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!
He is CHERISHED!
He is WANTED!

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’—

Sandy

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. 


All.The.Hats. 


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!!!

Sandy


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?"
and
"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’—

Sandy




Monday, September 18, 2017

Update

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!

Sandy

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!

Grateful,
Sandy

Thursday, August 31, 2017

One Month since we met!

ONE MONTH ago this amazing boy joined our family ❤❤

He is brave ❤
He is sweet ❤
He is loving ❤
He is charming ❤
He is silly ❤
He has the best sense of humor ❤
He is demanding ๐Ÿ˜‚
He is amazing ❤

I can't believe I am so blessed to be mama to Henry Mingyu ❤

He is adjusting to a new mama, a new family, a new life amazingly well ❤

Henry spends a lot of the day in my arms or by my side. We are doing a lot of bonding/connecting. It does my mama heart good ❤ 

I don't get much done besides loving sweet Henry Mingyu, but I am trying not to worry about tomorrow (or making dinner!) and focus on my job of mothering our sweet boy ❤
(This week my mama is helping me which makes this A LOT easier since my family does appreciate eating!). I did order a preschool size child carrier that should arrive next week. Counting on that to help with school and future food preparations!

Erik and I both agree....this Henry sweetheart sure does fit well into our family. He is a lot of work, but his charming self - with such a great sense of humor that spans all language barriers - is so worth it!!! 

 This sweet boy amazes me!

Is it weird to take a picture of Henry Mingyu just walking?! He was just so cute working so hard carrying his buckets!

 Busted! Henry was caught reading in bed after lights out - ha!


 Henry Mingyu mostly peddled backwards (so applying the break) but he had fun anyway!


 Nap time cuddles ❤

 We start out the day with lots of cuddling on the couch ❤

Henry Mingyu is happiest when mama is close by ❤

 Henry Mingyu loves to play outside. He doesn't like to smile for pictures, but communicated to me he wanted me to take his picture and that he would smile ๐Ÿ˜ƒ It hasn't happened since but it was so cute ❤

 Bike ride with BaBa ❤

More sweet cuddles with my boy ❤


 Nothing cuter than a baby in a box ❤

 We have had a few rainy days. The boys have enjoyed playing in the rain ☔

A few funny messages I sent my mom over the weekend:

Henry needed to go potty. He walked half way to the bathroom and then motioned to the floor (drawing an invisible line) that he was unable to walk the rest of the way and that I needed to carry him. We now call him "King Henry" - ha!

He is a bit of a roller coaster today....super happy....and then crying. Erik just announced that he is going back to bed...or to the gas station for pop...or maybe just back to work - ha!

 I have been blessed with a cuddly boy ❤ We spend every afternoon nap snuggled on the couch ❤

This is my "real life" photo ๐Ÿ˜ฑ Henry was impatiently waiting for his turn with the watering can. It made him even madder when I took this picture (bad mama! ha!).

Although he is a sweet and happy boy - he still lives up to his "boss baby" nickname - Henry is a demanding little fellow and can throw a good "fit" with the best of them - ha!

My 5 Positives:
1. I love Henry
2. My kids are adjusting well
3. I am feeling less overwhelmed
4. My mama is helping us this week
5. I messaged with Henry's Ayi (nanny) - he was well loved!

Grateful,
Sandy

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

12th Day Home

I may have to frame this picture - I just LOVE seeing my boys help each other ๐Ÿ’—

My mama heart just swells looking at this picture ๐Ÿ’—

Our Bryan is the most joy filled little boy and would LOVE to be able to walk up the hill by himself. I ache for him that he can not. I love, love, love that Darren and Henry without being asked ran over to help Bryan. ๐Ÿ’—

Brothers learning to help each other ๐Ÿ’—

Brothers learning to love each other ๐Ÿ’—


The boys have really enjoyed playing together.

Darren and Bryan have had A LOT of patience with Henry. 

Henry Mingyu is still learning to share, not "da" (hit), not melt down when he doesn't get his way, and to share mama.


Henry Mingyu can fly!

Henry has learned to tease Erik by sometimes calling him ShuShu (uncle) instead of Baba (daddy). He laughs and laughs at Baba's reactions ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Henry Mingyu and Baba were playing kick ball on the driveway. Henry wanted to kick the ball down the hill but Baba kept blocking the ball. Henry Mingyu pointed to a toy that he motioned to Erik that he should put back in the garage. When Erik made a move to put it away....Henry kicked the ball down the hill and giggled as he had tricked Baba ๐Ÿ˜€

Henry Mingyu has a GREAT sense of humor!

He doesn't like to smile for pictures - but laughs and smiles a lot throughout the day ๐Ÿ’—


Baba took our two non-bike riders on a bike ride. They loved it, but we determined they really are both too big for these child size seats. We may need to look into a pull behind bike carrier for next summer.


Did I mention that every afternoon Henry Mingyu cuddles with mama for his afternoon nap?

๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’—


I think Henry was trying to block my picture, but I think it is perfect since his shirt says

"Ten Fingers are Overrated"

I agree! This boy is amazing!!


Nap time ๐Ÿ’—


I have tried to focus on today and not worry about tomorrow (or how in the heck I am going to start homeschooling again in 1 1/2 weeks!). After my first day solo I may have snuck into the laundry room with a bowl of cocoa rice ๐Ÿ˜€. It was a big bowl - but not half the size of the washer as this picture makes it appear - ha! Maybe I should have picked a bigger bowl - ha!


Henry Mingyu heads to the pediatrician in a couple of weeks. Thankfully his special needs are not life threatening so we could give him a little time to settle in before dragging him to scary doctors.

I have been trying to set up some specialist appointments. I am not sure if our amazing U of M Mott hospital is the best place for his limb differences. We are looking into Shriners St. Louis and Mary Free Bed Hospital in GR.

While we wait we needed to figure out how to keep a shoe on his small foot. It isn't a perfect solution but is working. We bought high tops in two different sizes! (Size 8 to fit his big foot and then the smallest size they had - size 5 for his small foot. He doesn't want a "baby shoe", but hasn't seemed to notice or at least comment on the size difference of his new shoes). So cute!!


Henry Mingyu gave big bro Bryan a hug while waiting for me to get them out of the store cart and into the van ๐Ÿ’—


Did I mention how loving and cuddly my boy is? ๐Ÿ’—

I carry his cute, chubby 41 pounds around much of the day. We hug, snuggle, kiss, and say "Wo Ai Ni" (I love you) to each other much of the day ๐Ÿ’—

I am one blessed mama ๐Ÿ’—


We took a short walk yesterday. I was pulling Henry Mingyu and Bryan in the wagon. As we came up the driveway Henry decided he wanted to pull big brother Bryan up by himself - so sweet!

Henry is a very sweet, loving, silly, busy/active little boy. He is also demanding.

Although none of us have seen the movie - we may have given him the nick name "Boss Baby" - ha!

As he gets more of a grasped of English I am sure we will drop it. But for now it provides the rest of us a little comic relief as we meet the demands of "Boss Baby" ๐Ÿ˜€

grateful, Sandy