Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Warning...Cuteness Ahead!



We received a second update about Hugh!  These cute pictures came along with the update.   What amazes me is that he is in long pants and long shirts.  It is in the 90's with humidity around 60% where he is at.  They say most of the orphanages don't have air condition but it makes me think that the Sunshine Academy where he goes to school and lives has it.  I might be adding some pants and long sleeves to the suitcase since he is use to dressing warmly. 

Here is the update we received about Hugh. 


Questions:

 

1.      Please provide current measurements including height and weight and shoe size.

Height:107cm chest size:53cm head size:49cm weight:20.5kg foot length:15cm teeth:22

2.      Please provide updated pictures.

Yes.

3.      Does he sleep on the upper or lower bunk of the bunk beds?

He sleep on the lower bunk.

4.      Did he have a birth note?

No.

5.      Does he have a favorite Ayi?

Chen Min Hong.

6.      Are there any photographs of him that can be sent with him when he leaves?

Yes, if you want more photos, you can provide U for us.

7.      What is he being told about being adopted?

We tell him when he sees gifts.

8.      How does he feel about being adopted?

He feels happy about this.

9.      What is his primary language?  Cantonese or Mandarin?

Putonghua.

10.  Does he have motion sickness when he is in a vehicle?

Yes, he does.

11.  Does he like little dogs? 

He has not approach to dogs, we guess he likes puppy.

12.  Does he take a nap?

Yes.

13.  Are there any special stories that we should tell him as he grows up?

He likes to imitate animals and he is more active after he comes back form America. He often be together with teachers.

14.   Is there anything you would like us to know about Zhou Xiao Hua?

He is a quiet boy. When he feels bad he tells teachers actively. Sometimes he cannot express very well. He would like to do things on his own. And he can dress and feed himself. He can use bathroom on his own. He has a little difficulties in learning.

 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Travel Approval







We finally have received Travel Approval to go get Hugh from China.  Our "Gotcha Day" will most likely be Monday, August 24th.   This has to be one of the fastest adoptions I know of.   We decided around January 20th that we were going to adopt Hugh.   Our social worker had our home study completed in 10 days!  Our adoption agency initially had us going in November to pick Hugh up!  I am so grateful that everything has gone so smoothly that we can go 3 months early! 

The feelings I have going to get Hugh are different than the feelings that I had going to get Bei and Kai.   Previously, I went to China scared, terrified of the unknown.   Feeling like God was going to release his wrath on me through a child that we couldn't manage or connect with.   When we adopted  Bei, I was going to be a parent for the first time, there were so many unknowns of just parenting a child.   With Kai, his entire medical history and all his needs were a huge mystery.   I felt like I spent the first two years just keeping Kai Kai Sweetie Pie alive.   For Hugh's adoption I feel more confident and secure in my parenting.   I know the struggles that we may face will be something that we can overcome as a family.  I have reached out to professional therapist when Bei struggled with separation anxiety and I will do the same again, if needed.   I know the rewards we will gain by adding another one to our family.  But most importantly, I know that God and I are in this adoption together.  That this is not some devious plan to get back at me for my sinful life, but instead I am following his word and his lead.   I am actually excited for this adoption.  Especially, when I read what his host mother, Dava wrote about him.   The words that she uses to describe him are "he is a pure joy and a blessing".  Dava's niece wrote this about Hugh "He has been such a joy the short time that he has been here.  His parents are going to be some lucky folks to have such an angel.  And this boy is smart too!  He is more familiar with the alphabet than my 5 year old!"    The adoption agency posted that he often tells the orphanage staff that his "mommy and daddy are coming to get him".   How could I not be excited to wrap my arms around this sweet little one and begin our life together. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Teenagers?




I took these pictures at the cabin and then downloaded them to my computer.   I was taken aback a little because I thought that they both looked like teenager's in these pictures.   Well, on our way home that weekend Bei said "I have had 50 or more thoughts go through my head in the 2 hour car ride home".   I asked him what he was thinking about and he answered "Tom and Jerry, Talking Tom, Pink Panther, deciding what I want to be when I grow up and I think I want to be a candy inspector".   Nope...you aren't a teenager!  Thank goodness, I still have my 9 year old son, innocence, and all.   I hope my little boy keeps thinking about cartoons and candy for many more years to come.  

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Hand of God

 
 
I can honestly say that it has felt like God's hand has been on Hugh Robert's adoption from the very beginning.   The way that everything unfolded just felt like it was all in God's perfect timing.   Dava had shared with me that Hugh was leaving at the beginning of January.   He still had not been matched with a family and she was heart broken.   It was around this time that she had started to inundate me with video's and pictures of him that I was sending on to Dan.   My heart was saying yes, but I wasn't sure that I could convince Dan that he was meant to be our son.  Hugh flew out of Nashville and had a lay over in Chicago on his way back to China.   During that layover, Chicago was hit with a snowstorm and his plane was cancelled.  He had to stay the night at a local hotel with his guide and 3 other little boys.   Dava happened to message me the next day and mentioned that Hugh was stuck in Chicag!!  Whoo  hoo!!!   The only other better place to be stuck would have been Minneapolis.   Now, we had not committed to adopting Hugh yet.  We were leaning towards it but still didn't know.  Anyway, I messaged Dava back and asked if my mom, who lived 20 minutes from O'Hare airport, if she could go to the hotel and meet Hugh.   Dava immediately called the adoption agency, who then called me and said absolutely.   Now, I had to pray that my mom was not at work!  Yep, at 76 years old my mom still works at a physical therapy office.   I called and my mom answered and she didn't hesitate.  She said she would go immediately!   She didn't even know that we were thinking of adopting again but she didn't ask questions then, she knew time was of the essence.  Hugh was leaving that day at 3:00!   Hey, but the agency guide said that it was still a snow storm.  My mom laughed and asked where was she from? Texas?  Yep, she is!  And it was just flurries at that time, easy peasy!  My mom got to the hotel and we talked on the phone as she made her way up to the room.   I let her go as she met Hugh.   She said he came up to her and said "my nana!"   He wanted to be picked up but my mom had breast cancer so she can't lift.   She sat down and he crawled up on her lap instead.   She said, he went through her purse and was incredibly happy to find some tic tac's.   She then called Dan at work and face timed with him, so that he could see and meet Hugh.   Dan's co-worker GiGi walked in and said hi to Hugh also.   He looked at her and said "hi mama!"   Not yet...little one!    Then my mom called me and we face timed together.   It was wonderful!    I love how God works!  I love that my mom is and always will be a part of Hugh's adoption story.   That she is the one that was able to see and meet him first.   I have drilled my poor mom for every detail of her time with Hugh.  I almost feel like I was there with them.   The hand of God is on this little boy's life story.   I can't wait to see what unfolds in the coming years!  

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

We have a Singer!!!

I just went through all the photos and videos that Dava sent me in January.   I am realizing how incredibly special it is that Hugh was hosted in the United States and I am privy to these remarkable videos that tell me so much about his personality.   Two things really jump out at me after seeing the videos again.   This little boy, who is about to become part of our family loves music and he especially loves to sing and secondly he is incredibly secure and confident with himself.   What an odd attribute to see in a 6 year old orphan.   He is talkative, happy and loves to smile and laugh.   

Here is a video of Hue singing in a classroom at his host brothers classroom.   I can't imagine doing this at age 6 years old at my own school, but traveling literally to a foreign land and singing in front of others is amazing!






video
 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Changed Lives






It is amazing to think that lives can be changed by the simple strokes of a keyboard, but that is exactly what happened to our family.    I chose the picture above because it shows the passion and the love that this woman, Dava, had for a little boy that she hosted from China.   She poured her heart and soul into finding a family for this little guy...the perfect family...which turned out to be us.   I have been following a China Waiting Child Advocacy site for years.  I enjoyed seeing the children being advocated for and eventually a family popping up, saying yes, they were headed to China for that child.  At the end of December, I kept seeing a picture of a little boy, named Diego, being advocated by his host mom.   She stated things about how sweet and smart and healthy he was and how badly she wanted to find him a mom and dad to love on him.   I showed Dan the facebook posts and he told me to call her.  What???  Really???   Dava and I messaged back and forth and we spoke on the phone.   She told me that two families were coming to meet him that week.  She eventually messaged me and told me that a family was going to be matched with him.   I thought we were done, it just wasn't meant to be and God had other plans for Diego and for us.    After a few weeks, I saw that Dava was once again advocating for Diego.  The same day I received a message from Dava, saying the other family wasn't able to adopt Diego after all.  She wondered if we were still interested in finding out more about him.  Before I could even answer her message, she started sending pictures and video of him to me, every hour on the hour (a bit of an exaggeration, but she sent a lot!), which I forwarded right on to Dan who was traveling for work.    Dan eventually called me and said "we are screwed, we are adopting again, how can we leave this little guy without a family".   Whooo Hooo!!!  I couldn't believe it!!!  To me it was a no-brainer but for Dan to come to the same conclusion on his own, was a miracle in my eyes.   There were other factors that played into our decision too.   It was important for us not to adopt a child again with a lot of unknowns.  We wanted to adopt a relatively healthy child and not a baby.   Dan wanted to stay in the province that every American has to go through to get out of the country which is Guangdong.    Diego met all those conditions, so we really felt like God had his hand in this.    Diego will be renamed to Hugh Robert K!    The boys are very excited to be getting a new brother.   There will be lots more to come about our adoption!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Best Friends!
















Whenever I spoke with my mom on the phone, she would always ask me if Kai had a friend.   Last school year if I asked Kai if had any friends he would smile really big and say "yeah" and sign L for Lydia and C for Connor.   The reality was that neither one could tolerate Kai.  He had some really annoying social behaviors like wiping his face on the person sitting next to him.  Especially annoying when you have excessive drool.   Putting his feet on the person next to him.  You get the picture, it is hard to have friends when you are the most annoying person in the room. LOL!   This summer we did a huge push in all therapies and added social play therapy.   What a difference it has made for him!  Last week I went and watched Kai's classroom through a two way mirror.   He sat in the circle and never once touched another child.  He listened to the story being read and get this...he raised his hand when the teacher asked a question!  I almost started crying.  When you have a child that has multiple special needs it is so heart warming to see him fit in with typical kids.  So getting to the picture above, Kai finally has a friend.   Nolan is so excited to see Kai in the morning that they walk in together every day holding hands.   If you ask Kai now, who his best friend is, he will say "Nolan" and sign the letter "N".  This time it is a true friendship!