We are learning little by little just how large families do this! We have lots to learn for sure!
Mercy and Zoey are both adjusting day by day. They are picking up more English words. Zoey now yells in front of the other kiddo bedrooms, "Zoey come in!" She is catching on quickly with other important words, too. "Please", "thank you" and "I love you" are part of her vocabulary, as is, "banana", "apple" and "ice cream." :)
Mercy recognizes Starbucks and KFC from China. She yells and points when she sees those businesses around town. She is very proud to say, "please", "thank you" and "you are welcome." She is understanding words like "tomorrow", "clean up", "brush teeth", and most of all "jump on the trampoline!"
We have a dear Chinese friend who is willing to come once a week to offer his help in translation. We are using this 2-hour period to do a "check up" with Mercy. We are talking about the calendar in the coming week and reviewing things that occurred in the past week. For example, we talked about the upcoming doctor appointments on Tuesday. He helped us explain the specifics of a blood test and exam so we could ease her fears. We talked through a difficult evening this past week when Mercy was extremely fearful during a thunder/lightning storm. We are finding this time to be both valuable and challenging. We are also trying to give her an "open mic" to discuss feelings, concerns, and questions she might have.
Today, she let our friend know she was very concerned about the American tradition/policy of kicking our children out of the home at 18 years of age. She told our friend she was really afraid about where she would go and what she would do when we wanted to get rid of her in 4 years. :(
Wow, it was a reminder that so much is going on in her head. Older child adoption is amazing, thrilling and complex. Our hearts ache for her. We pray she will be able to feel safe, secure, loved, chosen and precious. We are praying she would truly understand that we are her parents for always and forever. We reassured her of our love, support and commitment to her. We expressed that families are forever.
We sing a bedtime song with all of our kids. We call it our family song. We made a little tune and we sing each of the family member names in order of age. The kids giggle and wiggle as we get close to their name. Zoey squeals her name and grins ear to ear as we say her name. Mercy prides herself on getting all the names correct now. It is a joy to sing this song.
We stand in awe of what GOD has done to bring our family together. We pray these kids would truly begin to believe the truth that we love them always and forever. They are an important part of our family. We pray they would come to know Christ. We pray they would know His plans for them are good.
Again and again, God is ministering TRUTH to our hearts about HIS faithfulness, HIS compassion, HIS love and HIS unchanging character.
Looking to Him as we learn how large families do everything!
Praying for HIS glory in our lives,
Art, Jen, Allie, Mercy, Zach, Jacob, Zoey and Bethany Joy
Learning to cook with Mama & Allie!!