Thursday, December 26, 2013
Getting to know you
This process of getting to know a child I already loved long-distance is very strange. He is so familiar to me on one hand, and a complete stranger on the other. But I am learning more about him every minute. First, he is very curious. Curious like Curious George who is always getting into trouble. Does anyone else remember the story when Curius George tries to go fishing and leans over to grab a fish but falls in? Yeah, that almost happened about 20 times already.
He is also an extrovert. And a talker! He never stops talking: to me, to Nicholas, to our guides, even to complete strangers like this fisherman. I am sad that I don't know more Mandarin because he must be so frustrated being with people who don't understands him.
He is also so brave. He will try anything, with just a little reassurance. He tried swimming even though he was nervous. I showed him how to hold his nose and blow bubbles underwater, and he tried it and got it right away. I was so proud if him.
He also walked over this very narrow and wobbly "bridge" in Changsha to get to a dock where some TV station was filming a swim team award ceremony. Elijah has a slight limp due to his club foot and isn't as sure- footed as typical kids, but he still went right over the bridge, smiling and giggling.
He is very playful and fun. He and Nicholas are like puppies together: running! tackling! picking each other up, etc.
He is also silly and likes to make lots of faces and to tickle my toes when I am not expecting it.
He doesn't like my kisses yet. He wipes them off or squeals and makes a face. But he likes hugs, likes to hold my hand, and sits close to me wherever we are.
He loves to play with figurines and, as I have mentioned, loves the iPad. I don't think he has used one before but he figured out how to play many games on his own and memorized the 2 different passwords on our ipad/ itouch.
He has the sweetest little laugh. He cracks up watching cartoons and whenever he tickles my feet. Or when he goes up and down the escalators.
He seems much younger than 7; more like 4 or 5. I had heard to expect that. He is big and strong and obviously well-cared-for, but just lacking in experience and impulse- control. He expects me to dress him and even feed him. He doesn't seem to know how to use chopsticks or a knife and fork. I am not sure if he is just fearful and in frozen/passive mode or just really does not know these things. I am taking it as an opportunity to foster attachment and build trust. After all, I did not get the opportunity to feed and dress him when he was a baby, so I will do it now.
I am loving my sweet boy and continue to lean on God from one moment to the next. Praying that I am doing the best for him during this chaotic time in his life. Praying I seem reliable and kind and trustworthy. Praying I feel safe as we get to know each other.