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.