This blog chronicles the miracles and struggles of our daughters, Emily and Olivia. Emily was born 15 weeks early and had many complications, but she continues to amaze us! Olivia, born in China with heart complications, is also beating the odds. She joined her forever family (us!) when she was four years old and has been doing wonderfully! UPDATE: We started homeschooling August 2009 :)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Olivia says her name!

Olivia has been answering to her new name, but often seems to be trying to gently correct us when we say "Olivia," by pointing to herself and saying, "Tan Tan!" When she asks for things, she uses her Chinese name, saying things like, "Tan Tan go outside?" And why not? For four years she had a perfectly good name and then these strange people swooped in start calling her by the WRONG name!! While she'd humor us by responding to "Olivia," she never had much interest in saying it. And, on the rare occasions she tried (with much coaching), she'd get tripped up with the difficult letters (especially V). So, I was very surprised today to hear her say her name as plain as day and had to run to get the camera!! Some might have suggested a better backdrop (you'll see if you watch the video), but I've learned that I have to catch the moment before it's gone! I did try to recapture the moment in a nice sunny outside spot, but the moment was over and there just wasn't the same enthusiasm.

All of this is exciting yet a little sad because as she gains English and a new American identity, she loses her Chinese-ness. It's kind of like the bittersweetness of watching a baby's milestones; it's neat to see the progress, but it's sad to let go of the previous stage that can never return. It's too bad she can't keep both English and Chinese...

Right after I captured this I put her down for a nap and apparently I had the volume up too high while editing the video clip, because she's just responded to the video by yelling down, "hi, Olivia" to the girl she is hearing! Volume is now down. Go to sleep, Olivia :)

(you may have to double click on the arrow and it may have some stops and starts the first time through as it's buffering)


susan said...

Wow-she is so clear, and so clearly happy with her new word.

Caroline said...


She sounds clear as a bell. And, I think the backdrop is classic. Figures that's where her moment of clarity takes place.