Thursday, September 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Jian!

Today we celebrate Jian's 15th birthday!  He woke up so excited this morning and was thrilled to have the table decorated, Dad making him noodles for breakfast, and a couple of gifts to open!  This is his first American birthday and his second birthday with our family.  Last year we celebrated at an Indian restaurant with some friends in China and this year we are celebrating him with friends and family.  Many children adopted from China do not know their actual birth date, but, because of a note left with Jian, we do know that September 29, 1996 is really his birthday!  He loves knowing that bit of information and we're grateful for God's kindness and provision for Jian with that note.What an exciting time, to celebrate his birthday, and at the same time be able to celebrate the amazing gift we have received in our son!

Jian has been talking about this day for a while now, how this will be his first birthday celebration ever, that in China, he was rarely, if ever, told Happy Birthday.  This is such a fun day for all of us!  I can't help but look back and wonder about all of his past birthdays and what he looked like and what he did.  I think back to 15 years ago today, and wonder what that little baby looked like, wonder how big he was, what time he was born, how much hair he had,  how long he was, how much he cried.  I also think about the fact that if he wasn't born deaf we would never have known him, never have been able to be celebrating him, never have seen God's sovereignty played out so clearly in front of our eyes.  What a bittersweet day, it's wonderful to celebrate him and and yet I'm sad for all of the celebrations he's missed with a family.  We're thankful that, Lord willing, there will be many more celebrations to come!  

What a blessing to have this boy brought to us 14 years after his birth, to become a part of our family and be able to praise God for his life!

Happy Birthday Jian Feng Lee Bergeron!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Jian's 1st Adoption Day!

Today we celebrated Jian's adoption day! One year ago today we completed the official paperwork in China for his adoption.  We've been looking at pictures and videos over the last few days of those days one year ago.  
Meeting & chatting with Jian 9/25/2010
Jian has watched the videos many times over the last year and laughed at himself and talked about not understanding a lot of what we were signing.  The last few days have been a little hard for him, probably anticipating the anniversary of his adoption and a lot of feelings being stirred up.  Tonight we had a great time eating dinner with friends at a Chinese restaurant and he was so excited and happier than we've seen him for a while!
Opening adoption gift 9/26/2011
What a year it's been!  We've had many ups and downs, but, overall, many more ups than downs and we've seen amazing changes over the last year!  Jian's ASL is amazing, now we just try to remember some Chinese signs and only use our translator app for school!  His English is improving and mostly, his behavior has improved!  He's a joy to have around, he makes lots of jokes and is mostly comfortable being a part of our family!  He's in school full time, playing football, participating often in class, and making friends.

Though we often have hard times, hard days, hard moments, it's a joy to remember this is where God purposed Jian to be long ago and it's a great reminder of His sovereignty!  What a wonderful day to celebrate, and a fun time to look back and see all of the changes that have happened in one short year!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

One year ago....

One year ago, we were in a hotel room in Nanjing, China, anticipating meeting our new son in the morning.  I remember being nervous, anxious, excited and stressed. I look back and vaguely remember thinking: How does one suddenly parent a 14-year-old from another country that uses another language that has never had a family before?  How does one teach and love and nurture someone who's been raised in an institution?  How does one choose to do this?

With a mighty and sovereign God guiding them, that's how.

It's exciting for us looking back and remembering, it was still nerve-wracking, but, clearly, God ordained, and so much easier to follow knowing it was His plan!  But, for Jian, how difficult and unnerving to realize he was going to go with a family to a new country, a new culture, a new language, and a new life.  Yes, it was exciting for him, but, absolutely out of his realm of knowledge and comprehension, and leaving behind everything he knew, both good and bad.

It's hard to believe that one year ago right now, we were anticipating meeting our son in less than 12 hours.  One year ago right now, all we knew about the boy who was to be our son we'd only read about in e-mails and seen in short videos.  One year ago right now, we were a family of three.  One year ago right now, God was preparing our hearts to learn how to become parents to this boy that we'd never met and didn't know, that we would learn to love.

One year ago right now, we were preparing to meet a boy that had a name given from an orphanage, no future and no hope, and within 24 hours, thanks to God's amazing provision and plan, he was given a new name, a future and a hope.  What a blessing that God could show us a perfect picture of His gospel through giving us a son.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Summer is on its way out

So, since it's almost fall (though it doesn't feel like it here in Texas), I figured I should finally write an update on our summer.  I'll put some pictures below of some of our fun summer activities.  We didn't take any big trips this summer to try to keep things a little more on an even keel for Jian and help him continue to settle in.  We took a few weekend trips, but mostly stayed around home.  Jian and Tanner both attended swimming lessons, (Jian looked like he'd been swimming for years even though these were his first lessons), Jian attended basketball camp, a football camp, and strength and conditioning camp.  We tried to keep him busy with activities!

The boys have started school and are doing great!  Tanner is loving being in 4th grade at his new elementary school (the deaf ed program moved from one school in the district to another), and Jian is doing great in the 8th grade.  He's thrilled to be playing football and he's extremely motivated to do well in school so that he can continue playing sports!  We're so thankful that he's motivated on his own and wants to do well in class to continue playing football.

We're looking forward to celebrating Jian's 1 year adoption and his 15th birthday next week!!  More on that soon!

Swimming lessons and looking cool!

Having fun at a lake in Denton with the Livingston family

Cooling off in Denton

After our caterpillars became butterflies, we let them go

Jian's first time skiing at Lake Whitney

Tubing on Lake Whitney by Grandma and Grandpa Bergeron's house

Helping Grandpa Bergeron drive the boat

Jian ready to do some skiing with the cousins

Tanner loved riding in the boat and watching everyone tube and ski

Having fun fishing at our neighborhood lake.  This is Jian's new favorite activity.

1st day of school 2011!

Having fun when Grandpa and Grandma Lenger came to visit!

Enjoying his fans

Going in for the tackle
Jian's first football game