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July 20, 2005

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Publication Date: Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Katie's Corner: Katie's friend has a new sister -- from China Katie's Corner: Katie's friend has a new sister -- from China (July 20, 2005)

By Katie Blankenberg

6th-grader, St. Raymond School

Something very special happened to my 11-year-old friend Tess Miller and her family last year. They went to China to adopt a little girl.

Her name is Kaidi (pronounced Ki-dee) and she attends St. Raymond School with Tess and me. Kaidi and my sister Sabina will be entering first grade in the fall.

Since it has been a little over a year since Tess and her mom Lisa, dad Mike and brother Liam went to China to adopt Kaidi, I thought it would be interesting to find out how things are going.

Tess and I recently got together to talk about what life is like with Kaidi around. Tess always wanted a sister and when she learned that her family would adopt a 4-year-old girl from China, she was so happy she jumped for joy.

Her parents thought that because of population restrictions in China, including the policy that limits many families to one child, this would be a good place to adopt a child.

After two years of waiting, the Miller family received a small picture of Kaidi, which they enlarged and put in all the rooms in the house. The next step was to get on a plane, fly to Hong Kong and meet Kaidi, who was living in an orphanage in Henan, a Chinese province.

Tess and her family were very nervous, especially her mom, Lisa, who never gets nervous.

When Kaidi was brought to the hotel where the Miller family was staying, she was very shy, clinging to the representative from Adopt International. Tess immediately said to Kaidi in Chinese, "I am your sister."

The little shy girl from China has blossomed into a very outgoing and happy girl. She spoke no English when she arrived from China, but soon learned to speak it. After only a few months in Menlo Park, she was ready to attend kindergarten at St. Raymond School.

Kaidi is also teaching Tess lots of things: they are attending a Mandarin language camp this summer. She has brought so much joy to Tess and her family. Every day is an exciting day for the Miller family. Kaidi is always up for a new adventure.

The Miller family plans to take Kaidi back to visit her orphanage in China in the near future. Meanwhile, Tess continues to smile and learn about what sisterhood is all about.
Katie Blankenberg, 11, lives in Menlo Park.

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