Thursday, January 30, 2014

Birthday Party

Jack and Daniel are 10 days apart in age.   Essentially twins.
Twins who celebrated together for the first time this year.
We celebrated well.  With an excavator cake!

Our small family party was just right for this year. All of this "birthday celebration" stuff is totally new to Jack.  He wouldn't eat any cake and he had no idea that there were gifts for him or why there were gifts for him. He pretty much just followed Daniel and just did whatever he did.  It was sweet to celebrate these boys with our family (thanks to both of our moms and dads and siblings - y'all are truly the best!)

There is a woman somewhere in China who thinks of her little boy every year about this time.  Maybe she remembers the details about his birth.  There was a big snowstorm in Chongqing late January 2011 so maybe she remembers that.  I don't know.  I don't know her story.  But I know that I am grateful for her choice to give her son life and for the two months she held her son keeping him warm from the outside weather.  She holds a special place in my heart. If I could, I would wrap my arms around her neck.  Adoption is beautiful, but it comes from a broken place.  Much heartache happened before the joy of Jack's Gotcha Day.  I'm especially aware of that as I celebrate Jack's birthday for the first time this year.

Photo: Jack went to bed without a truck for the first time since he came home with us in November. Not sure whether to be happy or sad about that :-)

I have to end this post with two major steps of progress for Jack -

1.  He slept through the whole night last night without a car in his hand!  He has had a car in his hand every single night we have had him until last night.  It made me weepy.  My boy is learning security doesn't come from a toy car, and I'm so thankful.

2.  He ate his first chicken nugget today!  He has struggled with taking bites of things like chicken nuggets or sandwiches.  Today, he finally choose to take a bite of a chicken nugget.  He must have liked it because then he ate FIVE chicken nuggets.

Happy 3 years, Jack!  I am so blessed to get to kiss your cheeks every day!  Welcome to your fourth year of life, I see many fun things coming your way before your next birthday!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Jack wasn't a huge fan of the snow. He preferred being inside.  So did I!

Today was Daniel's birthday!  Jack's is Feb. 1st.  We are doing a small family party for them on Saturday.   I have some thoughts about Jack's birthday and I want to really celebrate since it's his first one home....  but, for now, on Daniel's birthday, let me say a few things about my firstborn son.  Daniel's big brown eyes and  big smile will melt my heart any day of the week.  I love it when he puts his cars down for a nap, when he says "I sure do love you, too" in response to "I sure do love you, Daniel," and when he sits in my lap to read a truck book.   I love seeing the big brother he is becoming.  In many ways, Jack is part of our family because of Daniel.  In giving us Daniel, the Lord introduced us to the world of little boys and led us to travel across the world to bring another one home.
Playing doctor.  But he was doctoring his truck more than his patient, Molly.
Happy 3 years, sweet buddy!

And, you're next, my sweet Jack!  

Friday, January 10, 2014

Six Weeks Home

 Jack loves piggy back rides!

Ever since Christmas, I feel like we have seen Jack smile more and more.  His tantrums are less and his smiles are more.  I think it is a combination of him learning to trust us, understanding our routines, and understanding English better.  We are so blessed by this boy!

Some updates:
  • We moved Jack out of the crib in our room into a big boy bed in Daniel's room. The boys are officially sharing a room now.  It has gone better than I imagined it would!
  • We made a list of the English words that Jack says regularly in a way that we think he understands the meaning of them. There are 17!  (eat, more, drink, car, train, truck, bus, daddy, shoes, teeth, hi, bye, twinkle, tree, thank you, good morning, please)
  • The biggest news is that the cardiologist did an ECHO on his heart and found no heart defect, no heart disease, no heart murmur - just a healthy heart! 
  • He had his first dentist appointment and surprised everyone at how well he did.  He had his teeth cleaned and the dentist said he has a few stains on his teeth but overall his mouth looks good.
  • We've noticed that while things are getting so much better with Jack when it is just us home, he still struggles when we have people over.  His tantrums are more frequent and harder to stop when other people are around.  We still want to have people over because I think we just have to work through it. It won't get better if we never have people around.  Thankfully, our friends have been very understanding and full of grace.

 The most soothing thing for Jack is to suck his thumb with one hand and shake a car near his ear in the other hand.  This is how he goes to sleep at night and how he calms himself when he is upset or confused.  This is one of the little things that I don't want to forget.

 The boys first bath together.  They had fun and I was very wet by the time both of them were washed.