This fall was busy as usual, full with holidays, travel and fun.
We started out with the high holy days. Here we are getting ready to go to Yom Kippur services (wearing the dress grandma Betty bought for her.)
Then, later in September, Allison had to go to Sweden for a week. This was a bit of a trauma for daddy, but it worked out ok. We had Allison's new graduate student (Jessica) staying with us, so she helped me take care of Dana, and then grandparents Ben & Betty came down for the weekend. By the time Allison returned, I actually felt that I didn't have enough time alone with Dana! She definitely missed mommy, but she was OK. She started by learning about suitcases. Then, before mommy left, we made a video of her talking to Dana. I showed it to Dana several times a day (which she insisted on after the first viewing). Mommy would play games with Dana ("touch your eye Dana!") and Dana would happily follow along.
Then in November, daddy went on two short trips (to England and San Diego), and mommy was home alone with Dana. Daddy followed suit and also made a video for Dana, which she insisted on watching several times a day. Then later that month, Allison's mother had some serious surgery and Allison went to New York to be with her (fortunately, that went well). This time, daddy got to stay home alone with Dana for five days. There was only one emergency phone call to mommy when Dana finally was successful at driving daddy crazy! But after talking to mommy on the phone, daddy and Dana calmed down and order was restored!
Dana is getting very playful. Naturally, her favorite game continues to be peek-a-boo.
Dana continues to have lots of firsts. This was her first halloween. She was very proud of her pussy cat costume, and insisted on wearing it most of the day.
The major event of the Fall was our first adoption reunion weekend. Two of the other families we travelled to Kazakhstan with to adopt children live fairly near us (Virginia and North Carolina). We met for the weekend on Smith Island - a small fishing village in the southern end of Chesapeake Bay. It is a beautiful little island with 75 people living on it, and an hour ferry ride from the peninsula. We took over a bed & breakfast and had a beautiful (but windy) weekend. Michelle and Brad Greene and their child Alina (upper right) and Vicki Wilkinson and her baby Holly (far left, picture below) were all doing well. It was wonderful to see everyone thriving, and to see the three girls together.
Finally, the Fall is winding to a close and Thanksgiving is upon us. To celebrate the holiday, I gave Dana her first baking lesson. She was very eager to help make the pumpkin pies and helped at every stage (including eating!). This year, we certainly do have plenty to be thankful for - much of it in one 25 pound Dana package.
Everyone told us that having a child was incomparable to anything else, but the pleasure and love Dana gives to us every day goes even beyond that. This year, we are thankful beyond measure.
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All text and photos Copyright (c) 2000 Ben Bederson