Friday, August 3, 2012

Happy 7th Birthday, Conner!

Yesterday we celebrated Conner’s 7th birthday, which is beyond hard to believe.  SEVEN YEARS seems impossible for this lil guy, but it’s true and documented in Ukraine’s birth records that Conner’s birthday really is August 2, 2005.

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Today is the 5th month anniversary of Conner’s (and Cooper’s) homecoming.  It’s hard to believe the boys have only been in Texas for 5 months, and they’ve both made such tremendous progress.  The focus of today’s blog post is Conner’s 7th birthday and the progress he’s made, so I’m going to post some photos and measurements and accomplishments of our sweet boy.


Conner’s 15-year-old prayer warrior, Madison, made the above collage in honor of Conner’s 7th birthday.  The variety of photos of Conner over the past five months is a testament to the miraculous healing of our Jehovah Rapha.  Conner was so very sick and so very tiny when he came home on March 3, 2012.  He simply is not the same child.  Our pediatrician often reminds us of what love can do.  He says nutrition is only a small part of the equation, that LOVE is the main part.  Jesus is love, and the above photos are a reminder of His amazing love and faithfulness.  Praise Him!!!  Thank you, Madison, for this beautiful tribute.  Oh, and if you like the above photo collage, I have a feeling you’ll like Madison’s blog post wishing Conner a happy 7th birthday.  Click HERE to read it.  In February 2011, Madison committed to being “Oleg’s” (our Conner) prayer warrior and advocate.  She started THIS blog, prayed without ceasing for “Oleg”, and a year after Madison’s prayer commitment to Conner, he was officially adopted in Ukraine!  I’m so grateful for Madison and all she’s done (and continues to do) to bless our family!!!  (Did I ever mention that this is the same Madison who drew us the beautiful portrait of Chrissie?  Just another continuation of our “God Nod” journey!)


Pictures are worth 1,000 words, so here’s what Conner looked like on the day he arrived home (March 3, 2012), at the age of 6 years 7 months:


And here is what Conner looks like five months later, on August 2, 2012, at the age of 7 years:

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To God be all the glory, for great things He has done!


In 5 months, Conner has gone from wearing a size 1 diaper (for newborns) to a size 4 diaper!!!  And, as you can see from the above photo, he’s now HAPPY and HEALTHY!!!

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Conner is a little lovebug.  We’ve never had children with Down syndrome, but many people have shared with us how those who sport “designer genes” are often the most loving kiddos you’ll ever meet.  Even though Conner was badly neglected and abused for six years, he still knows how to love.  Do you know what the very first thing is that Conner does when a person picks him up?  He HUGS the person, each and every time.  And if you make a kiss sound, he’ll reach out and plant one on ya!

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While Conner isn’t biologically related to his Ukrainian brother, Cooper, he did spend his first six years in the same orphanage, in the same room/groupa, as Cooper, so they’re very much like biological brothers.  Almost everyone thinks they’re twins, and they sure act like it.  Silly “gooseballs” (as Chrissie would have said).


Conner does not yet know how to play appropriately with toys, but we’re working on it daily.  His favorite thing to do with anything, whether it be a toy, a book, a birthday gift, or any other item he can get his hands on, is THROW it.  Then he laughs with his signature deep belly laugh.


Conner can now climb our entire flight of stairs (crawling).  He also climbs out of his crib. :-)  He loves to swim and can get around the entire pool without assistance, as long as he has his lifejacket on.  He can stand alone.  He can take 4 steps without falling.  He cruises everywhere and he’s into everything.  All.  The.  Time.  Check out this video of Conner climbing a ladder at his physical therapy:

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Conner’s sparkling brown eyes and sweet smile will light up a room.  No words necessary.

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See what I mean?  Preciousness.


Oh, and Conner is now allowing us to spoon feed him!!!  Due to Conner being severely orally aversive, we truly didn’t think the day would ever come that Conner would allow anything in his mouth, other than his nutrition drink.  About a month ago, Conner started accepting a small spoon in his mouth, as long as it was smothered in sweet yogurt.  Today, Conner is allowing us to mix some baby foods in with the yogurt, so we’re moving toward total nutrition via baby food instead of relying 100% on liquid nutrition.  What an amazing accomplishment for our little man. :-)  So proud of him!


And for the number crunchers, here’s a list of Conner’s measurements/weights/sizes:

Weight (Conner has nearly doubled his weight in 5 months!!!)

  • 16 pounds (March 4, 2012)
  • 29 pounds (August 2, 2012)

Length (head to heel)

  • 32 1/4” (March 4, 2012)
  • 34” (April 1, 2012)
  • 36” (August 2, 2012)

Length (hip to heel)

  • 15” (March 4, 2012)
  • 16” (April 1, 2012)
  • 17” (August 2, 2012)

Length (shoulder to wrist)

  • 10” (March 4, 2012)
  • 10 1/2” (April 1, 2012)
  • 11” (August 2, 2012)

Waist circumference

  • 14” (March 4, 2012)
  • 17” (April 1, 2012)
  • 17 1/2” (August 2, 2012)

Wrist circumference

  • 3 1/2” (March 4, 2012)
  • 4” (April 1, 2012)
  • 4 1/2” (August 2, 2012)

Ankle circumference

  • 4” (March 4, 2012)
  • 4 1/2” (April 1, 2012)
  • 5 1/2” (August 2, 2012)

Upper thigh circumference

  • 7” (March 4, 2012)
  • 8” (April 1, 2012)
  • 10” (August 2, 2012)

Head circumference

  • 18” (March 4, 2012)
  • 18” (April 1, 2012)
  • 18 1/2” (August 2, 2012)

Clothing Sizes

  • Shirts—12 months (March 2012)
  • Pants/shorts—12 months (March 2012)
  • Shirts—3T (August 2012)
  • Pants/shorts—2T (August 2012)


  • Size 1 (March 2012)
  • Size 4 (August 2012)


And last, but not least, here’s a video of our family singing happy birthday to Conner:

Happy 7th birthday, sweet son.  We love you and we’re grateful God chose you to be a part of our family!

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