Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ian's World

Ian's "teacher of record" (who is the same wonderful teacher he's had as a home-bound teacher for almost a year) and I had the priviledge of doing some simulation activities with Ian's classmates this afternoon.  We took turns wrapping each child in a blanket and gave them an assignment (move to the door, to the desk, etc.)  They also tried to unwrap candy and use a computer with socks on their hands and with their fingers taped.  Then, we asked Mr. Hoffner (Ian's 4th grade teacher) to answer a question without using his voice.  All of this was to simulate what life is like for Ian.  The kids were very receptive and interested in everything about Ian.  We had plenty of time to process all of the activities and answer the student's questions, which were many.  I am sure that they came away with a greater appreciation for Ian's world.

 The principal at Cole is a wonderfully, crazy guy and Ian loves him!

 Ian was thrilled to see the kids squirming on the floor in their blankets!

 Fine motor skills activity

 Some of Ian's classmates

 More friends...

 and more.

This is a not-so-great picture of Ian with his para.  

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Thanks to my wonderful husband who is on "Ian Duty" this weekend, I am in Memphis with Olivia.  We both have a bit of a cold but are managing to have fun anyway!  We even got her parents to leave for the evening so we could party.  Papa Grande, these pictures are for you!  We love you and miss you and Ian!

 She was all smiles until I got the camera out this morning.

Her daddy got her to smile though!
 Olivia loves to look at the adorable baby in the mirror so we had fun doing that and even though some of these are a bit blurry (I had a hard time holding her and focusing at the same time), there are some great expressions!

 My favorite!

Sweet, happy girl!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

One Crazy Artist

I got an e-mail from Ian's principal today that said "one crazy artist" in the subject line and this was the message:

Looks like he's having fun!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Last night when I did the One Year Anniversary post, I couldn't get these pictures to upload, so here is an addendum to the previous post and were all taken at the Indianapolis Airport when we arrived home.  What a wonderful surprise to have so many friends and family awaiting our arrival!

 Ian meets his big sister and big brother for the first time!

 Meeting sister-in-law, Elizabeth

 Loving the balloons and truck from Mimi and Pa!

 Mimi and Pa meeting Ian

 No matter how overwhelmed he was with all the attention, the balloons broke the ice!

 Conversing with Drew while brother-in-law Troy looks on

 We didn't know it yet but Olivia was on the way!

The shaninigans begin (and continue even a year later.........ask Drew about Coke cans!)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

One Year Ago Today

Normally when go on any type of vacation, I am never ready to come home.  Tom will usually be ready for "our own bed" or ready to "get back to the routine," etc.  But not me - I always want to stay longer. However, I have never been so glad or ready to get my feet back on American soil as I was on September 12, 2009.  Not just my feet, but Tom's and especially Ian's!!  We had just spent 3 weeks in a small hotel room in downtown Kingston, Jamaica, wondering if we were going to get to bring him home or be forced to take him back to Robin's Nest until we could get the proper paperwork for his visa.  This was a good lesson in depending on God, since there was nothing else we could do.  We read many Psalms and prayed a LOT.  Tom worried about his job but kept in touch with some wonderful folks there who had most of the company praying for us.  Our fabulous new neighbors (we'd only lived here for a few weeks) took care of our yard and everything on the home front. 

It seems that perspective is so much clearer looking back and it didn't take us long to realize at least one of God's purposes for keeping us in Kingston.  No matter how hard we would have tried, we would not have had 3 uninterrupted weeks alone with Ian if we'd been able to bring him home immediately.  Although Tom and I were anguishing over the thought of having to leave him there, we did a pretty good job of hiding it from him (most of the time) and those were 21 precious days that we had to learn about him and for him to learn about us.  We were pretty nervous at first, not knowing what he liked/didn't like, how to take care of him, how to communicate with him, etc.  However, Ian is a patient and loving teacher and he taught us all we needed to know.  We are convinced that the longer-than-expected time in Jamaica was what made the transition from one home, family, country, culture such an easy one for him.

So, an entire year has passed and we love our little, nappy-headed fellow (as Tom calls him) more than we thought possible.  It has made us so much more aware of our adoption in Christ and how grateful we are to be chosen by God.  Ian is a joy!  He is happy almost always! He wakes up happy and he goes to bed happy.  He makes us laugh all the time and we never cease to wonder at the special spirit God has given him.  We look forward to what God has in store for him and for us in the years to come!  To Him be the Glory, great things He has done!

 Miss Vivian had a very hard time telling Ian goodby.  This was right before we took him from Robin's Nest and I felt so sorry for her that I was wondering if we were doing the right thing.

 We did get a little pool time, when we weren't afraid that we'd miss a phone call.

 The handsome guy ready for the visa interview.

 On the plane, headed to his new home.

We had been told that his name was spelled with an "O" but when we got the birth certificate, we discovered it was actually with an "A".
Please don't misunderstand - we LOVE Jamaica and we want Ian to remember and love it as well.  We hope to take him back sometime in the not too distant future to visit all the wonderful people who took such great care of him. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Cole Carnival

Ian's school has a carnival every year and tonight was the night!  Although Ian couldn't participate in many of the activities, we thought he would enjoy seeing his friends and all the games they were playing.  We were right - he loved it!  And, we were so glad to see how "popular" he is.  :-)  Many kids and teachers and even a cafeteria lady called out to him and came to give him high fives. 

 Hot dog hat borrowed from Ian's crazy principal

 Crazy principal on the left and a friend on the right

 This sweet little girl is mentioned in Ian's notebook almost every day (we have a notebook that goes back and forth between home and school as a form of communication.)  Rileigh eats lunch with him many days, plays with him at recess, pushes him wherever they will let her, etc.  Her mom tells me that she talks about Ian all the time and you can see that Ian adores her! 

 Of all the fun activities, Ian was just dying to throw the bean bag in the corn hole game, so Dad helped him get it in.  He was so excited!

We ended the evening with a clown who made a dog for Ian out of a balloon. 
Fun evening!  We are so thankful that Ian is at Cole Elementary!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ian's Big Day!

We decided to take a break from our painting (the trim and gutters on our house) to take Ian to Mimi and Pa's for a fun afternoon since it was such a beautiful day.  He was thrilled to get to drive the boat again...

 and when Pa opened the barn door to reveal (drumroll, please) the John Deere tractor, he almost came out of his wheelchair and was squealing at the top of his lungs!

 Pa let him drive and he immediately learned how to make it go faster and how to raise and lower the bucket which he managed to do the entire time he was on the tractor.  He's definitely fascinated by levers!

 All that boat and tractor driving makes one sleepy, so he took a turn in the hammock and....

 the porch swing.
One last chance to drive the tractor before we headed for home, gave him a shower and put him to bed so he'll be ready for a new week at school!  We are sure he's dreaming about a big, green tractor right now!