Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Chicken Dance

video

If this video doesn't put a smile on your face, I don't know what will! I was laughing a little too hard to hold the camera steady, so I apologize for the bumps. Listen for Jack laughing in Charlie's. My favorite part was when Charlie's performance was over, Jack gave Charlie several pats and a big hug. Jack was so proud of his big brothers!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Palm Sunday

Today, the Lord's Army did a fantastic job. Charlie is actually in the picture. If you can't find him, look at his blue head dress. Then look back at the group photo and see if you can find him. He's on the lower left side. I never did locate him, until after the performance was over!

Bikes

The boys all were ready to move up a size. Yes, Charlie could have used Rob's old 16". But after the incident with Aunt Brenda's car (Mike and I are still agonizing over that!), we thought it best to get a new bike with better handle bars. Here are some pics of some really happy boys!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Brotherly Love

To his parents' delight, Jack is starting to turn into a typical two year old. It is actually a great thing to watch him start to irritate his older brothers. Both Rob and Charlie have gotten great at saying two Chinese words, boo (no) and chir (eat). Yesterday, Rob asked if I could please figure out how to say stop in Chinese.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Week in review

Here are some pictures from the past week. What a joy it was to have the warmer temps and sunshine! Bike ride to the park.

Happy bathtimes!

Run Charlie, run!

ge ge = big brother, di di = little brother

Mom, can we sleep out here?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Jack's Past - Christopher

Sometimes parents are lucky to receive a lot of history from orphanages on their children. Others are not. When we received Jack, he was wearing the PJs we'd given him and had a plastic bag that had the gifts we had sent along with a few rice crackers, some sort of log in Chinese that we will have to have translated, two wooden cars, and some artwork that had "Christopher" written on it. Mike and I wondered if a mistake had been made with the artwork since "Christopher" had never come up in the few documents we had received with Jack's referral paperwork. Due to what we had been given, we put ourselves in the category of the latter.

If you knew the story that led us to Jack, you would know it was what we believe was God's plan for our family. We knew that if we took the step in faith to answer His call, God would lead us to the child He had chosen for our family. Several times along the way, God has spoken so clearly through others and events, letting us know we were on the right path.

The biggest of these events happened on our third day in Guangzhou. While we were waiting with some other families to go out for dinner, a man walked up to Mike and said, "That's Christopher. I know him." Doug Bush, his wife, and daughter just happened to be meeting another family where we were. Doug said that he rarely goes to where we were, but just happened to on that day. It turns out that he works for New Day Charities, an organization that helped our son! At referral, Jack's documents mentioned a foster home but called it Home of Hope. I did several searches but never came up with anything on this home. The dates on when he was where were sketchy. The home is actually called New Day Foster Home and Doug Bush actually took Jack to this home! He told us that New Day Charities has a lot of information on Jack and that he'd have them gather it for us.

What a blessing it will be for Jack to know his past as he grows up!
Click on the pictures below to pages I found with information on Jack's past.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Adjusting Well!

Now that the smiles are coming more frequently, we will be trying to capture more of them. Rob and Charlie have been truly amazing big brothers, and Jack is transitioning very well. Jack enjoyed his first afternoon bike ride and time in the backyard, yesterday. Bath time had been very upsetting (as is with most Chinese children.) Three nights ago, he was only able to tolerate standing with the faucet running and drain open. Two nights ago, Jack was willing to sit in the standing water with his arms held up high. Last night, he looked like he'd been taking bathes forever! To top things off, Jack slept through the night!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Trains, Planes, and Automobiles



Would you like to guess how long a trip from Guangzhou, China to Maroa, Illinois could take? It took us exactly 31 hours and 15 minutes. Jack held up exceptionally well. Jack’s mild temperament and obsession with automobiles (Jack calls vehicles she shwahs - toddler talk for the Chinese word for car) kept him content for most of the journey. In the end, tiredness won out. Jack cried when we finally made it to Grandpa and Grandma Gentle’s for his homecoming welcome at 11pm March 12, 2010. However, the minute Rob and Charlie got in Mike’s car with Jack in the back seat and Dad and Mom in front, Jack’s tears turned into happy babble for the entire 2 minute ride home. All three boys seemed extremely pleased to be in one another’s company. Rob and Charlie’s cheerful introduction of our home to Jack was priceless. There is already no doubt that the three of them are brothers. With only a few tears shed, Jack peacefully drifted off to sleep for his first night in his long awaited bed.

As a side note, Mike and I cannot thank our family enough for the exceptional care given to Rob and Charlie while we were away. It was obvious upon returning just how loved and spoiled with affection these two were for those seventeen days. Upon witnessing their stories and seeing everything they had to show us when we returned to our house, I was moved to tears. Thank you.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Guangzhou

We're on our last leg of the trip. In Guangzhou, we had Jack's medical exams and are finalizing all the documents, USA oaths, and visas. This is a tourist area with lots of Americans, adopting families, and shops. We haven't taken many photos since doctor offices and hotels aren't that exciting. Here is one photo in the Swan Room children's play area at the hotel.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Nanchang

All is well today. Here are some pictures from our visits to a couple city parks. We wrap up in Nanchang tomorrow and fly to Guangzhou for the last leg of the trip.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Jack

We finally adopted Jack on Monday March 1 in Nanchang China! As expected, Day 1 was a rough start for Jack. We heard him crying as he was brought into the adoption office. He was a very sad boy all day. However, this is actually a good thing and we would have been really worried if he reacted any differently. We soon learned that food is the way to his heart! French fries, ketchup, noodles, ice cream, yogurt, watermelon, pineapple. Jack is already visibly growing stronger, more alert, and playful. He attached to Mike (Ba Ba), but doesn't like when Sara tries to pick him up. We're guessing that he was close to his foster mom and isn't ready to accept Sara yet. In good time, we know he will.

By the way, we also learned that he can be called Shu Shu pronounced "Sue Sue." We'll eventually switch over to Jack and expect Rob and Charlie will help us with that.

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