Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bilingual? Pretty Cool. (20 Months)

I better write this down, so I don't forget:

Carter busted out with "qi che....dus....qi che"

Not excited?

Okay, so pretty much no one can understand that.  Right?

I speak Carter, let me translate:

qi che = "bus" in Chinese
dus = "bus" in Carter English


It's not like we speak Chinese anymore.  But maybe we should?!

He has been obsessed with transportation for several months now.  Our old driver, Mr. Dong, used to chime in as both, he and Carter, were learning English.  Carter would get so excited and point at a bus, I would then say "bus."  Mr. Dong would say "Bus, qi che."

So I started doing the same.  "bus, qi che"

Well apparently it's been in Carter's brain, like a steel trap, and just decided to sneak out!

Now every morning when I go to get him our conversation goes like this:

Carter:  Dada?
Me:  Dada is at work.
Carter: Dus, Qi Che?
Me:  Yes, Dada went to work on the bus.
Carter then flaps his arms in the signal he created for the song, The Wheels on the Bus.
Me:  The wheels on the (insert "bus" or "qi che") go round and round.

He also chooses randomly (I think) which word to use when he sees them on the road!!

This is crazy to me!

You know, honestly, he did the same thing with sign language.

I tried to teach him baby sign language when he was about 6 months.  But he never responded...so I got lazy and stopped.  BUT out of nowhere, 6 months later, he busted out with the signs for "more" and  "all done" and hasn't stopped!!

Lesson learned?

Keep doing these things!!  They ARE getting them!!  Even if they can't do them yet!


Here are a few simple Chinese (mandarin) words if you want to try:

Bus: Qi Che...First word, sounds like, your hair straightener, Chi. Second, sounds like Church, minus the -rch.  So it will sound like Chi Chu.

Hi:  Ni Hao...First word, sounds like,  Knee.  Second word, sounds like, How.
  So it will sound like you are saying Knee How.

Thank you:  Xie Xie...First (and second) word, sounds like, She.  So it will sound like She She.

Try it out!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Thank you & Post Updates

Thank you to everyone who has been writing us messages.

It helps, more than you would know.

It helps us for people to acknowledge that we lost a son, that he was real, important and loved.

Thank you for the prayers.

I'm surprised that people say they are given hope, or peace by our story.  Because it is a sad story.  But the hope or peace you may feel isn't from our sad story but through God, who is somehow speaking to you.  The only way we know this is because he is using so many people to speak to us right now, and give us hope or peace from this sad time.

I don't want to turn our blog into something gruesome or depressing.  In fact, I'm about to upload a ton of pictures of Carter to go under this post...but I have been writing down some thoughts about what we are going through.  Don't feel that you HAVE to read them.  Feel free to read or to skip on to your picture viewing pleasure.  Hope you don't mind.  Who knows, maybe our thoughts could help someone.  Or you could just think we are strange.  OR later, I may reread these and be embarrassed to have shared something so personal and delete it, but for now it's there, for all to see.

So below this message should be:

  • Carter at 20 Months
  • two recents posts on Baby McCoy 2...posted in order they were written.

Thank you for your support and prayers!

Carter is 20 Months!

Picture OVERLOAD...Sorry.  

But honestly, our days are filled with joy and tons of fun.

Have to catch the blog up and I know some grandparents are in need of Carter pictures!

Loving his Crown! 


What Mom? 

I'm outta here. 

Seriously, he wanted to bring his drum, look how happy it makes him!  
(So sad, my child plays with trash.)

We had visitors! 
Grammy.  (My mom) 

Serious fun!!!
(John's Dad!) 

The McCoy's (and Porter's).

Lookout Hatfield's...we coming for ya!!

Okay, seriously, look at Carter.  He LOVED taking these photos.  Ha!!!

You can tell that I didn't take this picture because he is actually SMILING!!! 

 He works hard for his money.

So hard for his money!! 


Loves the horse. 

And the frog. 

AND the big boy swing.

He also loves BaBa's boots. 

Yee Haw!! 

This is how we dress him now! 

 Back to the swing.

 His new way to ride.

I love his face.  But of course, no smile, 
because mom is taking the pic! 

 Yes, snow, in September.

It's from the hockey rink....athletes, suit up!
This ain't football country.

 Climbing the bleachers.

I love this big boy!!

Deep Breath.

Arriving with Carter on my hip, I held my breath (because that is what you do) and focused on the signs on the wall directing me to the receptionist's desk.  We must have entered from the back door because the first thing I saw in the room to my left were two coffins.  Don't breathe.

I don't do well with neither funerals nor funeral homes.  I panic.  My heart races, I don't know where I can look.  And heaven forbid I have to venture off on my own there...like say, the restroom.  Oh god, breathe!!!  Or don't breathe!?

While we waited in the foyer, there were people in the room to my left talking about a man they all knew. Saying things like "it's just not like him."  "It doesn't sound like something they would do."  I tried not to listen.

Carter was unusually still.  He actually laid his head on my shoulder.  Something I try to force him to do, along with hugs and kisses, these days.

When the receptionist arrived and asked "Can I help you?"  I managed to utter the words, "I'm here to pick up my son's ashes."  I actually had played this out in my head on the way there.  It's not really a phrase that comes out naturally.

The woman was so helpful.  Thankfully, she took over from there.

Carter and I sat, and waited.  He didn't budge.  Honestly, it was strange.  But I was glad to not have to chase him in that awkward place.  Maybe he felt it too.

The woman returned with a little, black, velvet bag.  One that could hold a piece of jewelry.

I had wondered what it would look like.  It was much nicer than I imagined.

They also, for their own legal records, gave us a copy of his Cremation Certificate.  Not really something I had ever imagined having.  What do you do with this?  This is the only legal document we have to prove that he really existed.  Knowing that kind of makes me want to frame it.  But I know, that isn't what you do.  Do you keep it in the special file with our Passports, Marriage Certificate, Carter's Certificate of American Born Abroad that we need every time we apply for a new visa?  I don't know.

Right now, it's in an envelope with his ultrasound photo, Footprints, It's a Boy (hospital) Crib Card and his ashes...him.

That's it.  All we have of him.

I know it's gruesome, morbid, sick or strange but I love that envelope.

Yesterday, our pastor spoke on "What Jesus Says About Eternity."

I LOVE our church here.  And I love our Southern Pastor.

He (Jesus) said Eternity isn't death, but the moment you decide you are a Christian.  From that moment....on.

He said that children go to Heaven.  He said that Heaven is home.  That feeling of hugging your loved ones, the hugs you know so well that you can still smell their perfume...that is Heaven, that is Home.  He told us that is where you see your loved ones again...reunite.

Our pastor talked about meeting his parents again.  And the comfort that would bring.  I just wonder who greeted out little guy?  There was no reuniting for him.  Was it like being the new kid in the lunch room.  With no one there to sit with.

Is he an infant?  And if so, who is holding and hugging him all day?  That is my job.  But I hope someone does it.  When I do join him, will I know him?  Or will I have to act like I recognize him and play along until I do?

These are the thoughts that kill me.

Our pastor also said that the reason you feel so close to God while grieving, is because he is grieving right there with you.  I believe this.  This gives me comfort.  (No answers.) But comfort.

I guess two weeks ago, when we opted for individual cremation, I imagined us getting that little baggie and taking it straight to the park.  I pictured us healed, happy and prepared to say goodbye.  That little baggie is sitting on a kitchen shelf, with the envelope an some unopened mail.  We aren't ready.  We are healing.  And daily, we are joyful, loving on each blessing and more hopeful for what eternity holds.  But still need time...and still need that baggie.

Sunday Mornings.

Every Sunday, when we drop Carter off in the church Nursery, John gets to hear me complain and say "if I was in charge of that place..."  "or if I was working there...."  Nice.  Right?

The ladies are nice enough and Carter is always distracted enough by the amount of toys to ignore their less than ooodling behavior.

Maybe I'm overly protective.  Maybe I'm overly picky.  But here are my two simple requests:

1. Acknowledge us when we arrive.  The top half of the door is open, you can see us standing there.
2. A warm welcome to my child may not be as necessary to him as it is to me.  But I want to see you excited to play with my son!  Come on!  This is my baby!

Okay, those could be rolled into one request.  So not too much to ask, right?

After years of being on the nursery staff myself, working in a Day Care, being a camp counselor, and teaching elementary school, I've learned/been taught/forced:
         You MUST be at their door to give a warm, greeting the children when they walk in the door.  (This isn't just in Texas, but Norway, China and I can assume Canada too.)

And I now see how important that warm greeting is.

A sick confession I have to make is, that I've only been separated from Carter a handful of times and the longest stretch was 10 hours for my class reunion that I was helping throw.  Please don't judge too harshly, I haven't had many opportunities, with lack of family nearby or babysitters whom I know, trust and can communicate with.

So dropping him off every.single.Sunday is a big deal for me.

This rant about our nursery greeting is small.   I promise.  Because I'm quite sure they DO care and are actually volunteering their time.  Maybe they show their love while playing with the kiddies and dealing with parents may not be their favorite part of the job.  This is most likely the truth, and I can handle that!!

It's just that sharing my child with someone else isn't the easiest for me.  I mean, they can't love him like we do.  Right?  What if they don't understand his silly ways?  What if they don't appreciate him for all that we do?  I know these are insecurities that I'll have to give into as it's called "Letting go..."

This week, in church, was different for me.  While I sat there having my same conversation with myself, I found myself thinking of our youngest son.  (It's bound to happen, right?)  He's here, on Earth, being handled by someone other than us.  I don't know what he looks like, but I can imagine that  he doesn't look like a 40 week, perfectly healthy baby.  I worry about him.  What if they make jokes about how he looks?  What if they handle his body like a piece of trash?  I treasure that body.  I just pray, they are being respectful no matter what health conditions he may have had.

I understand that his spirit has moved on but I look forward to receiving his ashes and knowing that he is in loving hands.  Hands that having been wanting to hold him for 5 months.  Hands that understand and appreciate him for all that he is.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mark 1:11

Even as a child, I've felt very close to my parents and related in so many ways to my mother early on.  We (my brothers and I) were loved unconditionally and confidently knew we were everything to them.  Innocently, we believed their lives began when we entered and that there were only 3 of us they could love like they do.

There was a day each year, that I was confused or jealous by a secrecy of my parent's emotions that I never could comprehend.   Nothing elaborate would happen on this day and sometimes it wouldn't be remembered until the next.  But I might walk into my parent's room to find my Mom folding laundry and crying or over hear Mom and Dad whispering then hug.  This day was unimportant to me.  By 5th or 6th grade we learned that there was a 4th one of "us" who never made it to play.  A sibling we knew nothing about.  A little baby that was probably not nearly as important as we were, who's life ended after the 12 week mark but before the 40 week gestation.

It was simple for us to believe then that God had "planned" for us to be here and that other little baby to not.

Well, my and John's lives forever changed in July 2008 when we lost our first little one very early in the game.  It was sad and we felt empty.  But learned we were ready for children and were hopeful for more.

Luckily, a year and a half later God called Carter into the world.  Carter has forever changed our lives and our hearts.  We love him unconditionally and our lives began again when he entered.  We became new people with his existence.

When we became pregnant with our next child, because of Carter, we knew the magnitude of how this baby was going to change our lives.  We understood what we were getting ourselves into and we couldn't wait.  It was a nervous excitement.  John and I now knew this little one has a spirit, a personality and a fire that is as individual as every person...and we could NOT wait to learn all about him!  We have been thrilled to love a new little being, a sibling for Carter, for the past 5 months.

On September 8, my mom's birthday, we went into our mid-pregnancy ultrasound to learn our child's sex but instead learned that the little one no longer had a heart beat.  In slow motion, the ultrasound technician explained the details, but all I could see was a picture of our baby up on the screen.  A real baby.  Little head, little hands.  Little feet.  The idea that we would never know that baby we could see on the screen the way we know Carter is devastating.  That is our child.  We are the parents.  There was an energy, a spirit, a personality there.  There was a heart beat.

When I think back to the careless, flirty days of dating John, I never would have imagined us to be the kind of people attending grief counseling and making decisions about our child's remains.  But it comes with the territory.  A grief counselor carefully explained every detail about our child's entrance into the open world and then options like a viewing, receiving mementos, autopsy, bodily donation, funeral services, mass burial, cremations, or private ceremony.

The little baby we saw up on that screen, is our child, our baby.  We are Mama and Dada.  Knowing these two thoughts, guided us through the decisions.  Making exactly the opposite decisions I might have imagined chosen in those flirty days of dating.  We decided we wanted to know as much about that little baby on the screen as we could.  Many of the options were "if this....then you can..." kind of options.  We asked them IF possible to try and find out the gender, IF possible we'd like to see our child, IF possible we'd like footprints, IF possible we'd like an autopsy, IF possible we'd like our child's remains handled individually and IF possible we'd like to obtain the ashes for a private ceremony.

Thankfully, because I'm not that emotionally strong, I do not remember our child's entrance.  But we were over the moon to learn that our angel baby is a BOY!  I never would have thought through the sadness, learning HE is our SON could bring joy...but it did!  We hugged and even celebrated!!  Knowing that huge piece of information brings such peace to our minds.  We have another son!  We have another son!!

The nurses were very supportive of our wish to view our son.  This wish however, was circumstantial, depending on nurse and counselor's viewing and collaboration.  The wish was respectfully declined.  We still have that little face you dream of during pregnancy in our heads and know he is just precious!

Another bit we do know about our son is he has perfect feet!

How can anyone doubt the work of God when you see something so detailed, tiny and perfect?  

We asked for four prints.  Each for Mommy, Daddy, and both sets of Grandparents.

The final pieces to our son's Earthly existence will be his memorial service.  We have spoken with a funeral home to arrange the details of his little body...with perfect feet.  We look forward to rejoicing over his life and existence and can't wait for our full house in Heaven.

Being a new parent, I am constantly amazed by the realizations that present themselves to me about my own parents growing up.  A new understanding of their unconditional love, the constant desire to see their children safe and happy, and how their hearts grew and made more room for each of their children...even the ones not known on Earth.

"You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."  -Mark 1:11

We are deeply in love with our newest son.  He will forever be in our thoughts, hearts and prayers.

Monday, September 5, 2011

18/19 Weeks

Considering how neglectful I am to have pictures taken of myself these days, I thought NOW is a better time than any.

Here is my 18 Week picture with Carter:

Here I was yesterday at 19 Weeks:
I guess it's hard to see because my shirt is loose...but you can tell it's out there way more than last time.  I feel like it jumped out a few weeks ago and has kind of stayed that way for a while.

Any who, Thursday is our next ultrasound and I hope all is well!  Woo hoo!  I always get nervous before appointments.  We might even be able to find out the sex!  :)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Just like the big kids...

I was chatting with another mother and glanced over to see Carter like this:

This bike belongs to a little girl in our neighborhood and her PINK helmet belongs to her sister. 


What cracks me up the most is the helmet!  
He's actually noticed that everyone who rides a bike wears a helmet.  

They notice way more than you realize!!