Last Week Was SO MUCH BETTER!

“But I am trusting in you, O Lord, saying, ‘You are my God!’ My future is in your hands.” Psalm 31: 14, 15

I have been meaning to write this post since last Thursday to let all of you faithful prayer warriors know that your prayers are being answered. Some days are harder than others, but overall things are gradually getting much easier. I know that this is largely due to so many people praying for us.

One HUGE encouragement to me has been joining the yahoo group for older children adopted from China. Thanks, Vickie, for pointing out how very different older child adoption is from toddler or infant adoption and suggesting this group. After reading just three days of messages I knew I had found the right place! This is a GREAT resource for any of you adopting older kids.

We attempted to do school last week, and I think that Rachel is sort of learning our routine as relaxed as that is. The great weather helped also. She loves playing outside. Caleb and Titus do too. So we did a good bit of our schoolwork out on the porch so that she could play nearby during school.

She is slowly learning more English and how to get along with her brothers. Sleep is up and down–mostly down last week–lots of night-waking. But my dear husband began getting up for me on Wednesday night (and I didn’t even ask him to 🙂 ). Mom getting sleep helps the day go so much better. Of course, Dad had a hard time. Rachel does not want Dad when she wakes up, so she usually cries a while before going back to sleep. Some nights she awakened 8-10 times. She did begin sleeping more as the week went on.

Titus had a rough week last week. He is 5–one month younger than Rachel and very much enjoys being the baby of the family. So his world has really been rocked. Rachel doesn’t like me showing attention to any of the boys. But whenever I am talking to or loving on Titus, she tries to push her way in between us. When I won’t let her, she stomps off pouting. I have been telling her since we came home that “Mama ai Eli. Mama ai Caleb….” (Mama loves Eli. Mama loves Caleb….) She has started repeating that to me throughout the day, so hopefully she is beginning to understand.

Titus and Rachel took turns throwing fits last week. Whenever one of them was screaming, the other one put their hands over their ears and vice versa. Titus did get some time alone with Mama and Daddy the weekend before last when Rachel spent a few hours at Granny’s. Then that Saturday afternoon he and I went to see the movie Hotel for Dogs. One day this week when Rachel was screaming, Titus said, “She’s screaming so much that she’s erasing things in my brain! I can’t remember anything from Hotel for Dogs! I’m going to have to go see it again!” 🙂

Rachel went to worship with us for the first time last Sunday. We kept her in the service with us instead of sending her to children’s worship. I always enjoy having my children with me in worship anyway. She did much better than I thought she would. We brought lots of things to keep her entertained. At first the music was too loud for her, but after a bit she seemed to enjoy it. She seems to enjoy almost any kind of music. She will dance or bob her head to whatever I have playing at home or in the car. During the lesson anytime the speaker mentioned Jesus, she began singing “Jesus Loves Me.”

She also got her haircut last week. I made appointments for all three of the boys, but Titus did not want to get his haircut. When I told Rachel where we were going (with hand motions), she excitedly pointed to herself. So I told Titus he could wait and get his cut this week with me. Rachel was still a little nervous when her turn came. I held her hands while she got a little trim. I’m letting her hair grow out, but she just need a few shaggy parts trimmed. Tommy was sad to see her Spock side burns go. 😦

Friday evening we went to a rodeo! I had planned on just letting Tommy take the boys. But I decided that Rachel and I would go too. It was a lot of fun! I was afraid the announcer and music would scare her–they were annoyingly LOUD. But not this child. She loved it!

Now for some photos!

Here’s Titus playing knight with the tai chi sword Caleb brought back from China for him. If I am ever in need of rescue, Titus who is I want to fight for me. This kid has a fantastic imagination and spends lots of time in the backyard fighting “bad guys.” Of course, he’d rather have Caleb as a partner, but if Caleb is busy with school or would rather practice football, Titus will play hours by himself.

sir-titus

We had a late and very subdued Chinese New Year celebration at a local Chinese restaurant weekend before last. The waitresses tried to talk to Rachel, but she pretended to be shy. Of course, she turned back into her usual motor mouth as soon as we walked out the door.

rachel-and-mama

Rachel taking a picture of me.

rachel-taking-photo

Eli enjoying the ice cream! He’s my lifesaver many days. I really don’t know what I would do without him. He turned 13 last month. Maybe things will get harder as he gets older, but right now he’s an absolute delight to be around.

eli

Titus making a silly face with his puppies at the Chinese restaurant. He has to carry some puppies with him everywhere he goes.

titus-with-puppies

Caleb passed out on the couch after spending the weekend fishing at Grandpa’s house.

caleb

Caleb and Titus on the new swingset Tommy built. We and my mom got it for Titus for Christmas because he spent so much time on our ancient swingset. But both Eli and Caleb have enjoyed and Rachel too.

caleb-and-titus

titus

caleb-on-swingset

I made a Target trip to Tuscaloosa last Saturday with my good friend Amanda. I bought Rachel these sparkly shoes. She insisted on putting them on immediately.

rachels-shoes

Caleb came in the room, looked at Rachel’s shoes, made a funny face, and said, “Those shoes are horrible!” As you can tell from the photo, Rachel takes her shoes very seriously.

caleb-and-rachel

Okay, here is a photo of Caleb with Molly on Jan. 6th–the day before we left for China.

caleb-and-molly-jan-6

And here she is today–almost six weeks later. We could hardly believe how much she grew the two weeks we were gone! I can’t find the photo we took of Caleb and Molly the night we came home. Angie, do you have one? Caleb laid in his bed with Molly right after we got home sobbing because he had missed all that time with her and she had changed so much.

caleb-and-molly1

Rachel playing outside today

rachel

Titus showing me his fighting poses

titus-posing

titus-posing2

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Last Week Was SO MUCH BETTER!

  1. Renee

    Wow! Loved this post! Sounds like you are in a better place. Thanks for the update, I’ve checked several times–have been thinking about you a lot. I’m glad you found a good resource for getting some support and that Rachel is settling in a bit. My heart is with all of you! Today I’m really feeling it for your “baby boy” who’s having to share his place. I’m so proud of Tommy for being a trooper–such a great dad he is. I love you! Keep the faith! 🙂

  2. I’m very glad to hear that things are going a little better. Thanks for posting pictures of ALL of your children. I like seeing your family

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