Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bouncing back great!



I am still amazed at how fast kids can bounce back from open heart surgery compared to an adult. Aiden is doing so well and the temper is getting more in check as well. It is so funny, when he starts his leg kicking or jumping up and down he is looking out the side of his eyes to make sure someone is watching. Taylor is just getting to be more and more awesome with him. She loves coming home and doing things with him. I know that will probably be short lived but it is great for now, gives me a break for a few minutes of the day. Today they were having art class. Aiden makes this sound all the time and it is like "look"... hope you like the videos. Then Taylor decided to be SGT.Taylor with Aiden. Its great to be a big sister to boss the little ones around.




Monday, September 29, 2008

He's Home!



Aiden came home from the hospital last night and is doing really well. He was like a kid in a candy store when he came home. I think he was just so happy not to have the nurses coming in and disturbing him every 2 hours. He is definetly back to himself. He still throws himself down when he isn't happy (thought that might change with the surgery (haha). Taylor is glad to have her brother home. She had him locked in her room for a few minutes last night, she likes to dress and undress him.

The doctors will need to follow Aiden to make sure things are going okay. His surgery was successful you just never know if things tighten up. But they said it looked really good. So I just thank God for helping the surgeon do such a great job. Now is back to somewhat normal life for us, I hope!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Life in the hospital..





Well Aiden is still in the hospital, hopefully he will be released by tomorrow. He is doing well, but still is having his moments of crying. You can tell when his pain medicine has worn off that he needs some more. They tried holding back on the one medicine and just give tylenol but he was just really out of it (crying very hard). His blood pressure goes sky high when this happens so not the greatest thing for him. But all in all he is doing well. It is amazing that 4 days ago he had heart surgery and he is able to walk around for a few hours and play a little in the playroom. These are some pictures of his time in there. The one of him sweeping the floor cracks me up because Chad loves to sweep the floor, I told him father like son.
This week Barb (Chads mom) is coming to visit for a few days, so he will get to meet the other side of the family as well. It should be a good week for him coming home and meeting his other grandma! Chad is in heaven, he still was watching the Michigan game in the hospital tonight. Thank goodness we have a private room or people would be looking at us with Chads little outbursts with routing his team on... thank goodness they won... But now the real team plays tonight (Penn State)!

Some pictures...


Aiden is doing well. Yesterday we went for longer walks and he played a little in the playroom they have there. One thing, he gets upset when any medical worker comes into his room. It is sad he gets so scared, but I can't blame him. He also had some pain we think yesterday because he was a little more distressed then usual for a few hours. Today he has had a slight fever and his blood pressure is up a little. But the doctors think it is because he is a little mad right now. They said they see that in chidren alot. So hopefully that is the case. His doctors here and the nurses in intensive care were just wonderful.

He lit up when he saw my parents, Chad and Taylor come into the hospital last night. We thought he said, "poppy"... it was some sort of a "p" word. By the time we left he was pretty beat. So that is the latest... we are just so tired with everything going on. But it will all be worth it in the end - let me rephrase that, it IS worth it. He is such a blessing and has such a cute personality. Very fiesty and he plays games with us. It actually makes me a little sad for his biological mom... that she probably wanted this surgery for him and knew they could not afford it. I have heard that over and over from people about how poor they are and how a surgery like this would wipe out an entire family. It is hard as a mom not to think about his mom and what she gave up. I am so happy that we will be able to give him a happy and healthy life though, but I will never forget the other side of the coin.

Friday, September 26, 2008

All is well

Aiden is doing really well. He is still in the intensive care unit but hopefully will be put in a step down room tonight. He has had little glitches here and there but otherwise things have gone really good. The nurses here all love him and say how cute he is. We have seen smiles here and there, and we have seen his fiesty spirit come out as well at times.

I have some pictures of him but I don't have my adaptor with me to download them. They took everything out of him except for his IV yesterday, so that is a great thing. I stayed last night in a small room they have here for parents. I was thinking I just can't wait to have a normal life one day... with Chads deployments, our trip to China and now Aidens surgery it will be good just to be home for awhile.

Taylor came to visit Aiden last night. She is doing well but still is having some adjustment issues of just getting use to having a brother. But overall she really loves him, those issues are usually only 5% of the day...

Aiden is laying in his crib right now watching "Diego", seems he has come to like TV while he is here. We also had him take a few steps last night but he really wasn't interested in walking and was a bit woozy yet. They think we may go home this weekend so that would be great!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Doing well...

I just wanted to post a quick update, Aiden is doing well. His heart operation went as good as open heart can go, thank God. The doctors said after tomorrow his heart will be like he would have been born with a perfect heart. We can't say enough about the care he has received at CHOP. He came out of surgery around 2PM and we got to see him around 3. He has been sedated but tomorrow he will be awake and very aware of what is going on... so it should be a fun and vocal day for him. I am just so thankful that everything went well. Even though I have worked in the medical field when it is your child that is hooked up to all the wires it is very breath taking to see. He is in a ICU in a pod with 3 babies in his room hooked up to monitors. It is hard to see these little ones like that.

Chad is staying with Aiden tonight and I will be there tomorrow night. Aiden just loves Chad so he will be more than happy to see him when he wakes up. Taylor has school so we have to go back and forth. Thanks again for all the emails and calls. Sorry, I haven't gotten back to everyone but as you can imagine since we got back from China it has been a big adjustment and so many things going on. We are looking to have some normalcy in our lives soon... what is normal though! Thanks for the prayers!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Catching up again...



Well, lots of things have happened in the last week so I haven't been blogging too much. I had such a hard time adjusting to the time difference back in the states. It is hard when it is 11PM here and 11AM in China! It seems like being in China was so long ago and it was only 2 weeks on Thursday!

When we got home we had so much to do with Aiden and Taylor... school, entering him into the military system, 3 doctor appointments, a baby shower out of state, etc etc. Aiden is doing really well. He is very lovable, and totally loves his dad and poppy. It is so amazing to see this little boy who knew nothing more than being inside and orphanage and living in a crib for 2 years to being a happy little toddler, playing with other kids. The one thing he does that worries me is when he gets mad (which is whenever we aren't holding him) he will jump up and down land on his knees and dive head first into the floor without slowing down. Needless to say he has some red marks on his head. But is amazing to see him take little baby steps, like getting use to walking on the grass - he was scared to death of it. Or watching Taylor jump on the trampelene and go from screaming to wanting to jump. The little things we take for granted!

Wednesday he will be having his open heart surgery for his Tetrology of Fallot (TOF). People have asked if we knew about this before and we did, we researched it had his file reviewed by a doctor and I talked with many other parents who have had this done. We feel what is a heart problem - especially when it can be fixed. Aiden is so much more than having a special need like a heart problem. We didn't want people focusing on that, then the fact he is a special little boy entering our family. Some of the comments we have heard alreay just make you shake your head, when people say things like, "Did you get a discount for him?", I don't think people think when they say things. No one would even ask that if your biological child was born with a problem. But for the most part people have been wonderful about it. We found out that his one doctor who is awesome (Dr. Wernosky) at CHOP also was adopted, I thought how ironic is that!

We were put into contact with wonderful doctors at Childrens Hospital in Philadelphia who will be doing his surgery. I can't say enough about them and their staff. Aiden had to go in for 2 echo's in the past week just to verify his condition and so that doctors could view it on the TV to see what their game plan will be for his surgery. The great thing is - is that his one valve is in good shape so they will not have to replace this. His prognosis is very good - they think he will have no restrictions and just will have yearly checkups. You never know what may happen in the future but I have faith that God would not lead us down this road if we could not handle it. I am so glad to have hope for the future.

This weekend also was my sisters baby shower in PA. It was great to see all our relatives again. Chad brought Aiden over at the end and they were able to meet him - he even made out with a few gifts! Heather got alot of nice things, I am so happy for her and was glad to be able to enjoy the day. I have to say I was a little anxious about going to a baby shower after everything that happened last year but I thank God for allowing me to not just get through the shower but really enjoy it, I am so thankful her baby is doing well.

So tomorrow will start a whole new life for Aiden, he will be able to run and jump and not have his little lips turn blue. Who knows what may have happened to him in China if he weren't brought here to have this surgery. It makes me sad for the other kids I saw left behind. Two of the children in his orphanage have cancer and they are just laying in their cribs, just so heart breaking!

One thing I LOVE that Aiden has learned to do, is give kisses. He is just so lovable. Taylor is doing better with him. She has started to "trap" him in her room for 15 minutes or so just enough time for him to get use to playing with her. She also needs her daddy and mommy time. We still hear the comments, "You didn't do that for me when I was 2!" But we know this all will pass.

Tomorrow a year ago (on my birthday), we accepted Aidens referral and now tomorrow Aiden will be given a new lease on life! Please keep our family in your prayers as we go through this tomorrow. I hope you all are doing well. We will have internet at the hospital so we will be updating through email how he is doing.

Thought for the day:
The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation.
Corrie Ten Boom

Monday, September 15, 2008

First Day of School...




Today was Taylor's first day back to school. I told her she looked like a little Amish girl in her school uniform, she is like "I am suppose to look Amish!". Her teacher said she clicked right back into the classroom so that is a good thing. It is lonely without her here with me. She has been like a little buddy to me.

Aiden, is definely turning on his different personalities right now. He is 90% happy and then you have that 10% of temper that is getting a little louder and louder. He hates to be put down or made to walk anywhere. This morning I had to help Taylor get ready and he got so mad he was kicking the wall and crying. They say it is just an adjusting period for the first few months. It is just shocking when he has been so great and now that 2 year old side is peeking through. But he is still a little cutie. Chad is home until Thursday, once he goes back to work it will be him and I. Oh boy!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Catching up...



Well today Aiden got to meet his Aunt Heather, Uncle Mark and his great grandparents. He still loves my parents the most I have to say. He just looked at everyone else and smiled but was a little more hesitant. He is definitely Chad's boy. Chad just loves him to pieces.

We had a nice time visiting, but since I had about 4 hours of sleep in 72 hours I was feeling so tired by 2 PM. Someone told me it can take 2-3 weeks to get back on track. Gosh, I sure hope not! This week Taylor starts back to school, Aiden has to get enrolled in the military system for insurance, he has 2 doctor appointments then by the end of the week we are heading back up to PA for my sisters baby shower. She is 8 months pregnant and going strong. I am so happy she will be able to have the blessing of having a daughter. Taylor has been my little best friend for the last 6 years.. she will make a great mom and Mark a great dad.

Aiden did take to Mark really well also. He is really into his big trucks he got from people. He has a monster truck that he just loves. He is so curious. He only slept about 5 hours last night, a big switch from China. I know everything will take time but when you are running on empty it can be hard. Aiden just loves when people praise him and he wants to make sure you are watching him all the time.

Well I am going to sign off. I will be posting some misc. pictures on here from China in the next few days. I had some on my cell phone that I wasn't able to transmit from overseas. Hope you are all doing well.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Home Sweet Home!





Well it has been about 24 hours since we have been home. Our flight back to Detroit wasn't too bad... but that last hour from Detroit to Newark was a killer for some reason. We were feeling pretty jet lagged today, it is hard going from being 12 hours ahead of time when you are trying to sleep. As you can tell now it is 12:30 AM and I am still up! But we are so glad to be home. It almost seems like a dream that we were in China, except we have proof - we have a little boy! Sorry about how we look in the pictures but after 24 hours of traveling we were just so happy to get home.

My parents met us at the airport and it was so great to see them. Aiden was shy for about the first minute and it was amazing to see him go to my mom and dad. It was something because even in China he wasn't too fond of other people wanting to hold him. It is like he knows we are family and he knows he is loved. We sent over 2 photo alblums to the orphanages and they were all fingerprinted up and looked worn, so maybe they showed them to him (they were for children). He has been doing so wonderful. It is amazing to see grandparents who love your child just like their own. My mom said she was up since 3AM she was so excited to meet Aiden (we only came in at 8 PM!).

When we got home we thought someone broke into our house (haha) my wonderful neighbor Stephanie stocked our refrigerator with a meat tray, cheese, milk, donuts, cookies, bread... etc etc. It made a tear come to my eye that she is so sweet... we haven't always had such great neighbors. Taylor and her daughter are best of friends. Grace was at our doorstep first thing in the morning and I opened the door and Grace said, "I missed you so much Tayor" and they hugged, it was so cute. My parents and friends have spoiled Aiden with some gifts already! It has been so special to hear from so many people. Aiden absolutely loves everything. It is so neat to see a child go from having nothing to having so much hope for the future. With him it isn't about the big things it is the little things. He gets a kick out of the smallest things he does.

When we got home he just took to my mom and dad right away. When my dad walks away he like yells out to him and he runs to my mom with open arms. My mom and dad had tears in their eyes when he first did this. It just shows that biology has nothing to do with love of a child. We had many guests stop by our house today to just check in on the little guy from China. My neighbor brought her soccer team to say hi to him! He has been to the playground and grocery store already with his mamaw. She said he was pointing out the cookies in the aisles - so smart already.

Tomorrow some more of our relatives are coming to visit. It is great to see everyone and share our precious little man. Then this week his doctor appointments start. I hope all goes well with this part of our journey. I know it will with Gods help. He said, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee"... I hold onto that thought. Aidens little heart was pumping very fast by the time we made it back home. We were a little worried about him but thank God today he has calmed down a little and his breathing got better today.

I have been thinking of my little guy Chase as well. Adopting is so wonderful and Aiden is so full of life. It makes me think of another little boy that is looking down on us. I hope he is smiling. He is still so missed. It makes me think of what he is missing but I know he is having a full life up there in heaven. And now we have part of heaven here with us in our little boy Aiden.

Well I guess I better try and force myself to go to sleep. Thanks again for all the emails and comments on our blog. We appreciate it. I think Chad really is amazed with how much support we have received from so many people.

~ update on second night at home.... went to bed finally at 2:30 AM, 5 AM a wake up call from a little fellow named Aiden, he just fell back to sleep at 7:30 AM ! Gotta love the time change ~

Thought for the night:

It's the simple things in life that bring the greatest joy.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

GREAT NEWS! ICING ON THE CAKE!








Well first and foremost we got our approval from the US Consulate to bring Aiden home to the US today. It was really emotional being at the Consulate in China with about 28 other American families who adopted little ones. We took our oath and got our big brown envelope that we can't open and that will get Aiden into the US. Once we set foot in Detroit he will be a US citizen! We couldn't take pictures in there so this was the outside of the building!

NOW for the big big news! Chad made his rank he has been studying really hard and working hard. He had me check on my iphone for him. He is just so excited. He said this is the icing on the cake! Can't wait to be home soon. Thanks to all my adoptive friends and family, friends who have followed our journey. It has been so wonderful to have your support.

I will write more later. We leave at 5PM US time tomorrow and don't get home until 8PM Friday! Bon Voyage!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Purse Shopping & Childrens Park














Well today was a fun day. We went to a purse/leather market. It was great lots of quality leather goods and cheap. I may go back tomorrow! I haven't seen the leather coach bags like Chad got in Korea but there are many other great products. Our guide Emily has been really great with taking us places. Tomorrow she is going to take me around as Chad is going to stay back at the hotel. The Chinese people in the leather factory kept saying that Taylor was beautiful and touching her hair. Just like in the states she didn't say anything just kept walking (kids!) She is just shy. Our guide also said people asked about Aiden if he was adopted or mixed... interesting.

We then went to the children's Park in Guangzhou. It is a beautiful landscaped park in the middle of Guangzhou. The thing I love about China is how the people exercise and play together in these parks. In this park there were ping pong tables set up, badmitten nets and then exercise equipment and childrens amusements. Taylor loved the rides. There was no one riding today so it was like a free for all at the park.

We are looking forward to coming home but it is with mixed emotion. It is something we planned for, over 2 years and now it is here and almost gone. But we are looking forward to getting back to normal life.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Physical Exam










Well, last night was the first night of all the nights that something did not agree with my stomach. Needless to say I was making many trips to the bathroom throughout the night. So today we kind of just took it easy. Aiden did have his physical examination and that went really quick. It kind of was just a formality. Then our guide helped us complete the paperwork for Aiden's Visa into the US. After we receive that we are all set. Tomorrow we may go to the Children's Park since we did not make it there today.

Taylor has been playing the big sister. She has even changed Aiden's diaper. Right now she is feeding him. That is one thing, if you bring snacks or food for him he will be all set and your best friend. He LOVES to eat. We are just on the countdown now. Enjoying our last days here but also anxious to get home to normal life. There is a bunch of things we have to catch up on.

Taylor wanted to "work out" tonight so she put on her tank top and sneakers and wanted to go out to the park. She asked me if I had a sweat band with to put across her head. She is so cute! Then of course after she worked out she wanted an ice cream from the 7-11!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Today...


Well, today was a good day. Much better than the weekend... the weekend just seemed to drag on and plus we had the rain storms. We went and visited the temple and factory and then Emily and I went out and did some shopping. She has been a very good guide. Very pleasant and it is interesting learning more about the culture from someone who actually lives here. Four more days in this country who brought us our little boy. He is doing really well, showing more and more of his personality everyday. This is the famous "squat" pottie in China. No - we have not had to use them yet although they are in the hotel downstairs and at many of the establishments here. Taylor made me walk her to a place where they had a pottie as she would not squat. Here in China also it is common for little boys or girls to go to the bathroom right on the street. We saw this first hand today... very interesting!

Visiting the "Temple" and Toy Factory
















Today was an interesting day. We went to see a Temple that I believe was 1500 years old. It was something to see. Since it is part of the culture it was interesting but since we have Christian beliefs and don't believe in praying to idols it was a little much for us. Seeing people bring food and gifts to lay at the feet of these idols was something. They take it very seriously. I thank God I don't have to go to an idol to get good wishes. One of the things we saw is if they light a smoke stick and the smoke goes straight up it means they will have good luck.
Taylor being a 6 year old was ready to leave within 15 minutes of being there. Her and Chad climbed the high temple building. She said that was a real workout. We then went to a wholesale toy factory which was rather interesting. ALOT of Hello Kitty things, and things you would see at flea markets. But then there were things that were of really good prices.