Well, of course, we are home. That's the reason I have not added to our blog. Things are busy and loud at our house.
We arrived at our home to see so many wonderful friends lining our very long driveway. I just ate up our community and felt their love. It was so very good for me. I wished they could have all stayed and just hung out for the rest of the day. But, Nina was having a very hard time with the new environment. She even broke down at the airport when Mia, Karly and Wiley approached us. It was very hard for her. It was equally painful for me to watch her go through the emotional and physical struggles. I felt helpless because I was unable to comfort her or console her. Hard times..
We had a rough few days in the beginning, especially with the introduction of our dogs! I took the advice of a friend who told me that if our dogs were non-negotiable, then Nina needed to learn to adjust to them as she is Mia, Karly and Wiley. "Just stick her in there with them," so I was instructed. After some research on the computer and more reading at the library, we did just that. For many days, it was so scary for Nina. But, she has moved far beyond that challenge. Nina kisses on the dogs, plays in their food and chases them through the house for hugs. She cried when I dropped Kona (our 80-pound, black lab puppy) off at the vet's office for "surgery." She loves them!
I am amazed at the changes which have taken place within the last two weeks. She is molding more and more to our family and our routine. She is still not eating much but has begun to LOVE milk. She is still confused about mealtimes, since she refuses breakfast and asks to eat at 10 o'clock. Thus, she is quite hungry by lunchtime! She loves Mia, Karly and Wiley. The days they spend at school have been hard for her. She anxiously desires to go pick them up from school. She loves the playground and has discovered the largest "bathub" ever! We took her to the swimming pool this week and she called it a bath. Sure. Why not? Since her skin is so fair, we have to lather on the sunscreen. (She is peeling presently from her first sunburn! Thanks, Dad!) She walks all over the shallow end of the pool holding onto a boogie board and loves the independence.
Nina sleeps in her own bed and still cries herself to sleep. I used to assume it was a longing for the orphanage. Now, I am beginning to think that she simply doesn't want the fun to end! I think she is really happy here; although she still has not taken a liking to the bugs out here in the country. And, she certainly did NOT appreciate the very large turtle we found on the property today.
Some new experiences:
-A sunburn, and now, sunscreen
-Playing in the sprinklers
-Riding on a boat
-Going to the lake
-Swimming, in a very large tub
-Riding in a kid's jeep
-Driving the kid's jeep
-Sun and lots of it!
-McDonald's chicken nuggets and french fries, YUCK!
-Grilled cheese sandwiches, SO-SO!
-Church Sunday School... she's got "AMEN" down!
-Music in the car... don't go anywhere without it!
-Grocery store, we don't really like riding in the cart
-Wal-Mart, oh my, all those toys, "Nina's???" she asked
It's been fun. We have enjoyed teaching her verses, praying. We have discussed, in her presence, Jesus' death on the cross. How fortunate we are to have this opportunity to share the Lord with her! This is all such a privilege. And not only for her, but also for Mia, Karly and Wiley. I have seen a servant's heart revealed in Karly, our five year old. Her love language is "touch." And, she has reached out and touched Nina's heart. Karly will take her hand and guide her anywhere and everywhere. Karly will carry Nina to the bathroom and help her. She will lift Nina up into the car. Karly has evolved into Nina's personal sheperd. What a joy to watch Karly's heart open up to Nina.
Wiley has had just the opposite response. We are still working on him.
Mia helps with Nina in a mom sort of way. She is very good with Nina also. When Mia sits next to Nina in the car, she loves teaching Nina songs and phrases and counting. I love hearing her patiently instructing Nina with the love of an older sister.
Those are our adventures for now! There are more to come, I'm sure.