Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Henry's One Month Home!

Today we celebrate Henry being home for one month! It has gone quickly and been so full. Everyone continues to adjust and move into somewhat of a routine. Some days and nights are harder than others, but we really don't think a four year old orphan from China could be doing better as a new family member in America. Henry continues to amaze us with his quick acquisition of English, acute attention to detail, and incredible curiosity to learn and understand all he can. He currently couldn't be happier than when playing fire trucks and putting out fires, so today, I took him to tour the local fire station. He was quite at home "driving" the fire engine with his new firefighting helmet on.

Henry was thrilled to get to visit our local library last week, receive his first library card, and check out a pile of books. He continues to love going outside or in the car to just about anywhere. He is doing great in church and says his favorite part is Mommy's singing. He prefers hanging out with me, wherever I happen to be, and would rather stay with me for a few hours while working at the church than be home to play. If he's content, I'm content...it just takes a little longer to get things done. He also has grown more comfortable with my being out of sight and occasionally leaving to run errands. He does love his brothers and Daddy, and I think my favorite part of a day out of all the sweet times is right before bed when he makes his rounds to hug each one and tell them "Good Night," and "I love you." He even remembers the dog some nights:).  

Last week, Henry had a preschool assessment and did really well. For only being here one month, he understood most of the teacher's directions. His reward was a lot of fun playing with all the toys, especially the vehicles and fireman's helmet. Surprise, surprise! The next steps in assessment for schooling here are evaluations in speech, PT, and OT. Those should be scheduled in the near future as his file is processed.

This Thursday, we head to the Portland Shriner's again for an OT evaluation and fitting of his braces. Hopefully, we'll be bringing home his really cool new braces to support his walking. He's walked a few times with his walker but at home, it's much easier to crawl around...and better for the attachment process to be held and carried. Over time, however, he will no doubt want more independence and be walking more as he gets the support and strength he needs. We still haven't secured health insurance but that is in process...we have a couple of ideas on post-adoption health screening and immunizations but are still working on that as well. We really want a good, local pediatrician for his basic health needs. Please lift this process up!

Well, that is a quick update. We are so blessed by Henry being with our family this last month and as children always do, he is teaching us a lot even as he is learning so much. He is quite a package and sometimes I feel like I'm talking with a 10 year old, holding a toddler, and connecting emotionally with a baby...in limited Chinese on my part and limited English on his. All of this is in addition to the regular parenting challenges of teaching Henry boundaries, manners, how to respond to "no," and a multitude of other important childhood lessons (little by little, of course). My other challenge is trying to answer the endless "why" questions each day without getting totally drained, or knowing when an answer isn't what is really needed or helpful. It makes for an adventure every day that can be stressful, sweet, fun, frustrating, tiring, or just plain all I can handle. But that is all okay and part of the process, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I also see God's patience and care in each day, no matter what it brings. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement...we've made a month with Henry home and we're just getting started! Blessings to you all.



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