We celebrated Tom’s birthday two days in a row…once on the 13th in Taiwan and again the 14th since it was the 13th in Alaska. I've been waiting for a great clip Sunny recorded of the surprise part before I posted, so it's a bit late. And since Tom is my official photographer, on his day off, I did poorly at recording the day, so I'll post some of his favorite pictures instead.
Tom found interesting subject matter everywhere; he was always tailing the group because he was turning here and there finding photographs to take: dogs, flowers, food, landscape, people, buildings, signs. Makes for a great record of our trip.
The Taiwan celebration was a bit flurried…an instant chat with the social worker...
For Tom’s birthday treat, some of the school kids and I made sugar cookies. In my observation, ovens are rarely used and when I have seen them, they are more the size of a toaster oven, so I wasn’t sure how things would turn out. When I thought they were done, other helpers came along and put them back in the oven, so they were pretty crunchy by the time it was all over with.
We also made some cute birthday cards; in addition to Tom’s birthday, it was also Steven’s birthday, Sunny’s son (she is the wonderful assistant here).
The conversation about what to say on the cards was highly entertaining. We did it on the board and talked about what we liked about Tom and Steven. The first descriptor for Tom was “very strong.” We ended up with: strong, cool, tall, and handsome; on the cover the words: “You is a strong boy.”
Ching gathered about 20 kids and they all hid around the main room (the hiding build up was a dramatic as the surprise) and popped out when he came in the room.
It was a birthday COMPLETELY different than any other. Alaska salmon for dinner for the whole house.
Adoption update: we finally connected via MSN Messenger with the social worker who oversees Han, the youngest of the 3 siblings who is in foster care. We’ve tried at various times over the past week and been unsuccessful at connecting. She and I instant messaged for about an hour, and I got all kinds of information about Han-han from her, so it was a success even though we didn’t talk to him at all. That is a huge goal of mine…to get as much information as possible from anyone who has first hand experience with the kids. With the language barrier, it is all we will have about them for awhile, so every tidbit is important.