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Monday, April 23, 2012

3 months HOME


That's ALOT of wheels!!!!!


What does HOME for 2 months look like? OK, This was going to be 2 months-but it has turned into THREE months home-where did the last month go??
Well, for each family achieving this milestone, I am sure it looks very different.
On any given day, it can run a whole gamut of emotions, reactions, events,
BUT
I have to say, again, we are truly blessed.
While not issue-less, it has been a very good transition.
Rosalyn and Lilianna are doing well.
They know they are HOME.
They know we are mama and daddy.
they know they have cousins who love and accept them!
They know they have 5 other siblings, which brings with it the issues of sharing, chores, sharing, playing together, sharing, and more sharing.
I think, for Lili, the hardest obstacle to be overcome is the need to share, and get along with others in the same home.
She is used to being spoiled, having everything to herself, including mama and daddy, and doing whatever she wants to, whenever she wants to.
Structure, sharing, and being told "no" are not things she has wanted to adjust to, but, yet, schedule and structure are 2 things that I see really making a difference in her life.
She loves her 2 little brothers. They are together much of the day.Yet, without a moment's notice, she can decide she is "done with them" and get quite ornery with them.
They play, then they need to be separated. Then she can't stand it, and HAS to be back in close proximity to them again, then she gets mad at them again and wants her space.



She is really feeling her way along here quite slowly.
It is hard to give up that ME-centeredness that she has lived in for 6 years.
I am so thankful for her foster family. She clearly loved them, and grieved for her losses.
It had to be rough going from the only 1 to 1 of 7 overnight.
And throw in 4 boys, 3 who are rough and tumble, and oh my, her little world can be in a tail spin for hours on end some days.
Yet, the beauty of it is that when I can't stand it anymore, and actually separate them (especially she and Isaiah) SHE initiates the "lets play together" every time.
SHE always comes to him altho, it could be more worrying about what he is doing in that other room without her, than actually wanting to be by him:)
We love her spunk, her energy and her quick wit. She picks up on routines very quickly, and has a HUGE desire to be mama's helper. Not so of the others-she would rather hang laundry with me, or set the table with me, than anyone else-I suppose from that 1 on 1 time with her foster mama that she had for 6 years.
Doing chores with a sibling usually brings frowns, sneaking away, and outright fits of despair.
BUT, she is starting to like being with the others doing chores outside,
Her language is slowly coming-I believe her comprehension is coming along pretty good, yet there are times when I feel she has not gained much from the first month home-and her expressive is very slow-her speech is not clear at all, and of course, her sounds she makes are very unclear and not like the english sounds we are trying to teach her.
We are pursuing some physical issues throughout April, so hopefully we can clarify if it is sinus or throat related, or speech related soon.
But she sure gets an A for effort.
At school time, when I work with Isaiah on his speech, she is right there, trying everything.
She gets some concepts like matching, and "the same", can match colors altho she can't name the colors, can button, put pony tails in her own hair, and scribble feriously for a long time. Her coloring skills aren't there yet-if she initiates coloring, it is usually scribbling-if I say, lets color, she can pout, do a horrid scribble job, and look away, and has very little interest in coloring a picture so that it resembles the picture.
Seems to be one of her little Lili-isms-when it's her idea, its a good one, when it's someone else's idea- NO WAY!!!
and pout, oh my goodness-she can stick that lower lip out yet-altho we don't have the tantrums we saw in China. She has figured out that screaming and such get her NO WHERE-
She is not good at sitting still. Not even to eat.
She bounces, twirls her hair-yes even with syruppy fingers-lays her head on the table, wolfs her food and then can't stand to sit there till we are all done, drinks gallons of milk at a time, and is a bit of a picky eater-she is not always so fond of our American diet, and altho she will eat most things put in front of her, we can really tell when she doesn't care for it-it takes FOREVER to disappear.
We love her hugs, her loves, her excitement over one of us coming home, she clearly loves mama and daddy, and we know she loves her siblings, it is just been a hard adjustment to learning how to love them and live with them 24/7.

guess who's pigtails???


waiting at the clinic today for one of Lili's appointments-more on that later!!!!

Rosie watching out for her little sister!


Lili learned to ride her bike in about 2 afternoons of trying diligently to master it-she is a hard worker when it is something that interests her-and she LOVES her bike-except for the other day when it "happened" to veer into a mud puddle, sucking her down and throwing her off, and giving her a good bump on the head-she was MAD at her bike, kicked it, and took it to the garage to be done with it for the day, grumbling at murmuring at it the whole way!! She is fine tho, although it was her biggest bruise so far!

NO, it really wasn't that bad, but Kendell thinks ACE bandages make everyone feel better-a regular size bandaid actually covered the scrape just fine but we love her big sis's show of compassion:)

She is truly a diamond in the rough, and we look so forward to smoothing out her rough spots, and loving on her and teaching her what FAMILY is all about.
ROSIE


Rosalyn is just a gem. She has the biggest smile, and it shines on her face MOST of the time.

She has made a smooth transition to having 6 siblings, as she was so used to all the action of her foster home, and all the children that were cared for there.
Rosie loves doing dishes. That is one job we can hardly give to anyone else-that may be when we see a pout-yet, while she loves doing them, she can dawdle, and take quite a bit of time, so sometimes, due to time issues, Nick or Kendell (or Mama) will insist on washing.
Being outside is definitely a favorite event each day. She is doing quite well with feeding the calves, and carrying grain and water to the calves is something she can do on her own now, without much supervision or guidance.
Playing with Isaac and Isaiah outside are tops on her list too-she really likes to be involved with them, altho we do have to be careful, as Rosie gets quite into her play, and sometimes forgets there are little ones who are trying to sneak away from her:)
School time is also something she really seems to like-of course, I really think it is the structure and "sameness" of the days when we are on schedule and do what we did the day before.
There is really something about structure that is freeing to children. Days without school time can be unsettled for her, and even put her in a bit of a funk for awhile.
Yes, she is a teenager, we see some days of emotional ups and downs.
Sometimes, its just plain crossness and crankiness. Some days, it might be just over-tiredness rearing its ugly head. Rose is a girl who just seems to need that downtime of an afternoon nap/rest each day.
She is MUCH happier in the evening on days when she gets that rest time.
Rose is not afraid to go places, yet it can be quite unsettling to her "schedule" and even days with visitors, or going to church, while lots of fun, can throw her next day off completely.
Eating is something that ebbs and flows. Some days she eats anything, some days she picks at everything-I suppose emotions and hormones can come into play-sometimes I want to think its just a bit of contrariness-it certainly seems like it could be some days.
We are doing lots of 1st grade math right now-lots of repetition, lots of drill work, lots of going over and over the same stuff-some days skip counting flows, some days it's gone.
Some days she can identify dimes, nickels and pennies, some days, it's gone.
We started working on time-that seems to be something she really wants to get-so I think it will come quickly.
The highlight of Rose's last month has been the new BIKE!!!


She LOVES her bike, and after an entire afternoon of working on it, she became quite provicient. She was very proud of herself, and beams from ear to ear when we are watching her.
Even after an afternoon of heading into the ditch because steering and balance came, but they came slowly, she was still beaming!!

 Venturing down our long road is lots of fun, even with all the hills, as it is a pretty quiet road, especially on Sunday afternoons.




Rose had a bout of influenza for a week, and that developed into pneumonia.
Oh the cough she had for 10-12 days-and she was miserable too.
But misery loves company, and she and Nick were both sick at the same time, and my, that is a pair I don't hope get sick together again-they are 2 peas in a pod, and it is all we could do to deal with all the moaning and groaning, sighs, and some more moaning and groaning :) I think they played off each other's misery-trying to outdo each other:)


Really, I know they were both sick, and I don't downplay it at all-it was just interesting to see how similarly they respond to illness-they are quite a bit alike in many ways.
Some of the things Rose doesn't like would be:
Blowing her nose-really I can't figure that out AT ALL!!!
not taking naps
staying inside all day
not doing school
she is on a kick of no butter, syrup, jam or anything on her biscuits or pancakes
getting up too early in the morning
staying up too late at night
She is a very agreeable girl-she is game for about anything, is very gentle, kind, soft-spoken ( and she is outnumbered in this household on that count)
and wants to please.
We have much to be thankful for, we have lots to work on, and we have lots to learn.
This older child adoption is not an easy road, it is not all thorns, but it is not all roses either.
It just isn't like scooping up a toddler into your lap, or your arms, and loving on them, snuggling with them, and bathing and dressing them-those are all the things we are used to doing to help with the bonding and attachment, and learning to love one another.
We are treading on new territory and sometimes we don't make the right decisions, sometimes we feel like we just stepped on a hidden mine, but most of all, we feel like we are mining for jewels, and that we know it will be hard work, sometimes downright dirty work, sweaty, tough, grit-your-teeth kind of work, but in the end, we always know it is worth it, and we wouldn't have it any other way.
We are family-we are blessed, and we love one another-even though it is different, and we have not been down this road before, we know the love is there for both girls, and for all of us, and that makes all the "issues" and detours navigable, because LOVE covers a multitude of things that can and do go wrong in a day.
Family-all NINE of us-and loving it!!!

Blessings and love to you all
Chris for all 9 of us!!!

6 comments:

Guess who?? said...

hi-
very nice blog!!!!
it is nice to see u all home-all 9 of you!!
i know what the drama when people are sick is like!! i have 2 family members just like that!!
well 4 now- God bless you!

kimjax said...

Thanks for sharing, Chris! It's so good to have you a month ahead of me. :) We have much the same dynamic here - one who relishes all the changes, and another who clings to the past way of life. Either way, we can't imagine life without them! Love to see all the pics of your family, and love to hear how life is coming along. They're doing better than I would on a farm, lol! I have a cow manure phobia unless it's in the bags at the garden store! :)

Difference2This1 said...

So nice to see all the great photos!!! I know it's been a hard road, but there is so many great things going on there!! You are doing an amazing job balancing it all. Prayers each day gets a little bit easier then the one prior. Blessings, Jennifer

Robin said...

I so enjoy reading your updates on all the kids. They all look so happy on their bikes.

The Stein Family said...

My name is Laura from Texas. My husband and I have two children, a son who's 8 and a daughter who's 6 and adopted from China. We are working on our second adoption and hope to travel to adopt our 9 year old daughter in the fall/winter. I want you to know your posts are a blessing to me. Thanks for writing and sharing your experiences!

jewell said...

I so enjoyed the wonderful window intoyour world! Thank you for sharing some of the joys and challenges.