Turning 3

Jensen is turning 3 next week and he just continues to thrive and surprise us!
His latest LOVES:

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  •  running, playing pretend piano, singing “Oh Canada” and “Jesus loves me”
  •  riding his bike, even in the snow
  •  playing with his trains and trucks
  •  counting to 12
  •  helping shovel the snow
  •  feeding the cats and Bailey
  •  attending BSF with Mommie
  •  playing in the sandbox in the garage
  •  going for rides in Daddie’s truck
  •  playing at Indoor playgrounds with friends
  •  wearing his underwear (not quite fully trained ….. yet)DSC_0032
In October last year, he was released from the Early Childhood Development Program as there is no longer any developmental delay.   In fact, the results from the Diagnostics Inventory for Screening Children (DISC) indicated high percentile for Fine Motor and Gross Motor skills and his social skills high also in the 90th %.  At the time, receptive and expressive language were around the 50%.  Recently, he has started using sentences with 5 and 6 words which shows incredible growth and normal explosion in language for his age and above.   Obviously we are thrilled with his progress and are very grateful to God!
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Took him for his 3 year Medical in January, while he was struggling to shrug off a bronchial infection.  Despite that, the Paediatrician was happy with his continued development and gave us the 42 month Checklist (3 and a half years old) and we are already ticking off tasks and activities that he is enjoying and achieving!  Praise God.    We are very blessed to have this little man in our lives as he brings joy to us daily.  🙂

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Running up and down the hallway.
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Celebrating Jensen’s second year.


Our baby boy is TWO years old and we have so much to be grateful for.  Here is some wonderful news:

  • 19th March, 2013 – Visited Cardiology at the Alberta Children’s hospital for his check-up.   Results from Echo and ECG show a heart that has totally healed.  PRAISE GOD !!
  • Jensen is now on half dose of Sildenafil.   And he will be completely off this drug in 14 days.  PRAISE GOD !!  (Doctors and nurses are Amazed with his progress and say he is a miracle boy!  (We already knew that).
  • 20 March, 2012 – Jensen started to walk a day before his birthday!  PRAISE GOD !!
  • 21 March, 2013 – Celebrated a fun-filled day with lots of love and laughter for his second birthday with family.
  • Made the best birthday cake ever and everyone enjoyed it.  It was a Toblerone and Baklava Icecream Cake made into an Australian Echidna – rich but yummy!
  • Jensen now walks confidently up and down the hallway with one of his walkers and shows off how fast he can climb up stairs.
  • He is continually learning new words  and his comprehension is very good for his age
  • He loves singing and his favourite song at the moment is “Jesus loves Me”, closely followed by “The Wheels on the Bus”.

photo 3Hooked up to the ECG – no tears, just smiles for the camera

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photo 4Happy 2nd Birthday!  A  family celebration 🙂

photo 2Out riding horsey in Fish Creek Park
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A leather hat from Australia ….. thanks Grammie

photo copy 2photo 3On the week-end, we enjoyed a long awaited opportunity to catch up with Jillian, who we met in China on our trip.  Her Mum, Andrea travelled with us and we had so much to share and catch up on.  It was a real blessing  and a lot of fun for Jensen.

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The sad news is this is how I often feel as an older mum …… exhausted and like I’ve hit the wall and have birds flying round my head !!  Seriously, Jensen is joy and we adore him, but I think my body and brain and heart are all trying to catch up with the massive life transitions in the last 11 months,  in addition to the grief of Dad passing away.  I am continuing to learn a lot about myself, God, family and friendships in this time.

Three weeks ago while I was in Vancouver, a dear friend reminded me of just how dire Jensen’s heart condition was when we brought him back from China.  At one stage, the surgeons didn’t even know if he was operable or not.  My friend’s husband works closely with the group of surgeons who operated on Jensen and we have been  so blessed and privileged to have them walk beside us supporting us along the journey.  Megan shared how concerned they were for us back in August last year, as they really were able to grasp and understand the incredible risks associated with Jensen’s situation at the time.   In reflection, Jensen’s recovery is just amazing, as this time last year, all we had were a few photos of a baby boy with a critical heart condition (VSD and an ASD – two holes in his heart) and a very uncertain prognosis.  I have been moved with joyful tears at what the Lord has done.

Some more good news.   My Mum is coming to visit us here in Calgary later this spring/summer and we are getting excited for her arrival.  Jensen can’t wait to spend more time getting to know his Nanna.♥♥♥

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Mum and Dad (1962)

In remembering my Dad, God assures us of His presence.  As we draw closer to Him, we are able to draw from His strength, comfort and peace.

We have a lot to be grateful for.

Re-visiting the Orphanage as we look forward to Jensen’s 2nd Birthday


Today I did a couple of things I’ve wanted to do for a while – I cooked Blueberry and Banana muffins for our new british neighbours.  I remember how difficult it was when I first moved here, especially at this time of the year …… so it is just a nice little thing that I wanted to do.   On a more personal level, I finally dressed Jensen in his orphanage clothes.  The ones  we picked him up in on the 7th of May last year.

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Very first photo we took of Jensen 

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Jensen today inspecting his little bike made by a street artist in Beijing.   He is wearing the clothes from the Orphanage including 2 pairs of long pants, long sleeve t-shirt and a hoodie.  (it was 30 degrees when we picked him up – that’s how they dress babies in China!)

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Playing at his lego table

I tear up every-time I see the top photo.

Quick update on Jensen’s progress and how he is doing physically, with gross motor skills and cognitively.   He now;

  1. pulls himself up to standing position in his crib (not climbing out yet !)
  2. slowly crawling
  3. attending KinderMusik, where we enjoy lots of rolling, dancing, jigging, singing and heaps of other fun stuff
  4. has grown 6 cm and is in the top 75% for height of kids his age in Canada!  (incredible for a little chinese boy who had major heart surgery) … I guess he’s a real “Schirok”
  5. knows about 80 words including sign language.  We are waiting for the sentences to come yet.
  6. loves riding his horsey that his cousins Ella and Luke gave him.

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Bailey (the dog) and I got to enjoy the S.L.OW.E.S.T. walk ever …… 

So it takes us quite a while to go round the block and Bailey is bored out of his brain but Jensen LOVES IT!  He thinks he is so good and he has been taking it through big snow drifts (much more than in the photo) as we have recently had a foot of snow!!

There are so many more milestones that I can’t think of right now.  We are looking forward to his birthday the week after next and continue to thank God for blessing us and our baby boy.

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Jensen lines up his ducks

Simplify Your Life « Empowered To Connect

Simplify Your Life « Empowered To Connect.

The above video describes what Paul and I have tried to implement for Jensen over the last 6 months.  It has been difficult for both of us to simplify, especially with our own business and busy schedules, but Karen Purvis explains so well, the reasons why it is so important to do so in the first few months, preferably 6 months.  We are now a lot more relaxed ….. phew ….. as Jensen has bonded remarkably well according to “the experts” and he does have a confidence that belies where he has come from.

So through this process of simplifying, we help him to feel safe and in a solid environment, that benefits him developmentally.  Now we are entering a new season, as our travel plans are looming, ….. (I know I should “sound” a lot more excited but it’s not as simple as travelling with your own child who you gave birth to).  Most Moms will say that travelling with a toddler is enough to send them overboard, and there are a hundred more considerations we need to make for Jensen, due to his adoption and open heart surgery.  We try to be positive and the way we see it, anything will be easier than the “flight from hell” coming back from China and his “time away” at the hospital.  The reality is:  there will be lots of visiting and visitors, and that’s obviously fun and wonderful for Paul and I, BUT it is no longer just about Paul and I.    We are wanting to keep things as simple as possible which we believe the right way to go, especially since this will be Jensen’s first Christmas with us.  The trip itself will be enough new sights/sounds/smells/tastes that come with being in a different country …..  For this reason, we hope to keep our itinerary as stationary as possible, if that makes any sense.  (Usually Paul and I go for mini escapades in Tassie, trying to capture as much as possible including Wine Glass Bay, East coast, Hobart and mid-lands etc within 3 or 4 days).  That is not ideal for Jensen!   Instead we will be staying at one address for the majority of our stay in Australia. 

Jensen with his cousins, Ella & Luke who he loves very much.