Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Life with Faith

So, while I was at a Mom's event this weekend, someone asked, "Do you blog about your life with Faith?"  I remembered I used to while I waited, and when I was getting her, but that I hadn't in a very long time.  Why? Because life with Faith, is busy!!!  My hands, these days, are busy signing away, picking up barbie shoes, or giving baths, to be whirring away on a keyboard.   However, inspired by that day, and this amazing story, that God has allowed to continue I will post a quick update.

Faith is doing amazing, I know cliche - but its all I got.  When I look at this little girl, who came to us barely a size 2T (at age 3.9 months), and is now almost at 5T (at 5.3 months), I am amazed.  When I think about this girl who could only give a thumbs up to express joy, and a very nasty scowl to express dislike, can now ask me where everyone in the family is when I go into her room in the middle of the night when she's woken up screaming, is astonishing!   It occurred to me the other night, after such an episode, that this ability to communicate had brought to her more than just words, but the ability to relieve her fears and anxieties.  As I answered that Daddy was sleeping, AJ was sleeping, Ian was in his room playing video games, and that Mommy was in the livingroom on the computer, and watched her face just melt into peace, that these things must have been weighing on her all this time, but she had no way of asking  -- it wells my eyes with tears now to think about it.  

We have struggles, its not all smooth sailing -- she still closes her eyes, and even sometimes starts to hit me if I am trying to sign to her at Mass.  She still thinks its ok to TOUCH ever single thing she comes in contact with, even after being told several times NOT to touch it.  She still tries to open every door we encounter, which after she let herself OUT at my sister's house has been a real fear for me, and a forbidden behavior for her! She still loves bedtime some nights, and ABHORS it others -- when it is NOT her plan to go to bed, she can be a mighty big stinker!  Refusing to cooperate with even the simpliest of bedtime routines, getting limp like a noodle, and obstinate like a bull!!   Like all 5 year olds, she likes this her way or the highway, and is constantly trying to assert her independence, find her way, and push all boundaries. but boy do we love the SNOT OUT of her!!!

Faith has the cutest little face, that gets cuter with pigtails, those crazy purple glasses, and goofy grinded down straight tooth grin!!  She cracks herself up, laughs ridiculously loud , that contagiously brings laughter from all those around her.  She is a huge helper, the first to grab the other end of the laundry basket, push the 'start' button on the dishwasher, or lend a hand with the vacuum cleaner.  She hugs like a bear, cuddles like a kitten, and steals our hearts like a fox!!!  We can't believe that God would love us so much to allow us to be her parents, and continue to pray for the GRACE to do the best by her that we can.  We look at our children, and praise God for His goodness, especially that I am able to be home to school them , providing us even more blessings and opportunities that would not exist if they were in school.   She learns as much for her 2 big brothers as she does from me!! 

So that's what Life with Faith is like these days ... who could ask for anything more!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

China's Lost Girls

This show was amazing, what a flood of memories and emotions it brought back!

Here is one China Girl who isn't lost anymore!

This is a picture of Ian and Faith at the swim up bar in Jamaica!  Uncle Joe and Aunt Cheryl took us there for a week.  What an awesome time we had, the weather was great, the people there at the Iberostar hotel were awesome!  Faith, Ian and Adam had a wonderful time as did Allison and I.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

It was Faith's second Christmas in America and as a Gingras and what a difference a year makes!  She knows so many signs and is so comfortable around our family and friends that it doesn't cease to amaze us!  She is now an integral part of our Christmas traditions! We did so much with her this year!

  • A trip to Edaville Railroad.  She loved the train ride and signs train now every time she see's a picture of one.  
  • Visited Jordan's Furniture to see the Enchanted Village and LITE show.  She loved the fake snow!
  • Went bowling again, Faith seems to really like bowling!
  • Went to see Festival of Lights and walk around there and say hello to Santa Clause.
  • Saw the Heritage Plantation lights and rode the merry go round.
  • Went to the Christmas Store on RT 18.
  • She loves signing tree now too!  Trying to get her to add the Christmas sign in front of it.
  • Sadly the snow is just a bit too much for her still but soon!  She seems to really want to go play in it.
I loved watching my dad play chase around the kitchen table with her on Christmas day!

Another very cool thing was going to the signed Mass in Hopkinton with Fr. Shaun Carey (a deaf priest) the Sunday after Christmas and signing with people we met afterwards.  It really taught me that I need to have a New Years Resolution of getting much better at practicing and learning sign language for her if I want to communicate with her as she progresses.  I can't always have Allison around to translate!

This year I need to reflect on how blessed we are that God chose us to do this and how blessed we are with family and friends who have been so supportive to date.  Blessed that Faith FengHua Gingras is so well adjusted and how easy a transition it was for us and for her.

Peace - Kevin G.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Faith the Copy Cat

So as I sit here in my big chair with Faith next to me I ponder what a whirlwind year it has indeed been!  She's accomplished so much!  Right now I type this on my computer and she works on her computer right next to me, Faith is a copy cat!

Her brothers use her copying to teach her things like how to be a punk rapper as you can see below!
But what a totally fantastic year it has been!  Oh, sure Faith tests us here and there but so do Ian and Adam and most every normal child!  There are many times that I test Allison's patience as well :) but overall it's been great.  Faith is doing Little Gym and Physical Therapy.  Allison is teaching her and a bunch of other folks sign language once a week!  I have a lot of catching up to do to learn ASL!!

I was reading older blog entries and thinking back how much I leaned on God a year ago.  This was our last day in Wuhan (Faith's province) a year ago.  I was praying so hard then.  I still pray, I still lean on God but I need to get back to where I was a year ago - no - not Wuhan - I mean my prayer life.  I need to get back to that trust, that faith and reliance I had.

Well, life is good!  It's been great hearing from all the other families we were with in China about how their kids are and have been through the year.

Well, I think I've ping ponged from one subject to another enough for now.


Friday, October 29, 2010

A year already?

It was one year ago today that we got on a plane to start our journey to China!  It seems like we have had Faith as part of the family forever but it's been just under a year (we got Faith on November 2nd 2009).  So much has happened within that year!  I remember the first group of photo's we received, I think back in March or April of 2009 when we made the decision that Wu FengHua was the one!
She has grown so much bigger now physically and mentally. I'm glad she wasn't this heavy when I had to carry her around Wuhan and Guangzhou!  She can also communicate so much better.  She knows so many signs.  Stop, Potty, Rabbit, Horse, Oops, Stop, Eat, Kiss, Squirrel, AJ, Mom, Dad, Bless, God, Jesus...the list goes on and on!  We have even been able to tell her to go get Ian for dinner and she did!  Allison knows how many total words and communicates with her so much more.
Our journey to China was so flooded with prayers thanks to everyone!  We still pray but now the prayers are of thanks to God!  Thanks for all the wonderful people who watched our kids while we were gone, thanks to all who prayed and continue to pray for us, thanks to everyone who assisted in any way, shape or form, thanks for bringing Faith into our family, thanks for getting us home safe from China, thanks for the wonderful year we have had with Faith and thanks for many more to come!

It's been an interesting adventure from the start and I'm loving every minute of it!  To close please check out the video of Faith and Pete Bouchard (I call Pete her boyfriend)


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

NH Vacation and communication

Communicating is going very well with Faith now.  On October 5th I was able to tell her to got get Ian from his room for dinner.  Ian knew what she meant!  That was a big moment for us!

We went to New Hampshire on October 1 thru October 4th  and had a great time. We tagged along with the Toste famly.  Ian, Adam and Faith loved all the rides.  Faith even took the front seat in the Bamboo Shoots ride!  She loved the splashdown!

We stopped at Story Land on Saturday, then Santa's Village on Sunday.  I think the bumper cars were her favorite ride at Santa's Village, we did that ride a LOT!

Then on our way home on Monday we were going by Clark's Trading Post and decided to stop in there for the Train Ride and Bear Show.  That was pretty cool!  Wolfman didn't scare Faith at all!

We also stopped at the Basin for a bit of a stroll.  My recommendation is to NOT stop there to use the toilets, they are NASTY!  Whenever we stopped the car Faith would sign play.  No matter where we went she thought it was time to go on rides!  The kids were great with her.

One issue we had was sleeping.  We only had two beds and I don't even think they were queen sized.  If Faith was in bed with us she would get too excited and just want to jump around and play.  Allison put her on a bunch of blankets on the floor and felt terribly guilty.  Faith, she fell asleep within moments of hitting the floor thus the floor became her bed for the trip.

We stayed at the Lantern Resort Motel and Campground.  That place is cool, I highly recommend it.  We even got to go on our own private hay ride on Sunday night.

I think it's easy to say that Faith is indeed one of us.  Last night we were playing soccer in the kitchen (shh, don't tell Allison) with her ball and when I said we were finished so I could go fold laundry Faith tapped me on the leg and signed 'cry'.  I couldn't stop after that so we played for a while more.  She can tell us a lot of things now and is learning to express herself more and more daily....


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Communicating with Faith

I'm slowly learning to communicate with Faith.  We can tell each other a few things like:

  • She can let me know it's time to go potty
  • I can tell her to stay here 
  • I can ask her if she wants a drink or food and she can tell me when she wants those things.
  • I can tell her I love her.
  • Can tell her when it's time for bed.
  • Am able to say be careful.
  • Tell her to throw away some trash and clean up when she's done.
  • She loves to tell me it's bath time.
  • She tells me she want's to play and can even add things like ball to that sentence if she wants to play soccer.
  • I can easily communicate when I'm angry, sad, happy etc... facial expressions are so important.
There are many more things we can communicate.  There are also some frustrating times communicating for both of us.  The other day she was trying to tell me something and I had no clue and it was clear she was getting angry when I just kept signing "what?".

There are also times, like when we were in Plymouth the other night, where I was communicating verbally with Ian and Adam and realized I was leaving her out.  Those are the times when I get frustrated, I want to have these long conversations with her and I realize my lack of sign language prevents that, I need to keep it simple for now if Allison isn't around.

We still have a lot of fun, it's amazing what you can communicate without anything verbal or even signed.  The language of fun is indeed universal!
For some reason running around cracks her up.  She was running around in Plymouth on September 23 and laughing hysterically!
That's a two part sign for smile, I wanted to take her picture so I signed smile to her.  She was quick to copy me!

All the pictures of that night are here:


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Allison has gotten involved as a guest blogger on Sensational Homeschooling in honor of Deaf Awareness Week!

Check it out at the link below!

And what would a post be without a picture?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Just Faith and I in Plymouth

Last night just Faith and I went to Plymouth.  First she sat in the stroller but then she ran free after getting some ice cream!
She still is a little awkward running around but she did great, didn't fall once!  She loved waving to everyone we passed and holding my hand and jogging around.  She did seem to always want to run into the road.  I didn't like that one very much but she did well listening to me when I told her no.  Probably because she saw so many people crossing those nifty looking green crosswalks and we did cross a couple of times with the carriage.  Faith was good staying by the waterfront.  She would run, while holding my hand and crack up.  For some reason running cracks her up.

It is very interesting just sitting with her.  She can communicate fairly well now.  She would sit on a bench and then tell me to sit down next to her so I would.  Then every bench we came across we had to sit down.  She'd sit down first then tell me to sit down.  At one point there were two benches next to each other.  Faith sat on one then told me to sit down so I sat on the other bench.  She promptly hit the bench next to her and signed "sit".  She definitely wanted me to sit with her.  I got the hint.
All in all it was a great night.  We got home and she washed up brushed and went to bed.  Alas, I was out by 9:30, I think she was still up playing with her doll in bed so she outlasted me!  KG.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Today's Gospel

Today's Gospel was Matthew 19:23-30 (click on link to read the whole thing).

The part that struck me was verse 29:  And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life.

I instantly thought of Faith's mother and father.  I've often felt a bit odd about her birth parents, how could they give her up, what a horrible thing to do.  This reading, for an obviously Godly reason, made me realize that they gave her up out of love, out of sacrifice for a better life for her.  Could I give up one of my children if I knew it would be for a better life for them?  Probably not.

I know her parents probably didn't give her up for the sake of Jesus' name but they did it to offer her a better life, they knew they couldn't provide for her properly, they did it out of Love, and isn't God Love after all?  Today Faith's birth parents will be in my prayers...