Sunday, August 11, 2013

First Week at Home

Dear Mini-Lu,

"Mini-Lu." You know to respond to this nickname now.

You've been home 1 week now. It's been almost 3 weeks since our Gotcha Day.

At the airport (9pm), we were welcomed by PapaG and Mimi and the Florida director of our agency (and her daughter).
The Florida director made this sweet sign for Siana

There was another surprise (by PapaG and Mimi) when we arrived home, which we couldn't see well until the following morning.

In a nutshell, you are doing incredibly well. I was surprised by how adaptable and easy-going you were while we were in China. Now that we're home, you've surprised me even more.

You love to play with Peanut and LittleBit. Especially Peanut. You laugh at everything she does and you follow her around everywhere she goes. The other day (8/7) when the older girls were watching a show, you snuggled up next to Peanut and leaned your head against her.

You have a very caring heart. You love to share. You love to bring toys to your sisters and even to Mommy and Daddy sometimes. You love bringing water cups to your sisters (you already know which cup belongs to whom). When LB starts whining that you took her toy, you immediately give it back to her.
You already learned some signs like "please," "more," and "all done" (but this last one I don't think you know what it means yet).
To view the video in best quality, click on the setting icon at the bottom. Choose 720p HD. You have to start the movie over again to view in HD.



You are a fast learner. You are learning how our family operates quickly. We only had to tell you once or twice to stay out of cabinets, etc. You still test once in a while, but for the most part, you stick to toys and areas that you're allowed to dig into. You learned quickly to clean up after you're done with each toy.
I started giving you high fives every time you did something good. Now you love to give fives and you keep doing whatever that good deed was over and over again, just to get more fives.
I think you already learned the phrase "self-control." Most of the time you stop crying/whining when you hear us say "self-control."
You like to mimic your sisters. They were playing around with Peanut's camera. When you got a hold of it, you held it up on your forehead and said, "cheese!"



During our travel time you whined when we prayed before meals (you were so anxious to get to your food). Now, you are already learning to fold your hands and pray before eating.
You hardly ever fussed about going to take a nap/going to bed in China, but after a couple of days of being home, you started fussing about going in your crib. But you quickly settle down and is asleep within minutes.
When Daddy is home, you follow him around everywhere. When he's gone, you follow me around everywhere. The moment I get up from the couch, you immediately get up and start following me. I feel like I have a little puppy at my feet :)
Your table manners have improved A LOT since our hotel days. You are more OK with being fed, if you know that you can't do it well (but it's usually just me, you still don't want anybody else feeding you). You have already improved so much on feeding yourself without making a big mess.

You LOVE men. It doesn't matter if he looks like Daddy or not, you immediately snuggle up to a guy to get picked up. With new women you act shy and start whining if they hold you.

Today (8/11) we went to church. You did great! You cried for a little while when you were dropped off, but your teacher said (surprise, surprise) you blended right in and started coloring and playing with friends. A-mazing.
You follow directions so well. It's almost like you already understand most of what I'm saying to you. If I tell you to bring a cup to the table, you do it. If I tell you to clean something up, you do it. If I tell you it's time for "nigh-nigh," you go to your room. If I tell you to get your shoes on, you go look for your shoes. You are super smart and super easy going. You learned to wait out of our bedroom door (and not just walk in). You learned to knock if you want to come into our bedroom.
I can't believe how quickly and smoothly you are transitioning into our family. God definitely picked the right child for us! Another mom from our group in GZ said it best: "It's almost been TOO easy."

Laundry and dishes are definitely piling up quicker, and it's become more of an ordeal to get out of the house (with three children). Bathing three is a whole new game. We suffered from jetlag for the first few nights of being home. That's pretty much been the extent of the challenges we've had so far.

All this time, I thought it was we who had so much love waiting to shower on you. I was wrong. It was the other way around. You, my dear, have so much love, joy, and GRACE to give...and how blessed we are to be the first recipients of it.

My over-analytical (and sometimes pessimistic) self kept wondering, "What's going on here? When is she going to drop the bomb on us and become more difficult to handle?" But everyday, you're showing us more and more of your goodness and joy. There were days when you were extra fussy while in China, but here at home, you haven't had a fussy day yet. You're actually becoming more agreeable and adaptable than you already were!

One of my dear friends said it best: "She is so sweet and good - accept the blessing!" And what a blessing you are. I can't tell you how much you've fulfilled what your name means already, just within these first few weeks of having you in our arms.

You are bringing to light...even to your own Mommy's heart, that God is GRACIOUS.

It's like God wrapped up His grace in a bow and presented it to us in the form of you, our newest child :)

God is Gracious,
Maria

P.S. Peanut continues to be a GREAT big sister. She adores Mini-Lu. LittleBit has been a lot less fussy since being back home. She still has some difficulties with sharing toys and our attention, but she is doing so much better. She loves to tickle Mini-Lu (copying Peanut) to try to make her laugh (but somehow she doesn't quite have the same magic touch as Peanut; she will get there I'm sure).

What our Bible reading time looks like now

Here's an example of what a great big sister Peanut is being.

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