Thursday, October 29, 2009

Two Amazing Years with Ethan Frederick Zhiqing

I documented Ethan's first year adoption anniversary by looking back over the course of a year full of great challenges and triumphs. If you would like to read about our first year with Ethan you can do so here.

I would like to mark this second anniversary with Ethan by giving you a little glimpse into our little man today.

Ethan is now 31.5 lbs and 40 inches tall. He has finally made the US growth charts (barely) but hey, we will take it!!

He is still a bit "eating challenged" but mostly in the way many children are. He would prefer to eat junk food all day long if we allowed it. We, of course do not. Anyone who knows me, knows that this is an area that I am pretty strong about. When I serve a meal, you must try it. If you do not eat it then you do not get anything for dessert. Same holds true for Ethan's breakfast and lunch, which he eats at school. We get a report each day about what he has eaten and if he did not eat what was served to him then he will not get a snack, but rather will have to eat the sandwich that was left. He totally understand the rules and so about 95% of the time he eats he meals. In fact, he so understand the rules that when he gets off of the bus he tells me what he has eaten before I read all about it. This is very important as when he came home he was considered failure to thrive and malnourished by his both doctor and Early Intervention. He would not eat ANYTHING solid and it took us almost 2 months to get him off of the bottle at 2 1/2 years old. I am sure that you can understand how important eating was to us, so we are thrilled with the amazing progress that he has made.

Ethan is a great sleeper...period!! Love that!

Ethan's language has also made amazing strides and he is catching up by leaps and bounds. I think that he will have additional speech support once he reaches Kindergarten but when he came home he was placed at under 6 months in speech and development, in terms of his chronological age, so to get from there to close to his age level in 2 years is a tremendous victory.

His development runs along the same timeline as his speech...we are amazed at what a big boy he is becoming. He is somewhat behind in his fine motor skills but we are hoping for improvement there as well this year.

I can still see areas of weakness in his gait sometimes when he runs. We recently had him in a soccer clinic for preschoolers which seemed to be of help. We will continue to work on his large muscle groups and in time it will improve. The physical sport that he excels in is swimming. He is an amazing little swimmer and I actually think that he may have gills. His lung capacity is amazing, especially considering that he was born with two major heart defects and an underdeveloped trachea. I have no idea how he does it but anyone who sees him swim will shake their head in disbelief at how long he can hold his breath.

Ethan has a keen eye for detail. He watches everything and I mean everything that we do. He especially wants to understand how things work and his desire is to be of help in all situation's is huge. He is a very analytical and quite tenacious. The kiddo never gives up! Love that!

He has an issue with needing to know all the time what is on the agenda next which is an area that I have discussed before and we are constantly working on. It can be a bit maddening but we are making strides in this area as well.

Ethan is such a loving child. He is a kisser, hugger and all around sweetheart! He feels so badly if he hurts anyone in any way, either physically or emotionally. He is going to be a wonderful husband and father someday :)

He and Katie get along unbelievably well. They can play for huge stretches with no issue. Of course, there are times that they are "sharing challenged" but they are few and far between. They are fiercely protective of each other and miss each other like crazy when they are apart.

He is also as mischievous as the day is long. There is not a day where he has not plotted and carried out some agenda of his choosing. Some get him into trouble and some will do so if his plans are not quickly aborted by me or Marc. *SNORT*

Ethan loves his family and our friends so much. They love him just as much. This adorable and sweet child has taken everyone that he knows and made them his forever. There is no denying that there is something about this little one that is quite special. He is a survivor in the truest sense of the word. There are great things in store for this child and we want to be there to witness every single one of them.

We love you Ethan. You, Katie and Justin are the lights that guide our lives and we are so thankful for the gift of all of you.

Happy Second Forever Day!!

Mom and Dad

PS See how far he has come....

In China with Katie

One Year Forever

Tonight with his cake...he is all about the are we :)


Samantha and Woody said...

Wow he looks so HANDSOME!

Love Letters To China said...

Boy has that little one come a long way. You both should be very proud for all that he has accomplished in such a short time. He's adorable... Happy 2nd Anniversary Ethan!

(love the last photo... great composition ;))

Teresa said...

Oh man! You've got me all choked up! Amazing what love, consistency, and a little Italian/Jewish mothering can do ("you need to eat, it's good for you") You both should be very proud of yourselves. Not only is he thriving, but the love you have fostered between your kids is admirable and we could all learn from it.

Gail said...

Happy 2nd Ethan!!!! He's come so far Lori, what an amazing little boy he is. I know you are very proud!

Have a great weekend!


Carol and Taylor said...

yep, seeing the pic for china makes me cry, too. He's come so, so far and overcome so, so much and has such a bright future ahead of him. Handsome, too! Love that smile.

Happy Haunting tonight,

Carol and Taylor

Dawn said...

Looking back it is just amazing to see how far E man has come. I don't know how you made it through those first few days in China. I would have been terrified.

Love truly does move mountains and with his family he is proving that.

That last photo is fantastic.

JoAnn in NJ said...

what a wonderful photo! it made me sad to see Ethan while in China, but the newest photo made me smile at his progress!

He is such a handsome, dear little boy!

Happy Anniversary to the whole DD family!

Tammie said...

Happy 2 years!!

I look back at Ethan & remember the first time I saw him. He really pulled at not just my heart but also David's. Ethan continues to amaze all of us with progress.

He is a special guy & very dear to so many as is his family.

Candy said...

It is amazing how much Ethan has changed/developed in such a short time. You can see the biggest change in the first year.

Ethan is a sweet boy and a lover at that.

Keep up the good work.

Vivian M said...

All about chocolate cake - he knows a good thing!

Happy 2 years, and celebrating all the successes and accomplishments that happened in that time. Ethan has certainly won our hearts over (especially when he took my girl scout cookies!)

We love you all!