Friday, December 28, 2018

Tyndall James is 5 Years Old!

Tyndall James is 5 Years Old! 
 (and he has been for almost 2 months) 
5th Birthday! 
(Christmas Day 2017)

Nicknames:  T, T-man, Bubba, "Su-Tin", Ty, "Kendo", "Tindon"

At Asiatique in July
Favorite things to do:  play with Friends, play games, play outside, play family, take pictures and videos, watch shows, go on adventures, dress as a superhero, take "baths", play on mommy's phone, go to soccer, "help" in the kitchen,  try to catch animals, ride his tricycle, go to play places or the park

Favorite books:  Jesus Storybook Bible; Monkey, Monkey, Monkey; Little Leopard on the Move; How Do Dinosaurs...;

Favorite toys:  regular household items he can build things with, games, CinnaBear, FroggyBaby, dress up clothes, any containers to collect bugs and flowers and leaves, other stuffed animals, cars, Play Doh, train set, dinosaurs, rice boxes on the back porch

Favorite TV Shows/Movies:  Animal Mechanicals, Wild Kratts, Puffin Rock, Dinosaur Train, CareBears, Trolls, Moana, Home Alone movies
, videos of himself on my phone

Favorite Foods:  He still eats a lot at school and more lately at home. Loves pancakes, smoothies.  Cinamon rolls from Starbucks, Rice, noodles, chicken, eggs, cheese, lots of fruits & veggies (loves cucumbers).  He also loves sweets.  Candy, cookies, popsicles, ice cream, and crackers are often requested.  He will eat basically anything we put in front of him, but not much of it in one sitting.   
Making Buffalo Chicken Dip with LaLa

Friends:  Boyda kids (Keaton, Landon, Trevor, Jillian), GES kids (Bauers, Andreassens, Wattanabanjongkuls, Brights, Gurnetts, and anyone else on the playground). K2B friends: Blink, Nano, Alisia.  His cousins in America. He makes friends very easily.
With Boydas on Christmas Day

With great-grandparents and Hailey & Kayte in July
With BeBe and Sadie & Sawyer in July
 Favorite Sayings:  Is it _____ day? (school, , play or church);
Let's ______ (play, go outside, go!)
Can I touch it?  (in reference to any animal that he sees); 

Easter 2017
Things he doesn't like:  Loud, unexpected noises; anything that's not his idea; being touched by strangers (happens a lot in Asia to a blonde boy); being told he has to do something; hearing no.
Flying from Chiang Mai to Krabi in April

Things that happened while he was 3:  Rode a horse for the first time, BeBe & LaLa visited us in Thailand, tried doing gymnastics at a gym, took another big trip to America, started K2, found out about and met Hudson, LaLa visited for a month in December, had play dates at Thai friends' houses, mastered the monkey bars, became a big brother!

October 25, 2017, the day he met Hudson

Four was a fun year with Tyndall.  He started becoming more obedient, and we all found more rhythm and routine for our family.  With Tyndall being older, it's a fun stage of being able to have conversations.  We love seeing how his mind works!  We are proud of the character that Tyndall is developing.  One of my highlights as his mom this year is seeing how he befriended and became the designated helper for a boy in his class. He also enjoys school a lot this year and is surprising me with how much he is learning!

The biggest change for T this year was becoming a big brother!  We found out about Hudson in October, so he became part of our regular conversations then.  Even the first night of learning about Hudson, Tyndall showed that he was going to be an awesome big brother!  And he certainly is.  

With all the discussions and questions about Adoption around Hudson's homecoming, it has provided many opportunities for Tyndall to process his own adoption.  He has had some great questions for us and interesting discussions with students who have asked him questions.  We are so thankful he is curious about this part of his story in this season. 

He is FLL OF LIFE!  He is kind and helpful.  He is loving.  He is fearless and brave.  Thais still often describe him as active and busy.  We are thankful to the Lord that he is healthy and has grown a few centimeters this year!  He keeps us laughing, busy, tired, but full of joy.  And we remain incredibly grateful to the Lord for creating and sustaining his life and choosing us to be his family. 

Swinging with Sadie in Saluda.  July 2017.

Happy 5th Birthday, Tyndall James!

Interview with Tyndall as he turns Six!

On the eve of his sixth birthday, I asked T these questions and write his answers just as he said. 

1.What is something mommy always says to you? 
Stop doing stuff. 
What is something daddy always says to you? 
He yells at me. 
2. What makes you happy? 
Riding my bike! 
3. What makes you sad?
When Daddy pops me. 
4. What makes you laugh?
You tickle me!
5. How old are you? Six! 
6. How old is Mommy? I don’t know. Can you tell me? 
7. How old is Daddy? I don’t know. 
8. What is your favorite thing to do? Chalk. 
9. Who is your best friend? Hudson!!and Keaton. Claire, Aurora, Walter, Judah, Yaya, Elinor, Landon, Jillian and Trevor. And P’Nui. 
10. What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be a doctor. No. A space guy. An astronaut. 
11. What are you really good at? Monkey Bars. 
12. What are you not very good at? Swimming. (Mommy: that’s not true) Ok Listening. (Laughs) 
13. What did you do today? Swam
14. What is your favorite food? Mangos. And Macaroni and cheese. 
15. What is your favorite song? Treat Me Right. 
16. What do you want for your birthday this year? A toy dinosaur that poops out eggs and then you can put them back in. 
17. What is your favorite animal? Monkey. 
18. What is love? Loving people means kissing. 
19. What does daddy do for work? Teaching kids. 
20. Where do you live? Here at GES. 

21. Where is your favorite place to go? Bounce (Mommy: You’ve never been there before.) The bouncy place at Central WestGate. 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Interview with Tyndall on his 5th Birthday

1.What is something mommy always says to you? I love you. 
What is something daddy always says to you? I love you. 
2. What makes you happy? My presents that you give me and Hudson. 
3. What makes you sad? That I can’t have presents today. 
4. What makes you laugh? Something like animals. That they have feet in different colors. And they always walk around. 
5. How old are you? Five! 
6. How old is Mommy? I don’t know. 
7. How old is Daddy? I don’t know. 
8. What is your favorite thing to do? to play card games. Old Maid, Go Fish, other Go Fish. 
9. Who is your best friend? Keaton! and Hudson, and Eddie and Ellie, Emma and everyone. 
10. What do you want to be when you grow up? I don’t know yet. 
(Note: last week, he easy saying he wanted to be the guy that teaches birds how to fly. ?) 
11. What are you really good at? I’m really good at playing.  
12. What are you not very good at? The Mario game. 
13. What did you do today? I had presents. And I had some pancakes, and I don’t know what else. 
14. What is your favorite food? Cake balls. 
15. What is your favorite song? Our Christmas song 
16. What do you want for your birthday this year? a game. A Mario game. 
17. What is your favorite animal? My favorite animal is Fish. 
18. What is love? Love means love other people. 
19. What does daddy do for work? Teaching
20. Where do you live? at home. At Thailand. 

21. Where is your favorite place to go? America. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

2nd Visit with Hudson

Matt and I were picked up at the hotel around 2:00 for our afternoon visit.  We met Hudson (who was wearing a new outfit!) again in the visiting room but then went on a tour of the orphanage.  We got to see the other two main rooms where he has lived his life.  We met one of the nannies from when he was an infant.  When he would get upset and cry, others would rush up and give him some food which would make him stop crying almost immediately.  Matt noted that treats seem to be the way to this boy's heart (at least for now).  Hudson let us carry him around most of the time.  There were still tears, but we also had some special moments of connection.

After walking around the campus a little bit, Matt got the reward of being the first to make Hudson giggle.  He was tickling him while walking, and I turned around to see the sweetest smile and hear the most precious giggle.  It was music to my ears, and Matt was just beaming.  Hudson, your Daddy is definitely the funny one, and you learned this very early on.  

The rest of our afternoon visit was spent in the outside play area.  We played with a Thai alphabet toy and got to hear him saying some characters.  We pushed him around on a bike (and played with a lot of other little ones who wanted some attention).  As the afternoon went on, he definitely got more comfortable with us.  We did more tickles and kisses and hugs and got to hear his sweet giggle more and more.  His favorite nanny "Ma Kru" also spent a good bit of time with us, and we got some videos of her singing songs to him and talking with him.  I hope these will be special to him one day so he can see how much he was cared for by her and many others.  

When it was time to go, he rode in the van with us to the hotel.  I think they are trying to get him used to being out and about more.  Needless to say, we didn't want to say goodbye, but we were thrilled that the visit went so well.  Loved seeing his eyes light up, and we loved seeing him more comfortable in the surroundings that he's used to.  I loved watching his nanny with him and seeing her obvious care for him (and his for her!).  The second visit was soooooooo much more encouraging than the first. It made us really look forward to Tyndall getting to meet him. :) 

P.S. No pictures because we only have ones with his face from this visit. 

Saturday, November 4, 2017

First Visit with Hudson

Nico (a volunteer from Germany) and Phil (one of the social workers) picked us up in the orphanage's van and drove us over to the Boys' Home.  When we pulled up and got out, there was a group of people (and a couple of little boys) outside.  I scanned the faces and didn't think any of them were Hudson.  They walked us into a small room, and there he was!  He was sitting on a blanket with a few toys, playing by himself.  He barely looked up when we entered.  Matt immediately got down on the floor and started playing with him.  I think I was a little in shock.  I took some pictures, but it took me a minute to process it.  This was our boy!  In real life! 

Immediately, I noticed some sores on his head.  There was a place on his head that seemed swollen.  I was concerned.  The "momma bear" in me was a little angry honestly.  Within a few minutes, the main social worker came in and visited with us.  She addressed the spot on his head and said that they are much better and that he had been under a doctor's care.  I felt better pretty quickly because they addressed it directly.  She also asked what we wanted to know about him, and we said everything that she could tell us. So, within minutes of meeting our boy, we were hearing parts of his story.  I was desperately trying to memorize every detail, knowing that these pieces of information will be precious to our son one day.  But I was also heartbroken learning about his story.  Truly sad that he ever had to leave his first family and experience such loss and trauma.  

I was with this precious boy, this precious life who will soon be placed in our hands, and I was heartbroken about his first 2 years and 8 months of life.  I also was given the impression that his coming into our family will not be an easy adjustment for him.  I prayed.  My eyes filled with tears.  Deep in my soul, I cried out to the "Father of the fatherless", the one who "sets the lonely in families".  I feel so unworthy, so inadequate to enter into his life.  Yet there is a deep, rising LOVE for this precious boy that was instant, the moment I found out about him.  It's overshadowed my feelings of concern.  Matt and I shared a couple of glances.  We wondered if we are "cut out" for this.  If we are strong enough.  If he would ever acknowledge our presence.  ;) 

As all of these conversations are going on verbally, all of these internal shifts happening, little Hudson has barely looked at us.  He hasn't spoken.  Has barely moved.  

I finally ask the social worker, "can he walk?  does he talk?" and she says "oh yeah!" and starts talking with him in Thai.  He starts identifying different animal toys and answering her prompts to pick up different things.  He got up and walked across the room to get a book, and we saw the first glimpse of his personality.  (Or maybe the withdrawn, reserved Hudson is his personality too.  We will know eventually.)  I try to get him to sit in my lap while I read him a book, but he wasn't interested.  It's okay.  I know these things will take time.  I don't want to scare him or overwhelm him.  I'm a stranger to him.  He has no idea I am his mom.  At one point, P'Nan walked out of the room, and he cried.  An intense cry that was honestly a relief to hear and see.  More evidence of "life" within him.  

After a little longer in this small room (which we found out he had never been in before), we went outside to go to his area of the orphanage.  He took Matt's hands walking down a few stairs, and he let Matt carry him across the grounds.  Matt was gracious and passed him off to me after a little while, and I was thrilled when he let me carry him the rest of the way to his lunch area.  Then I got to sit with him and feed him lunch.  He is a good eater and definitely seemed more comfortable surrounded by his friends and nanny.  His nanny asked him to tell us the names of all his friends, and he did.  There were 5 other kids with him that day.  There are usually 10 in his group.  We had already been told that he loved this nanny very much, but seeing it was a different experience.  I felt a strange mix of feeling thankful that he has this close attachment but also sorrow to know I will take him away from her in the coming weeks.  

Matt had some sweet moments of connection with him after lunch.  We stayed in his area of the orphanage for a little while until it was time for his nap.  They took us to the van and said they would come back to get us in a couple of hours.  

We went back to the hotel and found Tyndall and P'Nui.  We were anxious to tell Tyndall about his brother and show them pictures.  We also started majorly coaching Tyndall about Hudson being pretty reserved and how he needed to be reserved at our visit the next day. 

We all went to the area mall for lunch together.  Even though it was just a local mall, I noticed some differences in Southern Thai culture compared to what we're used to.  I was trying to soak it all in but also trying to process the last couple of hours.  Such an intense and powerful and wonderful morning. And we knew we would get to see Hudson again in just a couple of hours!