We just passed the 6-week mark since Jinna Rai arrived in her our home, and each week seems to bring more and more joy. All my thoughts on this are too jumbled to organize into nice coherent paragraphs, so I'm just going to be lazy and use bullet points...
- A recent moment when I knew she was definitely MY daughter was when we were walking in the park and she stopped to pick up what she thought was a little stone. It turned out to be a snail, and she immediately threw it down, squealing, "Yucky! Yucky!" She was so flustered and upset. It made me laugh because I had JUST had that identical reaction the day before when I saw a snail! She hadn't seen me do that -- but had the same reaction anyway. Clearly we are linked somehow. :)
- Her language continues to increase at a rapid rate. At this point she says several words (food, please, more, shower, pencil, towel, water, paper, banana, cookie, chocolate, window, leaves, book, teeth, hands, wash, shoes, hungry, hurt, most of the colors, and the numbers 1-15). She has also in this last week started using all kinds of phrases.... What's the matter? How are you? Don't do that! Stop that! Don't touch! It makes us laugh that she has so many bossy phrases. I think that's due to both her personality type AND the fact that she's the youngest in a house full of kids. She's establishing her boundaries well!
- Her emotional state seems to have evened out a bit, too. For the first weeks she was acting out quite a bit --- hitting, picking battles to have tantrums over, spitting, kicking, etc. And while she was being disciplined (usually held on our laps with her hands held tight), she would alternately laugh and scream. We began to see a pattern -- that she would choose one of these battles soon after something unusual had happened in our routine. I think it's her way of recalibrating. She continues to be very easy-going, happy to get in the car at any point to go off to the next adventure, happy to meet all kinds of strangers anytime. She entertains people right when she meets them, probably feeling like she needs to "cover all her bases" and keep all the adults happy, but then after it's back to just us again, she gets mad at us. Lately, though, that seems to be diminishing.
- She is also getting much more affectionate. She loves hugs and kisses from us, and wants to hold my hand while we're walking sometimes. The first few weeks it felt like she was mad at me a lot for no apparent reasons, but now she seems to enjoy being with me. :)
- Her siblings all love her like crazy. The younger ones want to always help her get her shoes on, get her food, guide her around. Rayna loves to get her dressed every day. Strider likes talking fake Chinese to her. I'm not sure what she thinks when he does that, but she smiles anyway. She is also good at getting that big lug to hug her! I love seeing that.
- She's getting much pickier when it comes to food. When we were in China, she ate almost everything we put in front of her. Here, though, each week she starts rejecting more foods. The only fruits she'll eat usually are bananas.