We went to the local zoo this morning. Emma started off at the zoo having trouble- she whaled for a good half hour- during that time I held her hand and enjoyed the zoo (kinda, sorta). Our guide talked to her and after awhile she settled down. She did translate to us that she missed her foster family... I am sorry but I don't think so... what she did miss is doing what ever she wants whenever she wants. Emma has enjoyed her freedom and enjoyed being naughty. She was kicked out of school 5 times in the last 2 months. Once she found out she was going to be adopted she stopped listening to anyone. They tell the children that they will have the good life in America and that their parents will buy them anything. It is too bad they do that but our sweet daughter will find out that it is not true. She will be loved, provided for, educated but she will learn respect and she will behave!
Even at the zoo we could see progress. After she was done with her tantrum and we no longer held hands she still stayed with us. I can see it in her eyes she is intrigued with what is happening. She is getting it ... just a little BUT she is getting it!
Ellie wanted to swim- she loves to swim! She did well at the zoo but her main goal was to get back and go swimming.
We hit Starbucks again for lunch- the girls did great this time- they gobbled up their lunch. They now know if they don't eat what is served or decide to pout and cry during our eating time, they are out of luck.
Many may feel that we are too firm but I will tell you adopting this age is completely different than adopting a baby or a teen (I have no experience adopting a teen). There are no books that focus on adopting the 6-11 yr old, so I am praying my way through while taking bits and pieces from what I have read and going with my gut... Honestly it is working and it thrills me! Each day we see a difference! It is small but it's happening!
It is a combo of consistency, tough love, tenderness, sticking to our guns, and a sense of humor.
Today we saw how much they want love! They wanted to be held, to ride in the stroller and to sit on our laps! If they were frustrated with one of us they had someone else to go too BUT they did not seem to hold onto their grudge today- that is good. They moved on from being mad!
Today their was joy, real smiles, laughing together, etc (I haven't really captured Emma's real smile yet but in time we will see it). The girls actually played TOGETHER today and enjoyed each other!
The possible nit issue has made it more difficult to hug, give love, snuggle, etc. But we have done the treatments and for now their is nothing else we can do- so we are snuggling, carrying, giving kisses and moving forward.
Swimming was a huge hit- and NO double booby pinches today! Emma kept saying "No touchy, no touchy"- I was so glad she didn't try it again! She is getting it!
It is so bonding in the pool. Emma has learned to respect the water and she hung onto one of us the whole time! At one point she scurried away and acted like she might jump in... when she got to the edge she chose not too! Good girl! Ellie is doing well with water wings! I think she could be a good swimmer someday!
At dinner the girls kept spouting off instructions for the waiter and waitresses. They really had them jumping- bring water with ice and without and more. We finally told them to stop listening to the girls- in this family the Babba and the Momma will make the choices!
I feel such hope! Our feelings are growing towards the girls and I really think they are feeling the same way! I was scared for a few days... wondering if we had done the right things and was this going to work out. I underestimated our Lord. I am so thankful to Him!
I could only download some of the pics but I will try to finish in the morning- off to bed now!
Thank you for your prayers! Please keep praying!
Thank You Jesus for baby steps!!