I'm still here!

I have oodles of photos but they are on my camera still. next post...and family photos all together! I can't wait to share that!

Re-entry has been rough! at least for this Mama! Arielle continues to grow and flower. Her bravery is amazing. We haven't been without struggle though...more on that in a minute.

My body is not adjusting back to this side of the world very well. In China, I lapsed in taking my thyroid medication. I didn't neglect it on purpose, I usually take it in the morning, which became nights in China...and I got confused and forgot it many days. So now I'm suffering with fatigue, aches, pains, and just a rotten head cold. But enough about me :)

EMOTIONAL HEALTH/adjustments- I had been concerned about Arielle and her emotional health. I saw very little grieving. And almost seemed like she was in a "fantasy land" throughout our time in China-and even first at home. Not the response I wanted to see. I am no expert, but I think I know enough about adopting older children to see signs of oncoming "future issues". Grieving is a part of life and very necessary. She's lost everything. Even if it was horrible, there still needs to be some form of grieving. But, the dam broke loose last night...and I realized just how brave this girl really is.

One of our dogs chewed up one of her gifts from a beloved teacher...this is one of two teachers I saw tearing up as Arielle was leaving the orphanage. Arielle cried for almost 2 hours...obviously crying over more than a chewed gift. We held her, sat with her and prayed for her, while she sobbed and listened to the same Chinese pop song over and over again. She stay in her room for the rest of the evening and was sleeping by 8:30pm. This morning when she woke up, she told me through her translator..."lets let bygones be bygones"...I laughed because she was forgiving the stupid dog! Not sure I would have so easily! But I really think she needed that cry.

EDUCATION/ENGLISH -I decided to enrolled her in school for the rest of the school year. We are all very excited about this. I was told that our school system has the best ESL program in south Jersey...so we will see what they can do. And I have to say I really like the staff so far. She may begin school on Monday.

I still may home school her...I'm waiting to see what the school system can offer her.

I also hired someone for the next month (or more) to give her English lessons. She is an older Christian woman from Taiwan-perfect! I also bought Rosetta Stone for English as well, so between the two I think we are on the right track. We haven't installed it yet as the computer is being repaired...maybe in a couple days. I'm hoping it can help her with her education throughout the summer.

MEDICAL - Tomorrow we have an appointment with the adoption clinic. I'm so anxious to get her there. There are so many questions about her health that I need answered. Her medical needs are more than we were told, but she is very responsible for her own health. I think she may have been born with spina-bifida.

FOOD - We are having some food issues...this kid was told she can't eat or drink anything cold...ever. And she abides by the doctors orders! Now I've heard about the hot/warm water in Asian culture. But food? Really? Has anyone else heard of this? And she is convinced she will become ill if she does. I noticed she does have digestive issues (but she's just been through one of the biggest events of her life! I have digestive issues too!) But nothing crazy. I can't convince her it's ok to eat a piece of fruit. "NO COLD". No juice, not even room temperature water. I did discover she will drink heated Almond milk which made me happy :) I can do that! But she boils water and drinks it steaming hot out of a glass. HOT! She also drinks a lot of hot tea. I need to make sure she is drinking the decaf! I was wondering if anyone else has ever had this problem?

FAMILY - The boys are great for her, and her for the boys. I have to say this is going great! The age difference is good for this family. I think if she had been closer in age that we would have had more "issues"...but so far so good. Arielle has a very compassionate heart. The whole family is supposed to get together all at once this Sunday! I can't wait to get some photos!

Daddy and Arielle hit it off right from the start. Especially when he played basketball with her! too funny! This girl has needed a daddy for a very long time.

CHURCH - She seemed a little overwhelmed at church. I'm sure the lack of language was frustrating for her. And our church is anything but quiet. She liked the band but it was more like a show for her. I've noticed that in social situations, she is often inappropriately loud. Church was no exception. I think this is just lack of experience and immaturity. She's really a good girl, just likes to be the center of attention :)

All and all, it's going great. We are getting to know each other and developing relationships already. She's clingy and whiny like a toddler at times...she's never really had a chance to be a toddler...loved and nurtured. I'm sure she was rejected on many levels. Giving her grace and mercy and allowing her to be a little girl at times may look/feel weird to some, but I know if she's ever to become the woman God created her to be, she needs to experience this. I tell her everyday how smart and beautiful she is...one day she's going to believe it!


Tim said...

Eating issues with our daughter adopted at age 10, 4 months ago, none. Seems to have a hollow leg to store all the food consumed.

Depending on how much English she was exposed to, she most likely will amaze you at how much she picks up from normal conversation.

Kathy C. said...

It sounds like you know what needs done and how to do it. The lack of grieving is an issue. Jeff never looked back or was sad leaving Haiti and he hasn't really ever bonded with us. We are like a boarding house or an extension of the orphanage. I'm glad she was able to grieve some. Maybe as she has more language you'll be able to talk through more. Perhaps she thinks you'll be mad if she misses China.

Blessed Mom of Four AND More said...

Soooooo glad to hear from you! Drinking in every word...while our Zeke won't be as old as she is, I wonder what to expect when he will be nearly 6 years old by the time we make it to CHina.
I know you are busy....but post as often as you can. ;)
If you need questions answered about spina bifida, or just an ear.....call me!

Kelli said...

You are absolutely right about letting her be a little girl at times!!! Our daughter (3) pretends sometimes that she is a baby- we indulge it, we do things like "little baby little baby what's the matter?" she answers, and moves on playign with something else. She is exploring that area of time that she did not have someone at her beck & call- and your daughter had a much longer time of it! She needs to experience her needs being met for each of those developmental milestones- and it's a jigsaw puzzle to re-create it- but it sounds like you are well aware of all of that! Good luck & good for you for being so well edcuated on the adoption front!!!

Maggie said...


I am in love with that girl of yours. You almost had me in tears about the dog chewing up her gift and her forgiving him. This child knows how to love...

Abbey would love to email her. Miss our time in China but boy, am I jet lagged and feeling ill!


Truly Blessed said...

Hi, I popped on to your blog from the link you posted on LCC.

About the not eating cold things, we have this issue with our Chinese exchange student. He does not eat or drink anything cold (well, not entirely true -- he does enjoy ice cream now!) and does not like it at all when we give our two daughters (4&5) cold things to eat or drink. He has been taught well by his parents and caregivers that it's simply bad for you. Not sure when/if you're going to convince your new daughter that it won't hurt her...I guess she'll have to observe the rest of the family NOT getting sick or feeling unwell after eating cold things!

One more thing, our exchange student was VERY concerned that we bathe our girls before bed and put them to bed with their hair not completely dry. He tells me that they will be at a greater risk for strokes if they go to bed with wet hair. I thanked him for his concern but haven't changed the girls' bedtime/bath time routines yet!

Best wishes to your family and congratulations on bringing Arielle home!

TB (notallboysanymore on the yahoo groups)