19 Jan December Update
December flew by as we prepared for our first Christmas as a family of three, Gideon’s first birthday home, and for our trip to Disney World! Gideon’s receptive English has absolutely exploded this month, and he’s gone from understanding some of what we say to most of what we say. The difference has been nothing short of incredible, and we’ve really loved hearing him babble and babble and babble, especially in response to what we say!
Gideon’s teacher shared two cute and funny stories with us this month, both from the same day. 1) Another “friend” had to go sit away from the group with a teacher because he couldn’t listen, and this friend began to cry. Gideon saw the little boy crying, walked over, wrapped his arms around the friend’s neck, and patted his back. 2) Later in the day, another “friend” started screaming really loudly. So Gideon got up, walked over, and put his hand over the friend’s mouth. We love the empathy growing in his little heart, at least most of the time, haha.
Christmas brought a whole new sense of wonder having Gideon home this year! We first celebrated Christmas with the Troyer side of the family, and Gideon certainly enjoyed himself. He finally started to get the hang of opening presents, got his first UK shirt from Uncle Randy, ate his first food from a restaurant (Alfredo noodles from Fazoli’s), made it through his first “big church” service at First Alliance as he gathered up all the pencils in our row, and “jumped” on a trampoline for the first time.
A few days later we celebrated Christmas Eve with Grandma and Grandpa, and then we celebrated Christmas Day with Grandma, Grandpa, Gigi, Pa, Mimi, and Donna. Gideon got a piggy bank from Gigi and Pa, full of coins they had been adding since we first announced we were adopting. It was so sweet! Gideon also enjoyed being cheered for by the whole family as he completed his puzzle over and over.
On Christmas Eve, we received a surprise package from SWS. Gideon’s Omma and Appa had sent him Pororo toys and snacks for his 3rd birthday! I cried as I read the sweet note from his Omma, signed “From the family in Korea who loves you very much.” It is such a gift to know our boy is loved by so many people, both near and far, and we are forever thankful for the relationship with have with his Omma and Appa.
To celebrate his last day of being 2-years-old, we took Gideon to the Louisville Science Center with Grandma and Grandpa. The difference between this time and the last time we went was astounding. The first time we tried the science center, Gideon literally ran into kids because he simply didn’t see them. He was completely focused on the water exhibit, didn’t really do anything except splash, and struggled with transitions. This time, he explored all kinds of things, moving from exhibit to exhibit (even floor to floor) without melting down. He watched and mimicked other kids with toys he didn’t know how to do. And he not only splashed in the water, but he played with the balls and tracked them with his eyes through all of the cool channels and water features. Sometimes we forget how far he has come, but goodness, he is just amazing.
Finally, on December 30, we celebrated our boy being THREE! We had a pretty quiet day together, and it was the perfect reminder of the gift it is that our bud is simply HOME. We are so proud of Giddy and how he continues to grow and learn and fill our lives with joy every single day.
- Hugged lots of people spontaneously at church
- Walks by himself from the front door to his classroom, clapping at everyone he passes in the hall
- Ate icing off a cookie at the volunteer brunch at church
- Ate egg drop soup
- Tried Mom’s chili
- First flight since Korea
- First time at Disney World
- Starting to climb steps with his feet instead of his knees (still uses his hands)
- Can find lots of flashcards on command: Fish with bubbles, sun, hat, blocks, rainbow, apple, ball, rocket, heart, banana
- First birthday celebration at school
- First UK shirt from Uncle Randy
- First time eating a meal at a restaurant (Fazoli’s)
- First time walking up the steps without using his hands (and only holding on to us with one hand)
- Signing thank you, though still sporadically
- Can match capital and lowercase letters for W, H, A, K, E, O
- First big church service
- First time baking with Mimi
- First Christmas as a family
- From initial First Steps speech evaluation (days after he got his ears irrigated) 6 months ago to now, he progressed 6 months in expressive speech and 6-9 months in receptive speech!