This week I was speaking with one of my students, a girl who moved here with her parents from China when she was ten years old.  I was telling her that Aidan never responded to his Chinese name when I called him by it, even though I tried multiple variations.  She said that Chinese parents call their children by the last syllable of their name, repeated twice.  So Peng Yan Shen was Shen Shen.  My translator did tell me, when I asked on our third or fourth day, that she heard the orphanage staff calling him this, but I think that by then he was already used to answering to honey so at that point he didn't respond to Shen Shen, either.  I do wish I had known this before meeting him, though, so I'm posting it here for anyone else getting ready to adopt.

Here are some things that Aidan has learned lately:

*  He loves peanuts and peanut butter and that is carrying over to peanut butter sandwiches, as well.
*  His shadow is not something to be frightened by and it is always with him.
*  The shamrock of St. Patrick's Day decorations can also be found on his Boston Celtic pajamas, so he wore them for the holiday instead of dressing up.
*  He loves to swing now that he has been shown how to pump.
*  Watching sap boil is boring, but checking on the sap buckets and organizing the bottles to be filled is fun.
*  Although he loves to volunteer to help with chores, he does not like being assigned to do things and responds with, "That's not my job," then does it when I tell him that it is if I say it is.  He doesn't even argue with me, so I think the expression is currently popular at daycare with the kids his age.
*  He loves Diego, though he still thinks he is a real boy and wants us to take him to play with him sometime.
*  He loves Sponge Bob, though he doesn't think he's real.
*  He loves Spider Man but he wants to dress up as Batman some time; he said he wanted to have the ears and everything and be scary like Batman.
*  He loves pinwheels but if the wind is too strong, they will blow away.

Overall, his language is absurdly proficient for being here only five months.


Our new son finally has a name-Aidan Marcus.

I was concerned about the Aidan, even though it is a name I love, because it was the second most popular name in the U.S. in 2006, and I like our children to have unique names.  But we all like it, and it was LB's favorite.  She especially likes that it means, "Little Fire". 

His middle name came from the family-our nephew who died in June.  I've been waiting for G to talk with his sister and make sure it was okay, and she thinks it's wonderful.  Marcus was actually named after a football player, but the name Marcus comes originally from Mars, the Roman God of War.  So I'm thinking, Oh great, this kid is going to be someone to keep up with!

I wanted to name him Yan Aidan Marcus to preserve some of his heritage, but G was against that, so I'll probably call him Yan Aidan until he is used to the Aidan, eventually switching it to Young Aidan and then just plain Aidan.


We have learned that our son's favorite game is hide-and-seek and he loves to play with plastic cars.  He runs really fast and the other kids can't keep up with him.  He is talkative, active, and an extrovert.  He sounds like your average four year old boy.

He is tall for his age and can do many things for himself, like brush his teeth, wash his hands, and fold up his own quilt each morning.  He was found in early May, 2004 and his birth was estimated at April 28.  He lived for about 20 days in police custody before going to foster care/group home where he has been since.

Today we sent off the letter of acceptance.  Thought we'd encountered a slight snag with the name, because forms asked for the name we would give him.  We haven't decided on a name because we didn't know if our child would be a boy or girl, what his/her face looked like, or what the existing name was.  So we checked with the China specialist at our agency and they called back to say that we could leave it blank.  One of my brothers says that we have to give him an all-American name so that he doesn't have the stigma of being completely different from the rest of his family/neighborhood.  I think that was a good point, though the name will probably be more Gaelic than American, in keeping with our other children.

I also spoke to our Chinese teacher (each year our school hosts a different teacher from China) and she told me that I was pronouncing his Chinese name correctly and that it was a good name.  She said he was a very handsome boy (I agree).  So we'll have to give this some thought and decide what we like and how/if we are going to use Yan in the name.  People often use the original name as a middle name and for a while call their child by both the first and middle names, eventually just using the new first name.

Also, travel to China is unlikely this summer since the Olympic games are in Beijing and Yan lives there.  So I have asked our agency if we can send a care package to him during the ensuing wait.  It would be awesome if we could send pictures, video, letters, anything.