Yup…. It’s a broken wrist!

Parker’s life never seems to slow down. I just got word from Parker’s dad that Parker had to be taken to the ER earlier this evening for a quick emergency.

It all started when Parker’s mom, Erica, went to pick him up from school. Parker came out to meet her and was soooo excited to go home and tell her about his day. As they turned to start walking home, Parker fell/sat backwards onto the ground.  It was almost as if his body was ready to move but his feet didn’t want to follow.

As a little background…Over the course of the past three years of treatment, Parker has not only received a lot of chemotherapy, but also a lot of steroids to boost the strength of his body while the chemo beats it down.  One of the many side effects of this combination has been excessive nerve tissue damage in his feet.

Parker resting his Left Wrist while waiting for the Doctors.

Parker resting his Left Wrist while waiting for the Doctors.

After Parker’s dad got home, he took him to the Children’s Hospital ER, had an XRay taken and sure enough -they were informed that Parker had broken his wrist.  So the ER Doctor gave him a temporary cast and informed them to contact the Ortho Doctors tomorrow to schedule an appointment for an “official” cast.

So it will be another busy day/week for the Shantons.

I think Parker just wanted to be like one of his heroes, Olympian and his first World Tour host, Paul Martin!! Paul’s hand healed fast, so here’s hoping Parker’s does too! We will keep you updated!!!!


An Evening with the Red Wings & Coach Babcock!

I’m in transit to my new country( I WILL ARRIVE TOMORROW NIGHT!!!! ), but I just got word that Parker had a fun evening back home in Detroit…  Here’s what his Dad told me about Parker’s fun hockey night.

Mike Babcock, the coach of the Detroit Red Wings, (and the Coach of the Gold Medal Canadian Team in Sochi) has a close relationship with the Children’s Hospital of Michigan.  He invites children fighting cancer(1 child per game) to a backstage tour and to have a chat with him before the game.  Well, tonight was Parker’s night!

IMG_4669Parker and his dad arrived a couple hours before game-time to the Joe Louis Arena downtown Detroit.  Upon entering a special door used by the media, we were greeted by the Red Wing’s Relations Manager Christy.  We had to wait for a few minutes for the coach to finish a meeting with the team, then we were quickly brought into a back area where Fox News and other broadcasters were filming interviews.  As we stood off to the side, Christy said we may want to stand back a little more because the Red Wings were about to come out and start kicking around a soccer ball!!  Parker thought this was great!! Until one of them allowed it to bounce past him and it hit Parker’s stroller.   Don’t tell anyone, but it was Johan Franzen. :-)


Within a minute, out came Coach Babcock to greet Parker.  The Coach brought Parker and his Dad to locker room, then into the Coaches offices where they met all of the other coaches.   Then he sat down in Coach Babcock’s office and had a one to one chat with this great guy.  He first asked Parker about his cancer treatment and encouraged him to ‘Battle Hard’.  I guess that’s his way of saying to ‘Finish Strong’.  Then Parker asked him a couple questions.  First on Parker’s list……  What’s your favorite restaurant?    He said when he wants to eat Fast Food, it’s usually Taco Bell.  Parker liked that answer!

Time flew by, then it was time to finish our tour and find our seats.  Christy walked us back through the long hallway where now BOTH TEAMS were kicking around soccer balls and the press were everywhere.  IMG_2753As we turn the next corner, she walked us up to the ice, and we got to look at the goals up close and a Zamboni.  Then we headed up the elevator and to our seats.  In the end, the Red Wings FINISHED STRONG, beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2.  It was a fun night for Parker, and also a first….. It was his 1st HOCKEY GAME!  Parker has always loved Red Wings hockey and his interest has skyrocketed since getting to know Paul Martin.  In fact, he thought about wearing Paul’s #7 jersey, but we thought otherwise just for tonight.  So, he wore his Red Wings Jersey.   Thanks Coach Babcock and the Red Wings…. It was truly appreciated!!!

The Phone Call

Last night was amazing… and exactly what Parker needed.  This is going to be a rough week with his spinal tap and chemo treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan tomorrow.

Parker received a phone call from my buddy, PAUL MARTIN!!!!!! Yes, the same Paul Martin who plays for the Pittsburgh Penguins and took me to the Olympics in Sochi, Russia!!!  Oh, and he also sent Parker an Olympic hockey jersey and the signed photo!! When Parker opened the mail on Monday, he let out a happy scream when we saw the signed photo and immediately ran it over to the refrigerator!! (a sacred place for only the most special things!)photo 2-2

Paul called to wish Parker the best and to Finish Strong on Wednesday at the hospital. Parker was prepared and had a list of questions for Paul. The two of them discussed everything from Paul’s favorite food in Russia (borscht), his favorite superheros (Superman), and whether he played with Legos when he was little (yes, of course!) Paul bounced back and asked Parker lots of questions and the two had a great time getting to know each other!

One of Parker’s first questions was if the cast was off Paul’s hand, which was injured during the game vs Slovakia. Paul told him the cast was off and the physical therapy was going well. Parker explained how we wrapped his hand just like Paul’s when he saw the photos from Russia of Paul’s injury and hoped he also Finished Strong.

Parker had a HUGE smile on his face as Mike and Erica tucked him into bed…though he did get up twice, just too excited to sleep!! Tonight is he is resting up for a very difficult day tomorrow at the hospital starting at 7:30 am. We will provide updates tomorrow but wanted to thank Paul Martin for taking the time to make a HUGE impact on Parker and his entire family. He is an amazing person and kind to continue to follow Parker’s and his fight against leukemia.

Last post from China with Courtney, Jeremy and Parker2

I can’t believe it’s finally time for them to go home.  I have been so lucky to share this amazing experience with them – and its been less than two weeks!!! For Courtney and Jeremy, it’s been a very long, crazy journey.  There were times when she thought they would never be able to adopt again.  They started the process to adopt from Vietnam again shortly after bringing Tai home seven years ago!!  When Vietnam closed, they switched to China.  It took 3 1/2 years, but they were finally able to adopt Parker!  When they switched to China, they expected to be adopting a girl.  But Courtney always had a feeling deep down that she wanted another boy. So this was meant to be!!!

They know that Parker has a long way to go, but we are so happy with how well he is doing.  Regardless of how good the orphanage is that he was at, the truth is that there are way too many kids and not enough people to take care of them.  They don’t receive all of the love, food, etc that they need.  Living like that for two years is going to cause a child to have trust and attachment issues.  Parker is doing great so far though.  He knows they are his mom and dad, and we are all so happy with how he is attaching to them. It’s amazing to see.  And regardless of how much he acts like Sticky Rice, Courtney and Jeremy are always going to love him.  They keep saying how lucky they are to be his parents!

We had an amazing time in China and wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.  It’s a beautiful country.  They said they will always do their best to teach Parker about his culture and make him proud to be from China. (Courtney left me with a personal note to share with everyone on my blog and Facebook about International adoption which I will share this week)Guang4

Thank you to everyone back home for your love and support for Courtney, Jeremy and Parker2 during this process.  They can’t wait for everyone back home to meet him!! Maybe someday, Parker will even get to meet Parker2!!!  Until they do, may they both Finish Strong in all they do!!

US Consulate

Everything went well at the US Consulate today.  There were a lot of other families there at the same time.  We did a group oath, turned in some papers, and that was about it.  But he now has his VISA!!  Parker still isn’t feeling that great and that resulted in some major Sticky Rice meltdowns. But he did great as he dressed up for our photos in his traditional dress.  We had to get take out and eat dinner on the hotel room floor, because there was no way he was going to behave at a restaurant!!

Jeremy and Courtney are so ready to take Parker home!!

Tomorrow at noon I will share our final post from China just before they leave Beijing to return to Louisville. Courtney said I will be safe in Beijing until my next location sometime this week.  I think it will be a tough week – seeing my new friends leave and thinking about Parker who goes through a spinal tap and chemo treatment back in Detroit on Wednesday.

Shamian Island Trip

Poor Sticky Rice is sick!  We had plans to go to Shamian Island with a group and he seemed ok in the morning.  But we noticed that he wasn’t as energetic and wouldn’t eat once we had left.  We got in a little bit a shopping, and then he started throwing up.  I feel so bad for him.  Courtney gave him some medicine.  We’re waiting to see how he feels in the morning before deciding if we need to take him to the doctor.
Other than Parker being sick, Shamian Island was beautiful.  I loved all of the old buildings.  It didn’t look like China at all.  It’s very European.  We were also able to eat outside by the river and have a nice group dinner.  The other families leave here the day after tomorrow.  We only have one full day left as well.  It seems like forever ago that we were in Beijing.  We are very ready to come home!  It makes me sad to think about leaving China though. and I will miss Sticky Rice!!  I really love it in Guangzhou. Jeremy and Courtney do too…Courtney said one day when their boys are older, she wants to bring them back to Vietnam and China to see the beautiful places where they were born.

The next few days will go fast. Courtney and Jeremy have one last appointment at the US Consulate in the morning back in Guangzhou.  Then to Beijing where Courtney, Jeremy and Sticky Rice will leave.  They said I have another exciting place to go as well!!!

Buddhist Temple and the Chen Family House

Yesterday we started off the day by going to a Buddhist Temple.  It was beautiful and a really neat experience.  We participated in a ceremony where a Buddhist monk blessed us in the temple.  We weren’t allowed to take pictures during that part.  Parker (aka – Sticky Rice) never moved during it.  He was fascinated by the monk.  No one else wanted to participate in the blessing, but we thought it was an awesome way to experience the Chinese culture.  It was such a peaceful place.

After the temple, we headed over to the Chen Family House.  It’s a folk arts museum now but a long time ago it was The Chen Clan Academy (Chinese: 陈家祠; ), an academic temple in Guangzhou (Canton), China built by the 72 Chen clans for their juniors’ accommodation and preparation for the imperial examinations in 1894 in Qing Dynasty.  Later it was changed to be the Chen Clan’s Industry College, and then middle schools afterward. Now it houses the Guangdong Folk Art Museum (广东民间工艺博物馆). It was also a peaceful place where we could just walk around outside and check everything out.  It was so nice outside today.  It was sunny, in the 60′s, and not much smog.  We heard a smog warning was just issued for later in the week. Maybe we will be gone before that hits!

Parker (Sticky Rice) took a nice long nap and then we went to dinner at a little Australian restaurant and walked around the park.  It was a great day!  Today we are heading Shamian Island and Courtney is hoping to get some shopping done there.

We’re in Guangzhou!!

We just got to the hotel in Guangzhou.  It was a very long day.  We left the hotel in Wuhan at 1:30pm.  We went to the government center for some final paperwork and picked up Parker’s passport after lots of waiting. Then we made it back to the hotel to finish packing.  Long story short, our flight was delayed and we did a lot of sitting around the airport.  That was not what Sticky Rice had in mind for the day.  The plane was disgusting, and he screamed for the first 10 minutes….like REALLY screamed!  He did okay considering how the day had gone though.  It’s late but the good news is that we’re here, the hotel is amazing, and Guangzhou looks like a lot of fun.  They knew we are adopting a boy from China and left a wonderful care package.  We have Parker’s medical exam in the morning and then we’re going to explore.

We also just learned that Tai has a stomach bug.  Courtney said he’s never sick, so of course it would happen when we’re in China.  : (

We are here for a few days then back to Beijing and then Courtney, Jeremy AND Parker head back to the US!!! I will enjoy the next few days with them!!!

Parker’s New Nickname: “Sticky Rice”

So I will start where we left off with our last post. Parker decided to lock himself in the bathroom yesterday.  We are all quickly finding out that he is a sneaky little guy.  He just kept knocking on the door and then we would hear him giggle.  Courtney and Jeremy were VERY close to breaking down the door. Jeremy is brilliant and was able to pick the lock with a spoon!!!  Yes, we broke into the bathroom with a spoon!!!! I think Parker was disappointed we figured it out!

We went to the Hubei Provincial Museum today.  We saw the tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng and all of the artifacts that were discovered.  It was pretty neat, but Parker was not interested.  We were looking at a map there and did learn that the part of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon that takes place in the bamboo forest was filmed right by Parker’s province.  I wish we could have gone there.  His province is actually a couple hours from where we’re staying.

He’s also very stubborn.  He does not like his stroller and insists Courtney carry him EVERYWHERE!!  She said her arms are so sore!! She tries to put him down and he won’t let go of her!!! Heheeee!! (Jeremy gets to carry me, but I am pretty light…and don’t lock myself in bathrooms!)  We’re hoping Parker does okay on the flight tomorrow to Guangzhou. He does great at the hotel, but he’s having some trouble when we go out.  I guess he’s not used to going out and gets pretty fussy.

We went out and walked around tonight and checked out a street market that only happens at night.  Parker just wanted to go back to the hotel.  I think it will help once we have a stroller.  Our guide said that the Chinese call children like Parker “Sticky Rice” because they are stubborn.  Ha ha!!  I guess that’s his new nickname!!

Yellow Crane Tower

We went to the Yellow Crane Tower yesterday.  It is a famous and historic tower and one of the four great towers of China.  It’s been rebuilt many times throughout history due to warfare and fires.  It was very pretty and had great views of the Yangtze River that goes behind our hotel.

Parker is still doing great.  He’s still eating like crazy.  The hotel calls our guide each day to ask him when we will be at breakfast so they can make Parker’s food.  We really don’t like being at breakfast at a certain time, but we go along with it because they put so much effort into having his breakfast ready.  We walked around the city for a while today.  Parker is not interested in riding in the carrier, and he wont let Courtney put him down for a second and her arms are killing her!  :-)  We found a Starbucks so that made Jeremy and Courtney VERY happy.

Our guide translated all of the information the orphanage wrote about Parker in his album they gave him.  It said what his daily routine was and talked about how much they love him.  It made Courtney cry.  She and Jeremy are really thankful for everything they did for him.

Oh and Parker decided to lock himself in our hotel bathroom tonight. More on that in next post!!!

We’re heading to a museum tomorrow and will then start packing up our stuff to leave for Guangzhou.