Saturday, December 25, 2010
We have many reasons to celebrate today, three months ago today we added a new son to our family. We talked about it with Jian and how he was nervous and he was surprised to hear that we were nervous too! We also celebrate the birth of another son, Jesus, who was born so that he could die to save us and allow us all to be adopted into His family. What a special and memorable day.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Well, my goal was to get these pictures on before Christmas, and it looks like I will succeed in doing that! We’ve had a good and busy December. Here are some fun pictures of Jian’s first December in America.
Jian has continued to do amazingly well. Some days though, are rough. He is not used to boundaries or rules, of course, 14 years in an orphanage, why would we think he would? He wants to learn and wants to please. He’s a true joy. Some days, it’s really frustrating and feels like it’s all about reminders, corrections, apologies and re-teaching. Thankfully, he’s not purposefully mean or deceitful most of the time, it’s just lack of knowledge! We’re also so happy with how honest he can be about what he’s feeling and why he’s upset. What a true blessing that is, and helps to try to resolve some problems. He still requires a lot of supervision as he’s learning what he can and can’t do, and how to behave appropriately. Most days, I’m so tired at the end of the day, but, it’s a good feeling going to bed knowing our two sons are right where they’re supposed to be. Most days, it’s hard to remember that he hasn’t always been a part of our family. The great thing about that is that,he always has, it was always in God’s plan, he just didn’t join our family until this year!
We are all looking forward to some time in Michigan this Christmas and are excited to experience Jian’s first Christmas in America. It’s been a real joy showing him the real reason we celebrate Christmas and having evening Advent readings together and seeing him learn more and more every day, what an honor to be chosen to teach him these things.
Still working on writing about Jian’s adoption…..someday it will be finished! So, here are our December pictures!
Tanner’s tree preference, Here’s the tree we chose Our 2010 Christmas tree
Both boys enjoyed participating in the annual Christmas program for the Brazos Valley Regional Day School for the Deaf
Our annual skating with Santa! Jian LOVED his first time ice skating, and was quite a natural!
We wish you a blessed and wonderful Christmas!
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
I’m a little behind, but, still thankful! Unfortunately I took no pictures of our Thanksgiving dinner! We had a great traditional Thanksgiving with our friends, the Boysen family. Jian thought the food was ok – the rest of us loved it. We then left Thursday evening to go camping with Jon’s family and to celebrate one of Jon’s cousins marriage.
Here are some pictures of Jian’s first camping trip. We were thankful for electricity and heaters since it was around 30 degrees a couple of nights!
We’re so thankful to have a new son to teach about Thanksgiving. We’re thankful he’s adjusting so well and a joy to have around. We’re thankful that Jian is asking a lot of questions about His Savior and often tells Jesus thank you for his new parents that brought him to America! We’re thankful for 2 sons who have a lot of fun no matter what they’re doing and that they love each other.
We also cut down and set up our Christmas tree….I’ll try to get to that post before Christmas actually happens!
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
WOW - can you get any more precious than that? I had a bit of a hard time finding my way to the car through my tears!
Thursday, November 11, 2010
My parents came from Michigan to meet Jian - and we all had a great time together. I can't believe I never got a picture of them all together, but, maybe that's because Jian rarely stands still. We enjoyed several days together, and I appreciated them spending time with Jian giving me a little break to clean, do laundry, and rest, as well as them taking us out to eat for several meals.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
What else has been happening? Things are still going well. Not much time for the computer, or much else for that matter :) but, really, things are still better than we could have expected. Jian is incredibly adaptable and really loves everything about being here (so far :)). Last week he was able to see on skype one of his friends from the orphanage that was adopted last year, we loved seeing his excitement at connecting with his friend.
Last Wednesday he was able to meet Grandpa and Grandma Bergeron for the first time and was so excited waiting for them to come! Here they are with Scooter.
This morning as we were waiting for the bus, I went to see what the boys were up to, here's what they were doing, drawing together - so cute!
We are all excited that Grandpa and Grandma Lenger are coming in from Michigan tomorrow to meet Jian, the boys have been counting down the days. I'm looking forward to perhaps getting a little extra rest while they're here too :). I'm surprised how tiring having 2 children and one teenager can be (go ahead and laugh at this, I'm not quite sure what I expected :)).
Thank you for your continued prayers for our family. We appreciate them and know they are making a difference in our lives! I'm hoping in the next week or so to finally write down how we came to know about Jian and our journey prior to going to China!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Things are going well here. We're working on settling into a routine. Tanner is now back at school full time and adjusting better than I expected. I thought he would be upset to leave his brother, but, he's happy to be going to school, and we're so thankful. This morning Tanner seemed a little down and while we were in his room, I told him his brother was awake, a big grin came across his face and he turned around and gave Jian a big high-five.
Jian was pretty nervous about starting to learn english, but, now that he's started, he's doing really well and gets excited to learn something new! This should help things a lot, he definitely has motivation. We're working on finding things for him to do. Right now, he's like a giant toddler. We are following him around everywhere and helping him learn what things are as well as what things he can and cannot touch (it becomes a bit tiring :)). Yesterday we went to a craft store and found him a couple of things to do for a few days. We're doing school and then some activities (plus, giving mom a little break). As we left the store, he was able to experience what happens with a fender bender :). Two of us were backing out at the same time and rubbed bumpers. Jian was extremely nervous and couldn't believe we didn't get out and scream at each other. Once we were in the car he kept signing - that girl was so nice, she was so nice! I'm thankful it was nothing big and was a good opportunity for him.
Jian loves his dad. He can't wait to see him when Jon arrives home and is often looking at his watch to see how much longer until dad is finished with work. He likes to play with him, chat with him, and just be close to him. Clearly he's not had much male influence in his life and he has a fabulous dad to learn from.
He and Tanner enjoy riding their bikes in the backyard every afternoon. Yesterday, while they were outside, I enjoyed watching them have a conversation about their bikes. What a blessing it is to see the two of them communicating so well and to be doing something fun together. Jian is incredibly excited to go to a high school football game tonight, there's a possibility of rain, so we'll see what happens (though we can definitely use the rain here).
I'm having some trouble getting video onto here, so, I'm working on converting the file right now, I hope it works, so that you can see Jian coming home. I also am excited to post about how we found out about Jian in the first place and meeting (online) some new people that had a part in us learning about him. We love seeing God's handiwork throughout this story. We also would love to post more about our time and people we met while in China. I'm checking on the logistics of some of that and will keep you updated.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Anyways - yesterday, I woke up really thankful and feeling better and a little more rested. I had a great post for the blog written in my head (obviously it never got here :)). Today, was not such a great day. I woke up crabby and tired, sat for several hours with both boys at the doctors office, cried some, was irritated, and then decided I should remember what I was thankful for yesterday! So, to end the day on a better note, I thought I would list the things I would've mentioned yesterday.
I am thankful for:
Being able to drink water from the faucet whenever I want.
Being able to wear flip flops again
Two sons who are quick to forgive and love to laugh
An amazing husband who is so helpful with both boys
Friends and family who love us in countless ways, including helping teach Jian, spending time with the boys, giving them welcome home gifts and planning parties!
A soft bed
Beautiful, fall weather
Being able to freely worship and talk about our Heavenly Father without ever even questioning or being concerned for my safety
A gracious God
I'll add more later about how things are going (really well actually, just don't ask me today :)) tomorrow hopefully!
Monday, October 18, 2010
So, we arrived home on Friday night around 9:30-10:00. Jian was so thrilled and loved looking around and seeing his room (still working on the video - actually, I haven't worked on it at all, haven't even downloaded it, so, that should say, will be working on the video). He was really excited when he saw a ripstick (skateboard) in his room (thanks Becky!), as well as balloons and a few other fun things that were left (thanks Becky and Audra :)). He looked around and kept saying everything was so big! He then took his bag to his room and emptied it all out on the floor. He found a place for everything that he brought with him. He put pictures up on his desk and walls, he had some special necklaces (with his name and a jade rat (his birthday is the year of the rat) and he hung those up under the slats on his bed. He loved having a place to put things and was disappointed at the empty drawers. I explained once we washed the clothes we brought from China he'd have clothes to fill them again.
Saturday morning, he enjoyed exploring outside and was excited to see all the things to do. He's adjusting well and loving being here. He likes looking at how spread out things are and is probably surprised to not see so many people and mopeds and bikes. He wanted his haircut, he had said in China that he wanted it cut when we went to America, so, Jon cut it for him, I'll try to remember to post a picture, it's cute, shorter and less shaggy.
Yesterday, (Sunday) we went to church, he wasn't quite sure what to think about all of that. Though, he was really excited to meet people. It was very special when he was introduced in church and brought joyful tears. He was given a Chinese/English New Testament and looked at it for a while last night, we're excited to start reading some of it with him. He's very social and friendly and was happy to see so many new friends. He was really excited to meet Brighton, who is deaf and was adopted from China 3 years ago, they enjoyed some basketball and made plans for the next time they could get together. Jian loved being able to play basketball and ripstick with his new friend John after church. On the way home, Jian was looking outside and signed "it's blue, the sky is blue! That's so cool! In China the sky is black and it always smells." We agreed, there was a lot of pollution and we rarely saw the sun. A cute observation :)
The boys all enjoyed some afternoon bike riding to the lake while I tried to catch up on the laundry. At meals, Jian has been watching us pray. We've also been trying to explain basic information to him in a way he can understand. Last night at dinner, he asked to pray! This is the interpreted version of his prayer: "Dear God, thank you that I could fly to America from China. Thank you for new friends, Thank you for my family and that I am adopted, Amen" WOW! Not a copied prayer, but well thought out - so amazing!
Our adjustment to home is going really well. He's a real busybody, so, we have to keep a close eye on him and help explain what is acceptable behavior, boundaries, etc. Thankfully, he continues to take redirection extremely well.
Tanner is absolutely overjoyed at having a brother. He has tried to give Jian everything he owns, toys, money, awards, whatever he has, he wants to give it to Jian. What a tender heart!
I need to go back and start from the beginning about how we heard about Jian - we just saw the e-mail again the other day and we'd love to share with you how this all began.
So, what do we have up for the week? Later today (Monday), we're going to do some homework, hopefully fold some laundry so that we all actually have clean clothes to wear, and possibly head to the social security office. I think we'll take a trip to the new HEB as well, we can make it an educational experience. Tanner is still home today, and will go to school 1/2 day Tuesday and Wednesday, then all day after that. Hopefully that will help his adjustment back. Tuesday Jian has a doctors appointment just for a checkup and then Wednesday Tanner has a cardiology appointment. His geneticist had found an abnormality in some genetic testing (unrelated to the leukodystrophy) and would like us to pursue that. So, thankfully I just realized the appointment is here and we don't have to drive to Temple - yeah! Anyways, enough of my blabbering on - I'll try to get the pictures/videos on later today if possible.
We continue to be overwhelmed by the love and prayers from all of you - it's such a joy to be a part of the family of God and see his presence in so many ways.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
We arrived home last night. It feels sooooo good to be home. We had fun watching Jian explore the house and videotaped him seeing his new room - to say he loved it would be an understatement! He screamed :) It was great!
This morning he had fun exploring the backyard and was thrilled to learn we can see deer in the back yard. When we left the house he was shocked to see a squirrel cross the road (they're mostly seen in cages at the zoo in China!) and wanted to catch it.
We all slept until 10:30 (it felt amazing) and then stayed up all day. We ate breakfast, did some laundry, unpacked and went shopping for a few necessities for Jian, and replaced Tanner's glasses. We spent some nice time with friends (and saw baby Adalee Walsh for the first time :)) and now are home and ready for bed again (actually, I've been ready for a while, but, we're trying to get back on Central time).
So, more to come of our adjustment back home - along with some final China pictures. But for now, good night from America!
Friday, October 15, 2010
We enjoyed seeing Hong Kong in the way to the airport :) It was a long trip to Newark. Tanner had a migraine starting about 1/2 way through the trip & he finally stopped vomiting just before we landed. But, we are so thankful he never had one while in China.
Jian is thrilled to be in America and can't wait to be home. The homeland security officer was excited to process his immigration paperwork, he's used to babies and liked explaining the process and having him sign the forms.
Thanks for your prayers for safe travel, everything so far has gone smoothly. We will update more tomorrow.