“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."

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Seven Months With Sarah

Today marks seven months since we met Sarah in China and one year since we submitted our Letter of Intent to adopt  her. The changes in her in the past seven months have been amazing. Here is sweet Sarah!

How can it be March already? Weren’t we just celebrating Sarah’s first Christmas in our family? Here we are, Donovan’s hockey season over, ski season winding down, and getting ready for Easter and our trip to Florida.
Seven months have already gone by since we first met Sarah. How can that be? The time is going too fast for me. I want it to slow down!  And yet, so much has happened in seven months.
I look back at photos and barely recognize the frightened, skinny little version of the girl who sits beside me now.  My daughter is an absolute joy. She is one of the happiest children I have ever encountered. She wakes up with a smile, spends her days singing, dancing, playing, BEING SILLY, having fun (she knows how to have fun), and goes to bed saying, "I love you. Goodnight. See you in the morning."
The changes in her are immense. The most recognizable change is that our tiny little girl is not so tiny anymore. She has gained NINE POUNDS IN SEVEN MONTHS.  Looking back at the photos of her with us in China, I see how very skinny her arms were and how tiny she was.
This girl hasn’t met a food she doesn’t like. She LOVES to eat. I imagine in China she must have been  quite hungry. 
Whether it was shyness or fear or everything new, in China Sarah refused to feed herself most of the time at meals, and would not touch her food with her hands (that part was probably a learned behavior from the orphanage, where for cleanliness I assume children were not using their hands, but only utensils). Well, now she feeds herself and very quickly. And she wants to eat like her brothers. Homemade pizza for dinner? Forget about cutting it into pieces for her – she shook her head NO and pointed to her brothers’ slices and wanted a full slice. Tacos – The first time we cut her taco shell and let her put the toppings on the pieces. Second time she shook her head no, pointed to her brothers’ regular taco shells, got one, filled it up with toppings, and ate it with not a single thing falling out. Amazing!
 She is the sweetest little girl.  She says, “Thank you Mommy,” for everything I do for her (brush her teeth, put a barrette in her hair, give her food). She says, I love you, blows the best kisses, loves to hug and kiss and has been asking to be rocked before bed.
Sarah is still most often quiet and reserved when we go out in public. That’s typical for kids her age. 
She talks as much as any 2 year old. 7 months ago she knew not a word of English.
She loves to watch me play board games with her brothers. She observes the interactions and soon is helping us by handing us cards, etc. She amazes me that she can follow whose turn it is. For example in Labyrinth as the one piece comes out of the maze, she will grab it and knows which person to give it to who will be going next. She’s never wrong on that one. Amazing.
Her attention span is absolutely incredible for a 2 ½ year old. Donovan had a very long attention span at that age, but nothing compared to Sarah’s.
She loves puzzles. 6 months ago she hated them. They were very frustrating. She could not get the pieces to go in the openings. In fact, even with a matching picture on the bottom, she could not find the right one to put in. (We wrongly thought maybe she needed glasses; she does not.) She also found her shape sorting toys very frustrating. Now, she will complete 10-12 puzzles in one sitting. She easily does her shape sorting toys, shouting out, “diamond,” “oval,” “triangle,” “rectangle” for the correct shapes. She knows her colors (purple and pink are clear favorites). She knows many animals and the sounds they make. She knows many letters and words that start with their sounds (“S Sarah,” “G Grandma” “J Jelly Bean,” etc.). She knows how to spell her name!
Her brothers adore her. The other evening Aaron and I sat at the kitchen table, as Sarah danced around the room, twirling. Aaron told me he thinks Sarah will either be a ballerina or a pairs figure skater. He then looked at her, smiled, and asked, “Mommy, can I marry Sarah when we are older.” I explained that no, brothers and sisters cannot marry one another. “It’s against the rules?” he asked, and said, “But I love her so much.”  I explained yes, that he loves his sister a certain way, but one day he will love a little bit differently for the person he wants to marry. I explained that person would be a friend/girlfriend, but would not already be someone in our family.  He followed that up with, “Can I be her neighbor then?” Yes, Aaron, you can be her neighbor.
The past seven months have been the most incredible ones!
 This is the first photo we saw of Sarah.

Here is Sarah back at our hotel room, about 3 hours after meeting us. Look at those skinny upper arms. She was such a tiny little thing.

Sarah on one of her first few days at home in Vermont. Really looks tiny here. What a difference seven months and NINE POUNDS makes!