Tia's family lives in Kuopio, Finland. She became a member of our family as our 8th exchange daughter in Aug.'94. Because she is Deaf, she had requested an American Family who signed and our YFU area rep. thought of us. YFU is one of the few International Exchange programs that find home for students with special needs.

Though she had studied English in school for 6 years, Tia needed to learn another language, American Sign Language (ASL) after she arrived. She attended Tyee High School in a neighboring District. She was one of 21 Deaf and Hard of Hearing students in a total school population of about 900. The school provided ASL interpreters for inclusion classes and after school volleyball and tennis. She thoroughly enjoyed all of the new experiences that this year brought.

In January when Ayumi joined us, she also had a Japanese sister to converse with (pen and paper until the latter learned some ASL.) She attends a Sr. Secondary School for Deaf in Mikkeli, Finland and goes home to Kuopio most weekends.

July 1, 1999

Tia keeps in touch by email and it is always wonderful to hear from her. Nancy had an opportunity to visit with her, her mom, and brother while teaching a Dynamic Orthotics workshop in Kuopio last May. It was great fun to see her apartment, meet roommates, and generally catch up. Tia has graduated Lukkio (Finnish High School/ Gymnasium) and has now been studying to take University entrance examinations.

March 1, 2001

Tia is continuing her studies in Helsinki. She is planning a visit back to Seattle with her mother in late July, just in time to help celebrate Grandma Hylton's 95th birthday. Nancy is also hopeful to make connections in Helsinki while teaching in the end of May.

December, 2007

Tia is getting married! She send us the following email "My fiancÚ, Kirik is now completing on his thesis for social sciences. He will graduate from the Helsinki University. He is quite busy for that thesis, as well working at Inex Partners Ltd, which is one of the biggest companies here in Finland. We have finally decided the date for our wedding! We will get married on 12th July 2008!"

September, 2009

We were in Helsinki for a few days while Nancy taught a workshop. We had a great evening dinner/visit with Tia, Kirik, and our three-week old grandson, Amos. Kirik fixed a great dinner while we spent time with our new grandson.
Grandpa Dale & Amos
Grandma Nancy & Amos
What a beautiful family!

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