Welcome to the Connell Family
Christmas / New Year 2002 web page!

From Chuck: This web page is in response to my embarrassment at the wonderful holiday letters we get every year, but never send ourselves. This year I was determined to make our own letter, so here it is as a web page.

Our biggest news this year was obviously our trip to China to adopt our wonderful, adorable, cute, little Elizabeth. If you haven't already seen it, this event has its own web page. Please take a look to follow our journey over several years. For other news, each family member has a space below to write about whatever they want. For every picture you see, you can click on it for a large image.

From Katie: My teacher's name is Mrs. Marino. She is nice. My family went to China. We adopted a baby girl named Elizabeth. She was 9 months when we got her. Now she is 14 months old. I take dance class. There are 11 kids in it. One of my friends' names is Sarah. She is not in my school class. I like to play in my room with Sarah. I'm 7 years old. My full name is Katherine. My nickname is Katie. I like people to call me Katie.

Here I am holding my new sister, who is holding her favorite toy, the TV remote control.

From Charles: Hi everyone. I am now attending John Glenn Middle School. I like it more than elementary school, especially because we have a different teacher for every subject. So the day never gets boring; you are always moving around to different rooms. My favorite subject is Tech Ed. We just finished making a hot-air balloon, which flew very high. I am continuing to take piano lessons and go to Boy Scout meetings. My favorite scout activity this year was a camping trip to Bear Island on Lake Winnipesaukee, NH.

Here we are hiking at Waterville Valley.

From Janet: This is the space where Janet should write about her year. She is calling to me from the kitchen though, saying she is too busy holding the family together to write anything... Hold on... She is now trying to come to the computer to type something.... No wait, she can't walk over here, because Elizabeth is holding onto both her legs to practice standing... Now Janet is calling out from the laundry room, saying she might make it to the computer, after the last load is done... The laundry is finished. All the kids are asleep. Janet is now trying again to come to the computer to write something. Wait... Uh Oh! She has seen the sofa and collapsed on it, just to rest her eyes briefly after a long day of multiple, simultaneous childcare... This looks bad; her eyes have not opened for a long time... I don't think she will be typing anything...

Ha, ha, very funny. This is really Janet now. The previous description is pretty accurate though. I am busier now with 3 kids, including a crawler/toddler, but I'm enjoying the fun and occasional chaos. Best wishes to everyone.

This is one of my favorite pictures from the year. It is the official "sibling" photo taken by the school photographer.

From Chuck again: It's been a great year. Obviously, going to China and getting Elizabeth were highlights. Charles and Katie learned to be awesome travelers on our trip and I'm very proud of them. We are glad we built some "vacation time" into our trip, beyond the required minimum to complete the adoption. We saw wonderful sites in Beijing at the start of our trip and in Hong Kong at the end -- especially the Great Wall and Hong Kong harbor at night. This year we also spent weekends in Ogunquit ME in February and April, in Old Sturbridge Village in September, and in Waterville Valley in October. In Sturbridge, we watched a real water-powered saw mill, which was very interesting and LOUD. In Waterville, we took some beautiful foliage hikes and enjoyed the year-round ice-skating rink. We highly recommend this area for the Columbus weekend. For work, I continue to run my solo consulting business and to write articles about software engineering. Best wishes to all our friends and family.

From Elizabeth: Well, you guys think you had a big year? Yours was nothing compared to mine! I started the year as a 3-month old in an orphanage in a remote city in China. When I was 9 months old, some strange-looking people with big noses started taking care of me in a hotel in a new city. That hotel sure was cold all the time -- about 70 degrees or so. I was used to 110 degrees during the day. The man and lady at the hotel were OK, but I really liked the other kids. There was a boy and a girl who were always up to something new and very interesting to watch. They seemed to really like me and kissed me a lot.

I was very tired at the hotel and slept a lot, sometimes 13 hours at night and 4 hour naps. Some of the grownups around said this was because I was withdrawing from the stress of being adopted. But I don't think so. I think I felt safe. These new people (funny looking as they were) gave me a lot to eat so my tummy was full every night, and they took good care of me. They held me and hugged me, which I was not used to, but I started to like it anyway. I slept a lot because I knew everything was OK now. I had what I needed to grow. And that brother and sister seemed like they would be pretty fun to be around, and they are.

This is me on my first fall hike, asleep with a bottle clutched in my mouth.


Happy New Year Everyone!

We hope your coming year is filled with joy and good memories!