Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Baha, at last!

We finally had Jackson's fitting for his Baha!  He has been doing so well with it.  We were approved for 2 but for some reason our audiologist said that she will not order the other one for another year.  We have Cochlear looking into this for us.  But for now, we are thankful that Jackson has access to new sounds.  His Baha is programmed specifically for his hearing.  We are prayerful that this will be life-changing for him!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

just because...

I'm so adorable and loveable!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Catching up with the Noodle Master and more!

We have a lot of catching up to do.

Jackson has transitioned beautifully into our family!

He is excelling at school and is loved by all.

We are still waiting on his bilateral Bahas to arrive which should be any day now.

Below are pictures from our very American attempt at celebrating the Autumn Moon Festival.

For some reason I was thinking it was a week later that what it was, so it was last minute planning.

Thankfully, Jackson is easy to please with food.

We enjoyed a very big pot of noodle soup!  Watching Jackson eat it reminded us of our time in Guangzhou whe we ate at the little deli and noodle shop outside of the White Swan Hotel.

The Noodle Master at work
Now we're talkin'!
This wasn't quite what my mom had planned for this year's festival.  Let's see if I like it...
ummmmm.....not so much!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

operation i.d.

We decided that since Jackson is unable to give any identifying information about himself that we would look into purchasing an i.d. bracelet for him. We searched the internet high and low, emailed bloggy friends who are friends of Kurt's cousin in Michigan (Hi Rachel!) and then received emailed pictures from our friends in Jacksonville, whose daughter wears an id bracelet due to allergies. 

We finally decided on a bracelet for our little man.  And now this mama feels much better as he rides the big yellow bus away from my school each morning 10 minutes down the road!  He wears it at all times and does very well with it on.  He now likes to hear it jingle on the car window, his car seat arm rest, across the dining room table, down our footboard to our king size get the picture!

The information was simple:  on the front with the Medic Alert we have his first name and last name and then the words Hearing Impaired with the word "over" on the next line.  It flips over easily and has his birthdate, No Known Allergies (since at this time we don't know of any but since he is adopted, there could be something), our cell phone numbers and our first names.  It's stainless steel and wasn't too costly.  But the best part...

We feel much better knowing that someone could contact us if our little man was separated from any of us or from someone at school.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

7 months

7 months ago on February 2nd we finalized adoption papers in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, Peoples Rebublic of China.  Fast forward to September 2nd, we had our court hearing to "readopt" or "refinalize" what was done in China, here in America.  Although Jackson became a Swartzlander in every sense of the word 7 months ago, we decided to go through this very simple process here in the US so that we would be able to get Jackson an American birth certificate (which I believe is a Certificate of Foreign Birth) and then we will be able to apply for an American Passport!

Our attorney was wonderful.  He and his wife have 2 adopted girls from China.  He provides his services free of charge to families that have adopted from China to refinalize everything.  We only had to pay the court fees!  What a blessing for our family!  In all of the years that he has been doing this, Jackson was THE VERY FIRST BOY that he has represented!
Jackson and his "out of the blue" goofy grin! with our attorney, Mr. Pappas
Our family with Judge Piggotte
Outside the courthouse
Jackson and Kurt

Thursday, August 26, 2010

a little someone turned 3

Sunday was Jackson's 3rd birthday!

He had a blast!

More details on our family blog, but here are a few pictures for you to enjoy!

Bilateral Bahas

On Friday, we received a phone call from our insurance company that they had APPROVED Jackson for the BILATERAL Bahas!!!!!!  We just couldn't believe it!  As things usually go, we will be thrilled on the day that we are walking out of the audiologist office with them on!  We will probably be RUNNING hoping that our insurance company isn't waiting for us to tell us they changed their minds!

I have spent this past week calling back and forth between Shands and FL Health Care Plans trying to get FHC to send the paperwork to the correct fax.  It finally arrived today at Shands but UNFORTUNATELY the audiologist is on vacation until Sept. 8th and nothing can happen until she comes back.

But...on the bright side, our little man is getting what he needs and soon!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Help for the Hurleys

My friends, the Hurleys, over at are down to the final days of raising money to bring home their son Waid from China.

Their story is full of compassion and selflessness!! When we were adopting Jackson, somehow our families managed to connect...we were with the same agency. Throughout the adoption process, Kurt and I were preparing ourselves that we would have to travel without a group because it was a Special Needs adoption. I was thrilled when Janet and I were able to contact each other and we had hopes of traveling together to bring our sons home! Although the timing didn't work out for us to travel together, the Hurleys did manage to travel just a few short weeks after us to bring home their son Wes.

At some point during their adoption, they felt called to seek pre-approval of a blind little boy whose file was about to be returned to China. Sometimes when this happens, the children are not able to ever be adopted! This leaves them with a desperate life on the streets, begging. Kurt and I witnessed this with our own eyes. The experience was painful.

Kurt and I are thankful that God called us to adoption. Thankful that His plans were bigger than ours so many years ago! And although God does not call everyone to adopt a child into their home, He does call us to do something!!! What does that look like for you or your family?

I can't begin to tell you what it felt like when people gave out of their hearts to help bring Jackson home! I still weep when I think about people listening to that still-small voice and then acting out of obedience and love to the Lord!

In James 1:27, God's Word says "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

We did what we were able to help the Hurleys bring Waid home.

Will you please pray about what God would have you to do?

Will you please pray for others to hear what God would have them to do?

Will you please pray and send this post around to your friends so that the Hurleys can bring Waid home??

His time is running out!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sunday Snapshot:{Beachin' It}

Last weekend after dinner, we took the kids to the beach. This was Jackson's first time! Saying that he loved it would be an understatement!
As I looked out across the ocean, I was reminded of a little boy that only 5 1/2 months ago was on the other side of God's creation...waiting for us...waiting for a mama...waiting for a daddy...waiting for a sister...waiting for a brother...waiting for a chance at life...the life that God had created him for.
It was a thrill for this mama to see her littlest son captivated by God's greatness!

loving the wet sand!

finding such joy in the simple things in life

laughing as the cold rush of water came upon him!

happiness in playing with a big sister

What beauty there is between a father and a son!

A daddy to call his own!

Doing the things that dad's love to do with their sons

looking forward to what's coming next in life

The first BIG wave for Jackson!

We're looking forward to sharing many more FIRSTS with our lil' man!

Ni Hao Y'all

Thursday, July 8, 2010

broke, again

We decided on Monday to send Jackson's BCA back to Otic*n.  We have been watching it work sporadically, thinking that it was just needing a new battery.

If you held the microphone up to your mouth and spoke, the oscillator would work perfectly.  But, for anyone else talking in the room, Jackson wouldn't hear ANY of it!  The microphone would not pick up sound from even an arm's length away.  We also couldn't get any feedback with it.

Our audiologist is asking for them to REPLACE it instead of fix it again.  We're hoping to have it back tomorrow because our 6 month post placement meeting with our amazing social worker is on Saturday morning.

We've noticed that when Jackson doesn't have his BCA, he is rather grumpy.  I guess I would be, too, if I didn't have my glasses on!

Jackson has been working really hard at trying to talk.  He now will call "Maggie" (our 85 lb. Lab) in from outside.  He's saying Mama more often.  He says "Mour" (more)  and my favorite is UT OH!  I think we even got an "AMEN" out of him at dinner!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

everyday life and more!

I've decided to go ahead and officially begin posting about our family at Big Crazy Love

I will blog about the WHOLE family there and leave Jackson's website to just post about specifics regarding him.

I hope y'all will continue to follow on both!  Or if you're just following Jackson's Journey, I hope you'll stop over at Big Crazy Love to see how he's doing on a day to day basis!

So over there, you'll see more of this

Jackson helping me cook!

and more of this

Jackson getting his own bib and putting it on to tell me he's ready to eat!
(which by the way, he eats a 10 piece McD's chicken nuggets pack by HIMSELF on soccer night)

and you'll see a little of this!

(His picture which I finally had made into black and white to add to the kids' bathroom wall!)

See you over at Big Crazy Love!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sunday Snapshot: {Father's Day}

Hey mom, do you remember what today is?  psst, it's Father's Day!

So OFTEN, he gets lost in the shuffle.  (sigh, and as I look at the pictures from this weekend, he was lost, yet, again)

The hot and humid weekend began on Saturday at Jadon's soccer tournament at UCF, which from previous hot and humid soccer tournament weekends we have experienced before, caused me to suffer and stay at home with Sydney and Jackson to shop clean.  Kurt and Jadon left the house at 6:45am.  Jadon's team won 2 and lost 2 which brought us to Sunday-10:00am game, win/lose determines the rest of the day.

That one 10am game kept us at the field until 1:30pm.  We enjoyed a little bit of


and soccer!

The heat is easier to beat because of Kurt who works hard to set up our tents and packs the cooler and bought a few

Frogg Toggs to help us poor lil' fans

to be able to cool off and not feel like

the soccer star!

Because it is HIS day, by the way, and we want him to enjoy Father's Day during the times when the kids act like

THIS!  Thanks to DAD!

And on Dad's Day, he was able to watch




And after he drove the "fun-bus" home  full of sleeping children and their  one-hot-sweaty mama,
we gave Daddy time to shower and rest.  And by then, it was time for his choice of dinner because it is HIS day, after all.

But, Mama had to sweet talk Daddy out of his favorite place to eat!
And even though it is Father's Day, Mama had her children to think about.

So, Daddy in all his sweetness, as usual, thought about the rest of us, on his day and instructed me to bring us here! 

Our local- sit down- Chinese restaurant.

But, we did do some standin' so that we could get these of our Daddy, since it is

Daddy with his lil' girl, Sydney!  She was only 5 days old on his very first Father's Day!
(and if we would have had a digital camera back then, I would have posted some great pictures of that!)

Daddy with his sweet and tenderhearted son, Jadon!

And Daddy with his lil' man, Jackson.  Now, otherwise known as, Action Jackson!

T-rouble with a CAPITAL T just waiting to happen!

And a LOT of LOVE goin' on here!

Jackson showed us that he's  still got it goin' on with the chopsticks!

We enjoyed a great meal of Beef Lo Mein, Mongolian Beef, Pineapple Chicken, Shrimp Lo Mein and Sweet and Sour Shrimp!  And everyone was happy, even Mama, especially since we didn't have to eat at Taco Bell!

We couldn't escape the hugs that Jackson likes to give to everyone!

(Even if strangers still think he's a gal!)

We headed out to the local

to pick up movies that Mama would end up, inevitably, sleeping through!

So, as Daddy, picked out movies for his day, I waited with the troops in the fun-bus, where


was causing the big kids to make such an uproar and leave

our lil' man questioning us crazy Americans!

Thank you, Kurt, for ALL that you do EVERYDAY to make our lives a little bit easier!  God has truly blessed our family with a wonderful, thoughtful, devoted, and loving husband and father! 
We love you!

Happy Father's Day!!!

Ni Hao Y'all