Monday, August 10, 2009

Hilton Head Island

In July we went to Hilton Head Island. It was Will's first vacation, his first time at the ocean. We all had a great time. The weather was beautiful the whole week. We were so glad that Will loved the ocean and the beach. He had a great time building sand castles, trying to skim board, and jumping waves. In the pool, he was a "little fish". He loves to swim so much. He's holding his breath and swimming under water.

The drive went very well too. We drove through the night (and by "we", I mean me) and Kyle and the kids slept almost the entire time.

The condo was really pretty with plenty of room. It was a two bedroom and more importantly, two bathroom condo. We had two pools, a playground, tennis courts, basketball courts, fitness room, restraunt and night club.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

One Year Later

What a difference a year makes. July 28 will be our one year anniversary of Will's Adoption Day. He has grown (in every way) so much! Last Summer, he was terrified of the water...wouldn't even stand in the baby pool in China by himself. Today, I have a hard time keeping him above the water. He puts his own goggles on and off he goes. I can't take my eyes off of him. He makes me really nervous because he can't swim yet, but loves to be under the water.

A year ago, he wouldn't touch sand, this Summer at the Lake he rolled around in it, dumped it in his hair, dug holes....just covered himself in it!

A year ago, he would just constantly cling to me, now he is going to school once a week, interacting with classmates, staying in the daycare at the YMCA for an hour a few times a week, and going off happily with his brother, sister, dad, other family members and friends.

Physically, he has grown 5 inches and gained 5 pounds. He is finally on the charts for height and weight! Only the 3rd percentile for both....but he's on the charts!!!!!

Since he's been home, he has had dental surgery, tubes in his ears, plastic surgery...closing his palate, two ultrasounds, an MRI, a sleep study, hormone shots, and has had to redo most of his immunizations....2 more to go. His next surgery is coming up in August and I'm waiting to hear from his ENT on tonsils and adnoids, which would be his fourth surgery. Then he will see the facial cranial team again in October. He has been so brave and so strong through it all!

He'll start speech in September through preschool and also at Children's. He is saying lots of words and even speaking in short sentences, he just needs work on putting some of his sounds together.

He's still as sweet as ever and is getting sillier everyday! I can't believe he's been home for a year.....but at the same time, it seems like he's been home since he was born.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

5 Months Later

Will has been home for about five months now. It's amazing to me how much he has learned, grown and adjusted. It seems like he has been with us since the day he was born. I can't imagine my life without him now.

A few weeks after we returned home, Will was tested in all areas of his development. He was 8-10 months behind in all areas. Three months later, he was retested and we learned that he had already caught up in all areas except speech. We're hoping his speech will improve after he gets his tubes (next week) and then his palate surgery (March). However, he's doing better then we expected. He says over 100 words....just not really clear. He also will repeat just about anything you ask him to. And he's saying more two and three word sentences all the time.

Karli and Griffin have been a huge part in Will's development. He watches everything they do and then imitates them. He loves being around them and can't wait until they get home from school! Needless to say, they spoil him rotten!

Will is such a loving child. He is always so concerned when another child is crying or upset. He loves helping everyone too! If someone drops something, he'll run over and pick it up. He's also getting very independent. He's trying to dress and undress himself, he feeds himself, brushes his teeth, washes his hair in the tub, etc.

Sometimes I think about how much Will has been through in just two short years and through it all, he is so happy and so sweet. It really makes you realize the truly important things in life......

Monday, August 11, 2008

Finally Home

We've been home for 5 days, but things have been a little crazy! Will has finally adjusted to "Cincinnati time", sleeping 11 hours at night and an hour and a half in the afternoon. He is terrified of the cat and still scared of the pool...even with only a few inches of water in it, but is doing really well considering he is in a whole new world!

I only have a few photos after returning home, one from the airport (after our 27 hours of traveling) and two taken at the house.

Thanks for all your support and for reading my blog and following us on our journey! I plan to post updates on how Will is doing, maybe on a monthly basis.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Leaving Tomorrow!!!!

I am sooooo excited to be going home tomorrow. I'm so excited for Will to meet his brother and sister, his grandma's and grandpa's and all his aunts, uncles, cousins and friends! It's so funny, many adults will stare at us and we're not sure what they're thinking, but when we talk to teenage kids, they all tell us how lucky Will is to be going to the USA. One thing is for sure, we are very lucky to have him. He is so sweet! As every day goes on, I'm getting more smiles, and more kisses. He is playing and laughing more and more everyday as well.

This morning, all the babies from our group got their picture taken on the red couch. Will would only stay on the couch if I held his hand, so I had to duck down behind the couch and hold his hand.

In the afternoon we went to the U.S. Consulate to take our oath and get Will's Visa. When the plane lands in Chicago tomorrow, Will will officially become a U.S. Citizen!

We ate dinner at an Italian Restaurant later in the evening, which was really pretty good. It's now 9:30 PM in China so I have to start packing. We need to be down in the lobby at 5:30 AM tomorrow to begin our 27 hour journey home....this time with a 2yr. old!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Will's Birthday

Today is Will's 2nd Birthday! We've been singing "Happy Birthday" to him all day. He just looks at us like we're crazy!

This morning Kyle went on the group tour to a Buddhist Temple and a Folk Art Museum. I didn't want to go because we already went to a Buddhist Temple in Xi'an and I wasn't really that interested in the Folk Art. So Will and I hung out at the pool for a little while this morning. He did a little better than yesterday. He didn't cry, but still needed to be either in my lap or holding on to me at all times. Then we went for a walk and found a park. It was really neat. They had a part for kids and then exercise stuff for adults. We met these two girls, ages 10 and 11, who were really interested in Will and so they followed us around to play with Will and practice their "English" on me.

Later, we went on a dinner cruise on the Pearl River, the river outside of our hotel. The cruise was really neat....the food, not so much!

When we went back to our hotel, room service came to our room with a really pretty cake for Will. Someone from our group must have told them it was his Birthday. It was really good too! Coconut Cream cake with chunks of coconut still in it!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Shopping and Swimming

Today our guide took are group to the Jade store. It's a government-run store so they wouldn't bargain with us at all, but we did get a few things. After that she took us to a mall that had five floors....five floors of nothing, but jewelry. It might seem hard to believe, but we only got a few things there as well. I think we have a lot of souvenirs and momentum's bought for all three kids, but I have to admit it's the most fun to shop for Karli.

After the shopping trip, we ate lunch
and walked around by our hotel and did a little more shopping....oh and Kyle found a girlfriend.

We attempted to take Will swimming again. He still wasn't too thrilled about the pool, but he did much better. He got off my lap for the first time and stood on his own in the pool. The water was up to his chest. But when he started to walk, he fell forward a little bit...and then it was back on my lap.

Right now we're watching a show about the Olympics on a HUGE flat screen TV that is on the side of a boat on the river behind our hotel. China is so crazy about the Olympics's everywhere!

Tomorrow is Will's 2nd Birthday. We found a cheesecake for him at the Bakery next to the hotel. We're going to wait until we get home to give him presents. I've discovered something that he LOVES.....Lego's. They have some in the play room and he does not want to put them down. He loves to build stuff and stack stuff....Lego's, blocks, shampoo bottles, cheerios, anything!