Settling In

We are closing in on the end of week 2 of Mia being home! In some ways it seems like she has been here forever, and in other ways, we still have so much to learn!

I am very thankful for the kind words and comments on posts that we have put on Facebook throughout the day. Yes, she fits right in our family! Yes, we absolutely LOVE her!


So what is life REALLY like?

13224039_10153481263361781_1624944476_oWell, things are busy. We have to continue our normal routine of work, school, karate, grocery shopping, and this week we went to Wednesday night church for the first time. Shopping happened on Monday, and I ventured to my favorite stores with Camden and Mia. She did great and had no problems sitting in the front seat of the cart. Camden was the helpful big brother and wanted to stay near her and tickle her. We went to Chick-fil-A and she really enjoyed her kids meal and book. Then, she really had fun at karate, since few kids showed up that day. She had the whole mat to herself for a while!

Tuesday, we kept things low-key and stayed around the house. Mia loves playing outside with her brothers, but will occasionally whine about something and I have no idea what she wants. This part is frustrating, but we are working through it.  Girlfriend also started joining me with my workouts! Super fun, though she wants to be right ON me!

I have to be honest, I was really not sure if Wednesday night church was a good idea or not, but Mia had been doing really well, so we gave it a go. Unfortunately,  John was working really late that evening, so I tackled both karate and church dinner by myself. At karate, Camden and Mia both made a new friend and enjoyed coloring with Ella. By the time class ended, Mia even gave Ella hugs! So cute!

At church, everyone was super respectful and gave us some space as I tried to get all the kiddos their dinner (buffet-style), and Mia sat nicely in a highchair, though she didn’t eat much. We were doing well and then John came in and I thought if I put her down she would run to him like she always does. I put her down and she saw other people around and started screaming and crying. Not ready. So, we calmed down and then she motioned that she wanted to go to class with Owen and Camden. I took her there and she was happy to be with her brothers.

13178753_10153476412251781_8579809405968879472_nHer class is 2 years through preschool, so Camden was in that group, too. We went to music class first, and she liked the songs, but stayed close to Mama. In the second class, storytime, she LOVED hearing about Noah’s Ark from Miss Sheila. All the other kids seemed tired, while Mia screamed and clapped with delight with every sentence! It was SO good to see our little girl enjoying church!!! This was her VERY first time EVER in a church building, and how comfortable she felt! I truly believe that God has had His hand on her every step of the way! She is so loved and treasured, and I am grateful that she has the opportunity to know her Creator and Savior. The third area was the playground. She liked it, but there are small stones in that area, which kept getting into her adorable girly flip flops. Note to Mom: wear tennis shoes to Wednesday night church next time! By the end of the night, I think she had made some friends!

Thursday we had to have another low-key day. We realize that if we do too much, she gets overwhelmed and it makes for an exhausting day for everyone. Friday, John was off, so she got to spend extra time for him and then we went to see Owen’s spring play at school. We saw a lot of people there, and I know others were excited to see Mia in person. There are so many people who followed our blog while we were in China, that I don’t even realize how many feel like they “know” her already! Everyone in Owen’s class was SO happy to meet her! At school, we talked a little bit to the principal, who is also a friend from church. He mentioned that Mia would have resources available to her through the school system for speech, as English will be her second language. It is really nice to have the support there and that she could start these services as early as three years old!

13165926_10153479577631781_5183276943767625418_nFriday evening, we took a trip to Texas Roadhouse. Girlfriend loves peanuts and rolls! It was fun to see her adjusting so well to new experiences and trying new things. It is great to do things as a family, be surrounded by other people, but yet she is not overwhelmed with that. The times where she is scared or overwhelmed come when people we know come at her and want to talk to her and be her friend. She backs up and becomes expressionless. Smiling is important, but giving her space is the key. She will open up when she is ready.

Saturday was the first time Mommy went for a run. She helped Daddy and brothers clean around the house and I came home to a princess pirate ninja!

Mia got to meet my friend, Cassie, and seemed to warm up to her quickly. Kids like Cassie, what can I say? By the time she left, I was surprised to see Mia give her a little hug. #winning.

So, lots of things have been going well:

  • Trying new foods
  • Drinks enough throughout the day
  • Doing well with family routine
  • Loves to pray (sometimes multiple times)
  • Dancing/music is the way to her heart
  • Learning new words
    • Knows all our names
    • Repeats: please, thank you, sorry, potty, kind, body parts (eyes, belly, etc),
  • Charades are still very important, and tend to help her understand/calm down
  • Loves bathtime
  • Clean up song works to “re-do” the action of throwing toys, etc.
  • Does great on the potty during the daytime
  • She loves to color, work on legos, and play with anything the boys have

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Some things we are working on:

  • More words to comfort. WHY is the hardest part to explain to someone who doesn’t speak the language.
    • Why someone leaves
    • Why you can’t touch that
    • Why you need to lay down and sleep
    • Why you can’t throw things/hit
    • Why we need to go somewhere
  • Sleep
    • Only slept through the night once this week, and woke up soaked
    • Wakes up an average of 3x/night
    • Has accidents almost every night, but refuses to wear diaper/pull-ups
    • Refuses to lay down sometimes (wants to sit up)
    • Requires baby melatonin as a bribe to go to sleep

Our Mia is really quite a joy. There are times when her toddler attitude comes on strong, but she is learning every day. I worked hard this week to get her on our insurance and get that all straightened out (about an hour or more every day I was on the phone about it), so I hope to get her into the pediatrician this coming week and get started on that part.

Pray for us as John has a conference early next week and will be out of town for 3 days. This will be hard on all of us and I hope it doesn’t set things back for Mia and all the progress she has made. Pray for me, that I get enough sleep to handle three kids on my own! I think the hardest part is being tired like you are with a newborn, but having to keep up with a toddler with her own attitude!

Always grateful to share our story.

Always grateful to be Mommy and Daddy to Owen, Camden, and Mia.



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