Tomorrow will be four weeks since we came home from China with our new son. While I've occasionally updated my Facebook friends during that time, I haven't yet posted an update to my blog. For that I apologize.
When I look back over the last four weeks I just stand amazed at God's mercy and grace. Everything that should have been difficult hasn't been. The greatest challenge has been the language barrier. Not that we haven't become champion players at charades; we have. While he is beginning to use some English words, for the most part, Caleb still tries to speak to us in Chinese. And to the best of our ability we attempt to understand what he is saying. Thanks to Google Translate and their amazing program which will speak Chinese words to him, we've been able to communicate some rather difficult concepts.
For instance, last weekend was Brad and Hannah's wedding. In the days preceding the wedding, it occurred to us that we had better give Caleb a heads-up about what was going to happen. So we typed in things like "wedding", "many people", "much food", "share your toys", etc. He would listen intently and nod knowingly. When all the strangers started arriving, he seemed to take it all in stride. He is an extrovert; he loves people and activity, so he was right in his element all weekend.
Which brings me to the next point. Caleb is unbelievably resilient. Emotionally, he is very stable. Not once in the six weeks we have been with him has he dissolved into tears or thrown a temper tantrum. That is not to say he hasn't been frustrated, for most certainly he has been from time to time. He just deals very well with stress. He has cried on a couple of occasions where he has hurt himself--falling from the swing, or something like that, but never out of anger. In fact, I can honestly say I have never seen him get angry.
One night after we did some Google translating, he did get tears in his eyes. We believe he was just sad from all the changes and from missing everything familiar to him. It happened once in the four weeks he's been home.
He is getting along with the other children very well. Maggie is, of course, his near-constant companion and they are doing so well together. For my little prissy girl, playing hard with a very active little brother is a major change. She plays cars and trucks and trains, runs around outside, swings, digs in the sandbox, you name it. Sometimes she wants some time alone, understandably. At those times, she goes into her room and closes the door for a while. Caleb understands that it's her down time and he leaves her alone, for the most part.
Most afternoons Caleb will come to me, pointing and gesturing.... "Ni, wo." (you, me) Then he points up a few times. What he wants is for me to come upstairs to his room with him. He will play by himself, but he prefers for someone to be with him. So I usually take my book or magazine or Kindle and make my way up the stairs behind an excited little boy. He fluffs his pillow and clears away a few bears to make a place for me on his bed. After I lie down, he carefully tucks me in with his blanket, props a bear by my head, and generally makes sure I'm surrounded with comfort before he commences his play.
I love this routine. Today he played a while, then he came over to me, grinned the biggest grin, retucked my blanket, and planted a huge kiss on my cheek.
My heart melted.
For the 920,448th time in six weeks.