Sunday, October 3, 2010

"She's Beautiful! So...How's It Going?"

Emerson's been home for about two weeks now, and overall, things are going very well. We knew September and October would be very difficult months for our family, and to be honest, it has not been easy. We knew it wouldn't be.

The positive:

Emerson has had no sleep issues to speak of. The first couple of nights, we were all a little jet-lagged, but after that, she has been sleeping well at night, crying for only a couple of minutes at lights-out. She enjoys sharing a room with Harper, and we hear them talking and giggling at night over the baby monitor. She naps at the same time as Harper, in the boys' room, while Harper sleeps in the crib in the girls' room.

Emerson will eat almost anything. She eats better than our other kids, and is willing to try everything. A lot of kids from China are very picky eaters, and will only eat rice and noodles, but not our Emmy. Yesterday she dipped french fries in salsa and ate them.

Some challenges:

Harper has had some issues with jealousy. Specifically, she has been biting Emerson, sometimes actually breaking the skin. Any tips on how to get a jealous one year old to stop biting would be greatly appreciated!

Um, our daughter speaks Mandarin. While it's not a surprise that she speaks Mandarin (hello, she is Chinese), Brandon and I were pleasantly surprised that she is very verbal. We were expecting significant speech delays, and that does not seem to be the case. When we were in China, she talked a mile a minute (in Mandarin), and the Chinese people there understood her perfectly. It's understandably frustrating for her that she cannot verbally communicate with her parents now.

She is comprehending quite a bit of English at this point, and she is following a lot of instructions even without body language and gestures right now. For example, we can now tell her to get her shoes on, and she puts them on. Three weeks ago, we had to tell her to put her shoes on, then walk her over to the shoes and point to them for her to understand what we were asking her to do. She will copy and mimic what we say when we prompt her to, but does not speak a lot of English on her own. Some of what she says when she is copying us sounds NOTHING like what we are trying to get her to say. For example, instead of saying "please" when prompted, she very clearly says "m-dah" (which does not mean "please" in Mandarin, like we thought it might). She will say Mama, Daddy, Harper, night night, and uh-oh without prompting, and sometimes hello and goodbye.

The language is probably our biggest challenge right now, as we expected it would be. Dane and Aidan love Emerson to pieces, and have been exceptional big brothers to her. Emerson is still very friendly and outgoing, and has greeted most guests to our home with a big smile and a hug when they walk in our door. When we were in China, she did this to every adult we saw, and was also calling perfect strangers "mama" and "auntie". She's not doing this anymore, so perhaps we're making a little bit of progress at this point.

Emerson got to meet my parents, her Pappy and MoMo, and also my Uncle Tom and Aunt Carol and GG yesterday, and I can't wait to post those pictures this week! Thank you for continuing to pray for our family as we all continue to adjust!


Anonymous said...

On the biting issue, if you will put Tabasco sauce on Emerson's Probable Bite Points, or PBPs, this will deter Harper from biting as most children that age don't like spicy things.
Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help.