Wednesday, July 8, 2009

group email from June 29

Well hello...:-) It's Tuesday in China! We come home in three days. I'm starting to feel pretty homesick. Two weeks without the rest of my family is really tough. We've been taking it pretty easy these last few days. I think we overloaded C when we first got her so we've been hanging out and bonding more...playing lot's of Candyland! Yesterday she had her visa medical appointment. She did well until she found out that she had to get some shots. She was so scared then. She gets naughty when she's scared. But then when we turned the corner to the room where they give the shots she plastered herself against me! She did NOT want to sit on that stool! That's one thing that's nice- she does not like strangers and when it comes right down to it she would hands down rather be with us (people that she knows) than with anyone else- even if they are speaking to her in Chinese. That's something we did not have with our previous experience. The absence of indiscriminate affection is such a relief and it does make things so much easier. She did really well though considering. But when we got back to the hotel room she broke down and cried. It's the second time she's cried since we've had her. It is soooooo heartbreaking. It is hard on this mama. But we are able to comfort her. She loves it when we run our fingers through her hair. She also likes to have the palms of her hands rubbed. Both times she's cried we've held her across both of our laps (because she's a big girl) and just loved on her. She's unresponsive at first but then settles into the cuddle. I think it does her a lot of good. Honestly since she's had these two breakdowns she's been doing a lot better. Sometimes you just need to cry! And being comforted is great medicine for a hurting heart. We've decided that we need to cuddle her more often. She loves to wrestle around and be tickled. We've been doing that a lot but now we're trying to get some cuddles in also- even when she's not upset. Last night for example, I went to bed with her and just ran my fingers through her hair until she fell asleep. When we first got her she was too scared when we were affectionate with her so we have been easing her into it. But now we're just picking her up and plopping her on our laps etc and basically not letting her decide when she gets affection- we're giving her affection on our terms instead of hers. And it's obviously the right thing to do because you can tell that her stress level is much better. Now she'll even talk about going on the airplane and knows what outfit she'll wear on the plane etc. Before any mention of it terrified her. She seems really excited to see J, R, and T. Yesterday when we were playing Candyland she would say now it was R's turn, then J's, then T's... it was very cute. So over all I think she's doing really well! And I think everything that we are experiencing with her we expected and I think is normal given the situation. And she really is doing well. It is still my opinion that she does NOT have RAD. It just doesn't seem the same. Her reactions seem very healthy to me. She's afraid, but what child (or adult!) wouldn't be given her situation. She was "dumped" on total strangers that don't even speak her language. I fully expect there to be some more "fallout" after we get home but again, I think that's perfectly reasonable. She is also very smart and the school system here seems to be a good one. She reads really well. And we know she's not faking it because we have a children's Chinese/English dictionary that we use with her all of the time to communicate more complicated things and she gets it. And she loves her little math workbook that we bought her and she follows the instructions and does the problems correctly. So that's awesome! She's also understanding more and more of what we tell in English. We can tell her to use the bathroom, brush her teeth, come here etc etc... and she understands. Depending on what sort of "fallout" we have after we get home, we think we're going to put her in public school. But of course we'll play things by ear and see how it goes. If we need to we may wait until the next term. As for us... we are doing well. China is amazing. We've enjoyed our time here. Last night at dinner Kevin had prawns (with their heads still on) and baby squid for dinner! He said the squid had the same texture as a mushroom but didn't have a strong flavor. I'll take his word on that:-) We got a big bag of Lichi(sp?) fruit from our coordinator, Mr. Li. He gave it to us after the medical appointment. I guess they are in season now. They are pretty good and Kevin swears he saw some at Harmons- that would be cool if we had them at home. C LOVES french fries and ketchup. Actually she loves ketchup. She'll put ketchup on everything. She's put ketchup on fries, corn, lichi(sp?) fruit, ice cream, crackers, parsley.... if she has ketchup, it goes on everything and yes, she eats it! She'll even dip her finger in it and just eat it plain. HAHAHA! Kevin and I joke about it. We've heard from other parents of Chinese children that their children don't like American food and all they will eat is rice or noodles. We show her the menus when we go out to eat (on the Island they have them written in Chinese and English.) We can NOT get her to eat rice. Sometimes she'll eat noodles. BUT she wants chicken, french fries, American cereal at breakfast, bread, sunkist soda... hahaha! And anytime she sees French fries on the menu she gets very excited- points at it and gives us an enthusiastic "Hi!" Not as in "hello" but "yes" in Chinese. "hi" means "yes." So I think for our first meal at home we should have something with french fries and ketchup!:-) The skirts my sister and I made have been great and C LOVES them. She is such a girlie girl:-) We are on the home stretch now! Tomorrow is our US embassy appointment.
Love, Anita

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