Date: August 20, 2001

Location: New York City, NY, USA

As of this writing, we have been home for nearly two months. We must say that the Spring and Summer of 2001 have been the best months of our lives. Suddenly, after nearly two years of paperwork and waiting, we have a wonderous child. Eleanor is fantastic. We could not have asked for more from the experience of adoption from China.

THE BOTTOM LINE. Eleanor is healthy, happy, and fully functional. She is learning things left and right in age-appropropriate manners. Her expressive language is understandably delayed — everyone around her spoke the Jiangxi dialect until two months ago when suddenly everyone switched to English. However, her receptive language is growing by leaps and bounds. Robert and Susannah both predict that in a short while Eleanor will become a chatterbox.

As we live in an urban environment and try to avoid our automobile as much as possible, we have many forms of portage for this child. Chief among these forms is a Kelty Kids backpack. Elle loves it! It allows her to follow us around everywhere we go. And rest assured, we have taken her all over Manhattan in this thing. In the photo below, she is seeing turtles in Turtle Pond, Central Park, NYC, NY, USA, Earth.

Elle in her new backpack, July 4, 2001.

For those of you have been asking the most popular question: Yes, we have taken her to Times Square to give her a chance to see Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez or any other momentary diva at the MTV studio site.

Elle and dad at Times Square.

For those of you wondering whether NYC children ever get to see anything green growing in the dirt: Elle is the primary caretaker for our herb garden in the northeast facing window of the main room of our apartment. In the photo below, she is tending to the basil.

Elle tends to our basil, mint, and rosemary.

For those of you wondering whether NYC children ever get to eat fresh farm produce: we have an organic farm market in our neighborhood every Thursday. Elle loves corn on the cob. In this photo, she stole an ear from the post-shucked but pre-cooked pile and proceeded to eat the entire thing post haste. Note the excellent set of teeth with which she executes this feat.

Elle L*O*V*E*S corn on the cob.

For those of you who watch Seinfeld: Tom’s Restuarant, as featured in the Seinfeld series, is in our neighborhood. In the photo below, Elle is drinking orange juice from a cup which may well have been used by Kramer once upon a time

Elle is smug about her connections to Jerry Seinfeld.

For those of you who know nothing about Morningside Heights Housing Corporation: we live in a 1000+ family co-op that has beautiful garden grounds kept by professional groundskeepers. We spend many hours per week enjoying our gardens. In the photo below, Elle is sitting on one of our park benches waiting for her ma-ma to come out and play.

Elle on a park bench outside our building.

We have been given a jogging stroller by Aunt Felicia, and we use it as often as possible to go to Cherry Walk. Cherry Walk is an extension of Riverside Park on Manhattan’s West Side that runs from 96th Street to 125th Street along the Hudson River. Elle loves being out in the world, especially without pants and shirt!


In short, life is good. We are enjoying our new lives together. We hope that you have enjoyed tagging along on our journey to fetch Eleanor.

This trip website will finalize in September 2001. For updated information about Eleanor, please visit our main web page at:


Thank you for your time and attention. Good luck to you in your own adoption pursuits.

Robert, Susannah, and Eleanor / http://eleanorjean.com