Friday, September 16, 2011

Celebrting our 3rd Forever Family Day

 Enjoying our "traditional" Chinese dinner at the Dragon Express

 Mama and Papa arrived today just to help celebrate

 Our beautiful China doll with her "Gotcha Day" gift
It is so hard to realize Carissa Joy-Le (Yue Qiaole) has been home with her "forever family" three years now.  What a fun three years it as been.  She has gone from a little scared one year old to a blossoming preschooler.  She is becoming more and more independent wanting to do most everything "herself".  She now tells me I am not a little baby anymore, I am a "big girl".  As much as I love watching her grow and mature, I am a little sad she is a little baby or toddler anymore. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Right after they handed Carissa to us for the first time.

A few minutes later when she had stopped crying. 

One Year Later!!

Two Years Later!!
Today marks the second anniverary of Carissa's Forever Family Day.  Two years ago we met our precious daughter for the first time in the Hunan Adoption Affairs office in Changsha, Hunan, China.  It still amazes me often of what a perfect fit she is for our family.  She has grown sooooo much in these past two years.  She was once a scared, chunky little baby and now she has blossomed into a beautiful and silly little girl.  I am forever grateful for the life her birthparents gave her, for the Yueyang City SWI that took such good care of her that first year of life, and that God chose her to place in our home.  We are celebrating tomorrow evening with dinner out at a local Chinese buffet. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Happy 3rd Birthday Carissa!!

The beautiful birthday girl with her "stash"
What a silly girl!!
The GIANT cupcake she requested!!
Carissa opening up her present from her friend Ezri!!
Carissa with her birthday money from Mama and Papa

Chasing Mommy!!
 Today was Carissa's 3rd birthday.  We began the day with going to church.  After church, her friend Ezri along with her parents came over for lunch and birthday cake.  Mama and Papa Smith also came to visit for her special day.  We had a nice lunch with a LARGE cupcake for desert.  She got lots of fun presents and loves telling people that she is three and a Big Girl now.  We love you Carissa Joy-Le!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

First Day at Grandma and Grandpa Freed's in Minnesota

Today is a first full day at Grandma and Grandpa Freeds and we are enjoying a day of relaxing.  We went downtown Edina for ice cream in the evening and met an Asian family.  Some were from China and some from Vietnam.  Carissa met a little girl, Janessa, who was 18 months old.  Soooo cute!!  After some yummy ice cream, we walked around a little then went to have some fun at a local playground.

Carissa's new Chinese/Vietnamese friend, Janessa, we met at the Ice Cream Shop
This is fun!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Happy 4th of July 2010

My beautiful Chinese-American Girl!!

Ryan and Carissa playing nose-nose

Carissa is leaning in for a kiss or a "lick"

One of her favorite things to do at the park is swing
Happy Fourth of July!!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Second Chinese New Year Party

Carissa in one of my favorite Chinese outfits

 Carissa Making her Chinese mask

Getting ready to make her Chinese Lantern
Natalie, Carissa and Megan

Tonight we were invited by some friends to a Chinese pot luck sponsored by the language school their two daughters attend in Zeeland.  The food was great and they had several crafts for the kids and some of the classes performed traditional Chinese dance for us.  There were several Chinese exchange students there as well and one performed a beautiful dance and the other played an instrument (can't remember what it was and as of right now, I am unable to upload the videos. 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Little Valentine!!

Not only is it Chinese New Year today but it is also Valentines Day. Carissa got a few fun gifts for both Valentines Day and some new Chinese children's book for CNY.