Sunday, August 3, 2014

Four months

It's been four months since we welcomed Stella into our family officially, four very busy months. The first month was spent half in China, half at home in the US, and was a whirlwind of emotions (for both her and us). It came with grief and loss once again, and also a new beginning full of hope and joy. She had her own language, didn't understand what was happening, and couldn't fully express herself because of that language barrier. The second month was spent hunkered down, cocooning at home, limiting contact with others and just spending time as a family getting to know each other. She learned many English words quickly (she's a smart one for sure) and could better express herself as that language grew more. We learned more how she likes things and just how she is as a little person. She has quite the personality! Sometimes completely and utterly sweet, the other times sassy and strong willed. She's completely and utterly two years old! The third month together was spent exploring more and learning how her world now works. She learned to love to sit and read books, although she still doesn't like to watch tv (which is completely fine!) - she prefers to be doing something with her hands and gets bored easily. She loves the pool!  Hello Kitty is a favorite character as are real life kitties! She can talk up a storm, using more and more words, and doesn't get frustrated with that very much. It's amazing how little minds work and how they can soak up a new language so quickly! 

Four months home looks so different than that first month. We've all become more comfortable with each other (yes, moms and dads adjust too!), and while we've always loved Stella, that love has become more real and has changed as we have gotten to know her. The struggles before are becoming less and less now and our hearts are filled with joy over the obstacles overcome. She will cuddle now and climb up into our laps by her own accord, is easily comforted and accepting of loving gestures. The push and pull from before is more a give and take now. Grafting of a child into a family takes time, love, lots of patience, and more prayer than I can say in words. But it's coming beautifully, and for that we are very thankful. 

This past month our family had some time to travel to Austin and San Antonio. Stella got her first Texas history lesson at the Alamo...mostly she and I got very sweaty walking around the city! 

Daddy/Baba is teaching her to say "Come and get it Y'all"! ;)

She got her first real taste of Texas barbecue too at the famous Salt Lick near Austin. She didn't quite know what to do with all that meat! But she enjoyed the ribs the most. 

Some days it feels like she's been with us forever - other days we still see the work ahead of us - but all days we treasure having her home with us.  Happy 4 months sweet girl!