We have officially been home from China one week! What a great week it has been. We have been so glad to be home and try to work on finding our new normal with four children. We've had several questions about the transition...so I thought I'd try to answer.
How is Shepard doing? What about the language barrier?
Shep is doing great!! He is a trooper and fits perfect in the family. He does well with change, praise God, and has a pretty agreeable personality. He likes to keep his shoes on all the time...although...we have caught him running around barefooted without realizing it! That's great and means he is getting more comfortable!!
His "special need" was considered developmental delay and while we didn't see it a whole lot in China...we can see it here at home now that we are watching him run and play. He is developmentally much more like a 4 year old than a 5 year old. While he WANTS to do all the things a 5 year old would do...he can't always do it without getting hurt. He has fallen several times while running in the yard. He has quite a few "owies" on his elbows and knees!! ;) His gross motor skills just need a little work. He is totally capable and there is not an inability to do things...just a delay!! We will definitely be working on that this summer!!
Language is definitely more difficult with him than it was with Sadie. Sadie was only 3 and didnt speak very much. Shepard speaks a LOT and just goes to town telling us something in his most urgent voice and we stare intently trying to understand. But we don't. All of us are using lots of body language!! :) Thanks to Google Translate we are able to communicate to him what we are trying to say and help him understand what is going on. It's been a wonderful tool!!
We have found out several things he does not like to eat that has surprised us. Things like chicken nuggets, scrambled eggs, bread, ground beef as well as a list of other things. We are slowly figuring him out. When all else fails...we get out the noodles and dumplings. Those are winners EVERY time!! :)
Overall...he is doing wonderful!! He sleeps well. He has slept with us in our room most nights. He slept in his room two nights, which was great!! He woke up between 3am and 4am to come into our room...which is totally ok!!! He also takes naps in his bedroom. As long as we tell him through Google translate what is happening...he is great!! God knows what we as a family can and cannot handle!! We are very blessed and we look forward to every day getting more and more familiar with each other!!
HOW ARE THE OTHER KIDS DOING?
I cannot praise our other three enough. They have just all grown up over night it seems. They have been a tremendous help with Shep. He loves them and they love him!! They all three jump to help him and will make accommodations for him through this transition. We are SO PROUD of them!!! Sophie has become like a second mom to Shep. He loves her a ton and she is SO MUCH FUN for him!!! I don't know what I'd do without her!!!
Sadie and Silas have done great too!!! Silas has even taken on the huge responsibility of watching Shep outside in the yard for brief moments in our absence. This is huge growth for Silas. Prior to our trip...we were asking Sadie to watch Silas in our absence!! LOL!!! It is amazing the fact that you get what you expect! Really!! Before our trip to China...we expected Silas to need to be watched. Now...we expect he is capable and responsible enough to help us...and HE IS!!! it has been such a blessing for him in this way!! Really beneficial in helping in grow up!! :)
A NEW NORM:
Mark went back to work on Friday. We all went in with him to show Shep where he would be when he was gone...and also to meet all of Mark's wonderful co-workers! (Mark is SO blessed to work where he does and with the people he works with!! They are such blessings!) Anyway...we wanted Shep to know what was happening and he did GREAT!!
After he has had moments around a lot of people...he seems ready to say bye bye. He definitely lets us know. But he has had no trouble wanting to go with Mark and me at all!! Such a blessing in this transition!!
We've had a few days off together and tomorrow starts our "official" back to normal schedule!! Praying we can find lots of things to do each day that will keep everyone entertained and happy!!! :)
Here are a few pics of our day at the park this week!!! Again...thank you all for continuing to pray for us and encourage us through this journey!!! You all are such blessings to us!! We love and appreciate you!! Have a great week! Blessings!!
|Cute little curious look!!!!|
|Walk at the park|
|Here we are...without me! :) I'm taking the pic!|
|Swimming with JieJie (Big Sister)|
|Hair cut with Mama|
|Help Nana walk with her walker|
|Wake up and play with Jie Jie and Gu Gu|
|Writing ABC's - I think?|