Thursday, November 27, 2008

I'm thankful for ...

My family, my wife Violet, my health.

But this year what I am most thankful for is that we have Jacob home with us. What more could anyone want, even if he can be a messy eater sometimes? I wouldn't change it for the world.


Monday, November 24, 2008


Jake discovered one of the ladybugs taking up residence in our house. He saw it on my shirt and pointed it out to me, so I put it on his arm. At first he wasn't sure what to make of it, but then he thought it was pretty fun.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Having fun

We had a lot of fun Saturday.

Grandma Hassler gave Jake a musical hillbilly Santa that he just loves. He loves to dance to the music. It's hard to tell from a still photo, but it is so cute to watch him boogie.

Then we went outside to enjoy the wonders of nature. Jake got really excited at what he saw!

And this is part of what he saw. Literally hundreds of black birds were flying around and settling in our trees. We made noise to scare them and Jake just had a big laugh-fest watching them fly.

All in all, another fun day with our little man. He can really be a hoot sometimes.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Nothing compares to you – one month home

If someone would have told us (and we actually think she did) that one day we would forget all the pain of waiting for a family, of rejection, of dreams unrealized ... well, we wouldn't have believed her.
But one month after having Jacob, our son, home, we have forgotten all the pain. In fact, we have forgotten life before Jacob. He always has been here. Our dream has come true.
Sunday marked one month of Jacob at home. The day started out as a normal Sunday. We got up after a fairly restless night, and, of course, breakfast was the first thing on our minds — especially Jacob's.
After oatmeal and toast with jelly, we cleaned up and went to church, where it was our first Sunday in the nursery without Ma Ma or Baba. Jake cried a little, but Ma Ma said he would do great with Galin, and he did! He played and listened to music (he now loves to dance!) and learned itsy, bitsy spider.
Afterward, Jake took his first foray into Mexican food, and he loves guacamole. Nothing too spicy, and he danced in the high chair to the festive music throughout his meal.
Jake was sort of a celebrity today, because our newspaper's lifestyles editor (and one of Jake's biggest fans) put together a two-part series based on our blog, and it wrapped up Sunday. At least two people (strangers) commented on meeting the man face-to-face.
We laughed afterward and said he would have to start wearing his new sunglasses as a disguise!
Then it was off to the park to try out the swings (loved it) and the slide (it was big, so he went up and down it with Baba and a big smile plastered on his face.). Jake fed the ducks and watched a pair of geese fight. He saw fountains and waterfalls and probably the biggest time he had was running up and down a long ramp and peering out the fence bars like he was in jail.
We went shopping and got some groceries to wrap up our day. It was long, and he was tired, so we walked around outside when we got home to kind of wind down. After supper, there was an ice cream cone for dessert. All in all, it was a good, fall day.
Perfect to mark a month of Jake in our lives (even though it already seems like a lifetime!)

Here are some pictures of us wrapping up our day:

Jake got a little messy with his ice cream cone, but even after a month he marvels over the coldness of the yummy treat:

Afterward, it was right to the bathtub. Here he is growing a beard. We're not sure what that is on his head:

THE AFTERBATH – Here is our boy. He cleans up really well:

A picture of one of the USA's newest, official citizens

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

You've got mail

Jake received his first piece of mail Monday, and it was anything but junk mail — it was his certificate of citizenship, effective Oct. 16, 2008! Yep, in the eyes of the government, Jake officially is an American, and we have the paper to prove it (which is always a necessity when it comes to the government ;)
He also got a form letter from the president congratulating him on becoming a citizen of the United States. It was a nice touch.
When he landed in America, we knew the moment he touched feet on the ground .. er, floor ... he would be an American. It would be a special moment, and we guess immigration thought so, too, because there were no pictures allowed! There will be no lollygagging to celebrate citizenship, no sirree!
We thought about holding him from the ground (which was silly, we know, but darn it ... it was our symbolism) until we could get somewhere to snap a photo, but we weren't sure where that was and standing in line holding him to wait to enter the U.S. was enough. We made a big show of setting him down so we would always remember, and we will.
Since we don't have a photo of the moment, here is a random photo in which Jake is practicing his freedom of expression:

Friday, November 7, 2008

Excuse me, what's that in your ear?

The other day, Jake and I were sitting at the table eating lunch. He really does a pretty good job of feeding himself, so I guess I take it for granted it's all going in his mouth. Anyway, as a treat I gave him some diced pineapple. I turned away for just a second and when i turned back there he was in his highchair, a big grin on his face — and a piece of pineapple sticking in his ear.

Obviously, that's not what we want, but how in the world do you tell him no when you are laughing so hard? I wish the camera had been handy, but it wasn't. I guess now I need to keep the camera with me at all times, because you just never know what you will miss.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

One month

One month ago Wednesday, a scared little boy had to be carried into our room in the Bell Tower Hotel in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province, China. He had never laid eyes on us before, and when he did that day, he didn't want to have anything to do with us.

We, on the other hand, had at least seen pictures of him and had fallen in love even though we'd never met him. If anything that day, we loved him even more.

Now, this same little boy doesn't like to be away from us. It's becoming hard to remember what life was like without him. Hopefully, he feels the same way about us.

Wow, this month sure went by fast.