Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year 2008!

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It amazes me how fast 2007 has gone by. We've looked back at the year and realize so much has happened. We found our son (March) AND brought him home (November), Sarah won 3rd place at the State level in the national PTA Reflections Contest for dance choreography, Analiese had TWO surgeries to close her palate, Dave got a promotion, Gracie learned to read and I became a volunteer with Love without Boundaries.
We've had our health, lots of happiness, good friends and lots of opportunities. We have been blessed and thank God everyday for all the good in our lives.
We look forward to 2008 and know that it will be just as busy as 2007 was. To start the year, Sarah will be performing in the half-time show at the Jan 5th Atlanta Hawks game. In May, our boys, William and Thomas are graduating from High School, as is our niece Liz. The kids are just going to love all the celebrations. We'll, once again, vacation with the Browns; this time we are meeting in Gatlinburg. The summer will find us at the beach--with Matthew who will love it as much as we all do. In the fall, Analiese will start kindergarten and Matthew will have learned enough English to communicate with us! Grace is moving into 2nd grade and Sarah will be in her last year of elementary school (big transition for Mom!).
Through all of the wonderful events we hope to slow down and enjoy each other and help Matthew (and each other) become a part of our family. We all have new roles and places to fill with his arrival. One thing that we've decided is that we will no longer run the Chinese school. Dave's dream was to bring the school to life, which he did, and I am so proud of his accomplishment! Hopefully the school will continue to blossom and we can bring the kids as students sometime in the future!
When Dave and I married we never, ever envisioned this future for us. God's plan has unfolded in so many wonderful ways for us; we are so excited to see what He has in store for us in 2008!
Happy New to all of you, may you be as blessed as we are! Love, Tina Dave, Sarah, Grace, Analiese, Matthew, Duchess and Clarence!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Waipo (wy-po) and Waigong (wy-gong)

We had a very nice visit from Granddad Matt (Wygong) and Grandmom Eileen (Waipo). The kids just loved showing off and getting lots and lots of attention! Matthew instantly bonded with them and freely, without warning, gave lots of hugs! I loved having some help as Eileen is wonderful around the house; cooking and cleaning!
The night before Dad and Eileen left I tried to explain to Matthew that they were leaving. As I tucked him in I said, and pantomimed, "Waipo and Waigong going bye-bye". Matthew's response surprised me; he started to cry, covered his eyes and said, "No go Waipo and Waigong". It was just heartbreaking.
I had Eileen come up to comfort him and tell him that he would be able to talk to them on the phone. It was obvious he was so sad. Needless to say, this morning when Matthew woke up, he ran through the house, yelling for Waipo and Waigong. He wanted to know where they were.
Once again, we tried to explain that they had to go home, unfortunately, Matthew hung his head. The good news about this is that Matthew has shown how much he loves having a family. He understood the attention and he seemed to understand the relationship. On many occasions I would point to Granddad Matt and say, "my dad" and Matthew would smile and repeat.
The only time he seemed to be distressed is when I told Matthew that Wygong's name was also Matthew. He whined and kept pointing to himself, saying, "Matthew". He really did not like it that Granddad Matt had the same name as he did. The visit really was so much better than I could have imagined for Matthew....he is making such great progress!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Holidays from All of Us

I sure wish y'all could have shared in our day. It was wonderful, to say the least! We are so blessed to be a family, to be healthy and to be able to enjoy the fun things!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A visit with Santa

We had our visit with Santa today. Matthew was very excited while we waited in line. He was curious to see what was going on and waved to Santa several times. When it was our turn, Matthew and the girls readily climbed up into the chair to chat with the jolly old elf. We told Santa that Matthew did not speak english but that did not stop him from speaking quietly to Matthew. It was so fun watching Matthew smile for the camera. The girls all told Santa what they wanted. Grace also asked Santa how old Hershey was; Santa said that Hershey was one of his oldest elves at (at least) 200 years old! Grace's eyes just got so BIG and then she giggled.
After we saw Santa all of the kids were so animated--including Matthew. Even though he has no clue what all of this is about he is loving every minute of it! On the way home Matthew was singing, "It must be Santa" and then "Jingle Bells". As soon as I figure out how to post a video I'll share. It was so clear and Matthew was truly happy. This is such a magical time of year for all of us!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Cardiologist's Report

Today Matthew saw the cardiologist. I can't say we are encouraged about the results but on the other hand we are not discouraged. After several tests and a sonogram, it seems that the diagnosis is a "Fistula of the right atrium". Basically it is an interruption of the flow of blood. The cardiologist seems to think that this is was most likely caused by the deficits in Matthew's diet and that after 6 months of a good solid, appropriate diet, rich in protein, Matthew's heart will heal itself.
So, for now, Matthew must take antibiotics prior to any medical or dental procedure. He doesn't have any restrictions on his activities but I certainly will alert the coaches at school that Matthew has heart issues. I just would hate for ANYTHING to go wrong during PE.
We will forward the report to the dentist and we should be able to now make a plan of care for Matthew. I shudder to think what is in store for Matthew. He is more like Grace in regard to medical procedure; fear and screaming. Unlike sweet Analiese who just takes everything in stride. Speaking of Analiese, she was at the dentist the other day and he just RAVED about how well she is doing, in healing and in dealing with the appliance. It was agreed that she would return the day after Christmas for another evaluation. In the meantime we have scheduled the removal of her appliance for January 3rd.
Unfortunately Analiese will have to be put under for this procedure but the risks of doing it in the office are way too many. Right now the appliance is basically cemented in. There is a possibility of the device "sticking" and having to be forcibly removed. We just don't want Analiese to go through that. Right now she doesn't have any fear of the dentist, the surgeon nor any medical procedure and we want to keep it that way. In her mind the doctors are there to help her not hurt her.
So, for both of our children, their medical needs are more than what we first imagined. The good news is that nothing is insurmountable and we have the best care possible. We just hate that the children must go through the medical go-round. They've certainly had their share of challenges.
Matthew is doing so well this week. The meltdown that he had last week seems to have been a turning point for him. He now hugs me every chance he gets, wants and gives kisses freely and says I love you. We wonder if he just had a MAJOR grieving episode and we just didn't recognize it????
We are learning just as much as Matthew is. I must admit, I'm liking my son and his sweet personality. I watched him in PE the other day. He played so well with the other children. He shared, didn't argue or fight and was willing to let others go before him. There IS a sweet child there and we just have to patiently wade through the layers to bring him out in all environments!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Elf on the Shelf

The Elves brought us another gift was the Elf on the Shelf. What is that you ask? Well, the material items are a book and an elf. The other part of the gift is that it is a beginning of a new Christmas Tradition for our family. According to the book, this elf, whom we've named Hershey, is here to watch the children and each evening he races back to the North Pole and reports what he sees to Santa. Because of Christmas "magic" he is able to go and return very quickly. To have Hershey in our home, Santa has lain down some rules; 1. Hershey cannot speak to the children, although the children can speak to him and tell him all of their wishes for Christmas, 2. We cannot touch Hershey or he may lose the magic that allows him to travel between here and the North Pole. 3. Every morning Hershey will be in a different place and the children must find him and 4. The final rule is that Hershey will return to the North Pole on Christmas Eve but will return next year.
This gift is very timely because Sarah was just asking me yesterday if Santa was real! She says that some of the kids at school have told her that her Santa is not real and that parents bring all of the gifts. I did my best to explain to her that everyone believes something different. But, just like in the Polar Express, if you don't believe then you don't have the magic of Christmas and Santa will not visit those that do not believe!
She cried and begged for me to tell her the "truth". I told her the truth was in her heart. The most amazing thing? When we got home, the elves had left her a gift of a Santa hat that we had JUST talked about in the car that Sarah needed for her chorus and her dance performance. The elves also left a note that said, "Santa is real". That pretty much sealed it for Sarah; Santa DOES exist!

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Very Bad Day

Matthew had a HORRIBLE day at school. It seemed to start, according to his teacher, first thing. She noticed that he did not want to do his morning work, something that he loves to do. It went down hill from there. By 10AM she came to me and said that he had just refused to do anything, even PE class. When I went to see, he was standing outside of the gym, refusing to go in. I tried to get him to comply but he told me no.
I removed him, called Dave and then went and had my own little melt down as the assistant principal dealt with my son. Dave arrived and it was agreed that I would no longer be the first line of defense. I just cannot deal with the issues 24/7.
By the end of the afternoon, after Matthew refused to go with his ESOL teacher, he had to be restrained because he was screaming, yelling, falling on the floor, kicking and hitting anyone within reach (which happened to be teachers and administrators).
When we left school he was kept from the tumbling he so enjoyed and then sent to his room. I explained, the best that I could, why he was being punished. He had no tears and, what seemed like, remorse. At one point, in his room he wrote, MATTHEW, with no help. This child is learning so I cannot write off his behavior as not understanding, because he DOES understand and he has changed his behavior at home. All I can surmise is that he is choosing to be defiant because he just doesn't want to do what he is asked to do and somewhere in his past, this behavior got him what he wanted!
Next week we have a meeting at school. This is just my worst nightmare. I am now the PARENT of the type of children I am responsible for! What do I do????

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Two for the price of one!

Dave took Matthew (and of course Analiese) to see Dr. Thomas, the dentist, who just was involved in Analiese's surgery this past week. So, he took a look at Analiese while she was there and said things look GREAT but she isn't healed yet. He said the longer we keep the appliance in the better. He and Dr. Williams, the surgeon, believe that Analiese is somehow causing the breakdown of her palate (with her tongue, maybe????). Anyway, the appliance doesn't bother her so if they want us to keep it in, keep it in is what we'll do!
As for Matthew we didn't get much encouraging news. Where do I begin? Well for one, they won't do any work until we get Matthew seen at the cardiologist for the heart murmur that the pediatrician has diagnosed. So, next week we are off to the cardiologist for an echo. The dental evaluation revealed that Matthew's molars are in great shape and can be used to anchor some teeth. He also has 3 other teeth coming in. One is a molar that looks good and the other 2 are coming in sideways which is not so good. If they do not "upright" themselves they will have to be pulled. Not good when these are the only teeth he will get. Even the 4 front teeth are permanent teeth (??). The teeth that Matthew gets are baby teeth for him. I guess the tooth fairy will have to come when he gets his dentures instead of when the teeth fall out!
The dentist also said that Matthew's lower jaw bone is very thin and they will consider building up the bone with additional bone. We will get into all of the specifics once we have the full report from the cardiologist.
Through the entire evaluation Matthew did very well. Much better than yesterday when he saw the pediatrician and had to get 4 shots. He screamed and cried and tried to run away. Sounds like Grace a little! Anyway, Matthew was very reluctant to go to the dentist this AM after his appointment yesterday even though I tried to tell him he wasn't getting any shots. Oh well...
Matthew may not have gotten any shots at the dentist today but he did tonight. When I put him to bed we played our game of me kissing him and him wiping it off. I've added a part where I wrap him up in the sheet so he can't get his arms up to wipe off the kiss. Tonight when I did that he yelped in pain. As soon as I pulled down the sheet out came a wasp. The weather has been so warm here that the kids have been out playing and the bugs are still living. So one came in and got comfortable under the covers in Matthew's bed. Well, needless to say Matthew screamed and yelled and then refused to go back to his bed. He cried and yelled, "Mommy" which just broke my heart. I held him and tried to tell him that I killed the bug and it would not bite him but he wanted none of it. As long as I sat on his bed he was fine. So, I did what any other mother would do; put him into my bed where he immediately got under the covers and snuggled in. What a sweet boy!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Santa brought an EARLY gift!

Last night, just as the Grace and Analiese were taking a shower, the doorbell rang. I didn't see anyone when I looked out of the upstairs window but I thought I saw some elves running away from the house. Well, sure enough, when we went to look to see if the elves had left something for the kids we saw a very LARGE box. We quickly ran to open the door. To our surprise we found that the very large box was really a dog carrier and inside was a very tiny kitten. On top of the carrier was a bow and tag from Santa to the kids!
The kitten is so tiny and so very sweet. We've tentatively named him (YES a boy!--I guess Santa didn't realize that we really preferred girl cats) Clarence.
Why Clarence you ask? Well for those of you who seen the move, "It's a Wonderful Life" you know that the angel sent to help Jimmy Stewart was named Clarence. This sweet little cat has been sent from heaven to help fill in the hole that has been here since our wonderful Mei-Mei disappeared.
He is already litter box trained and is trying to win over Duchess. Unfortunately Duchess isn't nearly as excited as we all are to have a new baby in the house. I'm sure Clarence will win her over!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Successful surgery and First choices!

Analiese's surgery went very well. Dr. Williams spent about an hour working on her palate and reported that the repair went well and Analiese has the best chance for a full repair. Unfortunately, the second layer of tissue is thin as Analiese just doesn't have lots of healthy tissue. Dr. Williams hope that the appliance Dr. Thomas, the dentist, put in will give the tissue the opportunity to not only heal but regenerate.
The appliance is very similar to a mouth guard that football players use. It not only covers the entire palate, but also the teeth. Analiese doesn't seem to be bothered by it. She has to keep it in for at least 3 weeks and then we go for a follow up with Dr. Thomas who will determine if the appliance needs to stay. He will remove it, clean it and view the healing. If needed he will reattach the appliance. We will then visit Dr. Williams.
The day of the surgery Analiese and I arrived at Scottish Rite very early; 6 AM! We were told by the nurse that the hospital was full and we may have some waiting after surgery for a room. Boy was she ever right! Analiese was out of surgery and in recovery by 9:15 (surgery started at about 7:45). Dave and I were taken to the recovery room at about 10:00 to wait because there were no rooms available. As you can see from the photos Analiese was very distraught when we first arrived but it didn't take very long for her to calm down. She is such a great little patient. The nurse said that she was so refreshing because most children are not nearly so calm.
We waited until about 11:00 AM before we were moved into a room. It was not one of the rooms that we had in the past, it was one of the smaller rooms generally used for pre/post op only.
We made the best of it, it was much easier after we were given a larger bed. The hospital is NOT the place to get any rest as the noise is outrageous and the nurses and techs are in and out so much. But...Analiese was a trooper and a charmer! She is so compliant and just does everything that is asked of her. On the one hand I am so proud of her but on the other I HATE that she has had so much experience that surgery and the hospital stay has become so common place to her.
Since we've come home she had done so well; she is crabby when the pain gets unbearable but for the most part it is manageable. She hasn't lost her appetite and that is causing some problems. She doesn't like lots of the soft stuff and wants to get back to her normal diet. She also HATES, HATES, HATES the medicine and only wants Mom to give it to her. That is going to be a problem when I return to work on Monday.
Overall I must say the surgery was a success! I so hope the tissue heals because our next option is the tongue flap surgery. I just don't want to put her through that. We will keep praying for her.
Matthew picked out his own outfit today and was very proud of his choice. Mom is going to have to spend a little time explaining fashion to her sweet son!
At school on Friday Matthew had a GIANT meltdown; full of crying, screaming and scratching at his face. Nothing seemed to set him off but he was inconsolable. Dave immediately left the hospital to see what he could do. I spoke with Matthew on the phone and that seemed to help. Gina, the principal and my friend, did a FANTASTIC job of calming him and he was able to return to class and have a good afternoon. We can only guess that he may have thought that I left him (as I was gone Thursday and Friday at the hospital). Matthew wouldn't talk to our Chinese speaking friend over the phone to explain so we are taking him to meet with her in person in hopes that we can get some insight into what is causing his distress at school. We aren't seeing any of these behaviors at home. He is doing so well with our family. He hugs Dave and is definitely attached to all of us. I can only imagine how frustrated he must be at school, not understanding the language and the expectations. First grade has become so academic and leaves very little time for free, fun time. We so want to make it easier for Matthew. Hopefully tomorrow we will have some answers.
Keep our angels in your prayers; Analiese for healing and Matthew for understanding.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Two visits: the Tooth Fairy and the Surgeon

Yesterday Grace's other front tooth came out...of course it was with alittle help from Mom, Mrs. McGuire, her teacher, and Grace herself! Gracie actually was the one who finally pulled the tooth out. I told her that her big girl tooth was growing in before we could get a picture of "no front teeth" and she had to wiggle and wiggle her tooth so it would come out. She looks and sounds so cute! On her letter to Santa she included "her two front teeth" as something she wanted!
Matthew's reaction to the lost tooth was priceless. He looked at the tooth in shock and then stared in Grace's mouth. He kept looking from one to the other. Then he motioned for me to wiggle his teeth (none are loose) and he then pointed to an area on the bottom of his mouth that seems to have a new tooth erupting. I'm guessing that it is an adult tooth as this would be the time that the lower teeth fall out and the new ones come in. We have a dental appointment in a few weeks and will know more. But he was so AMAZED that Grace's tooth came out. Unfortunately we just weren't able to communicate about the tooth fairy so when he loses his teeth it will be a very brand new experience!
Tomorrow Analiese has surgery--again--to close her palate. This time they are putting in an obturator (orthodontic appliance) that will be wired to her teeth. The team hopes that this will help the fistula heal and stay repaired. We will have to bring Analiese back to Scottish Rite once a week to have the area cleaned because we will not be able to remove the appliance. I know that this surgery is going to have more behavioral consequences because it will be more restrictive for Analiese. I also anticipate longer than one night in the hospital. On the other hand, Analiese is such a trooper and very well prepared for the surgery! She is not nervous or apprehension in the least bit. To her, she is going to see Dr. Williams, whom she loves! I am so glad all of this has not frightened her. She really is a wonderful, special little girl!
Matthew's morning did not go well at school. He tried to get his way and refused to participate and listen to the teacher. I was called in twice to his class and removed him. The second time I called Amy, again, who talked with Matthew. The rest of the afternoon went well. He learned a new phrase from Amy, "Qing Nan, good boy". She told him that he must work at being a "good boy". I know he wants to please and I realize that this whole experience is hard and school must be so frustrating for him. BUT...he must understand that no matter how frustrated, angry or whatever he is feeling he absolutely can NOT be rude or disrespectful to others. I know that he can learn and that he wants to please. That is so encouraging to all of us.
On the other hand, at home he is doing so well! He is a little wild when he plays but it is understandable. It will take a while until he learns what is appropriate. But he is polite and loving to all of us.
I must say that the Lord knew what he was doing when he sent Matthew to us. This little boy is teaching us all so much in the process of us teaching him. He has made a HUGE impact at school and so many of the children have been touched by his journey and experiences. A mom approached me and told me the conversation she had with one of her daughters. They read our blog and this young girl has asked so many questions as to why Matthew has had to go through losing his parents and living in an orphanage. This adoption, more so than either Grace's or Analiese's, has touched so many people. This boy, who almost didn't get a chance at a family, now has so much love and support from so many people. One day he will know of the lives he has touched and the people he has changed.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A step back and a LEAP forward!

Yesterday Matthew had a VERY bad day at school. He has not wanted to go with the ESOL teacher, Amy, and she really hasn't pushed the issue. Yesterday, when she went to try and bring him to her class he was defiant, folded his arms around his chest and told her "NO" then ran away from her. Well Amy did not want to force Matthew and insist that he come. When I found out, about an hour later, I went and got Matthew and brought him to Amy's class. He told me no also and refused to sit in the seat given to him. I picked him up and plopped him down---he refused to look at Amy or the other children in the class.
During the class Matthew would not participate and began to kick the table, when corrected he continued and Amy had to remove his chair from the group. When she did that Matthew proceeded to rake his fingernails against the chair to make noise. He continued to be a disruption.
You would have thought that when it was time to go he would have jumped at the chance. Oh no, he didn't want to do ANYTHING that Amy wanted him to and he refused to move out of her class. I was called in. I was able to get Matthew to go as far as the hallway of his classroom when he just threw himself onto the floor. Poor Amy was so distraught having to be a part of this scene. She offered to help, to get help, ANYTHING to make things better.
But, I knew that the situation had to play out as Matthew was replaying his behaviors of China. So I sent Amy away and promptly took Matthew into the teachers lounge and had a mom to son moment--which resulted in him screaming at me. With him screaming I walked him, not very easily, to his classroom to pick up his backpack and his coat and off to my office we went.
When we got to my office I got a chair, faced in to my cabinet and sat Matthew in it. He not only continued to scream but began to scream louder and louder. Oh and he threw in some tears out of frustration. I would periodically look at him and he would gesture he wanted to get out of the chair but I told him no, he would then scream louder! One of our assistant principals even poked her head out of her office to find out what was going on. When she found out it was Matthew she just went back into her office.
After about 35 minutes of screaming and just shortly after Grace arrived Matthew stopped crying and got up to play with Grace. Oh, he was not happy when I sat him back down and pantomined his behavior and told him how inappropriate it was. He began to cry--AGAIN.
I finally allowed him to get out of the chair when he stopped crying and have his snack but would not allow him to leave my office to play with the other children. I also called Dave to contact someone who could speak to Matthew in mandarin. Dave called our friend Amy, who use to be the principal of our Chinese school. She readily agreed to speak with him later that evening.
Dave and I both agreed that it was time to follow through with some consequence for Matthew because of his defiant and disrespectful behavior to his teacher. When we got home, I walked Matthew up to his room, again pantomined his behavior from school (which he laughed at when I got to the screaming part) and then I told him that he had to stay in his room. He told me no---AGAIN, but I was insistant. I allowed him to look at books and play with his Leap Frog book. Matthew tried several times to get out of his room but I reinforced the reasons why he was there.
After dinner we phoned Amy and we asked her to be very firm with Matthew. We knew this wouldn't be a problem for her as she put the fear of God into Analiese when she first came home. Amy was very insightful about Analiese and told us that we would have to be firm with her as she was very strong-willed and misbehaved. Amy helped tremendously when Analiese would throw her tantrums trying to get her way. To this day she straightens up immediately if she sees Amy!
We wanted Amy to tell Matthew that his behavior at school was unacceptable. That he must listen to his teachers, that it was not an option to say NO to an adult and that he should never, ever purposely misbehave to try and make the teacher mad! We also had her explain that if he did misbehave at school he would face a consequence at home, just like he had that day--in his room and only allowed out to eat. Matthew listened to Amy intently and responded appropriately. He told her that he understood and that he would do as he was asked. Amy also told us that she presented herself as an "aunt" and that she offered to spend time with him if he behaved.
We were satisfied with how Matthew seemed to respond and hoped for a better day! And a better day we got. My son woke up this morning and after hearing me tell him good morning, went downstairs to the kitchen and, unprompted, told his Daddy good morning! He was in good spirits, as he generally is before school and seemed ready for the day. He had a good morning and went with his reading teacher and participated in the groups activities, he was as competitive as ever in PE but the true test came when it was time for Amy to take him to ESOL.
Lo and behold, that boy immediately took Amy's hand and walked with the group to her classroom. I peeked in a few times and then was summoned to hear Matthew read his first sentence, "Z is for zig zag"!! He also repeated some sounds and wrote his sentence on the paper! I was so proud of him and felt so glad when he waved to me as I left his class.
We are seeing SO much progress with Matthew and are so darn proud of him! He has learned to ask for things with a "please" and then say "thank you". He says good morning and night-night when it is time for bed. He is anxious to do homework and loves to have our approval.
Tonight on the way home from dance class he laughed and giggled with the girls when we had a "stinky gas" episode from one of the kids! He held his nose and as each child named another child and said, "Analiese go potty", he said, "Mommy go potty" and just giggled away! It was so sweet to hear his laughter.
In my office I have photos of the kids which today Matthew picked up each one and named who was in it. The only photo I have of him is hanging on the wall outside of my office. So after he named everyone, I asked, Where is Matthew and he immediately ran to the poster and pointed to his photo! He then pointed to a photo of me and Dave and said, Mommy and Daddy!
Finally, tonight when I put him to bed we played our game of me kissing him and trying to keep him from wiping the kisses off. The difference was, Matthew called me back, and with lips puckered he wanted another kiss. He then he told me, "Wo ai ni" (I love you)!!!! I think our boy knows he belongs!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Home One week

How amazingly fast this week went....Right before we left for China we were looking for a place to store our Halloween candy and today I started my Christmas shopping!! The time is just flying by.
Matthew is making huge strides in transitioning into our family. Yesterday he participated in his first tumbling class. He absolutely loved it! He laughed, he giggled and he acted just like a 6 year old boy trying something for the first time. I so wish I had remembered my camera as the photos would have been so great--next week I'll try and remember!
Today Matthew met his brothers for the first time. I think he was very surprised that they were "big". I think he expected them to be older but still "boys". He was very excited before they got here and then he became extremely shy---however he played basketball with them, played on the swings and played some games with them. He just had a great time.
His english is just expanding everyday. He is learning the names of so many things and using them correctly! He is just a smart kid. He says thank you without being prompted, covers his eyes if his sisters are in the bathroom and he just HAS to put his clothes in the laundry basket and best of all, his table manners have improved dramatically!
Last week at school was OK. Matthew gets tired in the afternoon, that is obvious. He tries hard to keep up with the other kids and does a great job even though he doesn't understand ANYTHING that they are doing. His handwriting is perfect as is his copying from the board. His ESOL teacher spent some time with him and on Friday got to be the one to experience Matthew's first ride on the swing! Things are moving along.
We have to take him to the ENT to check his one ear as it seems to be blocked and then he has to see the dentist for his entire mouth. Then next week he starts on his immunizations...he just will not like that at all!
I have to say that the bonding I did not feel in China is beginning now. I enjoy watching him and am fiercely protective of him! When I check on him at night I see an innocent little boy, not a terror who drives me crazy.
We are all finding our way and our place in this new family that has been created. Our time in China was dark, very dark but the dawn is on the horizon and I know when it gets here, the day is going to be WONDERFUL!