yet another) set of fingerprints taken in preparation for Baby Girl's adoption.  We counted that this was the seventh time we've both been fingerprinted for the two adoptions... and Mommy continues to get feedback that she has extremely dry hands/fingers!

Next Mommy swung by the post office to pick up a piece of certified mail.  How very fitting that it happened to be Zander's Certificate of Citizenship, the very last document we've been waiting for related to his adoption (a very long wait as Zander's official date of citizenship was 1/27/11)!  The certificate came with a nice 'letter' from the president on White House stationery complete with Presidential Seal watermark. 

Next it was time for brunch.  Nana Pat joined us at a restaurant close to the police station for a delicious meal.  Zander celebrated with his first Mickey Mouse-shaped pancake!  We chatted about Baby Girl, and hope that she soon receives the care package we sent her recently.  The adoption agency allows occasional care packages to be sent, provided that the contents fit inside a gallon-sized Ziploc bag.  It's a wonderful way for us to stay connected, but hard to determine how to best use the limited space.  Here's a photo of what we sent: cute dress with matching leggings and cardigan, disposable camera, the 'girl' version of a cell phone toy that Zander loves, a super-soft small blanket, and a soft photo album containing several pictures of our family.  We hope she loves it!
Next it was time for the first week of Zander's Mini-Hops class, a gymnastics-oriented class for toddlers.  Zander really enjoyed Mini-Hops last year at this time, so we were excited to get him back to see how he much he has grown and progressed.  Unfortunately he wasn't very engaged today - he chose to watch the other kids practice vs. doing much on his own.  Maybe next week will be better!  Zander kindly translated his 'sort of off-ness' into naptime and took more than an hour to go down (but at least he went down!).

After nap, we ventured out to shop for a bedroom set for Baby Girl.  This was the first real shopping we've done with her in mind, it made her joining our family feel more 'real', and it was fun to envision her in her new room!  We got some great ideas and look forward to ordering a set soon.

We then enjoyed a wonderful Korean dinner at Kabuki - an Eden Prairie restaurant that we hadn't tried before.  It was very tasty and we look forward to returning!  Zander did a great job eating Jap Chae (a favorite noodle dish) with his new Pororo beginner's chopsticks.  He also led us in a (somewhat subdued) round of 'Happy Birthday' in honor of his Baby Sister - so cute!

Finally, we celebrated Baby Girl with a Birthday Cake at home with Nana Pat, Uncle Bob, Aunt Heather, and Cousins Luke and Brady.  Here is Zander with the strawberry angel food cake:
(Daddy's quote at breakfast: 'angel food for our little angel...')
Baby Girl received an adorable Birthday gift from her cousins: a giant, super-duper soft and cuddly teddy bear... as tall as Zander!:
It was a very special gift - we know she will love it!
We really cherished having our family celebrate with us tonight and said some special prayers for our big one-year-old girl!

...Oh yeah, we've received some questions about Baby Girl's name... we've just started working on that, hoping to decide in the coming weeks and share maybe on Valentine's Day... stay tuned!

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