Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My Last Post on this Blog...

Today is the one year anniversary of “Gotcha Day.” The above picture in the red coat was taken before we ever arrived in China. This is what JT looked like in the orphanage. The next picture is of J.T. and his friend Laila from China on the day of his baptism. See how grown up even hjis little face is! We will be celebrating this evening with Chinese food, ice cream and maybe a small gift. It will be a celebration of family. JT is a full fledged part of our family, he’s no longer “new,” so we will be blogging about him as well as the rest of the family on whatarethereedsupto.blogspot.com from now on. I try to blog once a month on there already. The picture of Devin & JT on the bed was taken just minutes after we recieved JT in China. It was the first "still" picture we took of him...
How far JT has come from the shy, frightened little boy that they led down the hotel hallway in Zhengzhou, exactly a year ago today. He didn’t understand, couldn’t communicate and was given to us, the giant weirdo Americans. We were so excited that day and I have to say it has exceeded our very highest expectations. He has proved to be strong and resilient, brighter than we had even hoped and incredibly well behaved. He just loves to have fun and giggle and play. He still loves school and I almost can’t remember what life was like without “T” as I call him. He can express not only his needs, but he can tell us what happened at school and how he feels about things. He tells me about his dreams and asks me questions about things constantly. (which I could do without while I’m trying to drive. J I love that he is so thirsty for knowledge. It’s so fun!

J.T. was well prepared for his first Easter and did great at finding eggs. He loved it.
On April 18th J.T. was baptized into our faith. We had him baptized by a signing pastor that came down from Holy Cross in Thornton Colorado. He does a service down here for the deaf once a month with a potluck following which doubled as a reception. JT really enjoyed it all.
Our anniversary and Devins birthday came and went and as with everything else, JT took it in stride and although he is not allowed to watch movies every single day anymore he is getting along much better with his brother and has started advocating for himself by asking “What are you talking about?” or “What is he saying?” if we forget to sign. He is doing so well in school that the teacher wants to try moving him up a grade for math class. I am looking forward to our second summer with JT. He was the perfect addition to our family and makes us all feel complete. Becoming J.T.s mother is definitely in the top 5 best things that have ever happened to me in my life. Thank you God! ....please follow our "family" blogsite whatarethereedsupto.blogspot.com to continue to see updates on all of us and thanks for sharing in our adoption story!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Quick Update

JT learned how to tie his shoes today! He got new shoes and therefore it was time to learn to tie. He did a great job... takes him a while, but heck, he's a fast learner.

He is also reading simple sentences that I am writing with his sight words.

We are doing lots of talking about things these days. He will be baptized on April 18th and we talk about that kind of stuff a lot. He also talks about what he does at school and what he sees. We went to the library for the first time this week. He had been to his school library, but was very excited to go to the public libraray. It was a lot of fun. He likes to look at books.

He also figured out (on his own) how to blow a party favor with his nose. He made a leprachaun hat at school for St. Patricks Day and they read stories about leprachauns and made and ate green pudding.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Doing Phenomenally well!

J.T. is involved in the Shared Reading Program and is enjoying that... his SRP representative is also his godmother. We will be having J.T. baptised on April 18th (barring bad weather... signing priest will come down from Thornton.) I have explained "baptism" to him in the literal sense... meaning that the priest will be pouring water on his head. I think that he believes I am completely insane. He and I pray together and He was so cute the other day... I asked him what he would like to pray for (I help him with the words) and he picks any 3 thingts that he would like. First he chose to pray that Mom would let him play the Wii (which is more hysterical than I can tell you.) So we did, then he prayed that his friends birthday party would be fun. I asked him for one more thing and he rubbed his imaginary goatee (as he does to let me know he's thinking) and when I prompted him with "Would you like to say 'thank you' for something?" He responded, "family." I guess that says it all. He can read about 60 sight words, he can count to one hundred on his own, and he has known his ABCs since last October. He is getting invited to birthday parties by kids from his school who aren't even in his class and got to go roller skating for the first time last Sunday. He enjoyed it, but it was hard for him. He also attended a wrestling tournament and saw a friend wrestle this past weekend. After the tournament we went to dinner with 2 other families and a total of 4 deaf boys. It has been great fun developing his life experiences and in turn... his language. We are all looking forward to warmer weather so we can get outside more. A couple of weeks ago we celebrated Daddys 37th birthday by going out for Indian food (which JT) didn't seem to mind seeing as they had rice) and then to see Avatar in 3D. He enjoyed the movie and was very excited to be celebrating a birthday with his Dad. We also enjoyed a visit from one of the other families that we met in China. JT remembered them and we all had chinese food and visited and played. As you will see in the pictures, JT learned how to walk and lay 'round on on the ceiling. Watching his relationship with Michael you would think that his Dad had never left. He has a great time playing with his brother and looking forward to these family events. He enjoyed Valentines Day a great deal, and I can hardly wait for the fun we'll have on his first Easter coming up in a few weeks.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Happy Holidays one and all! I thought that I had updated this blog after Thanksgiving... but apparently I was wrong again. The day before Thanksgiving J.T. recieved his hearing aids. He can hear quite a bit of lower tones with them, but he doesn't know how to respond to sound so it's not doing us much good yet. We are working on getting him to turn and look when he hears something. Our holiday was lovely spent with friends. A friend of our family flew out for the holiday weekend and we spent Thanksgiving at my best friends house with her friends and family. JT found it to be fun and although we missed Michael deeply, we were rejoicing in the fact that we knew he would be home soon. ....AND HE WAS!

Michael arrived in Colorado Springs on December 2nd and we are having a smooth transition. J.T. is getting to know him and although he is not totally comfortable with his Dad yet, he is happy spending time with him. He just doesn't know what to expect from Michael yet. Michael is really enjoying J.T. and he makes Michael smile as much as he does the rest of us.

On December 3rd J.T. was in the school program and danced with his classmates to "Singing in the Rain." It was absolutely precious and we enjoyed the whole show. At Deaf Chat... the Santa at the mall walked up to J.T. and SIGNED "Merry Christmas, I love you." Of course I had to have pictures so J.T. and Devin sat on his lap and told him what they wanted for Christmas. J.T. is very excited about Christmas. He did a great job of helping to decorate the tree.

One weekend recently we spent visiting with J.T.s Auntie and Cousin whom he adores. My nephew is great with kids and JT even asks for him when he's not been around for a while.

Here is a picture of JTs first snowman he made....

We have moved (sadly from Holy Apostles parish) to St. Marys Cathedral downtown. They not only have a weekly interpreted mass, but there are several deaf parishoners which of course makes J.T. not so isolated in his church family. We have chosen a god mother for him and are looking into his baptism soon
Christmas and new year were a blast. JT finally understands gifts and really enjoyed his and all the sweets and time spent messing around. We bought ourselves a Wii and he really likes playing with that all together as a family. His favorite is the sword fighting and he screams out loud while he is kicking butt. lol. It's his new favorite thing to do. (He is still a movie fanatic though.)

J.T.s new year started off well. He is excited to start back to school. He stayed up all night and watched the ball drop and blew his horn (which he blows more like a Kazoo with voice added.) He probably doesn't understand "new year" but he enjoyed the party just the same.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

October Outta the Way!

JT is starting to respond to people who sign to him in public. He is starting to experiment more with signs and fingerspelling. His teacher is amazed because he is able to use signs appropriately both receptively and expressively after being shown just once or twice. He still freaks out a little when the korean lady at Deaf chat smooches his cheeks... but he recovers pretty quickly.

He loves attending mass for the deaf once a month and we are switching parishes to attend St. Marys cathedral where the 8:45 mass is interpreted and there are other deaf parishoners. He knows he's deaf now and will readily remind me if I start singing in sign language. He even told Emma that she doesn't know how to cook because she is hearing and he knows because he is deaf. lol. This Deaf Pride thing has it's limits.

He already knows his entire alphabet and can count to 15. He recentely learned "cute," "tomorrow," "friends" and "better," and we have had the opportunity to teach "truth/honest" and "lie." That went exceptionally well and I felt blessed for the opportunity to present itself as it did. I attended his first Parent/Teacher conference and am thrilled to share that his report card was wonderful. We celebrated his excellent grades with an extra candy at dessert time.

Halloween was a wonderful experience, the weather was wonderful. JT was a red Power Ranger (picture) and we enjoyed a couple of parties as well as trick or treating and carving pumpkins. (picture) He carved his pumpkin with minimal help and I thought it was adorable. JT had a harvest party at school the day before as well.

JT. got to play in the snow in the backyard and it took about 10 seconds for him to figure out the concept of a snowball. :) He enjoyes the snow... but gets cold and needs to come warm up often. I'm not sure he was allowed to play in the little snow they had in China. He does like hot cocoa.
We are talking about Daddy coming home in a month and JT seems to understand. He replied to me the first time, "Daddy come home, tickle me." JT also attended a doctors appointment this month at a hearing specialist who cleared him for hearing aids. Hopefully we will be able to order them soon.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Adjusting well and learning tons!

JT has learned so much since he started school, he almost knows the whole alphabet and can count to ten. He writes his first and last name and sight reads all the other students' names as well. He has adjusted well enough to know that he can protest the serving (and buying) of milk by trying to keep me out of the milk cooler at the grocery store. He puts catsup on his peas and soy sauce on his corn (ew.) He is learning abstract concepts such as "pretty" and today he signed "please" without being prompted appropriately. His teacher is blown away by how quickly he learns. His signing has a long way to go, but he can tell me what he did at school most days and he understands that Halloween is about dressing up (in his case as a power ranger.) He knows Daddy will come home in a couple more months and that Christmas is coming and he has learned who Santa is and has expressed a desire to go and see the man. He has seen his first snow since coming here and stood at the glass door signing snow and screaming with glee. He has grown well over an inch and is out of all the clothes I bought him when I brought him home. His hair got long enough that he was geling and blowdrying it trying to give himself a faux-hawk. (We got his hair cut.) He is able to talk about seeing the leaves change color because it is Fall. He also gets excited about things like my putting an old pair of SpongeBob sheets on his bed, or his first pair of "footie pajamas." He flexes his muscles for me often, lol. He is adjusting well enough that he is becoming more of a "normal" child... makes ya want to sit on him sometimes... but then he does stuff like this:
He is so definitely one of us. Everyone who meets him just loves him and we couldn't feel more blessed. I can hardly wait for his Daddy to come home and get to know him! He's a hoot and a half! WE LOVE JT!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

More Firsts!!!

I apologize for all the time that has passed since my last post. It's been so busy the last month. J.T. experienced his first day of school and his first camping trip since I last posted! School is going wonderful for him. The day before school started he got to go to his school and register which included seeing his teacher and classroom. The first day was Aug. 17th and he was so excited to go. He had never been to school before and loves to learn and to focus on school work, and try to please those teaching him. He was apprehensive when the bus came to get him, but I sent him off with a smile and at the end of the day he was already trying to tell me a story in sign language... he makes a lot of it up by drawing pictures in the air and it's hard to understand... but his teacher is wonderful and has informed me that he is "a sponge," "loves to learn," and can sight read the names of the other children in his class already. He has 5 other children in his class. He was very excited the second week of school when he got to paint for the first time. He attends a special school for deaf children.

This (Labor Day) weekend he went on his first camping trip. We took the trailer and my best friend and her children and went to Eleven Mile Reservoir for the weekend. JT got to kayak in a tandem with me and did a great job. He had so much fun doing that. We also hopped the fence into the Rocky Mountain National Forest and shot some arrows at Daddys target bag. JT has a hard time with the bow... but he tried and enjoyed being able to have a couple turns. He made a "J" and a "T" and brought it to show me while we were waiting our turns.

I'm also posting a couple pictures from "around the house" to include J.T. sharing Mr. Winstons bed with him and some silly pictures we took just for fun with "the good camera."