Arden Shan


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Bret came home from school today and showed me their school paper.  Arden had an article in it.  And, just in case you can't read it, it says this:

"Being adopted changed by life.  I had to adapt to a new lifestyle, and language and basically, a whole new world.  For me, it was easier than for most adopted kids.  I was adopted into a family who also adopted children before.   I wasn't alone in this transformation and my parents helped me tremendously.  Having siblings who were also adopted helped me adjust to my new life.  They experienced what I was going through and that really made things less terrifying.  My family helped me learn English by reading with me every single day after school, being patient when I messed things up and most importantly, loving me for way I am.  It took roughly three months to learn English,  but that wasn't the biggest challenge.  The biggest challenge was adjusting to American food.  For the longest time, I would not eat anything besides bananas.  Now I deeply hate bananas with a passion.  With that being said, nothing is perfect.  "But what I can tell you is how lucky I am to be adopted by my parents and how much I love my family."

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In China adopting Cokie, but finding Arden.  Yes, I did pull a fast one on Mike, or at least I like to think I did. 

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This was Mike meeting Arden in China.  I just kind of sprung her on him.  You can tell Arden is trying really hard here, but is not so good with this strange white man putting his arm around her.
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Meeting Arden one year later with our legal documents in tow. I'm sure Arden was in a little bit of shock. She told me later she just thought we looked really clean. : - )

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This little girl was never adopted, but was with Arden the first time I saw Arden in the orphanage.  Just a couple of years later,  Arden's best friend and I became very good friends.  She actually found Arden here in the US- long story.  She told me she saw this little girl out in China.  The little girl's birth family came back and got her.  Arden's friend was crying when she told me the story.  She said the little girl was dirty, crying and sad.  She said her birth parents were mean to her and "wished we had adopted her." 


As soon as we picked Arden up and got on the bus, I had the guide asked her if she wanted to be called her old name, Shan or her new name,  Arden.  She said, "Arden!"  Never again did she want to be called Shan.  I did talk her into letting me keep Shan for her middle name, but she wanted to change it too.