Settling Into Our New "Normal"

Administrative note: I started this post over 2 days ago! But through my mom’s persistent nagging encouragement I’ve persevered and finally finished it! Historically, I have stopped journaling and posting to this site once we get home from China with a new child. Not that I necessarily intend to stop…it just happens. Side effect of a busy, blessed life. Unlike in China, here I have to prepare all the food, clean up after all the food, do the laundry, clean the house…and, oh yes, educate these precious children! BUT…I’m going to try to keep this up - even if it is more sporadic - so that we’ll have a record for our children to look back on.)

The first nine eleven days home in a nutshell: Good. Very, very good. Zibing just fits. right. in. It already feels like we’ve been home for months. And that is a good thing! The kids act like she’s been here forever...except they fight over who gets to sit by her every time we get in the van.

The first few days it felt more like we had a 1 or 2-year old, but a 1 or 2-year old in an almost 4-year old body! She was into everything, checking out everything…but she is able to reach things that a toddler couldn’t! Pushing buttons on every electronic gadget she could find in the house – YIKES! Pulling a knife out of the knife block on our counter – DOUBLE YIKES! The children helped us keep an eye on her, and one yelled this to me (it falls into the category of Things You Never Thought You’d Hear): “She’s putting the CD in the microwave!” But after a few days this tapered off…some…although it still makes me nervous when she’s out of my sight.

But, thankfully, she doesn’t want to be out of my sight very much. I have a new little shadow! She follows me around and wants me to hold her a lot…which I happily do whenever possible. I’ve been rather surprised that she doesn’t follow the children around more, instead of me…but this is a good sign and I’m thankful for it!

Our biggest issue (and PRAISE THE LORD, it is our biggest adjustment issue so far) is food. Now I thought we ate healthy here at our house…but this girl could teach us a thing or two! She loves - I mean squeals-in-delight, loves - tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, boiled eggs, sugar snap peas, etc. But she is also a big carnivore – loving chicken, pork, beef, salmon. She is not yet loving carbs/grains American style – oats, whole wheat bread or crackers, whole grain cereal, my homemade granola, etc. She has tolerated this past week some quinoa, pretzels, brown rice, whole wheat pasta. She does not like sweet things, turning away even ice cream. (One exception: gummy bears! We found this out on Friday when she opened up a package at a gas station and started eating them out of the bag before I even knew what happened!)

It’s really pathetic seeing her kind of wander back and forth from the fridge…to the pantry…to the freezer…. Looking, looking, searching for something that looks good…anything that looks familiar. I know it will take time, and she is coming along. Maybe I’m over-thinking this (Jas would say that), but I just don’t want her to feel hungry…or not provided for in any way - so this is weighing on me more than it has with any of our other children.

Zibing is sleeping like a champ. Absolutely no complaints or problems in that area. I’m assuming it has to be helping that she and Elisabeth share a room. Zibing has presumably never slept alone, so I’m glad that it worked out this way – and that Elisabeth is excited to be sharing a room with her little sister. Bedtime is 8 (o.k. so sometimes it is closer to 8:30 before we make it there) and wake-up time is 7 a.m. The girls have been sleeping later than that some days – Zibing even slept until 9 a.m. one day this week! Our children have a nap/rest time every afternoon, and the girls have slept at least 1 ½ hours everyday - and sometimes 2 or 3 hours. I know this will cut back once they are fully done catching up on sleep and over the jet lag, but they’ve been doing great. And for this I’m extremely grateful! I’m positive the Lord has given us four great sleepers because He knows I just would NOT be able to deal otherwise! (Mama can handle most anything as long as she has had enough sleep.)

Zibing is smiling and bouncing around about 99% of the time at our house. Outside our house, she shuts down and becomes very introverted. This is totally to be expected and will lessen with time. For instance, we went to a Chinese New Year party last night hosted by a “Families with Children from China” (FCC) group – Zibing wouldn’t let me put her down at first, but by the time we left (3 hours later), she was smiley and playing with everyone around us (especially Mr. Stan).

And the 1% of the time she is not smiling and bouncing around our house, she still doesn’t look sad or mad…just contemplative. Staring off into space…totally blank face. And I would give anything to know what is going on inside that precious little head. Is she thinking about and/or missing someone special back at the orphanage? Is she thinking about all the changes from the past three weeks? Is she wondering if this is going to last?

But (Praise the LORD!) she wakes up grinning from ear to ear, and hugging my neck like she’s never going to let go. I can’t tell you how wonderful that feels and how wonderful a sign it is for her adjustment and bonding. And after the more difficult time Daniel had (not horrible, but much more difficult)…I don’t take anything for granted – and I’m praising the Lord for this!

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...