Sarah is doing very well. She is kind to all her sibs and a positive leader. Emma and Ellie were so glad to have her home and then quite surprised at having to share her attention. It has all fallen into place now and the new normal is feeling very good and seems to be healthier all around for everyone!
The whole crew sleeping in the same room is working out great!! I can see in the future where it will be nice to split the group up (older/ younger/ boys/ girls) but for now they are sleeping from 8:45- 7:15! That works for us!! The 3 littles will sometimes fall asleep in the car if they are tired and that's okay!
Sarah is mostly speaking english now that we are home but she is still a great interpreter for us- when we need one! She has done such a great job we are really thinking she needs to keep her Chinese. In fact we are thinking as many that can keep their Chinese should keep it. Even Emma and Ellie started speaking Chinese to their new sibs- at first it bothered me because they struggle so much with English but it doesn't any more. Being bilingual is awesome and could really help them with a job in the future and keep them connected to the culture. This is a change for us because we were all about hurry up and learn english but a few friends (homeschooling yahoo group) straightened me out on this topic! I am thinking next fall they will go to a Saturday Chinese language class. Sarah did this a year ago but then we took a year off.
Ava has mourned her loses in her own way. When we were leaving her home city of Zhenzhou and she injured her ankle and could not walk. She actually did turn it a little but not as bad as she was playing it up to be. It was quite a challenge getting through the airport and on and off the planes since she "couldn't walk"! She has had various moments of crying about one thing or another and honestly I am guessing it had a lot to be with leaving what was familiar behind. It often ties in with being hungry or tired, too.
Most of the time she is happy and joyful. She is a sweet little girl and a blessing to have in our family! She is not afraid to speak up for herself and yet she is very reasonable and really "gets it". Ava spent the first 3 years with her birth family before being abandoned. She understands family and seems very happy to be part of ours!! The truth is we are the ones that are blessed!!
Both Ava and Sam have bike helmets now!
Both Ava and Sam love our doggies!
That makes the doggies very happy! They love the extra TLC!
Sam is a fabulous!! All the big sibs are crazy about him! He has a way with people and he has charmed his way into everyones hearts! He has also mourned in a unique way. As we were leaving Guangzhou and getting on the plane Sam broke down in tears.JIm and Sam had seats about 8 rows ahead of us. It was all too much for him- he did not want to be separated- I'd like to say from me but I am certain it was Ava and Sarah. We were able to trade seats and he was once again a happy camper.
Sam has tested the limits now and then BUT he does it with a smile on his face. We are on to him and need to make the boundaries clear. Sometimes that precious smile turns to tears. He is used to getting what he wants by having a good personality and charming disposition. Doesn't work quite as well when you can understand him ;-)
When he cries it is not a little whimper. No, no, not at all- it usually turns into a cough and then a choke and then well, he just might have to spit up, wherever he may be...carpet works!! For him that is, not for me!! If it looks imminent we whisk him off to the toilet! It is a bit theatrical but I am sure it served him well in China. We have asked him to say sorry in Chinese a couple times for hitting a sister and he just wasn't able to... today I insisted and he successfully mumbles I'm sorry in Chinese to Sarah. I usually have both parties apologize as it is never just one persons fault!
When we got home Sam he was thrilled to sleep in the same room as his sisters! In fact he picked the green and pink bed but we quickly steered him to the blue bed! He is handling being the only younger boy, very well! Hopefully he won't have to be in that situation for long! wink wink!
We have been blessed by having him join our family! He loves having a family but still has much to learn regarding boundaries with others- he is a bit too friendly! Sam is a smart little guy and I have no doubt in time he will get it. He spent the first 14 months with his birth family before being abandoned. They cared enough to have his surgery done at birth and attempted to deal with his disability (colostomy)- that says a lot. Somewhere down deep he knows what a family is. I am sure the charms was needed for survival. The orphanage he was in was not a good one- no colored wall hangings, no freshly painted walls or semi clean white floors. The pictures in the previous post shows the situation... it is very sad...
Both Sam and Ava know the ropes around here already! They are happy, joyful, comfortable and as precious as can be! Both Hubby and I feel immensely blessed by these two darlings!!