Thursday, September 6, 2012

It Isn't All a Walk in the Park--And Have I told You My Daughter is Wonderful!

Day Ten

There have been amazing moments full of joy.  But, it hasn't all been a walk in the park.  In fact, even the walk in the park had some trying moments.

Kaichen is very strong willed.  She had to be in order to survive to the age of  8 years old.  However, that will does occasionally clash with ours.  

Eating at restaurants means moving everything out of reach as if she were a baby...only she can reach farther than most two year olds!  She bangs,twists, dumps, cuts, pours out, whatever she can find.  She crams food into her mouth until she gags herself.  Several times I have had to reach into her mouth and pull out food so she would not choke. 

We are working on "little" bites. 

To get anywhere, we have to walk.  She doesn't like walking.  She hates holding our hands even more.  She pulls and resists a lot.  On very busy streets with lots of traffic, (yes, there are just as many cars driving on the sidewalk as there are on the roadway) it just isn't safe. Way too many times, she has tried to get away and make my heart stop beating as we lunged after her to keep her safe. 

Another favorite trick is to sit down in the middle of the street and refuse to walk.  If we try to pick her up, she screams no...making everyone think we are kidnapping some poor Chinese girl.  It gets really tiring.

And, when she doesn't like what you are doing, she says she needs the bathroom.  So, you find one and she doesn't need to go.   Then, when she really needs a bathroom, you don't believe her.  This leads to some rather messy moments.

Today was a little better than the days before, though.  And I'm expecting things will continue to improve as we start to know each other.

Anna at the museum in Taiyuan.
We met Anna to go to a museum this morning.  It was pouring rain so it seemed our best option.  I carefully helped Kaichen pack snacks in my purse.  I want her to know we have food and be able to get what she needs.  I also want her to come to me for her treats so that she knows I'm her mommy and I meet her needs.   When we went to the lobby, Kaichen asked Anna if she had snacks in her purse.  I think she wanted to brag about the ones she was anticipating for later.  Instead, Anna opened her purse and pulled out a bag of sunflower seeds.  She filled all of Kaichen's pockets with them, ignoring my protests.  I've been dealing with stupid sunflower seed shells all day.  Do I even need to mention that I haven't had any warm feelings for our coordinator here in Taiyuan?

At the museum, Anna kept getting real close to Kaichen and talking to her in Chinese. She would hold her hand and walk off.  I kept taking that hand back but it got difficult.  I finally told Kaichen that Anna was a nice lady, but not a mommy so she had to leave her alone.  Still, Anna kept standing very close to Kaichen while describing the things in the museum.  I kept moving in to keep between them.  Of course, it is easier for Kaichen to talk to someone who speaks Chinese, but the treats, and hand holding and stuff was not beneficial for bonding.  

Kelly next to the laughing Budda.
The afternoon was good.  We came back to the hotel and played paperdolls and puzzles.  We were so tired that Kelly went to the store to get some food.  The stuff he brought back was too spicy to eat, so we had a lunch of bananas and yogurt.  When the rain let up, we went to a bakery and picked out a birthday cake.  Kaichen was so excited.  She must have sung "happy birthday to daddy" a million times today.

Playing in the hotel.
Some fruit the hotel sent up because they found out it was Kelly's birthday.

Kaichen gave a birthday card to her Daddy.

Eating birthday cake with Daddy.

We went to our favorite restaurant and had dumplings, noodles and veggies for supper.  Kaichen kept making jokes about how none of this food was spicy like the food Daddy brought for lunch.  She laughed so much...and so did I.  We were stuffed with food and good feelings tonight.  

We topped off the evening by blowing bubbles in the bathtub.  Since there is a big mirror in the bathroom, it made it look like a bubble storm.

Yes, this girl is amazing. She asks the name of everything.  She practices phrases over and over.  She has created half a dozen private jokes with us.  Every time I need to brush her hair, she start laughing and pretending to brush teeth with the hairbrush.  She jokes about going up in the elevator when we are going down, and teases her daddy about his coffee.  When I read to her, she repeats all the words.  When I talk, she practices what I say.  Her vocabulary has practically doubled in the last day.

She is anxious to please and very responsive to praise.  I know this is partially what psychiatrists call a "trauma bond" where she clings to us because she needs us to survive and everyone else has disappeared.  Once she really trusts us, she may not work so hard at being helpful.  For now, our shoes are in a row and the trash is picked up because she is showing off how helpful she can be.

She is so smart.  She figures out what we want faster than we can figure out what we are trying to tell her.  She finds ways to make us understand what she wants even when words fail us.  And her touches a place deep in my core and makes my heart sing praises to the God who brought her into our lives.

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