When we arrived in China, the first thing our guide told us was this: "I have spoken to the orphanage director about your boy. She told me he is very talkative and very active."
Can't say we weren't forewarned.
Yes, Caleb likes to talk. And not only does he love to talk, he loves to make noise, boy sounds, if you will. Airplane sounds. Truck sounds. Gun sounds. Animal sounds. Oh, and he sings and carries a really great tune. On any given morning, I am awakened by one of the aforementioned sounds or a lively little tune, belted forth with great enthusiasm.
We've never struggled to communicate with Caleb. Most people would assume that the inability to communicate is the most difficult part of adopting an older child. In most cases, I would agree. Holly was also five years old when she came home. We worked painfully to communicate with our shy, quiet little girl for many months. Not with Caleb. Even when he was speaking only Chinese, he managed to make his needs known and to understand our directives and explanations. He never became frustrated or melted down. Charades became an animated game we played, as we threw in a little Chinese for his benefit and he attempted a little English to help us along.
Now he's made the switch to English. Oh, it's broken English for sure. He leaves out little words like am, is, are, was, and were. He's holding on to a couple of Chinese words, mostly because Maggie enjoys using them. We have some great conversations. Often they revolve around a discussion of bad guys vs. good guys. But that is a whole other post.
Enjoy a few sound bites from a day with Caleb.
"Maggie happy now Caleb here. Maggie sad Caleb not here. Now Maggie happy!!"
He's convinced Maggie suffered a pitiful, gloomy existence before he came home. He has no idea that she played happily by herself or with Holly in her former life.
"I get bigger. I drive car. I drive fast. Mama car slow. I bu like it slow. I like it fast car!!"
I see it as my duty to warn you that you have a little less than ten years before you need to get off the road.
"Mama, paylay me? I wan paylay you."
He would like me to stop what I'm doing and play. After all, I wanted a little boy!
"I bu like it agagators. I bu like it crocodiles. I bu like it lions. I bu like it all bad guys. I bu like it snakes...."
He just looks like a tough guy. It's all an act. If I needed to hide something, I could put it in a room, shut the door, and tell him there was a bad guy in there. Not that I would actually do that, mind you.
"I like it Jonfun. He fun guy."
Pretty much self-explanatory.
"Ky-O seepy? Ky-O seepy all time. I bu like it Ky-O seepy."
He loves Kyle, but hates it when Kyle naps at our house because then he has to be quiet.
"Mama, I hungry. I like it boonana. OK I have boonana?"
Seriously, how could I resist this face?
We "like it" Caleb.