About Me

My name is Tracy and I am married to an amazing man, his name is Thomas! We are a busy family that is always on the go between church, school, work and sports.... we are not a sitting around kind of family. We have 4 amazing children and are working on bringing home Elias to make 5. My hubby is Deaf and I am a sign language interpreter,we are very involved in the Deaf community and are excited to be adding another Deaf member to our family. Our kids, Aaron-19, Luke-11, Tommy-10 and Paige-5 are anxious for their new brother to be home. This is our second adoption and we are learning more everyday to lean on God, this journey is already strengthening our faith! We are working on learning how to turn everything over to God and know that He has a perfect plan and all will happen in His time! Good things come to those who wait.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Many first for Luke and a few BIG ones!

Please read all the way down as his 1st day of school is down the bottom!

Most people will not understand all the fuss over an alarm clock, but this is no ordinary alarm clock......... This is a Sonic Boom and Luke is in Heaven with it. His "Deaf only" alarm clock as he calls it! His clock has bright strobes on the front that flash when his alarm goes off and a disc that goes under his mattress that will vibrate along with the light flashing to wake him up. He is so excited to have his own special alarm clock. Watch the pictures and see for yourself the joy one alarm clock can bring!

                                                  This is my "Deaf Only" clock!
 The clock has bright strobes on the front and the disc goes under his mattress and vibrates his bed. He LOVES it!
                                            Feeling the disc vibrate to wake him up
                        The strobes are so cool but the disc is what really wakes him up!
                                                         Yahooo Deaf alarm clock!
                                                    Luke and his brother Tommy
        My new gang... Aaron, Luke, Tommy and Paige!  Love my kiddos! My well meshed group of 4!
                                               Luke took this of his pal, Chase
                                            Tommy and Luke taking pics of each other!
                                                         He is so darn cute!
                                     Luke taking a pic of his sis, whom he loves!
                                                        Paige taking a pic of Luke
                                                        We love each other
                                                          Ahhh my Lukeie!!!!
                                                                   Momma and her boy
                     He is such a sweetheart!  My new cuddle bug, snuggle bug, love bug!
                                                      Poppy and his Luke!
                                    Pop, Luke and Tom ( a few of the awesome men in my life!)

Luke had another HUGE 1st today. Luke went to school for the first time today! He was very nervous this morning when we were getting ready but we got him there and daddy and I stayed with him for his first day. We stayed a half day. Luke worked so hard and did such an amazing job that this woman has realized she underestimates Luke and ultimately the Lord. Luke was so proud of himself and so proud of his work and he is soooooo excited to be learning that he couldnt stop grinning and couldnt wait to get home to tell his brother and sister all about his day! Luke is walker much taller then his 4'8" frame today as he is bursting with pride and his momma is too! We took him to get some celebration ice cream when he was done school as he did so well. Tonight he did homework with his brother and they encouraged each other and were both so excited to sit togethe and do their homework that my heart is just bursting with pride at how well they did! we had a few struggles last week with some jealousy issues with Tommy and Paige but they were very short lived and all is back to bliss! We are doing amazing and cant beleive how well things are going. Luke was so tired from his first day of school that he started asking me at 6pm if it was bed time hahah. He did make it until 8:15 and then finally gave in and crashed in bed. I beleive Luke is going to prosper in school and his true genius is going to shine through very quickly!
                                                    Lukes 1st day of school (backpack buddies!)
                                          Good Luck on your first day my brother, I love you!
                                          Yahooo going in to my new school for the first time!
                                                               Luke's 1st cubby
                                   He is so excited he had a place to put his stuff that was all his!
             A welcome home hug from my sister after my first great, but long day of school!
          The boys doing their homework together, they are good encouragers of each other!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Much to talk about

So much has happened in the past week. Tom and I spent just about everyday last week either visiting a school for Luke or bringing Luke or myself to the doctors. We are getting worn out, but have had a good outcome. Luke did great at the doctors and they are very pleased with how he looks and he is adapting here. He certainly doenst look like he hasnt even been here a month yet, he is just so darn comfortable everywhere we go, EXCEPT schools and doctors offices hahah. But we did finally take him to the school that he is going to start tomorrow and he loved it! He was so comfortable and happy and didnt want to leave. We know this is going to be a great start for our son. The sad news is that the program is slated to close this June and if that happens then we will again have no place for Luke to attend school. We are praying hard on this one and watiting to see what door the Lord opens come June.

Luke has been learning a ton recently and I just cant seem to be able to answer his 6 MILLION questions a day.... so school is going to be good for him, if he can relax and adjust. I believe the day is going to wear him out and he is definitely going to be tested in ways he never has before and frustration is more then likely inevitable when you have a 10 year old with no language going into 3rd grade. Life would be different for Luke if he received schooling in China but he did  not so we are dealing with that the best we can. He is going to have the teacher of the Deaf pretty much to himself every afternoon so that will be good as she can focus on him and him alone. During the mornings he will be with the other Deaf students and he seemed to be ok with that. There are 6, well now 7 kids in the program and Luke seemed to like them all. I am praying hard for Lukes transition and would like anyone that can to add him into your prayers for awhile as we dont expect this to be easy for him.

Luke has been having loads of fun around here and cant wait for the weather to break so he can get more outside time in. He has been having a ton of fun playing games with us together as a family and also with his brother, Tommy. He is picking up the games pretty quickly (Uno, Checkers, War etc..) and seems to love playing games together. He is also very fond of our trampoline and loves going out there jumping with his brother and sister. Their laughter when they are all on the trampoline is priceless. Luke has also discovered that he likes watching movies together as a family and he laughs so hard at the funny things the animals (we mostly watch disney stuff or animated animal kind of movies like Air Bud, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Madagascar that kind of stuff) do in the movies

Luke has discovered the joys of money in America hahah. My kids have a huge chore chart and Luke was added to the chart and he couldnt be happier, funny thing is he didnt know he got paid an allowance and that was an even bigger bonus then just being allowed to work. The boy loves chores and loves helping out (dear Lord let that love stay ok?) heheh. We took him to the mall with is allowance and some money he got for Valentines day from family and he bought his very first toy for himself. He bought a Buzz Lightyear! He was so proud of himself that he worked hard for his money and then got to buy something for himself.

Luke is also LOVING going to church on Sundays. He cant wait to go and loves seeing everyone there. I do beleive that even with his limited language he is aware this is a special place so full of love. He knows for sure that God loves him and has pledged to tithe 10% of his chore money to give to God. Ofcourse he cant wait to see his money go up to God in the air.. so we shall see how it works out, but he knows mom and dad give money to the church in our special envelopes and now wants his own envelopes to give his money in. Tommy and him decided they will tithe together and see if they can help someone in need.

Today we went down to my parents house for the first time and Luke was so happy to go! He couldnt wait to get there and see where Nanny and Poppy live. He loved the house (it is a 3 story on 3 acres of land.. hard to not love) and loved watching all the cats come up to the house from outside. He counted 13 hearing cats and 1 deaf (yes she has a Deaf cat) Luke loved it, the deer also came to visit too and Luke got the see the pool he will spend much time in this summer too! He was sad to leave but happy when I said we would go back many many times. Luke thinks his Poppy is the coolest and funniest man ever hheheh. He is a good kid and loves all he meets but he really seems to love my dad, which is pretty interesting as my dad cant sign but sure does try hard. Luke doesnt seem to care if Pop can sign or not he still thinks pop is a riot.

Ok off to sleep so I can get my gang out the door ontime tomorrow. Hopefully I can load some pictures tomorrow of the last week and of Lukes first day of school tomorrow if he lets me take them! Good night all!

Friday, February 18, 2011

One month ago yesterday

Yesterday was officially one month with Luke. Our one month "gotcha day" celebration! I cant beleive it has been a month. One month ago yesterday Tom and I waited patiently for our son to come to the hotel lobby and meet us. We were nervous and excited at the sametime.  "what if he doesnt like us?" "how are we going to be able to communicate?" "what about all the baggage we are sure he has being a 10 year old that has lived in an orphanage for so long?"... all this and more was rambling through our brains... then in a quick second.... there he was.... Looking scared and trying to be calm.  He was even more handsome then any of his pictures and way taller then we thought. The staff from the orphanage didnt say anything to us... they just pushed him our way and had us sign a few papers, then said goodbye to our son (they didnt even make eye contact with him and none of them signed) withouth even looking at him ........ and they were gone. With not a word of advice about our son, a note of his habits, a hint of what to expect, NOTHING. ... that was it, he was ours and they were done with him.  We had a few moments of trying to sign with him in Chinese sign language (we were told he knew it) and our guide was trying to communicate with him in writing Chinese (we were told he could read it) and after a few minutes we decided he might be too nervous and shy to communicate so we would just wait and see what happens. We sat for awhile filling out A LOT  of paperwork and Luke just kneeled on the floor next to me trying to see what was going on with the papers. I kept trying to sign with him and he would just look away.  He came with 2 pockets stuffed full of candy and he just kept opening them and eating them nervously as he watched us fill out papers. Not too long after that we were off and running to go get pictures done for his passport and for our adoption registration papers. Luke would smile with us but signed nothing, he preferred to hold the guides hand across the streets and that was fine with me as long as he held someones for it was a suicide mission just to get ones self across the street without getting hit by a car!  After pictures we went into a plaza to get some lunch. Our guide tried again to communicate with Luke in writing and we tried again with sign and it was getting pretty apparent he didnt know Chinese sign language or how to read or write in Chinese.  So we did what any family would do... we started signing to him in ASL (the language we knew) he immediately started to try and figure out what Tom and I were saying and couldnt beleive that we could communicate to each other with our hands and that we knew what things were called.  His first sign he learned was candy.. .that was easy, I pointed to the huge amounts of candy in his pocket he then handed me one and I signed candy. He signed candy and got so excited that he knew what it was called. After that dad paid for the food and he gestured to know what the paper in dads hands was called (money) so I showed him the sign for money.. so his first two signs were candy and money hmmm interesting start, but after that he wanted to know what everything was called and I couldnt give him signs fast enough. The boy was STARVED for language... he was also starving for food as he ate enough food for a few people and was still hungry ahahah.

It is now one month later and Luke is still learning sign language at a rate that is sort of insane. The language he has at the moment is not consistant with what research says about latened language learners and it is obvious to all who meet him that Luke is one bright boy.  My school district said they feel he is very gifted and when he catches up with language there will be no stopping this boy!!! Luke is demonstrating the ability to learn things after being shown only one time and he remembers it after that and uses it correctly. He is a very gifted little boy, just not an educated one.  It is sad that he never received a language or education in China but we are working to fix that for sure.

Luke is still a joy that is unbeleivable.  He loves being part of our family, he is happy from the moment he wakes until the moment he goes to bed. He gets along with our children amazingly well and his behavior is better then his siblings!  Luke's sense of humor is unbeatable, the boy is whitty and charming. Funny thing is my paperwork on him says he is shy and introverted.(sad they didnt even know him after taking care of him for 10 years) I have never seen a more social person in my life! When we took him to church for the first time and Pastor introduced him to the congregation he stood up front on the stage and raised his arms like he was Rocky Balboa.... (trust me I heard the Rocky theme in my head)  Giving everyone the "hello" sign  and waving and  the "I love you sign" and ofcourse the famous Chinese "Victory" sign (quite fitting for my church since the name of it is Victory). Luke charms all who meet him. My school district is in love with him ,as the director said, "we are smitten with him and know he has amazing potential".   My school district is working very hard with me to try and come up with an education plan that is best for Luke and we dont have too many options in this area so it isnt an easy thing to do, but my district is bending over backwards for Luke. (pretty amazing since that is not the norm).

Luke is right now on the road with dad to go pick up Aaron (his older brother) he is so excited Aaron is coming home from college today that he can barely contain himself. He adores Aaron and is so excited that he counted the days until it was Friday the 18th and then he counted the hours until it was 11:30 and time to go get his brother!!!!!!

We took Luke to Dupont in Delaware to the International Adoption Specialist for a once over and she said he looks amazing, his language should not be where it is ( Thank you to all who are praying for Luke as we know this is the work of God) and that he looks so happy and well adjusted that she cant believe it has only been a month.  She ofcourse warned us that at some point our "Honeymoon" will end and Luke might experiance some problems dealing with his move but all in all she thought he looked amazing. Luke is 4'8" and 71.5 lbs. He has gained 5 lbs in the one month since we got him and I am very curious to see how he will grow now that he is eating like he eats.. (the boy needs his own refrigerator). ( I do believe his legs are hollow and that is were all the food goes). Our specialist gave us referrals for a lot of other doctor appointments but all are needed. I have no hearing test from China on Luke and school wont admit him without a hearing test anyway, so audiologist here we come, ENT too, Opthomologist just to check those eyes out as his language is all visual so better make sure those eyes are working good, they seem to be but it doesnt hurt to check, a genetics doctor (down the road to see if there is any reason they can see why Luke is deaf and something maybe he might want to know if he has a family down the road) and of course a dentist.  Brushing wasnt well done over there and the water has no flouride so you guess what a 10 year olds teeth might look like after that, plus candy is always given out in the orphanage... so we got work to do there....

We are so blessed to have Luke as our child and member of our family. We are truly in love with this little boy and the joy he has added to our family is amazing.  We keep waiting for the other shoe to drop and the honeymoon to be over and to start having issues but so far Luke has been just amazing. We couldnt ask for anymore then he does. Oh and I added him to the chore chart I have for my kids as he loves to do chores and he is loving the idea of having a chart. The boy likes to be organized and neat and loves to help out anyone in the house that needs it. He is in love with our huge German shepard and has our dog, Chase sleeping in the room with him and his brother at night in between their two beds. ( I was afraid he would be horrified of our 135 lb king shepard). Luke took the dog on a walk with is brother and sister the other day and asked me if that could be his chore from now on as it was soooo much fun, he also is the one to feed the dog every morning and night.

Thanks for following along on our journey and praying us through this adventure. We have so much joy and love in our home and we cant wait to keep everyone updated on how things progress! Thank you for all of your kind thoughts, words, love, support and prayers! We couldnt do this without all the support we have had and all the prayers, so many people praying for us and our family and Luke non-stop, trust me we know  you are all praying, we feel the results of God answering everyones prayers (including and especially our prayers). I will update more soon!!!!!!

                                      Happy Valentines day to my sweethearts!
                                 Luke couldnt believe they actually got gifts!
 Oh HOLY MOLY.. Lukes face is priceless.  The kids got the new Shrek movie! (Luke watched his first ever movie with us that night, curled up in mommas lap in a chair together!)
 A cool game and helps with sign language as you have to describe the people and figure out who your partner picked as their person, very cool game helps with language skills a lot too!
                                           Luke with his little skateboard guy!
                                       Tommy with his Ryan skateboarder!  He loves this guy!
                                               oh oh oh what did we get?
                              Laser tag remote control cars (they play with them a TON!)
        Luke got his first haircut in America and was thrilled he could pick how he wanted it done!
                                                     Do I look good or what?
               This is the same camera shy boy that hated having his picture taken one month ago
      Luke's serious face...... heheh he is still cute as heck when he is trying to be serious ha
                                     Luke and his dad with their new haircuts!
                                                 Cheese , dont I look good?
                                                         Daddy, Luke and Paige
                                  daddy with his little girl and our Luke!
                                                      Kisses for my daddy!
                               Me and My girl! (love this little girl to pieces!
                                                                Luke, me and Paige
                                             The boys, minus Aaron as he is at College.......
                                             I have some handsome guys in my house
 Dad picking up the boys for a huge Bear hug hahahah. Luke and Tommy couldnt stop laughing for 10 minutes
                                                               Paige on slipper day at school today
                                        Paige falling over trying to hold up her cool slippers for a picture
                       Luke to the rescue to help Paige lift up her slipper feet for the photo heheh

Our little boy!

Our little boy!
Opening up my care package from my family!

Curious what he is thinking!

Curious what he is thinking!
Checking out my Family for the 1st time ever! (this pic is of my new Brothers and Sister!)

His first reaction after seeing us

His first reaction after seeing us
This is my Forever Family!

Some goodies from the care package

Some goodies from the care package
Some of my new books

This picture makes me cry every time I see it!

This picture makes me cry every time I see it!
My 1st picture of my mommy and daddy! They say I love to look at my pictures again and again!

Studying our faces....

Studying our faces....
Checking out my new family again!

Look at that face!

Look at that face!
Checking out my new books

Aaron's Graduation

Aaron's Graduation
We are so Proud!

Xin Hai's name in Chinese!


Fu XinHai

Xin Hai

Xin Hai
Isnt he the cutest ever?

Aaron's Senior Prom

Aaron's Senior Prom
My handsome Son, Aaron

Aarons prom

Aarons prom
Paige, Aaron and Tommy

My Family

My Family
The Worrell Family

Our Precious one

Our Precious one
Xin Hai in 2008 - so precious! Love that smile!

adoption countdown

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers