September 14, 2012 Update on “Dylan” – now known as Jeremy.
From the first day he joined our family on February 1st, 2010, he has brought sunshine into our lives. We could tell from his very first photos that he had a smile that lit up a room. It’s always the first thing people say about him when they meet him. It’s as if he is always bursting with glee and can barely contain his joy! Unless he’s tired or hungry, he wears a huge smile.
Since coming home with us to Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada, he has learned to ice skate, ride a bike, play soccer, swim, play hockey, learn karate and this month, he started his first year of school! He rides the school bus and participates in an all-French language kindergarten class. He has already made friends and exuberantly describes his day for us at dinner time. He has a special relationship with his older sister Grace who is 8 years old - also adopted from China in 2005. He likes to tease her like every little brother, but he tells her how much he loves her every day. His favourite toys are his cars and Transformers. He can play quietly in his room with his toys, inventing complex and exciting scenarios involving his cars and the Transformers. Once he’s done, he runs to us to tell us all about the adventure! He begs us to play Memory almost every night. He and his sister beat us every time with their razor-sharp memory.
He has a healthy appetite and eats almost everything. He loves vegetables and is willing to try new things – which is rare in children his age. He has grown close to 20 cms (7 inches) since coming home. He is still small for his age, but strong and healthy and growing.
We’ve always known he was a special boy. He displayed such courage as an infant undergoing surgery to repair his cleft lip and another surgery to repair an anal issue. He suffered respiratory problems as an infant, but hasn’t had any serious problems since coming home. He underwent palate surgery in Winnipeg in May of 2010 and recovered very quickly. Recently, he had his “magic tooth” pulled at the dentist. (We’ve always called the tooth in behind the cleft his magic tooth). Watching the dentist perform the procedure, I was nervous for him. He didn’t flinch, or appear afraid at all. Once the tooth was pulled, he flashed me that signature ear-to-ear grin and told me that now, the tooth fairy would come!
He is an eternal optimist and always sees the positive side of every situation. Whenever he shocks me with his positive outlook on life, I ask him where he gets his happiness. “From China”, he always says.
Our family is truly blessed to have Jeremy. Our daughter is bright and beautiful and talented. She excels at everything she tries. Her strong will and perseverance will take her far. Jeremy’s zest for life and enthusiasm has rubbed off on everyone. As his parents, we can’t help but get excited for every new experience since we get to see everything from his eyes. We can only hope that they see each other’s strengths and emulate one another.
Jeremy often has occasion to view the many photos we received from An Orphan’s Wish. Thank you again for that precious gift. In every picture, he looks healthy and happy and loved. I strongly believe that his early years formed his joyful personality. It was obviously a very positive experience filled with love and attention.
I am including some pictures of his current life hoping that you will take some of the credit for his happiness.
We extend our sincere gratitude and God’s blessing on you all. The children have recently donated to your cause so that you can continue to do your important work.
In January 2011, Luke's mother gave us an update on how Luke is doing since his adoption. We know you will agree that he is one special little.
How is Luke doing now?
Luke is doing fantastic! We knew going into this adoption that there were a lot of unknowns as far as his health. Each and every Doctor visit has given us so much hope for Luke to be able to achieve anything and everything he wants in life. Luke is no longer in a brace for clubfoot. His orthopedist said that he is structurally perfect, just tiny due to his prematurity at birth. The Urologist cleared and released him. The Neurologist said that Luke is doing great and that he should start walking soon. We now have him up and walking all over with a walker. :) The Gastroenterologist and all her testing found that Luke had no significant abnormalities and was doing well following the surgery he had received while living in China. Luke is now able to eat anything and everything he wants and does so with gusto! Our little guy has gained over ten pounds(even has pudgy legs now) since joining our family in August. With that 13 pounds he has also gained the ability to talk non-stop. He greets me each and every morning with "Good morning MaMa, I wuh you, and each night with Goodnight MaMa, I wuh you!" Like music to my ears his voice is precious. We have every reason to believe that Luke will continue to thrive and grow to his fullest potential.
How was his transition into your family?
Luke's transition was very smooth. I believe he had been prepared by the caregivers at An Orphan's Wish to know and understand that he would have a family and that we would love and care for him. I think it has also been helpful in his transition that we are a large family. With nine children in the house Luke always has someone to play with and be silly with and boy does this kiddo play. At times it is hard for the others to keep up with him. Luke has formed a very close and special bond with his 4 year old sister Olivia who was adopted at the same time. He has blended into our lives seamlessly.
How were his medical needs met at the House of Love?
To be honest I do not believe my son would be alive if it were not for An Orphan's Wish giving him the help he needed. Not only did they repair his clubfoot but he also had his hernia repaired which allowed for him to finally start eating and not be in pain. They also provided something equally as important which was love, hope and nurturing throughout his time spent there.
What are his favorite things to do?
Luke loves to play outside! He was given a Buzz Light Year scooter (like the one in Guilin) by a very special family who also heard of and came to love Luke while he was in the care of An Orphan's Wish. He rides all over the place on this scooter. He loves playing with cars and trucks, coloring, building with Legos and will even be seen happily playing house and pretend cooking with his sister Olivia. He enjoys going to the park, feeding the ducks and basically anything that involves fun and laughter, Luke is up for it.
What are your fondest memories thus far with Luke from your time with him in China and at home now?
My fondest memory was the night I tucked him into bed and heard him say "MaMa I wuh you! " I then turned out the light, shut his door and he went peacefully to sleep. Ever since that night Luke was aware that he was finally home. He knew that we were his family and would always be here for him. He has never shed another tear at bedtime.
**We do greatly miss little Ethan here. But getting news from his mother and being able to see that he is thriving in his forever family fills our hearts with joy! Seeing this transformation is what we are all about. Read on to see for yourself how well Ethan, now forever known as Aiden, is doing in his new home.**
Some of our favorite memories of being in China were when we went to dinner in a restaurant by our hotel. Michael had ordered Spicy Szchihuan noodles and we had ordered plain noodles for Aiden. Well, Michael's came out first and Aiden pitched a fit to have some. Before his noodle arrived, he had eaten all of Michael's spicy noodles and had sweat pouring off his little head. But, boy, was he a happy little boy!
For me, it was the afternoon we were all playing hide and seek in the hotel of the White Swan. We were lucky to have an end room and we had the whole end of the hall to play in and we got to hide and run in an out of our room. To hear his full laughter and yell for DADDY was just a moment I won't forget.
Aiden loves to play with his sister and it doesn't matter what she is doing! He plays dress up with her, puzzles, colors in books, and listens to her read stories. He absolutely loves riding his bicycle! He also loves to swim and has started taking swimming lessons!
Aiden came home and acted like he had always been here! He takes everything in stride. He loves to ride in the car, pointing out trucks and airplanes. Dinner time is always fun as well since he wants to contribute to our dinner discussions. We have to laugh because 75% of it is in Chinese so we don't quite understand what he is saying but he still manages to get his point across.
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt he was well prepared for being with his family! We sent photo albums on several occasions to Aiden which were all returned to us with him. They were VERY well worn from all the use. He could open each page and tell us the names of all the people on the pages so I know the care givers at the House of Love spent time looking at these books in detail with him.
They also taught him sign language which helped us a lot in bonding those first few weeks. The ability for him to communicate regardless of language was a huge benefit. And last, he still has great feelings for all his care givers. When we show Aiden pictures of the care givers and the Trower Family on the Orphan's Wish website, he blows them kisses and knows them all by name. He calls them all Jie Jie which warms my heart. I know this means he was very well loved and cared for and formed deep bonds with them. The ability for him to know unconditional love his first 2 1/2 years has allowed him to understand we are his forever family and eased his transition.