Monday, August 9, 2010

Hills and Valleys... and Mountains to Climb!

The girls have been home 3 plus weeks- the honeymoon is over- and reality is setting in. It is not a bad reality it is just our reality. This home, their toys, the clothes are no longer a novelty. We are getting used to the rhythm and the routine of being a family.

The girls have moments of being lost in thought. They are away from everything that is familiar and I can tell they are mourning all they have lost and missing their past. It is interesting that it doesn't matter if one is "better" than the other- it was all they knew and it comforted them. Our home does not yet offer them the same comfort as their home in China.

I sometimes wonder where was I during Sarah's first month? I mean, I hardly remember it and I think I was caught up in the Christmas season. We came home December 5th and I must have been jet lagged and preoccupied with the holidays.

It seems like communication with Sarah went forward at a fast pace. She HAD to talk to us- she didn't care what it was about, she just had to do it! By week two she was telling me how to drive!

We are moving forward communicating to the girls but it is at a snails pace. Ellie is trying- she will say words but for Emma it is very hard. I often get a blank stare back. Neither seem to have an inquisitive nature or an overwhelming desire to talk or learn. It makes home schooling even more of a challenge. We did a few things today- it went okay. We are just going to keep going until this too becomes familiar!

Our love for them is growing and so is the desire to communicate- I want to get to know them- I mean really get to know them. They are our daughters! It's not good enough any more to just be together. One problem is me! I am not all the chatty- I mean, I am often in thought, planning, figuring, deciding, etc. Since I am with the kids all the time my down time and quiet moments are also when I am with them. I can't talk 24/7 like some people can- it exhausts me!

I need to be patient. I need to enjoy the baby steps and persevere through this time of "little communication". It becomes kind of an abyss as they begin to lose the Chinese and slowly gain English. It can be a very frustrating time for everyone. Sarah had trouble remembering things from this time and I wondered if it was because she had no words to describe it. They lose their Chinese faster than they gain English.

The future is bright- there will come a time when they feel that this is HOME, the food will SATISFY their appetites, their parents will bring them COMFORT and the language will be FAMILIAR! China will be a distant memory, still a part of them BUT not their favorite part.

Can't wait!!


Mary Kate said...

What a great post, Jean...It gives us much to think about, much to ponder...Thank You!

Sue said...

Even though Jenny was only 23 months old when we brought her home, she spoke Chinese to Katie (who was 25 months old) for the first couple of months but not English, she didn't start speaking English for about 6 months after we got her home and that was because we put her in speech therapy. I think some of it was stubbornness (as we know how stubborn she is) and some of it was grieving.

David and Sarah said...

Oh...sweet girls. I'm so glad that they are with their forever family now, and won't have to experience this kind of change again.

Blessings and prayers,

Sophie said...

You are such a wonderful and loving mom, these precious girls are so blessed.
I can't imagine what these children experience and the emotions they have to deal with at such a young age. Our daughter was only a year old when she came home and she seemed so distant and it took awhile for her to even make eye contact with broke my heart.
Your right, the future is bright and they will soon feel secure in their new life.
Blessings friend

LedaP said...

I love reading your updates! Keeps me focused on what I will be encountering soon...thank you for sharing so openly!

Janet and Kevin said...

Jean - yes, I agree that once the honeymoon is over the real work begins with our precious new children. That difficult period with our Elijah lasted six months! Yikes! But now he is beginning to really communicate with us his needs and wants, and his tantrums are less and less! Yippee Jesus. praying for that day to come soon to your family.

Janet and gang

Craig and Phyllis said...

We brought our 3 sons home at the age of 9, 7, and 4. I was worried because it took so long for them to start speaking in English. Everyone else seemed to have their children speaking English so much faster. (I struggle with that whole comparison issue). All that to say, it will come. Probably later rather than earlier. It really is different when you adopt more than one at a time with their language (and many other things, too)! You are doing a great job!

Holly said...

Jean, I have been catching up on your blog and have so much respect for you as Mom. Can I admit that if we felt we could afford it I would TOTALLY have a housecleaner too and you can buy groceries online? Seriously?! I can't imagine.
I HATE going to the takes about 2 hours and then bringing it all in and putting it all away but I am also very thankful that God has provided a place where we can get bargain prices for being military.
I LOVE the girls' bunk beds and agree you got a fabulous deal on the price! To know how challenging this adoption has been for you and to hear you say, YEP, we will adopt again...that is just amazing!
I would love to adopt again after this one but don't know what God has planned and we are SO far from where we need to be financially, I just can't get ahead of God.
I really have enjoyed your sharing...older child adoption has its unique challenges AND joys and I appreciate so much reading how God has given you the grace to walk through the initial tough season.
Many blessings,
Holly from Purpose Driven Family

Cari said...

I am like you, Jean. Not so much the chatty type. I don't mind not talking. In fact, if I'm in an environment where I feel like I have to carry a conversation it wears me out. I know you all will be able to work through this and see great progress...even at a snail you said. You doing a great job! :)

Difference2This1 said...

Hugs and prayers for all to keep moving forward...even if it's slow right now! Tough stuff, but you are making such an incredible difference!! I am laughing too at you saying you get tired talking- if women are said to use 10,000 words per day, then I say back that for people like me that my children actually take my share...cause many times it's all I can do to get food into them, clothes onto them, loaded in the car, etc, etc. To try to "chat" the entire time- whew- it exhausts me. Luckily they thrive on "thumbs up", raised eyebrows, well-timed exclamations such as "no way" or "are you kidding me?" when they are telling me their 100th story for the day! :) Prayers for keeping that sanity as you start to tackle school and everything else that comes with!! God bless, Jennifer

Karin said...

So hard to exchange the familiar for a new environment--even with the new one is nicer. It will are doing a great job!