Sunday, December 24, 2017

Happy Gotcha Day x ELEVEN (11) YEARS!!!

Good evening all,

Once again, it's Christmas Eve, and as always our thoughts drift between anticipating Santa's visit a little later, and remembering Kyle's first day as our first child.  What a wonderful gift we were blessed with eleven (11) years ago!!

I can close my eyes and still feel the excitement in that room, as all of the families in our adoption group met and held their children for the first time.  After all of the excitement at the Civil Affairs Office, we finally got him calmed down and back to the room and started the process of welcoming him into our life and family.  Occasionally, we'll revisit the posts in this story blog when some of our other children ask about what it was like for Kyle as he was adopted.  Each story in our family's history is so different, but it's unique for Kyle, because his was the first "story of a lifetime" we've he'd to chance to enjoy.

As we have for most of our Christmases as a family, even well B.K. (before kids), we are settled into Lisa's Mom & Dad's house in West Michigan.  We're looking forward to a white Christmas as the forecast is calling for 1-3" of snow over the next few hours.  Braving the 20 +/- degree temperatures, we (the kids and I) took a long walk around Grandma's neighborhood.  We walked down to the lake, which was frozen solid - to 6" thick!  We even met a few neighborhood boys who had cleared off a small plot to play ice-hockey.  We WALKED across the lake and then back around toward home.  It was a good day.

Later, our cousins, Paityn, Logan and Luke came over for Dinner and a visit.  As the evening wound down, the kids decorated sugar cookies for Santa.  Now the grown-ups are winding down...  So far, we're all a bit tired out, but still a good night.

Kyle has had a great start to his Middle School years, and his first trimester grades reflect the effort that he's applied to his studies (Lots of A+'s !).   He got a great result on a science project/presentation that he did.  If anyone has a need to bore to the center the earth, Kyle might be able to help since he designed a vehicle/machine that could do it!

We could not have e been prouder of him when we all went to see the Middle School Fall Concert at the school auditorium. Kyle's been able to develop some solid trumpet chops over the past few years.

We're waiting impatiently for introducing LAX workouts to start up.  After Season 1, Kyle's looking forward to this season to continue to contribute to his team and to grow as an athlete.

He makes us very proud when he shoulders the role of "Big Brother" for Dylan, for Ryan, and especially for his new, youngest brother Tyler.  Even though Tyler is growing bigger each day, Kyle still insists on piggy-backing him around - and Tyler plays this for every inch!!

We've had a busy Fall since his birthday, and so here are a few photos of some of the many activities and fun we've had...

Winterthur Gardens (Delaware)

Thanksgiving at Uncle Sean's

HersheyPark Happy

Kyle and Little Sis Ashley

HersheyPark at Christmas

Fall Hiking on the Wissahickon Trail (near Forbidden Drive)

We Love you very much, Kyle and look forward to every new anniversary of your Gotcha Day.  Our Christmas Eves are always more special...
Love,  Mom & Dad

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Happy 12th Birthday Kyle!!

Hello again, Dad here with another drive-by post - this time to note Kyle's 12th Birthday.  Happy Birthday, Kyle.

There have been lots of changes in the time since last post (including Kyle's 10th anniversary of becoming the oldest Lockhead child!)...
Can it really be 10 + years already?  The memories seem so vivid when we look back at his adoption trip photos and postings here. 

Kyle has advanced to MIddle School, and just started this 3-year adventure as a 6th Grader.  He's made a great start and his diligence and effort is already showing results as he's gotten super grades so far for all of the tests/quizzes/projects he's completed.  It's still early in the first trimester, but all systems are "Go" thus far.

Lacrosse is now his sport of choice and he's been a contributor on his Souderton LAX team - he plays with many of his schoolmates and seems to really enjoy it.  He scored two goals in his first game - for a great start to his career.  We're looking forward to him ramping up with off-season (fall/winter) workouts and clinics, and he is excited to start spring practice for next season.

Our family was fortunate enough to be able to vacation this spring in Punta Cana (Dom. Rep.)  Everyone had a great week - the weather cooperated and the week was chock full of sand, swimming, sailing and great meals.

As our family grows together, Kyle has become a strong positive role model for his youngest brother Tyler (as well as his other siblings).  He really looks up to Kyle and Kyle always tries to set good examples.  It was a bit of an adjustment for Tyler this school year, since Kyle now catches the "early" school bus - but the timing of Kyle's bus still allows everyone to say good-bye to Kyle as they're getting started on their breakfasts.  Tyler still like to have the occasional piggy-back ride from his big brother, but now that T-Bone's getting bigger, this is getting to be more and more challenging!

In the spring as we prepped for another "Summer with Dad", we made a huge list of stuff to do:  Parks, Museums, Gardens, Bike Rides, and all other manner of activities.  Our summer was spent attacking the list!  We covered a LOT of ground, while working our days around Doctor/Therapy appointments.  Though we had our ups and downs, we definitely made some great memories.  As they say, you can't hit a Home Run every time you come to the plate, but we sure seemed to hit lots of doubles and triples!

We trekked to Michigan to visit Grandma, Poppa, Uncle Mark and our cousins.  We spent some quality time at Uncle Mark's Lake Michigan cottage, went fishing in Gandma's neighborhood pond, and even went on a wild dune ride in Saugatuck.  We also met up with our Goddard School friends (except for Ben's family, who had a previous commitment).  We had a great time seeing the Faders on one of their trips back to the US from their stay in Japan.

We also jammed in a Southern California Vacation. On the intinerary were San Diego, DelMar Beach, Seal Beach, Huntington Beach (and Lunch at Ruby's Diner), LaJolla, Dana Point, driving the PCH to LA, The Marine Mammal Rescue Center, Disneyland and Disney's CA Adventure.  It was a great week of fun.

It seems strange not going to China this year (as we have in the past two consecutive years to adopt Ryan and Tyler).  We have made our last adoption trip and our family seems complete. And, I suppose I'll need to get adjusted to the fact that we might not return to China for a few more years.  We're hopeful that we can plan a trip where we can visit all of the children's home provinces/cities - that take some time to put together and we're still far from being emotionally prepared for such a journey.  But at least we now have a long-term goal in our minds so that we can start to think about the wheres, whens and hows of finally getting back "home" for them.

But for now, it's time for Kyle to begin the last year of the road to teenagerhood!

We are very proud of the person you've become and are excited to see what fun and success you'll experience in the next year.

We love you very much and are looking forward to continuing this journey.
Mom & Dad

Now for the pictures!...
Kyle on the afternoon he joined our Family.  In Nanchang, Jiangxi, China. (How'd that one get in there!?)

First Day of 6th Grade

Cookout with ALL of Dad's Family

Kyle's 12th Birthday - TODAY!

At Cape Henlopen Park

First LAX Game (Scored 2x)

Promotion Day - Last Day as a 5th Grader

Kyle Presenting His Project on Pop - to Grandma and Pop!

Sneaking a Look During an LAX timeout.

Spring Concert 2017 with Dylan

DW Bumper Cars with Ashley

Huntington Beach, CA at Sunset, after a great day!

Washington DC Zoo

NOT PHOTOSHOPPED - Kyle Back-Flipping

The Blizzard of 2017

The Goddard School Crew

Huntington Beach, CA Surfing's Ground Zero

Longwood Gardens

Punta Cana

Sailing in Punta Cana

Tubing on the Delaware River

Late Summer Day at the Beach in Stone Harbor, NJ

At the Museum of the American Revolution

Flight Simulator at the AMC (Air Mobility Command) at Dover DE AFB

Feeding the Goats at Lehigh Valley Zoo

At the Flyers Game with Dad & Dylan

Getting ready for a Pull on Lake Michigan by Uncle Mark (with Ryan and Cousin Luke)

Friday, September 30, 2016

Happy Birthday - 11 Years Old Today!

Good Evening again...time for a quick Post for Kyle's 11th Birthday.

It's been a very busy last few months, and Kyle's knee-deep in playing a bit of catch-up after a late start in school.  It's OK, since we were in China welcoming Kyle's new little brother, Tyler, to the Lockhead family.  Kyle has done a great job of staying on top of all of his school responsibilities.  He's enjoying being a 5th grader - his last year before he transitions to Middle School.  He's made new friends and reconnected with old friends, too.  It's been a bit of a gut-check for us (M&D) since the time between his Goddard School days and his last year in Elementary School has simply melted away before our eyes.  He is developing into a handsome, confident and capable little boy.  We could not be more proud.

We spent 3 weeks on our trip to China in late August and early September and Kyle has already played a really important role in helping Tyler learn some of the routines and structure in our family.  Tyler is very fond of Kyle as well.  It was stressful at times, but his behavior was stellar for the entire trip, and he helped in every way he could.  He is a great traveler and understands the importance of doing what's necessary to make his way through airport security and immigration lines.  He's been an excellent example for his brothers and sister.

We're coming off a busy summer with lots of road trips and days jammed with bike rides and skate park trips.  Kyle has gotten continuously better on his skateboard, mastering the drop in on the medium half-pipe.  He is very persistent, and won't quit - a tremendous quality that will help him throughout his life.

In the spring, we made a trip to Cancun (this time to a new resort - with Grandma and Poppa).  We also visited Myrtle Beach this summer, and had a great time there, too.  Lots of Beach Time!  He ran his first Color Dash, too.  Kyle has gotten really good on the trumpet and participated in the spring concert.  This fall, he's hoping to join a Lacrosse Team with some of his friends.

Here are some other highlights...

Kyle & His Friend in Harrisburg (4th Grade Class Trip)

 Test Driving the New Trampoline

Family Time in Cancun, MX

 On the Swan Boats at the Philly Zoo

Tobogganing down the Great Wall of China (Again!!!)

 Cooling Off - Tubing in the Delaware River This Summer

 A Late Afternoon Stroll on Pawley's Island, SC

Lost in Lost River Caverns

"Green you're Mean...Red you're Dead" 

 At the ColorDash Finish Line

Chinese Lantern Festival (Franklin Park, Philadelphia)

Snorkeling in Cancun, MX 

 Cooling Off in Cancun, MX

 Our 4th Grade Reading Olympian

 Building Birdhouses at our local Ace Hardware

The Museum of Natural History in NYC

 Snow Tubing during one of the snowstorms of the Winter

Touring the Martin Guitar Factory this summer

Water Ice (after our Cheesesteaks) in South Philly
with Uncle Mark and Logan

About to take off at the Helicopter Museum in West Chester, PA
(One of our many Summer Day Trips with Dad) 

 Team Lockhead at the ColorDash

Touring the Li River near Guilin,
in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China.
(Passing through the same canyons
pictured on the 20 Yuan Chinese Note...
That's why we're holding them up!!) 

Easter 2016

Kyle & Tyler at Tyler Arboretum
(...just a coincidence...)

Visitors from Japan - the Faders!!
(and the Lees, too, but they're not from Japan...)

Chris Botti... uuhhh, Wait... That's Kyle on Trumpet

We can't wait to see what surprises the coming year will hold for him - and for us.

We're excited to watch you advance to Middle School.
We love you very much and are very proud of all that you've accomplished.
All our Love on Birthday # 11!
Mom & Dad