Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Happy Gotcha Day!

June 4th, 2013. 

One year ago today, a brave little boy took a 2 hour journey with his buddy Joshua, their nannies and the Orphanage Director, not knowing that the life he had known for 2 1/2 years was going to change dramatically.  That brave little boy exited the van and walked into a room full of people he had never seen before and who looked very different from his caregivers.  He didn't cry as he was lead over to his Mom and Dad (whom he had never seen before) and watched with big brown eyes as they cried and then gently gathered him into a hug.  I've often wondered what was going through his little mind in those moments.  All he owned was in a small black plastic bag...a card that Megan had sent him for his 2nd birthday, a Tigger that he had been sent in a care package and a photo album with pictures of these strange people who were now hugging and kissing him.

That quiet, observant little boy is now a fun-loving, risk-taking, loud-shrieking 3 1/2 year old.  In fact, it only took him about 24 hours to blossom into the aforementioned kid!  What a gift we were given one year ago.  We thank God every day for blessing us with Jack and with Megan.

When you haven't updated the blog for 6 months it's hard to know where to start and what to say.  On December 22nd, Jack turned 3.  We were at a wedding in Iowa that day so his birthday celebration was small and low key when we got home that evening.  It was also the anniversary of my Dad's passing so it was a day of mixed emotions.  We thought a lot about Jack's birth-family that day too, although Dec 22nd may not be his actual date of birth.  Still, he was likely born close to that date and there are still parents in China who cannot erase his birth from their mind.  Whatever their reason for leaving him in the beautiful park where he was found, we pray God will comfort their hearts and give them peace that he is safe and well.

Jack and Megan both enjoyed Christmas and found a common ground in Lego construction!

In January Jack started preschool 2 mornings a week to help with his language development.  He has the most nurturing teacher, whom he adores.  The first day he was so excited to tell me about "his" backpack, "his" lunch, "his" teacher and most importantly, "his" project.  Now he was on par with Megan!

Winter meant snowsuits, boots, hats and mittens, which Jack LOVES to wear.  Sledding with Megan was so much fun for both of them.  They love being outside together. Spring brought lots of puddles to splash in and now summer means changing into dry clothes before dinner almost every night as the squirt guns and hose produces lots of shrieks and giggles.  Jack has also mastered riding his bike.  His legs are short but he can just about reach the pedals and has no fear of speed or the absence of breaks!

School finishes on Friday.  We are looking forward to days at the pool and lake again this summer.  Both kids love the sand and water. 

Some have asked about Jack's language.  He speaks no Chinese.  Occasionally I will put a Chinese lullaby on and he tilts his head as if it is somewhat familiar.  His language would be typical of a 3 year old's.  There are some letters like "f" that he pronounces like a "b" but he can make himself understood very well.

His sense of direction is outstanding.  He notices when we are on a road that he's never been on before and will immediately say, "where are we going?".  He knows if the road is going to take us to school, the library, Megan's school, etc.

It's hard to think of what else to tell, but I will close with one story that some of you have already heard.  During the winter, the kids and I got stuck in an automatic car wash.  It was a little unnerving as I had to call the emergency number to help get us out.  When we got out I vowed I would never go through that car wash again.  Every time we pass the car wash, Jack is like a broken record..."Jack likes that car wash, Megan likes that car wash, Daddy likes that car wash...Mommy DOESN'T like that car wash".  One day as we were passing it he repeated the usual chant, but then continued with, "Jack is from China, Megan is from China, Mommy is from China and Daddy is from China".  I thought maybe this was my opportunity to plant the seed about adoption as we always want him to know "his story" and be proud of his heritage, so I said, "Actually, Jack is the only one in our family from China.  Mommy and Daddy had been praying about the little boys and girls in China who don't have a Mommy or Daddy to take care of them and who all live together in a big house until God sends them a Mommy and Daddy to bring them home so they can be part of a family".  I continued on a little more about flying in a plane to China, etc.  Jack started to laugh hysterically and I said, "what's so funny?", to which he replied, "...likely story, Mommy".  I guess my timing wasn't as perfect as I thought :-)

On Friday Grandma Lee arrives and both kids are excited.  Jack still thinks Grandma lives on a plane as the last time he saw her, we were dropping her off at the airport.  She better be well rested before she comes as Jack has 2 speeds...fast and faster.

Thanks to all who ask about Jack, pray for him and have been part of his life since he came "home".  He has many "aunts", "uncles" and even a "Gwampa" that he has adopted. 

Stephen can follow after me and post some pictures.  It may not be tonight.