One month ago, we followed one of our families’ journeys as they traveled to China to bring their host child home forever. It was a reunion that they had been anxiously awaiting, and it was every bit as incredible as they hoped it would be. Now that they’ve had some time to get settled in with their daughter back at home, they’ve provided us with an update on how their transition is going. Click here to look back at their trip to China!
It seems crazy to think that our sweet daughter has been in her forever home for just over a month. We are constantly amazed at how well she is doing under the circumstances and the trauma she experienced in being removed from the only home (the orphanage) she has ever known and placed in a strange place, with unusual food and weird smells. She has adjusted extremely well and is picking up new English words and phrases on a daily basis. She understands so much English, much more than she can speak at this point, and her communication by hand motions is getting less and less. Some of her words sound similar and it can be a challenge to understand her pronunciation.
She knows her ABCs, her colors, and numbers to 10. When she arrived home, it was obvious that she had never done a puzzle before. She now wants to do puzzles on a daily basis and is getting faster at matching the pieces together. Most of them are 25 pieces but there is one that is 63. She is gaining strength in her legs and is getting much better at maneuvering the stairs. When she arrived home, she had difficultly with pedaling a tricycle. She has improved so much and now drives my pedal tractor on a daily basis. She loves to pedal as fast as she can. If you ask her her name, she can recite first, middle, and last names. She loves our dog, Bessie. She prefers when she is laying beside her or giving her kisses. She talks to her constantly about going outside to potty.
She spent a few days at our church preschool to ease her into transition to all day school and has been attending Kindergarten for a few weeks. She loves going to school and and knows her teacher’s name is Mrs. V. She asks for “more school” all the time. Her writing continues to improve, and I’m sure with extra services, like ELL (English Language Learners) and Title I, we will continue to see great progress.
We have kept pretty busy over the last month spending time with close friends and family. We have done fun things like visiting Curtis Orchard and the Great Pumpkin Patch. We have gone “swimming” and enjoyed play dates. We celebrated “C’s” birthday and she had fun making the cake, singing Happy Birthday, and helping to blow out the candles. She regularly tells us “no airplane, ‘L’ home.” It is obvious she is looking for reassurance that we are not sending her back to China.
We met our friend, Joy, for dinner recently so that she could hear and communicate in Mandarin. You could see the little wheels turning in her head as she concentrated and focused. It was apparent that she could interpret and understand her native language and she answered many questions by shaking her head yes or no. For some questions that Joy asked her in Mandarin, she would turn to me and respond in English.
If you have had the privilege to spend any time with ‘L’, you know she is always happy and smiling. She has brought so much joy to our lives in such a short-time and it is hard to imagine life before her presence graced our lives. I would also describe her as brave, resilient, cheerful, polite, sassy, ornery, loving, and smart. We fall more in love with her everyday.
We may not update the blog as frequently but will try to post when we hit special milestones. Thanks for continuing to follow our journey. Enjoy some pics from the last month.