Tuesday, August 30, 2011

So...How's it REALLY Going?

In all honesty...pretty good! Jetlag has not been near the issue that it was last time around. I think that is due to a couple of things. First, I slept really good in China. Since Gracie slept through the night, I used my friend Ambien to get a good night's sleep every night :) Second, Richard and I suscribed to the theory that jetlag is caused by dehydration. We drank so much water on that plane, I thought I would float away! I don't know if it really helped, but it didn't hurt!

Gracie has done well with the jetlag too, she seems to have made the flip, as well. Poor baby, though, Sunday she didn't get a nap and this is what she looked like at 7:30 :)
August 29 (2 of 7)

Here's my overall thought on how things are: After observing Wesleigh, I am completely positive that this 2nd adoption was exactly what she needed. Honestly, she has been having a hard time with the adjustment, but I think she is learning life lessons that are necessary to not grow up as a brat. That might sound harsh, but the behaviors she is exhibiting to Gracie are the same behaviors she has anytime there is a friend over to play. She does not like to share and she is very bossy. She'll play with you but only if you do what she wants! I am glad that she is going to make these adjustments now, when she's 3, instead of as a teen when things would be much worse!!

Wesleigh has acted exactly as I expected. For me to come home after 2 weeks with someone who moved into her entire world has made her very clingy and whiney. Totally expected...Totally frustrating!! What makes it worse, I think, is that Gracie has done so much better than I expected. This extremely verbal child, gets taken from everything she knows and finds herself in a new place where nobody understands her. Yet, she is patient, kind and gentle. I did not expect this. I thought there would be some aggression towards Wesleigh. I have seen 1 push and 1 pinch, but honestly...Wesleigh probably deserved it.

I am wondering how long it will take before Wesleigh relaxes a little. There are times when they play together well. They will take hands and run through the house. They are finding their way. I know it won't take long before Wesleigh doesn't even remember what it was like before Gracie was here. Anyone have any insight? I do think school is going to help. I am going to start them in a couple of weeks, after they are more used to each other. They will go 3 mornings a week, and I think it's going to be "just what the dr. ordered"...for ALL of us!!

I do have to say, Cade was home sick yesterday :( I was planning to keep him home to hang out with me anyway, but he woke up sick (strep) and we ended up in the Dr. office...with the girls!!! While Gracie napped, I took Wesleigh with me to Target. She was SO good. There were times that I actually forgot she was in the cart!! Being with Gracie for 2 weeks, the contrast was huge. Gracie would have been grabbing anything she could reach. I don't know if Gracie will ever see the inside of a Walmart or Target again :)

One thing that has struck me is how much time I spend in the bathroom!!! With 2 that can't wipe their hiney's by themselves, potty time seems to consume my day!! Praise God!!! It could have been diaper time comsuming my day!!!

I know I'm blabbering...just trying to get my thoughts down. I am pleased with the way things are going. I am happy with the level of energy and patience I have had. I know this is God's grace in my life. I'm praying this continues and I am able to give each girl what they need and deserve.

Here are some pictures I took yesterday:

My all time favorite of the two! I am just disappointed that Wesleigh's face is a little blurry :(
August 29 (5 of 7)allure

August 29 (4 of 7)softurban

And here's...the rest of the story!! (Wesleigh was actually not very cooperative during this photo shoot, I just happended to get a couple of cute ones :)
August 29 (6 of 7)

I thought you might like to see some of the video I took in China of Wesleigh and our beloved Sam. This is the first part. I love seeing the city of Changsha pass outside the window. It is so bitter-sweet for me to watch. I am so impressed that Gracie has not been more frustrated with the level of communication. I know, as much as I like to talk, I would be very frustrated being in a situation where nobody understood me. She has handled it way better than I would!

37 comments:

Shannon said...

Oh that video is so sweet! I love her sweet little voice. I cannot imagine how it must feel to not understand anything anyone is saying and for everyone around you to not understand anything that you are saying. It's a good sign of her patience level if she can deal with that without exploding out of frustration. How is her English going? Is she learning quickly with her brothers and Wesleigh?

The pics of her and Wesleigh are too cute! Love their little striped dresses.

Mary said...

What a wonderful video! Diana mentioned last night that you had the great idea of filming your guide talking to Gracie -- I will HAVE to remember to do that! Thank you so much for sharing it!

Christina said...

You crack me up! I love your honesty :)

The video is so sweet. I will have to remember to take videos when it's my turn to adopt. Thank you for sharing your story!

Sharon said...

The video is just precious, her voice is so sweet. I am glad things are going so well. They look beautiful together. Hope Cade feels better soon!

snekcip said...

Loved this insightful post. Loved your honesty! I am in complete awe of Gracie's ability to adapt to MAJOR change in such a short time. Her personality in her BA (before adoption) has not waivered a bit.

Both Wesleigh and Gracie Joy are beautiful blessings of God.

snekcip said...

PS I can't view the video from work. I will be sure to view it when I get home though!

Anonymous said...

Just too cute! seems like wesleigh is slowly getting used to her new sister, I've noticed that in the past updates, it was always gracie who had her arm around her sister's neck, but this time, wesleigh has her arms around gracie quite a few times =) love the pictures

Amy said...

Wesleigh reminds me of my little girl (does not like to share at all and oh so bossy) I always assumed it was because she had nothing the first 15 months of life, though not sure that this is quite the case. I keep telling my husband that she needs a sister from China (he laughs at me) I am going to have him read your post, crossing my fingers that it is convincing :)

Your girls are adorable. Just precious.

Amy

Ruby said...

Love the video! The girls are both absolutely stunning! I am in love with photo #2! So glad that things are going so well. Hope your son feels better soon! Would love to know were you got the girls flowers. Thank you for being so honest!!!
Ruby

Anonymous said...

Love your honesty and attitude! Love the photos, Wendy

sweetmomentsintime said...

What a precious video - thanks for sharing! Your girls are absolutely adorable together! What a special blessing they will be for one another as they grow up together - best friends (and, yes, even at times worst enemies... but always coming back to best friends).

Leggio said...

This is sooooo precious, I showed my husband the video and it melted his heart and mine. We can't wait for our Mia.

Lori said...

ADORABLE!!! So happy to read they're doing really good with each other. They will figure a lot of this out on their own. Biggest thing is they know they're LOVED by all of you!!!

Video...what a special gift Gracie will understand someday! Cried watching how much joy comes out in her voice and smile...:) Soooooooooooo Sweet!

Love all the pics!!
Lori

Ali said...

Oh My Word is she just too adorable for words. That voice is so sweet. It is so wonderful that she is adjusting well. I can't imagine what it must me for her for no one to speak chinese. Kids are just so resiliant

Melissa said...

Ohhhhhh love the video! Thank you for sharing it. I emailed you guys Saturday. I just wanted to make sure it wasn't lost in your spam folder. So glad your family is adjusting well. Precious girls! Melissa

sweet momma luv u said...

Oh so precious!! Jon Jon came running in to listen to her singing. HE really enjoyed hear his 1st language again. I think we may have to save that one for him to sing with if you don't mind.

Oh yes, sharing is very hard for this boy too! He thinks everything should be his ( even though the toys have been here forever for Gabby)! I can't wait for preschool to start next week either!

I think things are going remarkable for you guys. Praying that Miss Wesleigh continues to adjust.

Hugs,
Jody

April said...

She's beautiful, Jennifer. Thank you for sharing so much of your journey with the blogosphere. It is inspirational and touching. I connected over to you through Diana and Sunny. So interested in adopting from China. It's so shocking to see Gracie's little self freely moving around in the front seat. So different from our car seat land. :-) Reminds me of when I was little and stood in the front seat of my grandaddy's big 'ol car. Best wishes to you and your beautiful family.

Anonymous said...

Our biological daughter was 3, when we brought her sister home from China at age 3 also! I can totally relate to what you are going through. I had to laugh about Wesleigh because our bio-daughter Taylor was the same way...she needed another sibling in a bad way. We had about a 6 month transition period that was ROUGH, but so worth it. Our girls are now 6 years old and best friends most days ;) Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

It was beautiful watching my daughter operate yesterday evening. Jennifer was patiently encouraging Gracie to eat her spaghetti (before she received a treat) and at the same time insisting that Wesleigh use her “words” to ask for a treat rather than pointing and whining. Jennifer had to encourage Gracie to swallow the spaghetti while several times giving her water to help wash it down. You could see that Gracie did not like the spaghetti in her mouth and was about to spit it out but Jennifer kept encouraging her to “chew and swallow.” I left before I saw the end but I left with a huge dose of pride in my heart thankful that I could see my daughter diligently pursuing her God-given calling.

Two of us had a hard enough time trying to work with one child to keep potty trained while Mama and Daddy were in China. Having two to “potty train and wipe” would be exhausting for me but I can see Jennifer adjusting and making sure that each girl is given exactly what she needs.

In the midst of what many may call confusion, chaos, and/or drama the entire household is enveloped by the grace of God and his kingdom is being built and displayed by each member of the family.

The video made me nervous seeing her in the front see of a car and not strapped in a car seat.

Pawpaw

Football and Fried Rice said...

Aww, how precious is your Dad?? Full of love, I tell you! Honestly, I know its an overwhelming time and but for the grace of God, right?! What a sweet & precious time of getting to know one another.....I love that Wesleigh seems so "peaceful" and "calm" right now :-) I am sure she enjoyed her Mommy time at the store.

VERY precious video of your singing girl in the car with Sam! Gracie doesnt appear bothered ONE bit that you cant understand her :) How amazingly resilient is she?!

Good tip on the jet lag :) I will just have to pee every 30 seconds, but that's better than not being able to function once we get home!

Hope Cade feels better now too! Goodness! cant wait to hear more about the girls and school!

Mei Mei s and Mayhem said...

That video is priceless and just melts my heart!! She reminds me of my Ava so so much!!! A very SPICY girl indeed. That is what we got everywhere we went!! ha

Jennifer said...

What a cute video! She has such a sweet voice!! Sounds like things are going as expected at home with adjustments...yayl! Things will continue to get easier as they learn how to do all the normal sister sharing stuff..:) They look like they already love each other so much in the pics...sweetness!

Kathryn said...

What a treasure that video is! Gracie is positively charming!! Love the pics of the girls together ~ they are darling.

KandK said...

Wow...thank you for sharing this video of Gracie. I can't believe what just happened...I was playing your video and when Gracie started singing, my daughter who came home a year ago from Hunan started singing the song along with Gracie, Oh My Goodness! I am in shock. I heard Sam tell you they teach all the children this song? I can't believe she remembered it!

Gracie and Wesleigh are BEAUTIFUL together:)

God Bless,
Diane

K said...

I have to comment that Gracie's middle name could not have been more perfect for her...in the video, and almost every picture, that girl just radiates joy! She's a doll. It's amazing how well she seems to be adapting to her new life. Sounds like poor Wesleigh's having a rough time of it, but life as she knows it has been shaken up! I'm sure that with some patience and a lot of love (neither of which seem to be lacking in this family) from mom and dad she will adjust just fine.

snekcip said...

Made it home and just watched the video and it absolutely brought tears to my eyes! What a DOLLBABY!! So full of glee and just "singing her way thru life". Your Guide seemed like such a warm and caring man. When I logged on, Bree came over to see the video and was in awe. She asked me "what is she saying", I told her she is speaking in a different language. However, when she started singing "where is pinky", Bree started singing right along with her. Truly a "gift of song"!

Thank you for sharing one of the MOST BEAUTIFUL videos I have ever seen!!!

Number 6 and no more counting! said...

you sound amazing and I am sure that is what is helping your girls do well.

lea
xo

Anonymous said...

What a treasure she will have in those videos you took. She sounds as sweet as she looks.
Lynette in Laf.

meredith said...

What a great video! What sweet girls you have. You're one lucky Mama!

Paige said...

LOVE the video, I am even more in love with her!! I just love that Wesleigh now has HER arms around Gracie!!
Thanks for the emails today, it is looking VERY good from what we have been told so far:) Still waiting on 2 drs.

redmaryjanes said...

I think that things are going wonderfully. Gracie sounds like a child who is used to sharing and being a peacemaker. Wesleigh was like Eli, almost an only child because the age difference between her and her older brothers was large. They will work things out and come together. It took a little while for Eli and Sophia (9 months apart), but they created their own bond. They are very close. We still have fights once in a while but I think that is normal.

Lori said...

Jennifer- Stacy Richmond "introduced" me to you! I'm so grateful! I have loved following your journey to Gracie! She is so beautiful and LOOKS like a Hunan girl! Both of my girls are from Hunan and I've learned to pick those Hunan girls out of a crowd! I just want to encourage you regarding the girls... We actually took Kate back to China with us at age 2 1/2 to bring her sister, Ellie, home. She is just 10 months older than Ellie. All was well in China, but when we got home it was a whole 'nother story! I wondered what had happened to my "angel". She was so MEAN to Ellie. Gathered all of the toys and "blocked" Ellie out from playing... sat on top of the toy box... hoarded everything for herself... I honestly wondered who she was and where she'd put Kate. Ellie showed what a sweet soul she was and handled it so well! I was so worried! I so wanted them to be "friends" and it was far from that for the first month or two! But fear not! Wonderful days are ahead! Wesleigh will make the adjustment and it will be one of the best things that's happened to her AND to you! My Kate and Ellie are so attached to one another! I don't know what they'd do without the other to share life with! Kate is still a bit bossy and likes her role as big sister... but this has taught Ellie to stand up for herself and given us as parents a real "reality" check with Kate in realizing that she is a fallen human being like the rest of us! ;-) I will say this though... I tried putting them in separate preschool classes so that they could have a "break" from one another. This was disastrous! Kate (the older one) literally went bananas and had adjustment issues that we had not seen before. Once we put them in a classroom together again, all was well once more. In retrospect... I almost think that Kate felt that we had "replaced" her and suddenly feared that we weren't going to come back for her... I don't know... just wouldn't want to see her like that ever again! You have so much to look forward to--- I'd do it again in a minute! Oh yea, I AM doing it again!!! We're leaving next week to bring home a third 7 year old! I'll let you know how THAT goes!
:-) You can follow us at:
www.lori-immeasurablymore.blogspot.com
Hang in there! Lori McCary

Christy said...

Jen,

I honestly think we have the same kids in our homes. Mia is exactly like you said WEsleigh has been. Mia is bossy, she dictates all play and she will be sometimes mean if you dont do what she wants-- I actually get "mommy mia put me in time out"-- seriously?? She is 4-- she cant put you in time out!!!! Finley on the other hand is patient and will fight back at times but usually is more cooperative and easy going and is ok with much of Mia's annoying bossy tendencies. Mia actually did well when Fin first came home but got bad after she had been home for a while. She just tantrums more now but it is getting better. You kind of have to just give it time for them to figure the pecking order. Let Wesleigh fight it out. Let her be upset and not be cuddled each time she is wronged. Let her realize when she is mean there are consequences. We did that with Mia and she started figuring things out with time and she still is not very good and is still really bossy but they have figured things out between the 2 of them and Finley is usually ok with her bossiness. Im not ok with it and sometimes I tell finley to fight back and say no, but overalll they work it out. Your girls will too. They will figure it out and it will be fine.

Im so glad you seem so laid back and easy going about this. Some people would totally be stressed out and trying to make both girls happy. That is not the way to handle it. Its like taking a dog to a dog park. If you stand between the dogs the other dogs sense stress and they fight. If you let the dog just get in there, they work the pecking order out and they are fine. The girls are not much different.

Good luck!!!

Christy :)

quilt-n-mama said...

Glad things are going well on the home front. It's a little nutty here but good. Clara hasn't made the time switch yet, ugh!
I'll send you an email soon!
Blessings,
Gayly

Kelly said...

I'm happy to hear that life is settling in. I agree with your comment about this adoption being good for Wesleigh. We often think that of our children, too.

Anonymous said...

is Gracie "special needs"?

Sammons said...

Precious video!! Just melts me to liquid!! I am so happy to hear your humor and honesty in all of the chaos. It is all beautiful and tough parts will all be hard to even remember 6 months from now. Gracie looks so happy and so adjusted, you should be so proud of the mama you are!
Much Love,
Mary

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