The rest of our trip in China went well and went quickly. The kids were amazing troopers that did what was asked and went with the flow. They played with each other and played with our friends down the hall. Let me tell you that Tom and I prepared for the worst during this trip. We figured two children and Emma being just 6 with no language that she was going to be really really rough.. I cannot imagine if someone that Paige didnt know came up and took her home with them.. knowing Elias is 9 we figured that would be a rough age too. We were ready to be hit, punched, spit at, you name it.. but instead we got two scared, but compliant and loving children. We are so stinking in love with these two and just so so so amazed at how awesome they were. (Luke was the same way..) it is sorta just beyond ridiculous how blessed we have been with our trips to China. I just keep thinking over and over we so enjoyed our two weeks in China that it sorta was a vacation and who in their right mind would have thought that a trip to pick up not one but two new children would turn out to be such an enjoyable time.. we created memories and bonds in those two weeks that were and are essential to our children's happiness here and to their future.
Our Emma came to us and hasn't looked back. She loves to snuggle, hug, give Eskimo kisses and as of today real kisses. She loves to climb in bed and just cuddle right up with you. She is always burying her head in my side or my chest and just loving on me. She is still not having much to do with daddy and very leary of him but we know that will change with time. She will play with dad but wants no affection from him at all. So daddy is just being patient and biding his time.. she too will be a daddys little girl someday soon! (well since I started this post about 5 days ago, Emma is doing awesome with daddy now and actually hunting him down for some help, love etc... I knew she wouldnt be able to resist the love that her daddy has to offer :) Emma is smart, vivacious, a rapid learner and just silly and sweet sweet sweet beyond words. She has a teeny weeny bit of a diva in her and a tiny bit of an over actor haha. It all wraps into her awesome personality. Emma is so great at communication that it is amazing to me that she has had only 2 months of schooling and language in her whole life. Today she signed to me (in ASL) as we were driving in the car "Paige school, Go right. (she was correct Paige's school was to the right even though Emma had never been there..)I walk in school, see Paige in school." I mean WOW OH WHOA.. this girl has 2 months of schooling and language and just turned 6 years old the end of December. That is crazy!!!!! She is also a child that misses nothing and takes in every single thing that happens. She watches everything. I love her smarts. Tom and I have decided she is smarter than us hahah :)
Elias.. my boy! My handsome handsome boy, with a smile that only God can give ya! Wow he is a charmer and his smile makes me melt! Elias came to us with tears in his eyes and shaking so bad my heart broke in half. He was so nervous that his face was twitching with anxiety. Elias is now a smiling, happy and vivacious young boy. I still know that there is a lot more to Elias then he is letting us see. It took him about 3 days after we first met him for him to even sign anything to us. We were not sure he could sign at all when we got him and we now know he signs very very well in Chinese sign and reads and writes Chinese well. He is not one to show off his smarts (his athleticism is another story... he will show off that in a minute) but he seems very guarded to show us just what he knows as far as academics. I do know from working with him in math he is on a solid 3rd grade math level (considering he just started 3rd grade in China that is good) but as far as other academics is it going to take a LONG time to figure out what our boy knows. Since we dont know written Chinese and he doesnt know English this part is hard. I know that Elias will have a harder first year of school then both Luke and Emma as he has his brain hardwired for language already and switching it over is going to take time. Elias is finally letting me teach him some ASL but he really doesnt want to learn it... I know he understands more than he can sign (which is totally normal too) but he is not wanting to sign to us in ASL he will still use the CSL sign even if he knows the ASL sign.. I would imagine that letting go of his CSL has to be sad for him as it is the only thing he still has left of China.... I am going to try and video him signing in CSL so he can keep some of the memories to look at and still remember down the road, but he isnt too happy about being video.... so that might not work out.. but I am going to keep trying as I feel it is important for him to remember his language and we dont know how to keep it going since there are no local CSL classes he can take or anything of that nature.. Elias loves to be goofy, to play around and to run. He is SO much like Tommy that it is sorta scary how much the two of them are alike.. Didnt know God kept the mold that He made Tommy in, but I can assure you.. He did! These two are two peas in a pod. A VERY VERY ATHLETIC pod! hahah Elias likes to be on the move and sitting does not happen to easy. He likes to be the trixster and the goofball (sound familiar to anyone that knows Tommy?) he is fast, strong and is always always on the move. He doesnt sit for too long and cannot wait to get outside and play basketball (yea I hate winter too and Elias isnt used to winter so not being outside is sorta killing him.. me too buddy me too.. momma hates winter...)
Adapting to being a family of 8:
Our family structure has obviously changed.. we added two new older, deaf children (one with no language and one with Chinese sign language...) and Elias is out of birth order. YET our children are all doing relatively well. For the most part the kids all get along very well together, which always amazes me since they do not know each other. Emma and Paige are so stinking cute together for about 95% of the time they are inseparable and just cant get enough of each other. They laugh and giggle and giggle some more. I love watching or listening to them laugh and play. It surely warms my heart. Both Paige and Emma the other 5% of the time are struggling with some jealousy, not too bad and it doesnt last too long so at the moment it is all good. Tommy and Luke both get along very well with both Elias and Emma. Emma seems to really be taken by Tommy and loves to hang on him and just lay with him and be his snuggle buddy. That is where some of that jealousy creeps in as Tommy and Paige have always had an interesting relationship and Tommy and Paige love each other dearly but also love to pick on each other something fierce...so I think it does really get her goat that he is SO sweet and loving to Emma, but can be quite the opposite with Paige sometimes. We are working on it and it and like I said it is at the moment a short time that jealousy creeps in so we are able to handle it and move on back to having fun. Tommy and Elias get along very well and come warm weather I envision them spending lots of time playing sports outside together. Luke and Elias get along very well too and I have noticed that having both Emma and Elias here have helped Luke start to gain some pride in who he is. Luke has been very angry with China since coming here (not that I blame him as he really truly had a horrific life there) and Luke has wanted nothing to do with China or being Chinese but now that his two new Chinese siblings are here it has been very nice to see Luke develop some pride in his own culture, in wanting to learn more about who he is and where he came from. Luke is now starting to take pride in being Chinese and that makes me so very happy. It is neat to watch Luke work hard with Elias to help him try and switch over to ASL and some American culture. Luke has also taken a few steps back and is regressing some in his behaviors and language abilities at home.. I know some of this is the stress of the change itself as Luke does not handle change well at all and adding two new siblings is a HUGE change no matter how you slice it. We are working hard to support all of our children during this change and we are SO SO SO proud of them as they are all doing better than we could have ever predicted. Adoption is not an easy process, it is not easy on the children being adopted, not easy on the children already home and believe it or not it is not easy on the parents that are trying so hard to hold it all together. YET we did not and do not expect this to be an easy road... if adoption was easy then everyone would be doing it and there would be no orphans in this world... yet there are MILLIONS of orphans all over the world... That fact alone breaks my heart.. IF you feel called to adopt please please start to take some action, speak to other families that have adopted and start to see what exactly it is that you are being lead to do(talk to me I will help you!).. if you do not feel called to adopt then I ask that you think and pray to see if you are being called to help orphans in another way.. you can always sponsor an orphan as there are many organizations that allow you to sponsor an orphan and provide some much needed care.(if you would like the name of these organizations please contact me). if you do not feel called to use your money in any way for orphan care that is fine too.. how about advocating for the millions that need families.. advocating is a huge way to help children that have no family possibly be united with one., TWO of my children were advocated for by others and that is how we came to know about both Luke and Elias.. if no one advocated we might not have two of our precious children... if you feel called to do none of what is listed above to help orphans then please please do what I am going to post now.. PLEASE PRAY! Pray for this children, pray that their families will be united with them.. pray for their health, their safety, their hearts........ the power of prayer is not be underestimated!
JAMES 1:27: Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
|This was the newest pic of our Emma we were sent before we got her, her sad face broke my heart|
|This is the same Emma after just a teeny tiny short time after knowing the love of a family|
|This was our very very sad Elias the day we met him|
|Here is our Elias just a teeny tiny short time after knowing the love of a family!|
IF YOU GET ANYTHING FROM MY BLOG PLEASE GET HOW IMPORTANT THE LOVE OF A FAMILY IS TO A CHILD THAT HAS NEVER KNOWN WHAT A MOMMA, DADDY, BROTHER, SISTER, GRANDMOM, GRANDPOP, AUNT, UNCLE, COUSIN ETC.. MEANS.. FAMILY AND LOVE IS WHAT HAS MADE THE CHANGE YOU SEE IN THESE TWO PRECIOUS CHILDREN'S FACES!!!
|Sharing some sister love|
|My two gorgeous princess girls!|
|My two happy girls|
|Hanging out together as brothers and sisters|
|Happy girls heading to bed|
|My two handsome Chinese brothers! Love it!|
|Playing duck duck goose|
|Can I play football, PLEASE!!|
|Me too! :)|
|Having fun together!|
|Emma and her Nanny!|
|Emma chilling with her brother, Tommy|
|The girls in their traditional Chinese dresses|
|Can you say "twins"|
|this one is blurry but it says alot.. Nanny and two of her princess granddaughters!|
|Elias and Poppy!|
|Chilling with Daddy and brother Luke|
|This is our story!!!!|