Friday, December 28, 2007

The Newport Aquarium

Check out the monster turtle behind Kerwin!

Kerwin and I in front of the jellyfish. (Kerwin is signing jellyfish)

Kerwin with Grandma and Grandpa

Kerwin got to pet some small sharks.

He said that the sharks were his favorite. Even though the aquarium was packed we had a good time. I think Kerwin has had more world exposure in two months than most kids have in two years. Tomorrow we head for home.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Festival of Lights

We went with Grandma and Grandpa Haake to the Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo last night. We went out to eat first and then on the way there Kerwin fell asleep in the car. So we had to wake him up to take him in. The first picture is how he looked at the beginning. However, within about 20 minutes he began to cheer up. We watched a Polar Express 4D movie and he seemed to really enjoy it. He also enjoyed the manatees (Grandma's favorite) and the polar bear. Because it was evening, most of the animals were asleep. I'm sure he would love to go again some time in the daytime.

More pictures from Christmas break

Kerwin looking for snow in our back yard

Kerwin with Max

Kerwin plays in snow for the first time in PA

Kerwin decorates cookies with Grandma

Kerwin and Daddy having trouble waking up

Kerwin takes a call on Christmas

Sunday, December 9, 2007

December Update

-Kerwin and Mike playing air hockey
-Kerwin and Mike in the rain at Southern Lights
-Kerwin petting the pony he rode
-Kerwin in the Lego room

I know it has been quite a while since the last time I wrote. I see that other moms' blogs that I check have not been updated as frequently during the Christmas season so I don't feel quite as bad.

Things are just moving along here. I feel like we have finally begun to fall into a routine of school days and days off. We still have more than the usual amount of medical appointments to go to but other than that we are on a pretty normal schedule. So, again I will try to hit the highlights.

Kerwin got his hearing aids a week and a half ago. He seems to be hearing a lot of speech now but it is somewhat difficult to tell because he doesn't respond to very much. He will go back for a formal test in January once he's had some time to adjust to them. In the last few days he has looked at us when we say his name. But he has only done this a few times and we call his name all the time. He is doing a good job of imitating letter sounds. He will try to repeat words but they are not so great at this time. He was making a really great "w" sound today in the car and we are working on his "m" so he can say mama. He doesn't seem to hate the hearing aids but he doesn't seem to love them either.

They are somewhat like the school bus which he has also been tolerating well. School is going well. He is learning new things and new words. His sentence length is increasing. I am excited because his PT, OT, and Speech through the school are getting ready to begin (finally). I had to be a big nag and force an ARC meeting but they school was really great once we held it and they are going to begin all of his services immediately. He lost a tooth at school last week. If you look really closely in the Lego picture you can see it missing. He now has two missing teeth and about three loose teeth. Poor thing, he can hardly eat.

This weekend we spent most of Saturday at home and then went over to my parents to watch the pitiful UK basketball game and then for dinner. But after dinner we went to Southern Lights out at the Horse Park. Kerwin sat up front on my mom's lap and he was fascinated by the lights. Then he got to ride a pony, see the model train display and go through the petting zoo. It was a really late night but he had fun. On Friday night we took Kerwin to Gatti Town for the first time. He had such a good time. He loved getting to watch a movie while he ate dinner. The movie was "Racing Stripes" and he absolutely loved it. He actually came really close to pronouncing "zebra" (he got the 'br' part in the middle right) and he was so enthralled by the zebra beating the horses in the race. He has been to Keeneland before so he understands the concept of a horse race. Then we went back to the arcade part and he had fun playing there. He rode the carousel, shot the water guns, got on the bumper cars, played skee-ball, shot basketball, played air hockey, and took a "helicopter ride." When we counted up all the tickets we had enough to get a giant blow-up bat, a bouncy ball, and two "poppers."

And if all of that isn't enough to be thankful for we have one more HUGE blessing. While in Haiti, we realized that we were not going to be able to continue to pay for all the travel and living expenses that we were acquiring while there. Additionally, we knew there would be some fairly big medical expenses to deal with once we got Kerwin home. So we decided to apply for a grant to help us dig out way out of the debt we were incurring. The process was several months long. During which time the foundation came back to us several time to ask us more questions and to see how we were doing so we thought that the chances were good that we would receive something Well, we got a call last week to find out that we not only were going to receive a grant but we were going to receive a grant much larger than the foundation was typically able to give. There had been a special circumstance in which an anonymous donor had come to the foundation wanting to make a significant contribution to two families in memory of his wife. We were chosen as one of those special families. We are so thankful for God's provision. From the beginning of this process I felt like I had a word from God that he would give us our son with all of the paperwork and finances that were needed for the process. However, I was somewhat prideful in the fact that we had paid for our adoption and all the accompanying expenses as we went leaving us with no debt. And then the Haiti stay began. I stopped working, we saw all of our savings go and then we began borrowing. While in Haiti, my main concern with being there was financial. Otherwise, we were healthy, happy, and we had our son. Of course we wanted to go home but generally we were okay. Then we got home and I was still not working and we had many more expenses than we ever had in the past. Now as each day goes by I see more reasons for our stay in Haiti. How would we have been able to see, feel, and testify to God's provision if we felt as if we were self-sufficient; if we felt that we could meet all of our own needs? Now we see so much more clearly the bigger picture and this is only a FRACTION of the whole picture. All glory belongs to you, God! Also we send a big thanks to Shaohannah's Hope, Kathy, and the gentleman who gave the money for allowing God to work through you to bless us.

So that's us for now check back later for more Christmas season news.