"Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west." - Isaiah 43:5


What a wonderful Christmas season! From the early stages of decorating the tree to the final stages of taking it down, the events of December and early January have filled our hearts to overflowing.

Dayna loved looking at all the “pretties” on the Christmas tree, but never really bothered any of the ornaments. Her vocabulary expanded to include “Ho, Ho, Ho”. (She received a Noah’s Ark playset, and since Noah has a white beard, he now says, “Ho, Ho, Ho” as well!) She loves Santa from a distance and will throw many kisses his way, but watch out if he gets too close! We guess she’s pretty normal for a toddler.

We spent a week and a half in Oregon with Alaina’s family. Despite travel delays and near-missed connections (due to weather in Phoenix, of all places!), we arrived in Portland on the 23rd of December. Dayna traveled remarkably well and had all the travel weary passengers in the front of the plane wrapped around her little finger…quite the entertainer she is becoming! Once through the secured area in Portland, we stepped out to have TV cameras in our faces asking us about travel conditions during the busiest time of the year. We weren’t so thrilled to be on TV after being awake for WAY too long and encountering so many delays and unexpected stops.

Because of our travel plans, Dayna had four Christmas celebrations: one with each set of grandparents, one with us, and one with the entire Wood clan at Uncle Troy & Aunt Donna’s house. She has been thoroughly spoiled and her aunts have sought revenge on Alaina…drum sets, xylophones, and anything else that makes noise. (Alaina still doesn’t regret the noisy toys she bought her nieces and nephews so many years ago!) We also had a wonderful visit with Dan’s brother Tom. Dayna had never met her cousins and they seemed to enjoy playing with her (and spoiling her just a *little*).

Some other treats in Portland included visiting the China staff at our adoption agency, All God’s Children International. The ladies were kind enough to come in on their day off to have breakfast with us. We were also able to meet another AGCI couple who left this past Friday to get their daughter from China. It was odd having dinner with John and Carol and being the “voice of experience” as they were preparing to travel. Also while in Oregon, we had lunch with a high school friend of Alaina’s; who now lives in China with her family. It was fun reminiscing about our trip and talking about such Chinese wonders as split pants and squatty potties!

Our return home was a bit more frustrating for Dayna. She was coming off a week of being overindulged, overstimulated and overtired. But, we made it home safely, and have spent the last week getting readjusted to our schedule. School starts again tomorrow, which means back to daycare for Dayna.

One last exciting treat for us…last April, we received a picture of Dayna still in the orphanage. She was next to a precious little boy who also had a cleft lip and palate. We have prayed for this boy since then. We found out at the orphanage that he was her “best friend”; his crib was next to hers and she would fall asleep reaching for him for months after we brought her home. Through the miracle of the internet, his mother found our website this past week and we shared stories and pictures. Philip was adopted in September. Sure enough, Philip still sleeps reaching through his crib for Dayna. Alaina got to speak to his mother for almost an hour this week, and we feel that we have not only made new friends, but expanded our family as well. Please pray for Philip and his parents as he goes through his palate repair on the 19th.

Thanks for your continued support and prayers. We love hearing from you all.
Dan, Alaina & Dayna

Sneaking into the Christmas cookies
Before Christmas Eve service
Is that Santa?
Our Christmas Eve comfy jammies
Wow! Comfy!
Touchdown Bears!
A gift from Dan's coworker in Chicago.

* Does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Dan or Alaina
Look at my new kitchen!
Revenge of the Aunts
All God's Children China staff
I am exhausted from all this Christmas fun!


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