Friday, June 22, 2012

All About Luke!

Many of you have followed Luke's story for a long time.
Ever since we was a tiny baby and very fragile with a serious heart defect. 

You have prayed for him and witnessed God's miracles as he was sent to Israel and had life saving surgery! 

And there may be a special family out there who may be particularly interested in his progress.
So I thought an "all about Luke" post was in order!

This little guy has been home 6 months!

When we met him in China our guide said "this is your Momma!"

Luke took one look at me and shook his head "NO, no she's not my Momma..."

Poor little guy- why on earth would he think I was his Momma?

It was so cute!

Three times while we were in China he walked up to a Chinese person and said (in Chinese)
"Can you help me find my Momma and Babba? They live in Beijing."
It was hysterically funny and heartbreaking at the same time.

He was stoic and trying to be strong while in China. We could tell he liked us but everything was changing and it was so confusing to him.
Having Sarah with us and adopting Abby at the same time was a big help. It was a distraction from his stress and made for great playtime and laughter!
One of the many reasons why we love adopting two at a time!

Luke is kind of like Anna. He goes to the beat of a different drummer. He doesn't always like to follow the crowd but he is fine with it IF it's what he wants to do.

He loves the doggies and spent the first 3 months amazed by them. Now they are just part of the family like everyone else. Ava is our other dog lover!

Luke's favorites sibs are Sarah and Ava (who he calls Era). He loves Sam too but the two boys are very different.
He has the biggest challenges with Emma and Abby. I think he is confused with Emma seeming bigger but unable to do the things older children do. Abby and Luke sometimes get into a bit of a tussle - they both want to boss each other around and not listen to the other one.

Luke LOVES all the older sibs and they adore him!
They enjoy his sense of humor. He has a wonderful wit about him! 
He can get along with younger and older people.
Whenever they come home he runs to the front door calling their name and gives them a big hug!

Luke had heart surgery after being home 3 months.
Before surgery he had good coloring but a limited activity level.
He would attempt to run 1, 2, 3 steps and then stop.
He would stop at the bottom of the steps and look to us... then say "carry" with his arms up.
He could walk about 30 feet and then want to be carried again.

Now, 3 months post op...
He is running and 
running and 

He is climbing!
He is jumping!
He is pedaling!

Did I mention that he is running!
And when he is done running he says
"I'm Fast!"

And honestly...
he is getting faster!

Heart babies do not focus on learning milestones. The focus on surviving.
Right now Luke is learning to make his bed, put on clothes and trying to brush his teeth.

He's pants are no longer falling down! He still has a tiny butt however other muscles are now developing. He has thigh muscles and a smaller tummy.
He weighs 32 lbs and is 37.5 inches tall! He has gained 3 lbs and has grown 1.5 inches in the last 6 months!
He is still in the 3 % as far as the growth charts but he is making nice progress!

Ava was trying to teach him how to make his bed!

She is very patient and he worked very hard!

He was quite proud of his accomplishment!

And so were we!

(in this pic Luke and Sam got their buzz light year PJ bottoms mixed up!
Luke is wearing 5T and Sam was wearing the 3T's!)

Luke is still in diapers- he is doing his business successfully in the toilet both the little one and the big one!
After the wedding we will be focusing on potty training!
Beware big boy those diapers are going bye bye!

Luke started swim lessons. He loves loves loves water... preferably to play in! 
Swimming was all new to him!
The first time we took him to the pool we realized we needed to help him get physically stronger.
If his head went under water he could not lift it up. If he was on his back he had a very hard time rolling over and "righting" himself.

I have always said that through adoption we have witnessed God's miracles right in our own home!
It happens again and again and each time it is just as amazing!

Once again we see how God is working in Luke's life!
He is healing him. He is strengthening him.
He is bonding us as a family.
He is teaching him!

While in China, Luke seemed to be able to speak the language and get his point across.
He no longer speaks Chinese as far as we know. Although if someone spoke to him he may be able to understand.
At this point I think it would be upsetting and confusing to him.

We are starting Sarah, Ava, Sam and Anna in Chinese language classes this fall. Anna never actually spoke Chinese BUT she seems to have an aptitude for it.
I am guessing it will be the same for Luke.

Luke's vocabulary is expanding and he can say 5 word sentences. Sometimes he is quite hard to understand but he always gets his point across and he is absolutely adorable when he talks!
There are some sounds he is unable to produce so we are starting him in speech in July.

He will also be doing OT to help him with his small motor skills such as holding a pencil, coloring, putting his clothes on and off, etc 

He had his 3 yr old well child check up this week and had a few necessary immunizations.
He did so well! Whimpered a little but no real tears!

Once Luke got home he went straight to the cardiologist. It feels so good to finally have his "well child check up" done!

There were a few 3 yr old milestones that we ned to still work on such as balancing on one foot.
He tried so hard in the DR office and almost did it!
Once we got home he practiced a couple times and whoola- he can do it!
We think with time he will catch up and most likely excel at many things!

This fall he will start preschool two afternoons a week!
We are still homeschooling but I am feeling like a preschool experience will be so good for him!
I love christian preschool!  I love what they teach!  
And it will be nice for him to have some time with kids his size and age!

I also believe that when educating the new adoptees it is important to start at the beginning - that would be preschool!
We have done it with all of our new children(no matter what age they are when they come home) and they are progressing nicely.

I will be doing preschool activities with Emma, Abby and Luke during part of the morning.

Luke does not like it when he wants something and we say no.
He freezes in his spot, won't look at us and is really in shock that we are not giving him what he wants. To him his request is completely reasonable!
If we ignore him he will soon get over it and come back and join us.

He has a tiny little naughty streak. We don't see it often BUT it's there!
If he wants a toy he has no problem taking it and voicing his opinion when someone tries to take it back. In fact he is quite shocked when someone takes it back.
In the end if he does not get what he wants it's completely unfair!

This where Abby and Luke have their squabbles. Even though Abby is not the second youngest, maturity wise she is... so they sometime go at it over a toy, a sitting spot or bossing each other around!

Luke has a more gentle spirit. He is not really a physical boy although he is capable of hitting a sister when I am not around. Usually he is pretty peaceful and very nice to have in the home and to be with.
He likes to do puzzles, color, look at books, play dublos, play with cars and be outside. 
When he is outside he likes to explore, ride his tricycle and where his shark bike helmet.
He seems to be quite tactile and loves soap when he washes his hands, playing in the dirt or sand, playing in the sink, playing with playdoh, and touching different textures.
He loves to be read to and especially loves interactive books!

He knows his colors and can count to 10! We are working on counting to 20!
He likes to play on the ipad but it doesn't happen often in our house!
(There is a long line for turns whenever it's out- but he always asks for his turn! So he does advocate for himself, which is good in a big family!)
He is beginning to sing some songs. Old McDonalds farm is a favorite and a hoot to listen too!
Luke does not have the best singing voice... and I'm being kind saying it this way ;-)
So... he fits right in!
None of us can sing!

He has been asking about his birthday (it's in November).
It was celebrated in China right before he came home in December.
Poor guy has to wait a long time for his first b-day at home.
Sorry honey- I know unfair!

I know there is so much more to say but for now this is all I can think of.

Luke is a perfect blessing from God and we are so grateful to have him home!

Praise God!


Jolene said...

Woo! That is all wonderful news and I love hearing that he's doing so well!

Yes, please do a post soon on adopting 2 at once...we're traveling (hopefully in July) to bring two home from China and definitely would appreciate some words of wisdom!

Rebecca said...

Wow! Great update! I am looking forward to the next one about adopting 2 at a time!
We just decided to add a second to our process as well.

Sarah said...

Oh, I love reading about Luke...what a cutie-pie!

And I'm looking forward to your next post, as well. Still thinkin' only one this time, but we're always open and I'd love to hear your perspective.

Hanna said...

Beautiful! Thank you for sharing. :)

Faye Verquer said...

THANK YOU! You know that little man holds a special place in our heart, I am so overjoyed that he is in your family and I can pop in and see him as he grows! I cannot wait for that day when we can meet all of your treasures, Sam was just awesome and I am sure all of your children are as well!

THANK YOU again, my kids love checking in on Luke and seeing his smile!