Saturday, July 17, 2010


wow. I really don't even know where to begin.
I have been wanting to post now for a good 5 days but haven't because I didn't know where to begin with all I want to say. I finally decided I couldn't avoid it any longer.
Jenna has been home now for 16 days. I had her in China for 10 days before that.
I don't want to sugar coat it too much....It has been very hard. I have told people here who ask that I think China was the easy part in comparison to coming home and integrating a two-year old into our family.
But we have also seen some progress.
The first week home, I was pretty discouraged. I think because I had expectations that weren't being met. Expectations of how I thought Jenna would progress, or how she would come around in different areas. Mostly from what I'd seen happen with others' stories whom I followed.
I have quickly learned that my expectations needed to be thrown out the window. Every child is so different and no matter what I read ahead of time in books or seen happen with others' on blogs, no one could have told me how Jenna would respond to any of this.
Good thing is, God knows. He knew that she belonged in our family and that we are the mom and dad to help her through this transition. And luckily, he, and only he, can equip us to do just that.
Did I mention this is the hardest thing I've ever done? :)

Anyways, some specifics I want to get down to remember later.....

This last Monday, on the day that Jenna had been with me for 3 weeks, she gave me a kiss at bedtime! My first sign of affection from her....and it sure was sweet. Since then she has given them to the kids and even Jason! Prompted of course, but still....
She is starting to come around to Jason....slowly. Just today for the first time, he was able to pick her up and hold her without her whimpering or crying.
She is playing with toys more. And with the kids more.
Her smiles come more easily. A few more laughs too.
She doesn't cry at bathtime anymore, and has learned that if she tilts her head back (with my help) then the water won't go in her face, which she really hates.
She still hasn't spoken, though she did squeal with excitement this week as I chased her on my hands and knees. That's the only real intentional sound other than crying we've heard.

Our biggest struggle currently is food/mealtime. There is something very unhealthy about her relationship with food. I don't know what happened prior to make her this way, and we are having a hard time knowing how to handle this. But we have some appointments this next week that may help us in that regard and we have already set up an occupational therapy appointment to help with her chewing also. (She doesn't chew foods but swallows whole; she was mostly fed liquids so she just doesn't know how yet).

Anyways, we are getting there.
Thank you for continued prayers.


Monday, July 5, 2010

our new, crazy normal

We made it home! We got back on the evening of the first, and had a very horrible first night home before we packed the car the next morning to head to Ben's state baseball tournament for the weekend. I know it sounds crazy, but we felt that it was something we needed to do for Ben.
And actually, Jenna knew hotel living as normal, so it wasn't a far stretch for her.

We had a great time over the weekend at the tournament. I was so happy for our family just to all be together.

With Jenna, slowly, slowly, progress is being made.
I'd actually love to hear from any of you who have had to introduce your adopted child to your husband upon arriving home. That is really the biggest struggle right now. She is doing great with me, good with the kids, good sleeping, napping, eating, but not so great with Jason.
She's pretty food driven so she will let him feed her, but that's really it.
I assume she hasn't been around men before so I knew to expect it, I just don't know how to handle it. Do we force it? Do we force it with me around? Do we completely wait until she's totally comfortable with everything else? And how will I know when that is?
I am struggling with how to deal with it.
We both know that this is 'normal' in our heads, but for Jason's heart I know how hard it is. Only difference is that when she was handed to me, there was no one else to hand her off to when she freaked out.

Please continue to pray for this situation.

The travel home was fine. Of course, very long, but it was ok. I didn't sleep much as I awoke every time one of the kids rustled in their sleep. Ben and Jenna both slept about 5 hours of the 14. And to give you an idea of just how quiet Jenna is, she didn't make a peep for the entire trip. She really still hasn't. The nanny told me when I asked about her talking that her language is "lazy." Not sure if that means she can talk but doesn't, or if that means that she can't talk. ?? Although mellow and quiet may fit in quite nicely around here, I'm anxious to hear something from her.