In broken, and very difficult to understand English, plus made up sign language, she tells me “Good job, Mommy. Yea!!!! I love you”. Now, if you would have been here to see/hear this, you wouldn’t have understood any of it. But I did. What prompted the above?
Were do I start? The first day in China when she made it clear that she hated me/our family? The days after when she communicated that she was going to run away, or at best, get a job as soon as possible, asking the translator just how soon that was, so that she could leave us? Telling me that my (and her new) family was ugly, especially all the boys (and especially her new daddy)? Or how about what I hated most - telling herself and my new son, Clive, that no one in America was going to love them and they needed to run away?
Those examples, as I soon learned, were not my new daughter speaking, but her fear. And boy, did we encounter that every hour.
Then her fear pushed us all over the edge when it and its companion - anger, gripped this poor child in a traumatic fit of rage in the hotel lobby in China. The hotel manager actually politely asked that we keep her in the room (ha- thus our “house arrest”, which was actually a respite for me - LOL).
After this, my new daughter pulled the anger and fear in a little and we made it home to America without any major displays ... although, I’m sure that having motion sickness over the course of two days, didn’t hurt the emotional energy level any (sad, but true...she was to sick to fight us).
As you have seen in the previous post, we had a wonderful time in Texas with my family, and Noelani really began to let down her walls, and receive a little love from us all.
Now we are back home and we am trying to familiarize Noelani and Clive with our family routines and structure. We have been telling Noelani that we would begin school this coming Monday (which honestly, scares me more than anyone). She seemed fine with that till she finally understood that I was her teacher, and we did school here at home. She was VERY upset by this. Today I have been busy figuring out exactly WHAT the next part of our school year looks like and more specifically, what Noelani and Clive need for their school RIGHT NOW (knowing that their educational goals will change as they learn English). Noelani has been in and out of the “school room” as I worked among books, videos, charts, curriculums, my computer and work schedules. The room was A MESS. I communicated through google translator what school would look like, where her desk was, and generally, how things worked. She got angry, hid in the bath room, cried to “baa-baa” (daddy), and then, like in China, seemed to resign herself to this new unknown. I have been working pretty much all day planning out the next few months for all the children’s school, including our soon to graduate, Kalyn. AND we met with our new social worker for the follow up reports (she was great). So, to say that today has been long and hard for me would be, well, on the light side. Yet, I also love seeing what the LORD has planned for the children’s education...but that is for another post.
Do you remember where this post began? I know my rambling might have lost you, but I hope not. The more that Noelani asked and began to understand that she was doing REAL school here at home, she got EXCITED. Which usually includes a lot of screaming (working on that), huge hugs (working on that because it hurts), and general EXCITEMENT (she has that in spades - LOL).
After supper, when I had pretty much organized the room, Noelani came into the room, and that is when she blessed me with the words “Good job, Mommy. Yea!!!!! I love you” She lovingly looked at all the books on her desk and then asked me where all her brothers and sister “do” school. She will say each name and ask me to show her where they will sit. And then she pretended to be me, the “teacher”, telling everyone to sit down and be quiet. So funny.
When I say that “she asked” something or told me something, it is really more of a mixture of made up sign language, Chinese, and incomplete English words. I am learning more each day what she is trying to say, and she is learning more each day how to communicate in any way that she can with us.
AND that comes back to the title for the post. See in China her fear made it very clear that she had no intentions of working with us. However, now, in the safety of our“home” and “family”, she is learning, and SHE IS TRYING.
Now, I call that a BIG, THANK YOU JESUS!