Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Videos of Cooper and Conner

I posted the following videos on Facebook of Cooper and Conner swimming and enjoying the pool, but wanted to post them here as well. 


Conner is a natural swimmer, without floaties!  Who would have thought this little forgotten bundle of love would be swimming just a year after his adoption?  Yep, this is the same boy whose orphanage director tried to talk us out of adopting him because he wouldn’t be able to ever do anything.  Our God is in the business of shedding light on darkness and displaying hidden treasures for His glory, and we feel so very blessed that He entrusted us to care for Conner.  We rejoice in the One who transformed this lifeless, nearly-dead, hidden in captivity, 16-pound six-year-old orphan into this new creation, a blossoming treasure, discovered, chosen, loved, growing, thriving, and flourishing in every way!  With God, all things are possible!


Conner is a BUSY BODY, to say the least.  He is like a little tornado, full of energy ALWAYS.  Conner is into everything, but he hasn’t yet learned to play with toys appropriately.  He throws every single item he can possibly get his hands on, and he turns into Stretch Armstrong in order to reach items.  He’s also SUPER QUICK.  He’s able to reach out and grab items quicker than a Chameleon grabs a fly with his tongue.  It’s crazy!  We haven’t found any successful way(s) to teach Conner not to grab and throw every item he can possibly reach.  He understands many words, including “no”, but he doesn’t obey them.  He laughs and laughs and laughs any time he throws something; he just thinks it’s great fun. 


Conner uses/understands about 30 signs, but he doesn’t use them to communicate…yet.  He will show us the sign if we say the word, but Conner doesn’t proactively communicate with us using signs…yet.  Conner loves to GO (as in walk, run, and climb), and his strength amazes us.  Even though he’s hypotonic, he has some crazy strength.  He’s actually flipped over heavy tables and chairs, all for a good laugh.  Conner has to have someone with him 100% of the time in order to be safe, but he’s so full of joy, laughter, hugs, and love that he blesses whoever is on “Conner duty”. Smile


Oh how blessed we are to not only be blessed with one of God’s precious treasures, but TWO!  Cooper also spent the first six years of his life in the same captivity as Conner, tucked away in a dark room in a lonely orphanage in Ukraine.  He had severe unrepaired bilateral club foot and was unable to stand for the first six years of his life. 


This video shows a glimpse of Cooper’s transformation.  He is now walking, climbing, and using sign language.  Cooper is A LOT more stubborn than Conner, so he has to have strong motivation to want to use his sign language.  Fortunately, Cooper LOVES to swim and be tossed into the pool, so he’s eager to use his sign language to communicate his desire for more swimming! 


Cooper is looking like such a big boy these days.  Gone are the baby days.  Hello big boy days!  We are going to work on potty training this summer.  Cooper has had success with using the toilet over the past year, but with his being in school and his stubborn spirit, he hasn’t complied as much as school.  At home, he rarely has an accident.  However, we have kept him in diapers, and this summer we’re going to put on big-boy underwear and see if we can get Cooper potty trained.  We believe he can do it, he just doesn’t like to communicate, so we’ll keep him on a toileting schedule and pray that one day he’ll communicate to us that he needs to go. Smile


Cooper loves to play with toys that make music and light up.  He also loves to watch TV/movies and play on the iPad.  Coopie also likes to people watch!  Oh, and he loves to play “honk, honk” with people’s noses and rub his hand on Daddy’s beard/goatee.  Cooper’s very favorite activity is swimming, hands down.  He’s pretty laid back, but he much prefers to have a predictable schedule that doesn’t vary in the slightest.  The more we’ve gotten to know Cooper, the better we understand that he has many autistic tendencies, but as long as we do everything we possibly can to help keep Cooper’s daily routine the same, the easier it is for Cooper.  He’s taught us so much, and we feel so very blessed God chose us to be Cooper’s forever family.

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