“For I know the plans I have for you…to give you hope and a future.”

With Great Joy We Introduce Our Newest Son Aaron Donald Walsh Ho

With Great Joy We Introduce Our Newest Son Aaron Donald Walsh Ho
Born January 17, 2007 Guangdong Province, The People's Republic of China Forever Ours April 12, 2010
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fun Morning for Aaron & Allergy Testing for Donovan

Last week Aaron spent the morning with Grandma. She took him with her to run some errands and into the Mall where he rode on several toy vehicles. He was so excited! He had so much to tell us about when he got home. These photos of him are so sweet!

Aaron spent the day with Grandma, while I took Donovan for allergy testing...

After 2 years of a series of lingering colds every fall (Aug - Oct) and spring (April - June), often resulting in sinus infections taking multiple rounds of antibiotics to clear up, we realized what was most likely causing Donovan these symptoms was likely allergies, and not colds. In fact, how we finally realized this was that when we returned from China in late April, and Donovan was on another round of antibiotics for a sinus infection that had been going on for 4 weeks, suddenly the temperatures dropped and we got a snowstorm, and Donovan's symptoms disappeared -and then reappeared a week later when spring weather returned. Donovan was started on Zyrtec and Flonase and we saw quick improvement in his symptoms. Our pediatrician wanted to refer Donovan for allergy testing then, but we were afraid that removing him from the Zyrtec and Flonase allergy meds. for a week required before the allergy testing would result in yet another sinus infection. So, our pediatrician agreed that if we could keep the symptoms at bay with the Zyrtec/Flonase, then we could hold off on allergy testing until late fall/early winter.
And so, last week, I took Donovan for the allergy testing. We were simply trying to discover which things he is allergic too and which months we would really need to treat him with allergy meds (rather than medicating from spring to first frost of winter...). The allergist we chose was absolutely wonderful. In fact, when I taught one summer in a private preschool's summer program, his oldest son was in my class, and his youngest son is adopted from Korea, and his wife is an artist, whose work we have several of in our home.

Donovan did great! First the nurse "wrote" on his back and then she "scratched" it. Donovan didn't even flinch when she "scratched" him with the needles 20 times for the various possible allergens. Within moments his back began to itch and turn red in many locations. The nurse told Donovan not to touch his back (btw, he complied so much with this that, that afternoon when it was time to put pjs on for nap, he asked if it was okay to then touch his back.) Donovan and I spent about 15 minutes playing Go Fish and Memory. The doctor came in, looked at Donovan's back, and announced, "Well it looks like we are dealing with some allergies here." The results, as expected, indicated allergies to pollen (April - June) and ragweed (Aug-late Sept) - Well, at least we can take July off from allergy meds :) AND, what we were not expecting...an indoor allergy to dust mites. Donovan did great through the whole thing, and was excited about his sticker, and then lunch out with mom.

The outdoor allergies are certainly not a big deal, we will just use the Zyrtec and Flonase as recommended by the doctors, April - June and then again August and September. The dust mite allergy is a bit more involved. We've been ordering a lot of items and have some changes to make. Just received our steamer and ionic air cleaner with permanent Hepa filter for his bedroom, special dust mite covers for his mattress and his pillow (and Aaron's, and ours too as they both often climb into our bed in the early am), special additive for laundering his bedding (weekly). His room will need to be steamed weekly. No more stuffed animals, except one special panda and one special koala bear which will be steamed regularly and laundered weekly. We are NOT removing carpeting. Our allergist said if we vaccuum his bedroom 1-2 times a week (including moving all furniture and vaccuuming where it was) and steam it regularly (weekly I guess), we should be okay.

I am so glad we opted to have the allergy testing done. While the seasonal stuff we had already figured out, the dust mites allergy was unexpected. Well, now we are armed with our steamer, and ready to eliminate dust mites on a regular basis :)

Donovan's First McDonalds

It is with a smile upon my face, that I share this with you...

Today, Rupert picked Donovan up from preschool and took him to lunch, as Aaron and I had something else going on. Rupert chose to take Donovan to McDonalds, where Donovan has never been before. I should clarify I was aware of Rupert's choice and laughingly said two things to Rupert 1)This will be his only trip there for 2010 and 2) I bet he will not like the food.

I am pleased to report that Donovan did NOT enjoy his first trip to McDonald's. He liked the Happy Meal toy but reported the "brown part of the hamburger did not taste good to me." That would be referring to the "meat."
Having not eaten at McDonald's/BK since I was 12, I'm thrilled. It appears he won't be asking Rupert to take him back there again :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Home Six Months Today

Today, exactly six months since he has been home, Aaron excitedly participated in trick-or-treating at our local mall. He and Donovan were dressed as monkeys.

Today, we got lots of, "Oh how cute, are they twins?" comments...and I answered, "Nope, just brothers, but today they are 'monkey twins.'"

Aaron was enthusiastic about trick-or-treating, as he is about all things in life. This past week he went to the dentist for his first cleaning, and was happy to exclaim, "wee...." when the hygenist and dentist reclined the chair for him. He didn't move an inch during the cleaning, and was looking forward to a plastic snake as a prize (which Donovan got the week before). The dentist asked, "Is he always this happy and enthusiastic about everything?" Yes, pretty much. We returned the next day for a filling and for the 2nd time since he's been home, the work was done without any novocaine or nitrous oxide...NOTHING...took about 15 minutes and he did not even flinch (again, thinking of a plastic snake in the prize drawer). The dentist was so impressed with Aaron, as are we!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

There are no words...

Husband: China Forces Wife to Abort at 8 Months
(Click on title of article above)

No words...just sadness and outrage. And fear for the husband's safety in speaking out against officials...

It is supposed to be illegal for authorities in China to force a woman to have an abortion.

I've seen the video on YouTube of this couple. Al Jazeera's Melissa Chan interviews the woman forced to abort her 8 month old baby. It took me a minute or two to realize this was THE WOMAN...she still appears pregnant, because she is now carrying a dead fetus...The video will break your heart...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Two Very Special Boys

I know many in the Chinese adoptive community may recognize the handsome boy to the right of Aaron as "Timothy" from Love Without Boundaries. (He's wearing a bit of frosting from an ice cream cupcake!) It seems so long ago that I first read about "Timothy" on the Love Without Boundaries website when he needed sponsorship for medical care...and then again when he was highlighted this past November in their newsletter, and it indicated he was waiting for a family. Never in a million years could I have ever imagined that I would be MEETING him one day...and that my own son would share a special connection with him.

Today we were absolutely thrilled to get to meet (in person) Debbie and her new son, Timmy, and the rest of their wonderful family. Debbie and I both belong to an online support group, one that we are both very active on. It was on that group that I first "met" Debbie, while we were both waiting to travel to go get our sons. We traveled first for Aaron, as we were a family whose paperwork was already logged in with China, and Debbie's family was just starting the "paperchase." I waited eagerly after getting home with Aaron, to follow Debbie's journey to China to adopt Timmy. Exactly 4 months after we arrived home with Aaron, Debbie met her new son, Timmy, in China.

Though we live in different states, Debbie's family has a ski home not too far from where we live. They were coming up for the weekend, and offered to stop at our home so we could meet! We were thrilled to meet them, and hope this is the first of many times that we are able to get together.

Aaron and Timmy are two incredibly special little boys. They have much in common. I truly believe Timmy and Aaron will be in contact with one another many times during their lifetimes - at least that is certainly my hope, and I know Debbie and I will both work to facilitate that.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

"I'm so glad I have a brother. I love him SO much!"

Today, at the end of lunch, Donovan came up to me and hugged me and said, "Mommy, I love playing with Aaron. I love playing with Aaron with our vehicles and with our school and playing games. I'm so glad I have a brother. I love him so much!"

Today while I was preparing lunch, Aaron and Donovan played three board games together (Candy Land Bingo, "Lucky Ducks" - which is a fantastic and fun game!, and a Curious George Game). A few days ago, while I made lunch, they played Candy Land and an animal matching game. We play board games several times a day, especially as a family in the evenings, and I'm very impressed that these two boys can negotiate and take turns well enough independently to play the games together, just the two of them.

These two brothers love each other so much, and I love them both immensely...

Friday, October 8, 2010

Field Trip to Apple Orchard

Today I chaperoned Donovan's preschool's field trip to a local apple orchard. Donovan ate one apple there at the orchard, and a second one in the car on the way home, announcing, "This apple is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside."

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Santa's Village

We had the most wonderful day at Santa's Village in Jefferson, NH today. We are exhausted, but so happy and have so many special memories of our day today.

(As some of you know, last year was our first visit to Santa's Village, and we were quite caught off guard when halfway there, Donovan, who had never been motion sick before, became very ill on the trip. This year, with the addition of Aaron with his SEVERE motion sickness, both boys were given Dramamine, and we had a very pleasant car ride there and back.)

When I woke the boys up at 6 am (in preparation for our 7 am departure), Donovan sat up and said in a surprised voiced, "What? Time to get up already? It's still dark out." This gave me a good laugh as this is the boy who usually comes into our bedroom around 6 or 6:15 each morning, and who for a least two years was up between 5and 5:30 am...

We had a really nice ride there, enjoying the gorgeous fall foliage. It takes 2 1/2 hours to get so Santa's Village. We were there a few minutes before it opened, and in fact, we were the first in line to see Santa. Donovan had been saying for several days that he planned to give Santa a big hug and thank him for the train table he brought last year. Well...we walked in, and Donovan became a bit shy. So, here is Aaron, who has never seen Santa (except in photos in Donovan's scrapbook which we have been looking at the past few days), and he says, "Thank you for the train table. I like construction vehicles, and cars and I would like a UPS truck and an ice cream truck." (This from a little boy home 5 1/2 months, who only knows Santa from the little bit of information we have told him the past couple weeks). In any case, this really helped Donovan feel at ease. Donovan then also thanked Santa for the train table from last Christmas and did give Santa a BIG hug. He also said he likes construction vehicles. Santa gave both boys TWO candy canes and the boys sat on his lap for some photos.

Last year I would say that the train ride (which we did 4 times last year) was the hit. This year, without question, the Antique cars were the highlight. We went on them 4 times in a row! (and then 8 other times throughout the day). Donovan was THRILLED to find out that this year when he stood up with his foot on the pedal, he was able to make the antique cars go. Aaron was also able to do this and was very pleased with himself. They are still talking about it!

Both boys also liked the ferris wheel, carousel, train ride, and bumper cars. Last year I did take Donovan on the rollercoaster, but he did not care for it. We've been reading a book about a rollercoaster for the past month, and Donovan said he wanted to go on it this year. So, we did. And he LOVED it. In fact, after we got off, he went on it two more times (for a total of SIX trips around the rollercoaster) with Rupert. Aaron watched and decided not to go on it. Then during lunch, Aaron said he wished he had gone on it. So, a little while after lunch, he went on with Rupert, and while I don't think it was Aaron's favorite, he was very proud of himself that he went on it!

We enjoyed a great pizza at lunchtime. Both boys were very hungry and loved their pizz and a special treat of chocolate milk. We had a very nice ride home (again enjoying the fall foliage). Both boys were asleep less than five minutes at bedtime!