Happy Year of the Rat!
Feeding at the Little Farm
Yvette found equanimity and saved her sanity by developing her yoga practice, even if doing so meant routinely getting up at dark o’clock. She also took some courses in ayurvedic medicine and nutrition. And though it pains Liwen that she eats less spicy food these days, she feels her prakruti is much improved (that’s a good thing).
Yvette continues her gratifying work as School Health Services Director for Alameda County. Happy new ears!
This past year was all about finding and appreciating a steady rhythm of living. For us, it’s not about finding stability by creating a static routine. Rather, like riding a bike, it’s about finding dynamic stability by keeping those feet moving, those hands on the bars, and those lungs breathing. It’s about balance.
Tilden’s Carousel has lots of Mahs
Still a litigator at Fenwick & West, Liwen has been glad that the firm has been so supportive of his many pro bono projects over the past year, which have included helping victims of domestic violence, predatory lending, and torture. This career has more emotional ups and downs than his previous career in the semiconductor industry. Nevertheless, Liwen finds it reassuring that in these times when so many people are in need of help, individuals can still make a positive difference in this world.
Wading through Kalalau Trail mud
Sequoia, of course, has made a positive difference in our lives. We never imagined that having a two-year-old was so fun. She is inquisitive, observant, appropriately mischievous and kind, and loves artichokes. Moreover, Sequoia, who has a sense of rhythm she definitely did not inherit, is teaching us all to sing and dance. 
We are glad that Sequoia readily adapts to change, given the pace of her own development and the variety of places to which we drag her. She went camping for the first time (how great it is to be potty trained!), saw Yosemite/Tuolumne Meadows for the first time, sought out red-footed boobies in Kauai, and almost flew away on a kite at the Berkeley Marina. We are grateful that she is a hardy traveler, since we expect to journey to Vietnam this spring .
Waking up in a tent
Sequoia & Annalise at the Trinity River
Holding the kite
Exploring Mirror Lake
Summit of Lembert Dome, Yosemite
For many years Yvette and Liwen have wanted to adopt, and we feel fortunate to qualify to adopt. This is the year we are expecting it to actually occur. Though the international adoption process is typically longer and in many ways more intricate than pregnancy, we are thrilled to be adding to our family. Sequoia, too, seems intrigued by the idea of getting on an airplane to Vietnam to meet her baby brother (code named Baby Heron). However, we will have to explain to her at some point that not all babies are delivered by airplanes (the modern equivalent of storks?)
Gung Gung & Paw Paw with a hungry shark and bear
Christmas with Grandmum Mah & Uncle Damon
Yvette shredding and balancing
Riding a bicycle, flying a kite, rock climbing, and snowboarding are experiences that have taught us well. All of these require acknowledging that you are not going to stay still in one place forever. All of these require acknowledging that moments of disequilibrium are part of the game. All these require faith that you can successfully move from one equilibrium to another. While we can only vaguely envision how our lives will change after we fly home from Vietnam with Heron, we have faith that we will together find a new balance between our family, our friendships, avocations, and careers.

If nothing else, we are confident that Sequoia and Heron will always remind us to sing and dance with abandon.

We wish you peace and balance. SLY: Sequoia, Liwen, Yvette