This time it is counting our time home. Although I have desired to log and blog every day, every waking moment has been filled to capacity!
Both Hope and Mandy are doing very well overall. We continue to have periodic “blips” where my desires and their wills don’t match…and results in a lot of scowling, door slamming, and pouting in their rooms. (Usually by our teen more than the other!) One day Hope slept 6 hours while she was sulking and was surprised that she wasn’t tired at bedtime. I don’t know how long she was in bed before she fell asleep b/c I am usually out moments after my head hits the pillow!
Mandy and Hannah have found a good playmate in each other, although I know that Hannah misses the days of life without a virtual twin and shared attention. Hannah tries SO HARD to incorporate Mandy and gives (usually) sacrificially. Every once in a while she struggles through tears, which is better than the crying 7-8 times a day two weeks ago. Mandy’s English is coming along and she understands more than she speaks, so we usually don’t have too much of a communication problem. Pantomime is used often too. We have been “schooling” in math sums, alphabet writing and identification, and following directions.
Hope has been going to school part time this week. Actually, it has only been for an art class, but she LOVES it. She is learning to weave a rug. In a little over a week she will be in the art class for 1 ½ periods, combining the weaving with a drawing class. Mrs. Babcock has been wonderful in accommodating Hopes desires and needs, and I am very thankful. Next week Hope will be starting Rosetta Stone-English on the school computer, will start trying instruments with the band instructor to find out which one she would like to learn, and may start a math class as well. Hope is uncertain about the math, as the teacher is bald. She seems to think that makes him mean, although I assured her that he is very nice. The math teacher is also an adoptive parent, so he is a perfect choice for Hope. I couldn’t have worked it out any better—thank you God!!!
We have had so many firsts since home! The girls have sat through many swim meets, band concerts, church services, and have discovered a love of SHOPPING!!! (what a change for Hope!) They have been to a local aquatic center for swimming (Hope just watched, but Mandy went down the three-story slide!), the dentist office (no repair at this time, just a cleaning, but Mandy cried through the whole thing. Cavity repair will commence a few months from now), and Hope had a quick doctor’s visit for her cough (next week we go for their second chicken pox immunization and blood titers…ugh!).
I have had a glimpse into Hope’s heart. One night after a swimming meet I was getting the kids into the van to go home. Hannah was trying to get Hope’s attention by repetitively saying her name: Xi Fan! Xi Fan! Xi Fan! Finally Hope turned around and told her, “I’m not Xi Fan, I’m Hope!” Again, at the dentist office I was filling out their paperwork and listed her whole name: Hope Katherine XiFan Fathman. When she saw it, she told me no while pointing to her Chinese name. I put a line through it, and she was pleased. Of course Mandy then wanted the same thing…
Finally, I have to share a quirk of Mandy’s—she loves to look at, into, through, and around EVERYTHING. She then asks me for various things—a pin, my clothing, toys, a handful of change, whatever. I usually say ok to anything she requests when she is exploring (but not anything that she could break or has a large monetary or sentimental value) but then she doesn’t want it anymore and puts it back. Even when Hannah tries to give her change, Mandy always gives it back. She is amazed that the things she identifies as “Hannah’s” are to be shared with her also. One look into our toy room and dress-up closet gives her eyes as big as saucers, especially when I try to explain that it is hers too. It is a beautiful thing to watch.
It hasn’t been easy, but it has been good. I praise God for this journey and for my family and especially for the support of my dear husband. I can’t imagine life without any of them!
All my best,