No we did not fall off the face of the earth. If you have adopted before, you know how things are at home those first few weeks. The jet lag was hard this time; both Lou and I got a stomach bug that lasted a week; all while trying to assimilate our new son to his new home, family, and environment. Our split ranch in the foothills is quite a bit different from the hustle and bustle of Chinese city life. Everyday he learns more English but we rely heavily on Google translate still. He has a delightful sense of humor and loves to use his new language skills to tease us. He knows many of the fruits and animals in English, and likes to call us monkey or banana. He also loves to chant "shake a Baba" or "shake a Mama". We aren't entirely sure what that means but he says it in a joking way and we always appease him by doing a little dance and responding to "shake a Chong Chong". He does answer to his English name, Daniel but Chong Chong sounds so much better when we are being playful.
Daniel does miss some things about China but I am sure as time passes he will less and less. For now though, he pines for Chinese food. As well traveled Americans living in a diverse region of the country, we eat a varied diet representative of many cultures. Our family does eat Chinese food but we also eat Indian, Mexican, Italian, and Moroccan in addition to the typical American cuisine. In China as well as many other countries, the diet is homogenous. I cannot imagine eating Chinese food everyday for all my meals but if you always did, our menu might be a shocker. He is a good sport most of the time but sometimes he just makes a X with his arms to show me, "no way!" So while the other children happily chow down on waffles, oatmeal or toast, Daniel is sipping down ramen for his breakfast.
I can say that each day with him, I fall more in love. Our other children have done well with his arrival. There have been a few bumps in the journey but for the most part he fits into the family perfectly. So now what? Well, the children return to school in August. Daniel's English is not developed enough to handle a Classical school education just yet so I will be working with him at home until he understands enough. He is super smart so I imagine he will catch up to his peers in the next year, if not earlier and will join the girls at school as well.
Are you done? (As in adopting more children) I would never say never but six is kind of a large family and we are getting older. Lou reminds me regularly that we personally cannot save all the orphans. I realize that as well but sometimes I need reminding. Depending on which statistic you read, the number of orphans worldwide is anywhere from 147 to 163 million. Even at the low end of that statistic it is a staggering number to comprehend. I will do my best to advocate, support, and pray for these children and invite you to join me in making a difference. My next post will highlight ways we can help make a difference and a dent in these depressing statistics.