Thursday, May 8, 2008

And Now, a Word...

Ni Hao!

I just got a new toy: a webcam for my laptop. I'm warming up all this media stuff in preparation for our trip to China to adopt Katie. I now have a decent camcorder, a tiny digital camera, my Treo with camera and camcorder features, and this webcam.

I'll be video posting my mug periodically to give you up-to-the-minute news and commentary about the big event. Here's a test dose--if you immediately feel weak and nauseated, please engage your screensaver ASAP.

We have the good fortune of having connections in the medical community around here, and my friend Weining has agreed to take Katie on as a patient. Weining is a pediatrician and a Chinese native who has been practicing in our Metrop for a number of years. She has already read over the Chinese version of Katie's medical report, and gives us the thumbs up on her health.

Katie is small for her age compared with Caucasian babies, as befits a southern Chinese person (remember that Yao Ming, the 7 foot tall NBA pro, is from northern China). On U.S. growth charts, she is around the 25th percentile for height and head circumference, but near the 50th percentile for weight. Weining says that Chinese and Korean babies are often comparatively large at birth, and slim down a lot as they grow.

Our friend Xiaoyang, whom we met last year when she was a visiting professor at SCSU, has helped us translate the name the orphanage gave to little Katie. It's a little sad, really. Here's her recent email:

I saw little Katie; she's cute!
Yes, thanks to the scanned picture of her name, it has a meaning to me now! The first Chinese character means "country", which seldom is used as a family name in China. I guess it's the SWI workers who picked this word as her family name, which in this case would mean: Katie is a member of the big family--China and she'll be taken care of by the "country". The second character means "river" and the third one "a boat". So in general Katie's Chinese name means: she's like a boat on the river and will go wherever the river takes her...
Does my explanation make sense to you now?
My semester will be ended at the beginning of July so i'll be available during your stay in China. Hopefully you'll be able to visit my city--Nanjing, the capital city of Jiangsu Province! I guess you two are busy studying Chinese maps! :)
Looking forward to meeting you in China!

As are we, Xiaoyang! My GrandStay Hotels Cycling teammate, Chia, has been in Shanghai since last fall, and will be there until October or so. It turns out that Nanjing and Shanghai are fairly close together in northeastern China, so if we're able to travel for a few days before or after we are united with Katie, we'll try to get over to the east side and have a nice visit with both of you.

It may be best to stay away from Beijing on this trip since it's so close to the opening of the Olympics there on 08-08-08, and the denizens are in a fair tizzy as I hear tell. Hey, if I'd been spitting or smoking all my life to my heart's content, and suddenly the authorities outlawed it, I'd be pretty stressed out too. The whole Tibet thing has caused quite a bit of dyspepsia over there as well.

Well, time to see if Soulmate has left anything off the baby registry at and BabiesRUs. I have forbidden her to buy anything for Katie until she has at least registered, so her many friends can hope to buy anything for her upcoming shower. Otherwise, she would probably buy every baby item on the shelves tomorrow.


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