Sunday, May 31, 2009

Another Week come and gone...

Another week has come and gone and JT is still doing beautifully. Everytime he smiles it warms my heart. He is not "in awe" of everything, but you can see his little mind working and it's such a joy to see him learning. He is a really happy kid. The rain finally stopped this week and we spent several days at the park playing, working on learning to ride a bike, and looking at the geese. (We hit 3 different parks this week.) We also went to Manitou Springs and played, enjoyed the archade with ski-ball, air hockey, and first video game experience.... (holding off on those at home,) and had some treats. JT is such a sweetheart. He pets the dogs and cat. We're working on it to see if I'm right. He has a great
sense of humor, and just loves to have fun. He's working on learning his colors and numbers and alphabet. He did great at the dentist and the doctor and will have blood tests run after the first week of June. His audiology appointment was difficult and they want to do a sedated ABR. I'm waiting for a call back. Hope you enjoy these pictures, we're taking him to a baseball game today, so i hope to have more to post soon. :)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Everyday something new...

JT's experiencing new things everyday and seems to be taking it all in stride. I think we are going to start introducing him to his extended family a little at a time and I am looking forward to it. This Sunday he experienced church for the first time. A very sweet friend made a scrapbook of pictures of JT from the blog and he enjoyed looking at them at church and I think that really broke the tension when we went in and sat down, Thanks Jan! You're a doll! Saturday we went to a street fair that was a little overwelming for JT, but he had a few really choice moments... he tried cotton candy for the first time (liked it.) and he got a marshmellow shooter which was a lot of fun until he ate all the amunition. We also had chinese food a couple times this week and he seemed really enthusiastic about it. He experienced the ice cream truck, sidewalk chalk (I wish I knew what some of the chinese writing out in front of my house meant,) He wrote prices in Yuan (chinese money,) for what, I do not know. He had his portraits done on Saturday and they turned out adorable!!! We celebrated with his first trip to Dairy Queen and he learned how to eat a waffle bowl. JT has been stuck in the house for several days due to rain so at one point we went to Walmart where we found a Spiderman costume that he HAD to have. He made his first Build-a-Bear (a turtle, that he picked) and we got some other fun stuff: puzzles, playdough, and a viewmaster (to replace a lost one since we have many cartridges.) JT took a bubble bath a couple days and was hysterical once when he got out and Michaels dog jumped in. He thought that was the funniest thing he had ever seen. He's gotten very comfortable around our dogs compared to how he was when he got here, but not as comfortable as we are. He is still terrified around other peoples dogs... and that's ok with me for now. Devin is still frustrated with the lack of communication and I am signing to him more and more. He's in a routine and we still haven't had many "troublesome" times. He is helpful and seems happy although easily bored. I'll keep you posted how this week goes as soon as I can. Tomorrow is JTs first doctors appt.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Coming along nicely... so far.

JT has had a hard time with the rain making it hard to play outside and with Devin and mom being sick, we can't go do anything. He has a lot of energy and needs things to do, sitting still for long periods is not an option. He has been drawing pictures, watching movies and doing (16-20 piece) puzzles. We occasionally run a few errands. His first doctors appointment is next Tuesday. He toured his future school yesterday and was pretty nervous about it since he has never been to school we think he saw it as another orphanage, he was very happy to say good-bye to the staff when we left. When the rain stopped for a while he practiced some of his Kung-Fu moves on the trampoline. He misses Daddy and talks to him on the computer sometimes in the evening. He is getting into the routine of bedtime at 9, breakfast first thing in the morning and not eating noodles everyday. He is still a big fan of ice cream and we actually went to the store and bought some cones. He is getting more and more used to the animals and will pet them all now and is ALMOST used to Scout jumping on him. He got an "It's A Boy!" balloon at the grocery store and that has been the source of entertainment... it lasted almost 24 hours. lol. He likes nuts a lot, and looking at the beginning of the "adoption scrapbook." He also got a new bicycle and I think he will need training wheels... I forgot you can't yell and tell a deaf child what to do while they are trying to ride away from you. lol.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Getting to know each other...

JT is getting to know us more and more each day. He is still a little hesitant around my dog, Winston, but likes him, plays with him (throwing the ball) and touches him now. He is still quite anxious around Michaels dog. Daddy put the trampoline together and a new playset for the boys in the backyard before he left back to Iraq yesterday. We are focusing on building a trusting, child/parent/sibling relationship and getting to know eachother. JT mimicks signs that we show him and later it is amazing to us how much he retains. He knows well over 50 signs and we only recieved him 2 weeks ago today... he came to us with NO signs. He tries to communicate with us and although I know there are issues ahead that will need to be dealt with, he is so cute and so much fun to teach. It's such a joy to teach a child who is so enthusiastic about learning. He hates macaroni & cheese, mustard and bbq sauce. He likes Ranch dressing, kastup, and sweedish meatballs. He likes white grape juice, potatos, Ralston hot cereal and fresh fruit. He also really likes raw carrots. Seeing the joy on his face as he experiences all the new things in his life makes me so grateful to God for everything. JT is a miracle, and I am overjoyed that God chose to bless our family by brining us together. Devin is pretty sick with the flu or something and it's been hard to have so much to deal with at once. Please pray for his quick recovery and Michaels safety. Talk to you again in a few days....

Friday, May 15, 2009

Finally Home!

We traveled for 29 hours straight and finally arrived at our home around 9:30 pm on Thursday evening. JT had a hard time with some of the flight and was quite grumpy at times, but for the most part we were all impressed with everything he has been through. It was a long haul, but checking out his new house JT was smiling. He is terrified of the dogs and cat still and we have to keep them out of the house or he is very uncomfortable. We spent much of the first day buying him clothes and things he needed that we didn't buy before because we were unsure of his size and then couldn't find in China. So overall it has been wonderful, we even went out to dinner with Charlotte and her boyfriend, Chris. The people at TGIFridays thought it was pretty funny to watch the boy eat french fries with chopsticks. In these pictures we see JT taking his first steps on American soil, his ride in the car home from the airport in Denver and a picture of him and Daddy having lunch together at Chick-fil-a in the mall. Never once did he seem overwhelmed or even grouchy today. What a tough little guy. Daddy leaves on Sunday, but with the webcam we are hoping that he can handle that as well.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Last Day in China

Our last day in China we took the oath and got JTs visa at the consulate. Everything went smoothly, praise God, and we are are starting our journey home at 6:40 am tomorrow. We will be traveling for close to 24 hours straight with our new little guy. We found a couple of small Ultraman figures... plastic, but hopefully they will entertain him on the flight. He was very happy to pose for this picture with them. We will think back fondly on our trip to China when we first met our little Jing Tao, but we are so looking forward to hearing that pilot say, "Welcome to Denver." We have missed our daughters and our home very much. It has been hot and humid everyday here. We are excited to see JT experience his new home for the first time. We ask that those of you with faith... pray that the transition is as easy as possible for him. Michael will be leaving back to Iraq almost immediately and because of JTs unique situation there will be many challenges in the coming days, weeks and months. So it is with great happiness that I will blog as soon as I arrive home, but this will be the last for a day or two. Thanks for sharing our journey during this incredibly special time when we saw true miracles happen. We hope to keep you posted over the beginning of JTs new life in the United States as well. Talk to you next in the Great U.S. of A. :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Nanas Birthday in China

We ended the day yesterday with some Tom & Jerry videos. There is no dialogue so JT can understand what's going on and he laughs out loud... it's so cute, and as you can see he is very comfortable with Devin. We have been teaching him how to hug. He doesn't understand it and it interferes with whatever he would rather be doing... but when we all hugged eachother today, Devin got the biggest hug from JT. We thought of Nana today because it is her birthday... at least it is, here in China! We went to the pearl market which is a huge shopping mall with tiny stores in nooks and crannys. I still didn't find what I was looking for, but it was fun looking. JT had another good day today. Michael tried to hold his hand in the mall and he assured Michael it was ok because he was holding Devins hand. Tomorrow is our last day in China, we will be taking the oath at the US consulate. Our visa paperwork was done there today. JT is a big fan of Ultraman. I guess they remade a show from the 1960s in Japan and he loves it. I have never seen it before and currently can only find "collectibles" online. He is quite popular with Chinese boys and there are many toys at the stores in town... but most of them are cheaply made and I wish I could find something that will last him like a stuffed doll or a costume that I could bring home so he doesn't have to leave something he loves in China and not have it aviailable to him in his new home in the U.S. The pictures near the water were taken in the middle of our hotel (The White Swan) today. We had Subway for lunch. JT informed me that his sandwich was too big.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Here you can see many adoptive families on the dinner cruise with us... below are my boys!

Today we started out at the medical clinic. The children had their check-ups they needed for their visas. We were the only Hague family in the bunch so he had to get 3 shots. He handled it like a trooper. After that Michael stayed with the boys while I went to work on the immigration paperwork. A while later we took a short walk to have lunch at Lucys (mostly American food.) and a little shopping around on the way back where I bought the boys traditional hats. We spent some time in the hotel resting with the air conditioning on. Tonight we did the boat (dinner cruise) on the Pearl River. The food was different. I tried octopus.... chewy. After we ate we went up on top of the boat and looked at the lights of the city in the cool breeze. It was a very nice ride and definitely worth the 128 yuan per person (roughly $20.00 each) There were many families who had recently adopted from China and it was fun talking to many of them. I even met a sign language interpreter named Danielle from Idaho. JT at Lucys & being a chinese kid....
Here on the lower left I enjoyed watching JT pull the eyes out of a deep fried (whole) fish.... they were anchovies or sardines or something.... not bad... but he says it was gross because it had eyes. He finally gave up. I guess he doesn't like being stared at by his food. It was pretty funny, I thought it was more gross watching him attempt to dismantle his food than it was to actually eat the whole fish. On the red table cloth are pieces of the fish. :) LOL

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mothers Day

JT started the day by "reading" the paper, Michael told him he was going to get along great with Grandpa Tom. lol. Then we toured one of the oldest Buddhist temples in the Guangdong province. Then we went to the Chen House... one of the oldest families in this part of China. The house became an academy for students who came for testing and is now used as a museum. There were exhibits of ivory and bone carving, porcelain, embroidery, jade carvings and many other art forms at this time and they were all stunning. It was very hot though. This part of China is known for their porcelain, jade and embroidery. Devin took pictures with a large group of his Chinese groupies, and it grew after this picture! After that we did a little more shopping, ran around the little hotel room giggling, took the traditional "red couch" photos and had dinner with the other families. During dinner he decided to try chopsticks AND a fork at the same time... the whole Chinese/American thing. Didn't quite work out "easier." On the way home we stopped at a place that had Chinese musical instruments for children and the old couple that ran the shop let JT and Devin try them... so of course we bought them each one and they had a great time driving us nuts with them. When it was all said and done I gave JT a bubble bath and he thought that was great fun. He is really enjoying his baths now... we put bubbles on his chin like an old man and had him look in the mirror... very funny stuff.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The flight to Guangzhou was fairly uneventful. JT was still unsure about the flight but when he saw the planes at the airport and it was time for us to board, he was pulling me down the ramp to the plane as fast as he could. He had a bit of a problem keeping his seat belt buckled, but seemed to enjoy flying and ate all his lunch eagerly. We were exhausted by the time we arrived here and met our guide. We unpacked, looked around, did a little shopping and had dinner. It is very touristy here and a large percentage of the tourist population are adopting parents. The stores cater to the adoptive families. We will enjoy this place much more than the last even though the weather is incredibly hot and muggy. The rooms are cooler and appear to have less mosquitos, (they are much smaller) but there is more to do outside the room and we will be having a tour or two tomorrow. I want to say Happy Mothers Day to my mom and thank you to her for being so supportive of JT in this adoption. The difference that I will make in his life is largely due to her encouragement of my love for sign language. I love you Mom, happy Mothers Day and Thank you for everything. This picture is of JT and Mike running down the sidewalk... JT thought they should be in front of me.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Last Day in Zhengzhou...JTs "hometown"

Not much happened today aside from another trip to the pool and watching Kung Fu Panda, Mulan and Around the World in 80 Days. We were waiting to recieve JTs passport (and we did) and gearing up for a trip out of here. Zhengzhou is not an exciting place, there are mosquitos and humid heat and Devin has had a heat rash for days. We are all looking forward to our trip to Guangzhou tomorrow. Guangzhou is the last stop for ALL families who adopt from China. We have our consulate appointment on Tuesday to get his visa to enter the US (that is the big one) he will also visit the doctor (and doesn't know he needs shots.) We will be "sworn in" by US immigration and all that jazz as well. In the meantime... JT is VERY neat. Mike and Devin both joke about him having OCD. He takes his socks off and puts them in his shoes. He sees trash and throws it away. He puts one toy away before taking out another. It is almost amusing to us since we have never seen a child behave this way. Gotta love it. On another note... a few days ago JT pointed to an airplane in the sky and I told him that he would fly in the airplane with us soon. He informed me in his jibberish that he would not fly because airplanes crash. So needless to say tomorrow should be quite the adventure. I'll have to let you all know how it goes. We have tried to talk to him about it several times this week to prepare him and he shakes his head and goes into a long lecture, clearly stating that it is not safe. Devin asked if we could drug him... of course I said no. lol :) So ends the second leg of our trip... one more city to spend almost a week in. Hopefully I'll have more interesting stories tomorrow and news that the flight was uneventful.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

More "Down Time" to Bond...

Today we went upstairs to the play room which was mostly for babies, but the kids didn't mind for a few minutes. Then we walked down to the park and got an ice cream, then we walked way down the other way to a "mall" type of area and looked around. We had our lunch at KFC. JT seemed to like it and they have wraps called Dragon rolls with fried chicken, cucumbers and an asian sweet and spicy sauce. It was really yummy. I have been more adventurous with trying food than Michael and Devin are. I have eaten goose heart and chicken feet. Mike sent the guy with the beef tongue away before I could get any. We gave JT a Denver Broncos ball cap today and he likes it alot. He wears it sideways, backwards, frontwards and sometimes carries it around. He also feels very cool in his sunglasses, and new outfit. It was very warm today. The only adoption stuff was to check the paperwork from the notary to make sure it was correct... and it was. We picked up our laundry which had been quite the fiasco as well and are happy to have it back. We now understand why people pay so much money to do it in the hotel. Oh, and J.T. wrote his name on the magnadoodle today all by himeself. "J.T." Cute & smart... how lucky can I be?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Day to Ourselves

Today we walked to a department store and had lunch at McDonalds where the boys played on the indoor playground. While we were there we met some Chinese deaf people and tried to communicate. They spoke Chinese Sign Language and wrote in mandarine and pin-yen. We were able to share signs for Mother, Father, Brother, Hello, Panda and Tiger. It was a lot of fun. After that we came back and decided to try swimming. J.T. had shown fear of the pool a couple of days earlier, but I thought it might be different if he saw Devin in the pool. I was right, he laughed at devin as he got ready and got in the pool. He got in the pool without protest. Unfortunately he doesn't understand the physical aspects of water and swimming and holding your breath. He did choke and sputter a few times and actually jumped in to Mike and then jumped in on his own and Mike had to jump in after him. Hopefully that was a learning experience, but he seemed to have a good time. The boys also spent quite a bit of time rolling around wrestling and giggling. J.T. likes to play hide and seek... fortunately for us he doesn't realize we can hear him so we just follow the giggling.