It’s about time for an update.
We announced at the end of May that we were making plans to bring Tong home from China. Since then, a lot has changed in the Walker house.
We bought and sold our house so that we can better accommodate Tong and his mobility needs. The original plan was to renovate our current house, but after looking at the floorplan, the elevation (sitting on a hill) and all the entry points being steps we decided it would make more sense to move. Thankfully we were able to move not too far from our old house, get more space, a flat driveway and guest suite on the main level with a step-in shower. The house is perfect, and we are loving it. We are far from settled, but hopefully, soon we will get there, and we can enjoy our beautiful space even more.
With the move, brought a new school cluster and new schools for the kids. We have 4 kids in 4 different schools, and Nolan is home with me doing some playful learning. He is enjoying learning about nature and his letters and helping cook in the kitchen.
On August 1st, Adam’s company Sideways8 was acquired by Dargon Army, and Adam now works there. It’s a great company, and he is super excited he gets to work with his good friend Jeff. He still is home 2+ days a week working from home. He is enjoying this new adventure, for sure.
I am sure you are wondering where we are in the adoption process. We have completed all of our home study visits, and our home study has been written, we are just waiting for it to be finalized. Thankfully our placing agency lets us get all of our dossier stuff together while we are working through the home study, so that will be ready to be shipped off to China once we get our immigration fingerprints done and all of our paperwork gets authenticated. One step at a time.
I did find out some great info on Tong. There is a wonderful organization called Evergreen that has a SOAR (Special Needs, Orphaned, or Abandoned Children’s Resources). They work with local institutions, families, and individuals to help vulnerable children get the best opportunities possible. They work through family preservation, support families in choosing to keep and raise their child with disabilities or through work with children in orphanages (evergreenchina.net).
What is super exciting about this is that we have found out that Tong is in their program. He is getting tutoring help (he’s never been in school), he’s being seen by a PT and working on getting stronger, and he is also in English class. We found out that in his English class, he has the name Thomas. He is learning to say, write, and read his name, and because of this, we are choosing to name him Thomas WenTong. We will call him either Tong or Thomas, we will let him choose, and it might change daily, and that is ok too.
He started school earlier this month at the orphanage, which is great. Up until this point he hasn’t had any formal education, so this is wonderful news. The school is at the orphanage, and he has a snazzy school uniform- a tracksuit. Hopefully, we can get a picture of that awesomeness.
He also filled out an About Me page in preparation for his first day of school with SOAR, and we found out some great things about him.
- Favorite Color: Blue
- Favorite Animal: Panda
- Favorite Food: Goldfish crackers- I can handle that, and we can stock up at Costco.
- Favorite Sport: Swimming – we can do that too- hello Summer Swim.
It was such a sweet surprise, and I am so thankful for this little peek into his life and his personality.
How is the adoption going?
Good. Slow. But we are hopeful that now things will pick up and move quicker. We are still hopeful we will travel before his 11th birthday (April 29th).
Does he know yet?
No. He will find out sometime after our dossier paperwork is in Beijing.
When will you bring him home?
We are hopeful before his 11th birthday, which is April 29th.
How is car hunting going?
We have a super generous friend who has let us borrow his suburban for a few weeks to see if it would work for our family. It has enough room for the kids and enough cargo space (which is what we need). We are thinking this makes more sense than the NV for a lot of different reasons (having to remove back seats for cargo space, gas mileage, ac issues, etc…)
How is Fundraising going?
It’s going. We have had several people donate towards the adoption. THANK YOU! We haven’t had an official fundraiser yet, except the pure vida bracelets that Sara Kate was selling. We are planning a comedy night and a wine tasting as events to help raise money. I would assume that we still need to raise about $27,000 or so.
Can I donate and get a tax deduction?
YES! We have an organization that you can donate through for that purpose.
Are the kids excited?
YES. Nolan asks about every 2 days or so when China GuGu is going to come and live in our house. It’s the sweetest.