Nine years and counting. . .


Nine years later, we still love every minute with beautiful Ahava.

Us and our Nine Year Old at the Xining Zoo

Growing up! Caught a smile on her way home from school today in her new uniform.

For Ahava’s birthday activity she choose to “Go to the Xining Zoo and play with the baby lions.”  We went on Sunday morning to the zoo and you can see the details in pictures below.

But first I wanna say too, that I am proud of her.  Her birthday was a Monday this year and we told her she could stay home from school IF she was willing to go up and talk with the teacher the Friday before, tell her she wasn’t coming to school and ask for Monday’s homework.  That might not sound like much to you, but culturally in the school they attend here, it’s no small thing to ask a child to do.  There was no pressure from us to do it.  We totally supported her going to school or not on her birthday, but we wanted to give her the opportunity.  She took it and went and talked with the teacher and got her homework assignments for Monday.  Doing what everyone else is doing is more natural for her and honestly she’s quite good at knowing what’s expected in various settings and even countries and doing the appropriate thing.  But this time she was also brave–willing to do something she was scared to do and I’m so glad she got her birthday off as a reward!

Well, a picture is worth a thousand words they say, so read on 🙂

Waiting for Bus #14 to go to the Zoo!

Little Children and Lion Cubs,
Gotta love China!

Ahava just loved this part. We stuck around after a wave of Zoo visitors and they let us have quite awhile just holding the cubs. Ahava got the one she was holding to fall asleep on her lap and I think that’s the happiest she’s ever been!

The very, very happy Birthday Girl!

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9 Responses to Nine years and counting. . .

  1. ericabakker says:

    Incredible birthday experience! What a beautiful young lady!

  2. Deb Morse says:

    Happy birthday Ahava!!! The girls will be soooo jealous when I show them these pictures! They both love big cats and would do anything to be able to hold a lion cub!!

  3. Liz and Family says:

    What a beautiful girl you are Ahava, inside and OUT! We miss you very much. The zoo looks like a great place for a birthday. Those baby cubs look as big as Asher! You’ve had a lot of practice caring for and loving on your two younger siblings. It shows in the way you are standing with them in the top picture, with your arms around each of them. You are an incredible big sister. Happy, Happy Birthday dear friend!!!! Love the Bloms

  4. Yuan Chai says:

    Happy Birthday to Ahava! It’s amzing to see how 9 years a baby girl can grow so much! That’s so great you can hold a baby lion… Good birthday experience for her.

  5. Pingback: The Firstborn « Dan And Ami

  6. airscolor9 says:

    Happy Birthday Ahava! I’m so jealous that you could hold lion cubs! They are really cute. Time flies fast, only 4 years since I met you for the first time, now you’ve grown up to be a beautiful and brave young lady! I wish you a lot a lot a lot more fun exploring abroad 🙂

  7. Ali says:

    I love the picture of the 3 of you on the stairs. Ahava’s smile is so sweet. Looks like a great day. I too am jealous about the lion cubs. Miss you all! Happy Birthday, Ahava.

  8. Kari Johnson says:

    Happy Birthday Ahava! That looked like an amazing birthday!! We miss you all and love you guys!

  9. Val Saffer-Stewart says:

    Happy birthday Ahava. Great pics of the family. Aunt Val

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