Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter with the Onken's

Alleluia! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

We had a wonderful Easter celebration at church this past Sunday. Here's Aidan and Lily posing in front of the "memorial garden" which our congregation puts in the chancel every Easter.

Aidan really seems to be adapting very well. As you can see, he's even learning to smile on command whenever the camera comes out.

The picture below was taken last week, but I just had to share it with you ... my three favorite people (four if you count "John Candycorn" ... that's the name Lily gave to her stuffed monkey which you can see over Julie's right shoulder. How did he get the name? It's a long story).

Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Baptism of Aidan Tianzhen Onken

Here's Lily and Aidan getting ready for church today, where Aidan was received into God's kingdom through the sacrament of Holy Baptism. He was given the new birth through water and the Word and was forgiven of all his sins. We fully expected a freak out at the font, but it didn't happen. Julie lifted Aidan so that his face was looking toward the water. I poured the water on his head, and he started to giggle. It was a moment of pure joy, even though he probably thought he was simply having his hair washed. Good thing he likes baths.

It's always a privilege to be the hands that deliver this precious washing to anyone, both child and adult. But it's a special honor to baptize your own children. As it was with Lily, so it was with Aidan. I had a hard time choking back the tears, especially this time when it came time to ask his sponsor the questions in the baptismal liturgy. He and I have been friends almost since birth. (Two of Aidan's other sponsors were not able to be present.)

After the baptism and brief naps for the kids, we had a small gathering of family and friends at the house. Aidan and Lily wanted to play out back, and we let them, seeing as it was a warm day here in the Northwest.

Below you can see Aidan dragging our "sidewalk chalk" wagon. He eventually pulled it into the grass, the same grass which he was skittish about walking on yesterday. We took him outside and realized he had probably never seen nor walked on a lawn before. He stopped at the edge of the slab and would not step out onto the grass. He just looked at it and giggled. I finally had to pick him up and set him down in the grass. He didn't freak out, but it was obviously an entirely new sensation for him.

Tomorrow we head back to the doctor's office, or as Aidan calls it, the hellish torture chamber. We took him there on Friday to have him examined by our wonderful pediatrician. She ordered a lot of labwork to test for various conditions, so that required a lot of needle poking and blood drawing. Needle-less to say, this didn't go over well. The poor little guy was traumatized. We'll see how he responds tomorrow when we approach the front door of the office.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

First Day Home

Aidan was a pretty good traveler on the way home today. Or was it yesterday? Last night? I'm toast after a marathon trip. It hurts to think about it. 3 hours from Guangzhou to Beijing. 11 hours from Beijing to Seattle. He had his moments, but overall he did fine. He slept somewhat on both flights. In fact, on both flights he was out not long after the plane took off. Must have been something about the motion that lulled him to sleep.

Then came the moment when Aidan got to meet the rest of his new family live and in person. Here's Lily greeting her new brother. We all have a lot of adjusting to do, but I think things went quite well, all things considered. As soon as we got home, it didn't take long before Aidan and Lily were playing together. And Aidan seems very comfortable already with Julie. He let her hold him right away, comfort him when he fell, and he even let her put him to bed tonight. That was not always the case with Jan when we were in China. For example, no one else but me was allowed to push him in the stroller (unless we tricked him into thinking I was pushing, but as soon as he looked back the jig was up and I had to get behind the wheel again).

Here are the weary travelers at SeaTac International with Aidan's new sister. Jan was the right person for the job. Her parenting expertise, wisdom, and "mom instincts" were invaluable, not to the mention the fact that she is a great friend.

And here's the rest of the welcoming crew...Julie's mom and dad Marilyn and Marv, yours truly and his kids, my mom Wanda, Julie's brother John, and my aunt Sue. My mom and aunt arrived not long after our flight landed, so we were able to meet them at the airport.

And here's a shot of Julie and Aidan.

Julie and Lily had a scary moment on the way to the airport. Below you can see the aftermath. They were involved in a multiple car accident on the freeway. They escaped without a scratch, but Julie is still shaken up, as you can imagine. Of all days for something like this to happen!

And here's our own home version of the red couch photo. Okay, so it's brown. Whatever color it is, it feels great to be home with my family. And the story's not over (is it ever?). We'll keep you posted along the way on Aidan's progress with our family and give you updates on all his upcoming surgeries and treatments. Keep checking back. Thanks to all of you for following us, for your prayers, and for all your encouraging comments, whether they were here on our blog, on our Facebook pages, or on the phone. And now ... I'm going to bed.