Thursday, April 24, 2008

Time Flies

In his usual way Landon posed for pictures on and around his six month birthday. I can't believe that yesterday he turned six month old. He turned six month just in time for me to take him today for his first reading time at the library. There were lots of kids there with their parents. It was very interactive and I think he quite liked it. Most of the kids were older and bigger than Landon but he doesn't seem to be intimidated. When Mike is gone for a long time I like to take pictures of Landon. He is a good sport. Landon and I spent some of Tuesday outside reading Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Landon met the neighbor who has a dog that was of average size but a lot. bigger than him. The dog came right up to his face and he just starred at the dog. I guess not knowing what to do. It was quite amuzing to watch him react. He is a good sport when we take him with us to meetings, outside activities, and anything else his crazy parents want him to experience. The desires we have for Landon are big and we hope he will be willing to at least give some of things in the future a try.
We leave on Tuesday for Salt Lake City for our adoption finalization. There are so many things we are looking forward to doing while in town. I hope we have lots of room in our suitcase to bring fun stuff. I am really looking forward to going to Deseret Book and buying all kinds of fun books for Landon. We have an itinerary planned and are excited to take pictures of Landon at the Y, the U, Kennecott Copper Mine, Gardner Village and anything else we think he deserves his picture in front of. Landon will be on a plane for his 7th and 8th times and now that he is a bit older I cross my fingers he will be a good traveler. He will definitely win all of the people over on the plane with his cute eys. I am sure we will have a lot to write about when we get back. Much good will happen over the next 10 days.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Field Trip

It is definitely a sign of changing attitudes that our post about Landon’s circumcision generated as much commentary as it did! While the practice seems to be diminishing in the West, where (presumably) hygienic practices and access to medical support are making the operation less necessary for health reasons, it is on the rise (pun not intended) in Africa, where its health benefits are lauded. We appreciate the time people took to make comments, and we value your opinions and advice. As noted in our initial entry, we sought a wide range of opinions and advice before making the decision, and while it has changed our little guy, the decision we made was based 1) on our concerns for his best interest, and 2) on our trying our best to be guided by our faith concerning matters which, frankly, we do not have the expertise to decide alone. Like our and Natalie’s initial choice to bring him into our family through adoption, the bottom line is that we felt enough confident in the advice we received that we understand the decision we made was the right one, current or past norms or vogues or opinions notwithstanding. We are sensitive to the reality that Landon will probably endure (as we ourselves have already endured) a whole series of interrogations as he grows up as an adopted child in an era where current norms, vogues, and opinions reject that practice, as well. However, his birth parents and his adoptive parents agreed together that, despite the controversy, and despite the fact that he is no longer part of his “natural” family, he is in the condition he needs to be as our son. While being circumcised is a change from his natural physical state, the majority of American boys continue to be circumcised, so he will stand more of a chance of being like his peers in at least that regard (he may decide differently for his sons as majority norms change). We stand by our choices in both instances. Thank you to those of you who wished Landon a swift recovery! He is healing well, and he continues to mature and provide us with new surprises every day!

Mama, Poppy, and the Bambino took a trip up to East Lansing so Mike could attend a conference and Hallie and Landon could get out of the house. It was a perfect spring day, with daffodils and magnolias in bloom, warm sun, low humidity, high wispy clouds, birds chirping, and everything and everybody coming to life. We enjoyed ice cream at the MSU Dairy and were reminded of going to the BYU creamery. The Spartan campus is beautiful. At the conference, Mike learned about international issues in education, especially between China and Michigan as they form new partnerships. The handwriting is on the wall. In Mike's opinion, Landon and other American kids of his generation would be well advised to learn Mandarin as a practical skill. Mike's Spanish has served him well in a context where increasing Latin American influence is being felt here in the US, and he imagines that China's influence in the US will grow as well. So, rather than running away, we will help Landon face his Chinese contemporaries with a hearty 你好! (Ni hao! Hello!)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

"Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow" (or "Father and Son Get Snipped")

Spring has (finally) come to the 313, and with hopes of warm weather, I have opted again for a bald face. Everyone at church noticed; no one at work has said a word. Landon cracks me up. He thinks he knows it's me, but he keeps staring. "Is that really my old man? Where's the fuzz? Is that REALLY him? The voice sounds right. He smells like poppy. But is it him, really? Where'd poppy go? I'm hungry. FEED ME!" Who knows what really is going on in that critter's wee noggin. Oh, I do know one thing: "My willy hurts"--we circumcised the boy yesterday. One of the drawbacks of having adopted Landon is that we were unable to have any real say in what happened to him right after he was born, even though we received him within two days after he was born. Normally, he would have been circumcised in the hospital, but insurance and placement papers and other issues we still don't fully understand led to us having to wait until he was old enough to be anesthetized. We seriously considered just letting it slide, but we finally figured to benefits outweighed the risks (after more than a little research and consults with friends who are MDs or MDs in training), so there it is. So far, he seems to be adjusting--sore, but adjusting, as are we. He had never pulled a water spout on us until yesterday.

In other news, for my birthday I have graduated to "grown up" Legos. In other words, both of my birthday presents, a barbeque grill and a bicycle, came with assembly required. For whatever reason, I finally realized how similar the instructions were to Lego building instructions, just more advanced. Yes, I will admit it. I read the instructions and followed them. All the he-men can groan, but I know that I have a functioning BBQ that won't explode and a bike that won't fall out from under me, and I'm happy for that.