Tuesday, July 31, 2018

One Year Home!

How has it been ONE YEAR since I became your mama? 

How can one little fellow make such a large impact on an already large family?

Would it sound cliche to say you make me want to be a better mama?

Your smile, your chubby arms and hands wrapped around my neck, you love your siblings and you especially love your baba....but always want mama in the end ๐Ÿ’—

You are sweet, silly, loving, demanding, endearing, amazingly capable, and tender hearted.

I couldn't LOVE you more my sweet Henry ๐Ÿ’—

You loved your China mama (nanny) and were her favorite. You willingly opened your heart and allowed us in. You have attached to us and us to you - such a gift. 
It takes work my love - and you are so worth it!

You are our treasured son ๐Ÿ’—


grateful, Sandy

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Six Months Ago Today We Met!

Zhengzhou China - July 31, 2017

It's hard to believe that just six months ago today Henry Mingyu joined our family, and already we can't imagine life without him. Baba is convinced that someday he will rule the world and that we are in a desperate race against time to get on his good side. Henry has an iron will and unshakable determination but is also shy and sweet. He has a thespian mastery of the tantrum but can also melt hearts with his eyes and his laughter is a gift from Heaven. He is always engaging and endearing. Our world will never be the same, and we are so blessed for it.

Some pictures from the last few months:

 Henry was a Lego Ninjago for Halloween

Carving his first pumpkin with a little help from baba ๐Ÿ˜‰

 Henry LOVES playing outside!

Henry insisted on coming to the grocery store with mama ❤️

 Henry's first Christmas!

 My new favorite tradition!

Playing on the play structure at church.

 Henry is still a very cuddly boy ❤️

 My mama heart loves it!

Henry and his China bestie were reunited!

Henry LOVES playing in the snow!

We met the mama who advocated for Henry and her son with hands "just like mine" ❤️

We celebrated Henry's 5th birthday!

I finally got around to making Henry's hand print Christmas ornament.

I just LOVE seeing his little nubbins ❤️

Henry's six month post placement report required a picture with mama and baba. We took this in front of our Chinese New Year decorated tree. ๐ŸŒฒ 

We love our amazing son more than I can even describe. It is an incredible privilege to get to be his family ๐Ÿ’— 

grateful, Sandy

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A Post!

One year ago TODAY - I saw this post!

To think that this year - this "waiting child" is now home. 

He is OUR SON! 
He is LOVED!

I am forever grateful to the mama who posted about Henry. Thankful that she was willing to PM me and answer all my questions. She shared with me about her son - and how AMAZING a person with limb differences is!

I am so VERY VERY GRATEFUL that God chose us to be Henry's family ๐Ÿ’—

Henry is sweet, silly, cuddly, stubborn, and ends each day telling me 
"mama wo ai nee" (mama I love you) - my heart is so full ๐Ÿ’—


Sunday, October 1, 2017

A Trip to Shriners!

My mom, Henry, Bryan, and I headed to St. Louis this week. 

We arrived!

We spent the afternoon enjoying the FREE St. Louis Zoo. It was a beautiful day and the zoo was amazing!!

Climbing on a GIANT bug!

The penguin exhibit was AMAZING!!
The penguins were so close! We could have TOUCHED them - but the sign said not to!

The next morning we arrived bright and early for our 8am appt. 


The boys were amazing - but after 5 1/2 hours and 12 (or was it 13?) medical professionals we were DONE! Bryan was teary eyed and Henry was starting to melt down...

We got some good thoughts/advice on Henry. Basically he is fully functional for a 4 year old so no need for intervention at this point. They may think about thumb lengthening at some point in the future. 

Kids don't wear prosthetic hands. They are hot, uncomfortable, and not helpful. If as he grows up there are activities that would require them - then he might wear them for that activity, but likely not full time. The same goes for a prosthetic foot. If there is an activity that Henry chooses to do that requires a full left foot then we may use some sort of prosthetic in the future - but likely not full time and not until he is older. 

They didn't really have any new thoughts on Bryan's mysterious diagnosis. The orthotist did give us some thoughts on Bryan's current AFO's. 

 Jamma and Bryan watching airplanes as we waited for our flight home.

Just after take off Henry fell asleep!

This silly, sweet, stubborn, busy boy has been OURS for 2 months today!!!

HOW is THAT possible?!

We are so incredibly grateful that God choose us to be Henry's forever family!!!


Monday, September 25, 2017

Finding Nemo!

We started back to our homeschool co-op a couple of weeks ago. 

I was concerned about the reaction of the other kids in Henry's preschool/pre-kindergarten class to his limb differences.

I reached out to my China adoptive mom/limb difference facebook group and got some great advice!

I want to share what I did - mainly since it worked so well AND I want to remember so I can do it again in the future! (I might be suffering from old age! ha!)

I started by showing the kids a picture of Nemo - from Finding Nemo.
(I have NO IDEA why, but we don't own that story and we don't have a color printer - so I did a quick screen shot on my phone to share)

I asked the kids (there are 6 other kids in the class) if they noticed anything about Nemo.

Then I pointed out his Lucky Fin and shared that Henry has TWO Lucky Fins ๐Ÿ’—

Next I read the book Different Is Awesome!!

It is the story about a boy who brings his older brother, who is missing part of his arm, to show and tell. It points out how we ALL have differences - and that makes us AWESOME!

Then I asked Henry a couple of questions that kids might be wondering:

"Do your hands/Lucky Fins hurt?"
"Did your fingers get cut off/fall off"

(I answered for him this time but assume once he has a better grasp of English he could answer for himself)

Then I asked the kids if they had any questions....
we have a quiet class so none of the kids did.

Finally Henry and I gave each of the students a fist bump ๐Ÿ’—
(This actually worked well - but I "forgot" that really I could have just demonstrated a fist bump between Henry and I).

None of the kids pointed, made fun of, talked behind Henry's back, giggled, or did any other action to hurt Henry (or my) feelings the rest of class or the next week.

We have a wonderfully accepting class and I think starting off the year talking about Henry's Lucky Fins was the right decision ๐Ÿ’—


Monday, September 18, 2017


We sent an update to the places that gave our family a grant during Henry's adoption:

Henry was found as an infant at the Platform of the God of Fire Temple in Shangqiu City and cared for in the Beijing Eternal Love Home. He is now four years old and joins us in the House of Many Squabbles. Henry is a force of nature, delightful and demanding, silly and stubborn, friendly and furious, sensitive and sweet, and always totally endearing. He was born without fingers and toes, but nothing can slow him down. He is absolutely relishing having a mama and is making up for lost time through cuddling, cuddling, cuddling. Mama is exhausted but getting a great workout with her new 40 pound baby. But thankfully nothing can slow her down either, and she is also relishing their bonding time. He also loves wrestling with Ba-Ba (dad) and shadowing his brothers and sisters through their various daily activities. All of us are forever grateful that God has placed him in our family.

Baba wrote it - he is definitely the writer of the family!


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

An Update For Jamma!

Jamma is on vacation and needs an update on her 14th grandchild Henry ❤

Henry LOVES playing outside! I think more than any toy when given the choice he wants to go outside.

The boys and I took recess everyday last week. It helped to break up our school day and keep Henry happy.

When mama lays down to help you get to sleep...it's best to hold on since you never know when she is sneaking away...ha!

A couple of summers ago we started having smores on Sunday evenings. We love the time together as a family - who can resist chocolate, marshmallows, and a bonfire!

Henry has his first doctors check up. He is 42 pounds and 40 inches tall (my aching back wasn't lying!). He received 2 vaccinations. He also had 6 vials of blood drawn checking for his vaccine titers from China and a few other items including lead levels and anemia. We later dropped off a poop sample (he did test positive for giardia so is now on a 7 day course of antibiotics). We received referrals for the orthopedic surgeon, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and genetics.

I love this picture of my three musketeers!

These sweet boys just have stolen my heart ❤

Sweet baby boy - so cuddly during his naps ❤

A friend loaned us her Burley bike carrier. The boys love it! We still have the toddler seat on the bike so often Henry rides there and Darren and Bryan ride in the bike carrier. It definitely causes my legs to burn pulling that much weight. I figure since I am not running during this season I should be happy for the exercise....and mostly I am!

We have a half dozen old apple trees in our yard. The boys have really enjoyed picking up the fallen apples off the ground and playing with them. They wash them, cart them around in the wagon, carry them in baskets...and when the bees start flying around the apples we throw them away.

A few days ago Henry saw a ripe red apple up in a tree. I held him while he shook the branch and made the apple fall out.

He was SO PROUD of himself! He carried the apple around, put it in his pocket, and talked about eating the apple ๐ŸŽ It was really so sweet!

Then I took a picture and he looked as though someone had died!

I asked Henry if he might smile and showed him my big smile....so this is what I got!

Bahahaha ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

 Helping big brother swing. My heart ❤

Henry definitely has a helpful and sweet side ❤ When he is in the mood he will help pick up toys and clean. He will bring me Bryan's shoes and bring Bryan his walker. ❤

In the REAL LIFE section of the blog: Today is day 6 of school (schools here don't start until after Labor Day). We usually get a head start in mid August but not this year!

Henry is not a fan of school ๐Ÿ˜ช He wants mama to do what he wants, when he wants, and where he wants...and that doesn't include school. ๐Ÿ˜ช We are limping through right now...and each day gets a little better.

This picture was taken during recess today. I sent a text to Baba saying "Boss Baby doesn't want to share the car...and the boys are over it".

Here's to hoping things change after nap time!