Good evening all, Dad at the controls here guiding our journey down Memory Lane,
At around this time, one year ago today, we were winding down in our hotel after officially welcoming Ryan to our Family. The memories of that day with Ryan are just as vivid as our first days with Kyle, Dylan and Ashley – the sounds, smells, and even the butterflies in our stomachs come crashing instantly back and I’m transported to each of these moments every time I read these particular posts from their stories.
It’s every parent’s numbing realization…how has it been a YEAR ALREADY?
Looking at Ryan today and flipping back through some of the posts of his first week with us in Guangzhou, it is amazing to see the transformation. Physically, his vision has been improved dramatically (Thank You CHOP) and he gets stronger and more confident daily; emotionally, he has crafted his own special and unique niche in our family and he’s built very solid yet distinctively different relationships with his brothers and sister.
In retrospect, it seemed like we waited quite a long time to finally welcome Ryan to our family last year, but in some ways, the memories of our pre-Ryan family are beginning to be gently nudged aside. Certainly NOT forgotten or diminished, but the recent memories we’ve been making in the past year are helping us to realize that this is how (and who) our family was supposed to be all along. Somewhere, another blank box, this one next to Ryan’s name, in the Lockhead Family Template has been quietly checked off. (I’ll have to have another look to see if there are any other new blanks that may have been added recently…you never know!)
Ryan has been here for only a year, but we all love him like he’s been here forever.
Ryan is really enjoying his experiences in Kindergarten, and he’s made a lot of good friends in his class and in the school in general. Many of the older kids also know him (thanks to K/D/A) and say Hi to him in the hallways and on the playground! He enjoys seeing his teacher (Mrs. D.) every day and he can hardly wait to unpack his bag when he gets home to show me all the cool stuff he’s done. (I am very fortunate to be able to share this with him every day when he comes home.) His writing and reading are progressing well, and he is also doing very well in Math. He is very much looking forward to 1st Grade – I think the best part for him will be that he’ll be able to BUY his lunches instead of Packing every day!
It’s been a challenge balancing FaceBook Posts/Photos with posting here on his story blog. FaceBook generally gets more traffic and fewer visitors link to these posts directly from FB. But THIS story blog will hopefully form the backbone of Ryan’s published adoption story. Many of the posts here, especially when we were in China, allowed us to capture our memories with a great deal more detail and richness. FB posts were/are good to keep family and friends updated with our activities, but much more of the substance and emotion lives here.
As evidenced by FB posts and photos, it’s been a wonderful year of firsts for Ryan as a Lockhead. After hitting the ground last spring, he’s seen a summer full of activities and day trips with Dad and the rest of the crew…along with Zoos, Parks, Museums, First Day of School, Halloween, learning to ride a scooter, Thanksgiving Day Parade, Christmas in Michigan, meeting new cousins, big snowstorms, swim lessons, 100th Day of School, reconnecting with orphanage friends, Spring Vacation In Mexico, a new trampoline, planting a new spring garden, learning to ride a bike, planning a BIG LATE SUMMER TRIP(?), etc., etc., etc.
I never get tired of revisiting the kids’ story blogs or watching their adoption videos. Ryan’s video is in production presently and should be ready soon – look for links here and on FB. We are so very lucky that our family has been blessed with Ryan. His story is now our story, and it gets better every day.
Congratulations on your FIRST year as a Lockhead, Ryan.
We love you very much,
Mom, Dad, Kyle, Dylan, Ashley (and all of your Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins).
One of our first family photographs, shortly after we officially adopted Ryan – May 18, 2015.
One of my favorite photos from last summer at the beach…