Monday, March 31, 2008

Min Xiu Updates

We received updated photos and measurements of our XiuXiu! She is currently 19 kilos (almost 42 pounds) and 111 cm tall, so she is a size 5/6.

We have heard that our travel approval should be arriving in St. Louis (where our agency's office is located) today, but we will still need to wait for the consulate appointment to finalize our plans and purchase those tickets.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Our Incredible Bridge Building Team

The North Carolina Department of Transportation sponsors a bridge building competition and invites middle and high schools from around the state to participate. Teams are judged on their bridge (which had to be light and strong), an oral presentation and an essay.

Our team started meeting after school once a week in October. Students were challenged to build a bridge that was both light and strong, using balsa wood and glue. It had to have a clear span large enough for a 3" cube to pass under and space for a 2" cube to "drive" over the bridge. Everyone designed, then built, then weighed and finally stress-tested their bridges. The winning bridge was designed by Sarah Beach and Tanika Bantukul and they spent the next couple of months working to improve upon the design for entry in today's regional competition.

The rest of the bridge building team devoted themselves to the essay and the oral presentation. The group of students who were in charge of the presentation decided to do a skit based on Star Wars with characters Obi Wan Compression, Darth Deadload, Yoganeer and Luke Tension (Alex). Their skit was fantastic and did a great job of explaining the engineering behind bridges!

Our bridge was one of the lightest, but unfortunately was not strong enough to be the winning bridge. We were surprised and thrilled to learn that our essay and skit earned enough points for our end of day total to edge out the competition and win the middle school division! We now have one month to strengthen our design for the state competition in April. Great job team!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Monday, March 3, 2008

Lauren Min Xiu McKenzie

We've been holding tight to some news. Some wonderful news that after our experience with GuoXin we felt we needed to wait until sharing. Wait until we had our official referral from China. Well today we got the call from our agency that the Seeking Confirmation Letter had arrived from China! They are going to overnight it to us and we should have the official referral tomorrow for our 8 year old daughter, Fu Min Xiu. She is currently living in Fuzhou (pronounced Fu-Joe) City, in Jiangxi Provence. We should be traveling mid-May to meet her and bring her home.