2000 DeFazio Family Updates


Welcome to the New Millennium

Please feel free to read our story and contact me with any questions, suggestions, etc.

Christopher - age 4 1/2

Christopher - Age 4 1/2


Family picture 2000

Well it's a new year and my new years resolution will be to better maintain my website. I really slacked off last year.

January went so fast. We had our first snowfall that Christopher would remember. He enjoyed his time in the snow but wanted to go back in the house. Imagine that, a kid from Russia and he doesn't like the snow.


I had my first conference with Christopher's pre-school teacher. She was quite pleased with Christopher's progress. She mentioned that Christopher is so cute, especially when he looks at you with his puppy dog eyes. She mentioned that Christopher is a quick learner and has picked up the Spanish and Sign Language very well. It also seems that Christopher is adorded by his classmates (both boys and girls). They seem to look up to him as the leader. I was very pleased after our meeting.

Well Christopher will be 5 in June and that means Kindergarten in September. We have an appointment for kindergarten registration on Feb. 8th. I had to complete 5 forms asking all kinds of questions (I don't remember filling this out for my other kids but maybe the questions didn't stick out like they do now). For example, they ask alot of questions to understand the upbringing of the child, like how was your pregnancy?, delivery?, family medical history. Our meeting next week will be quite interesting. I'm sure I'm more nervous about Chris starting kindergarten then he his. I'm sure he'll flourish as he has been for the past 4 years.

Well time to sign off for now but I'll be back.



APRIL 2000 -

Christopher went to the elementary school for his kindergarten screening test. He was a little nervous and kept asking if I was going to be with him the entire time. I promised I would. We diod all of the preliminary paperwork - medical, registration info, etc. It was finally time to meet with a teacher. She came over to him and asked if he would join her at a separate table "so that they could talk". He looked at me, made sure I'd sit there and wait for him and went along.

They spent about 15-20 minutes talking and drawing pictures. After they finished, the teacher let me know he did fine. He was very hesitant in duplicating the pictures she gave him. He kept saying he couldn't but with a little encouragement, he did great. She also mentioned that as she was questioning him on colors, he answered everything in Spanish. The apple was rojo, the sky - azul, the grass - verde, and so on. Fortunately, the teacher knew Spanish and he got them all correct but she had to keep reminding him to answer in English. HOW CUTE!!!!
Easter was fun. We woke up at 6 am (ugh) for our Easter egg hunt. We found all of the eggs and counted our money. I have Easter at my house so it was a very busy and hectic day. The kids love to have their Aunts, Uncles, Grandparent, Great-Grandparents and cousins over so it was a great day.


Sunset in Aruba


May 2000 - My husband and I went on our first vacation alone together in 9 years. We didn't count our trip to Russia as a vacation. It just didn't have the romance and relaxation we were looking for.

Well for my husbands 40th birthday, I took him to Aruba. This is definitely what the doctor ordered.


We spent a glorious 8 days and 7 nights in the sun. We stayed at the Marriott Resort which was beautiful. We went on a 3 hour snorkeling trip that brought us to beautiful fish and coral, as well as, an interesting view of a sunken ship.


June

Well Christopher turned 5 on June 26th - we had a big family party on Sunday, June 25th. His theme this year was Star Wars. My husband got the Star Wars - Episode 1 video for his 40th birthday and boy did Christopher get hooked. My mother-in-law can vouch for that. While Guy and I were in Aruba, my mother-in-law got to watch Star Wars for eight days straight. She was a real trooper. It is really funny how Christopher resemples Anakin.


Here are some photos from the party: click on the thumbnail to see a larger picture.

Christopher enjoying his Star Wars cake Christopher opening his gifts Brianne and Taylor enjoying the party

MORE BIG NEWS - Christopher graduated from Pre-school this month as well. He'll be in camp this summer at the YMCA. He is really looking forward to it. Then off to kindergarten in September.



AUGUST

We went to Wildwood, NJ (our annual family vacation). The kids love going. We stay at the same place every year - The Brittany Motel. The owners are great and they sponsor special evening events for the kids - a hot dog night and a treasure hunt. My sisters visited us in Wildwood and the kids had a great time playing with their cousins. Here are some photos from our trip: click on the thumbnail to see a larger picture.

Feeding seagulls on the Boardwalk Chris on the Nascar ride Jennifer enjoying the beach Cousins Nicholas and Lauren on a fast ride with Jennifer and Chris Playing Parchesi with cousins Julian, Adrianne and Brianne Julian, Chris, Brianne, Adrianne and Jennifer waiting by the pool Jennifer and Chris at the beach The gang at the pool Chris and his new friends build a sand city Getting silly on the boardwalk

Christopher got his first chance at riding a 2 wheeler (well almost) as you can see from the picture below. The weather was great and we got some great tans.

Mom and Chris riding a double bikeJennifer and Chris


SEPTEMBER

I received my confirmation letter from Angel's Wings that I am a fully certified volunteer. I can't wait to get on the schedule!

Well vacation is over and we thought it was time for 'Back to School" only one problem - the Hamilton Towship teachers are on strike! The kids were so excited about going to school, Christopher was thrilled to be starting kindergarten and being a Big Boy. These kids have been crushed. We are on Day 8 of the strike and hope to see a resolution REAL soon. We'll keep our fingers crossed.


September 18th- The strike is over and school has started. Christopher was very excited on his first day and had a great day.


School has been going great. The kids keep busy. We have our first Parent - Teacher Conference on Thursday, October 19th. I can't wait to get the scoop on Christopher.


OCTOBER 2000 -

I have volunteered over 28 hours at Angel's Wings since becoming certified. (I worked an emergency shift last night due to another volunteers illness). In addition, there are not enough certified volunteers to fill the schedule so many of us are working more than one shift a week.

My heart pours out to these love starved children. The same 5 children have been at Angel's Wings for about a month now (3 of these children are adoptable so they are looking for a more permanent home). It is overwhelming to walk in and have the children run up to you and (literally) knock you over with hugs and kisses. Sure some of these children may have emotional difficulties but to look into their innocent eyes knowing how much they need a little attention melts my heart.

Many people ask me how I juggle a full time job, my family, my home, being involved in my kids activities/school and yet still have time to volunteer for Angel's Wings....I answer that I have been very blessed in my life, especially with happy, healthy children. I felt inside that I needed to do more to help others who may not be as fortunate. As soon as I heard about Angel's Wings, I knew that this is what I was meant to do.

I thank God for giving me the opportunity (...the strength, the patience, etc.) to give to these wonderful children.


DECEMBER 2000


Guy, Jennifer & Christopher Dec 2000 The last 2 months have been pretty hectic getting ready for the holidays. The kids have been busy writing their Christmas lists. We had an early Christmas with my family on December 9th, since my parents were heading to Florida. This worked out really well as Christmas was streched out for a few weeks.

As you can imagine, the kids were pretty spoiled once again. But as always, we also do our best to make the holidays special for less fortunate families (which the kids enjoy as well). We visited the kids at Angels Wings as well. We relaxed most of Christmas week. We got hit with our first snowstorm in 2000 (and the worst in 5 years) on Dec. 29th. We got a total of 14 inches of snow but dug ourselves out pretty quickly. The kids got to play and had a lot of fun. We stayed home New Years Eve. We watched movies and drank eggnog. The kids were up at midnight said goodnight and went to bed. Ahh Time to relax now. Guy and I brought our champagne out to the hot tub and enjoyed the brisk but beautiful night.


WE WISH EVERYONE A HAPPY HEALTHY NEW YEAR!!! For those of you who have adopted, are in the process of adopting, or are thinking about adopting, our prayers are with you and your family.

ADOPTION STORY LINKS

March 1996-When We Started

April 1996-How We Began

May 1996-Continuing Saga Of Bureaucracy

June 1996-Preparing For Trip To Russia

July 1996-Our Dreams Realized

1996-How is Christopher Thomas Coming Along(updated Dec. 30, 1996)

1997-DeFazio Family Updates(updated Dec. 31, 1997)

1998-DeFazio Family Updates(updated October 12, 1998)

Financial Page

Silly Christopher Album

Christopher Thomas's Story(updated October 12, 1998)

Our daughter Jennifer's page (Work in progress)
An album of Christophers friends from Russia(added November 4, 1998)
A Collection of Poems(added November 4, 1998)



Other Helpful Adoption Links

Children's Adoption Network

International Adoption Clinic

Families of Russian and Ukraine Adoptions (FRUA)

Adoption Information, Assistance, Support

1996 janice.defazio@excite.com

Feel free to E-Mail me with questions, comments, (or suggestions for my site).