We've been home over a week! Jet lag has subsided. Life is good:)
I just cannot tell you how wonderful Xander is! All of our children are wonderful. Each member of our family has blessed our lives and added a richness to our home. But along with the blessings that have come, our previous adoptions have added a lot of challenges and stress to our lives. This is a normal thing, and many, perhaps most, adoptive parents experience these challenges. But I can honestly say that with Xander, there are almost NO challenges! He is amazing. Several months ago my mom shared some feelings she had about Xander. She said that she felt he was going to be a huge blessing to us in different ways from our other children. She felt like he was going to be a great comfort to us and help us in some of the challenges we were having. This has absolutely been the case. He is SO sweet. He is SO loving. He is SO helpful. He is SO kind. He is SO generous. He is SO obedient. He is SO amazing. He is SO cute!!!!!!!! I LOVE this little bug so much. I believe he is also very good for our Graci. She clearly loves him and has been touched by his sweet spirit. She can be very tender with him and helpful and protective of him as well. Xander is a precious gift from God.
Last Monday the three older kids started school. Jesi and Xander have become great little friends. They are extremely cute together. (They do have a tendency to follow Christi around and make it almost impossible for her to get any alone time. The other day I walked into the boys' bedroom. Christi had given up trying to read the scriptures in solitude and was lying (Jen: is it lying or laying?) on the lower bunk reading the Book of Mormon. Xander was on the top bunk and Jesi was on the floor. They were in hysterics, throwing stuffed animals back and forth to each other and making tons of noise. I commented to Christi that now would be a good time to escape to another room. "It wouldn't do any good," she said. "They'd find me in less than a minute!") So they do tend to be a bit clingy:)
Xander loves to pick up the older kids from school. Several times a day he'll go over to the key rack, point to the car keys and say "ge-ge! ge-ge!" (big brothers! big brothers!) He's adjusting very well, but can still have some moments of confusion and sadness. Last night, Christi and I were going to a wedding reception and wanted to take him with us. We dressed him up in the cutest traditional Chinese outfit and got him in the car. He was very subdued on the way there, unlike his normal self. To figure out what was up, I asked him if he knew where we were going. He quietly said "fei-ji" (airplane). As we had been walking out to the car, Christi had pointed out an airplane to him, and he thought we we getting on an airplane. Who knows where he thought we were going. Did he think we were taking him back to China? I don't know, but when I explained that we were not getting on an airplane, but were just visiting some friends of ours, he immediately got a big smile on his face and was bright and happy the rest of the evening. This morning, we turned on the video of our trip to China. When the clip of us meeting him for the first time came on, Xander started to howl! He was inconsolable for quite some time. Ironically, in the clip he was giddy with happiness! Again, who knows what was going through his poor little head:(
Today we took him to church for the first time. He was so good! I'm sure he hadn't been going to church in China, but he must have had some experience with being part of a congregation/audience listening to a speaker. He kept pointing to the speaker, then looking over at us and putting his finger to his lips and saying "shhhh." How cute. I sat with him through sunday school, and he was very good until towards the end when the song leader said "Now we're going to sing a welcome song to a new member of our congregation...Xander." She, of course, said this with a big welcoming smile on her face. But he burst into tears and was crying through almost the entire song." He is very resilient, and once he realizes that mom or dad is with him, he rebounds quickly:)
This morning, Parker came in and said: "My best friend likes Hannah Montanna, too! We were both just too embarrassed to admit it." OK, let's hear the story behind that one, Park! Apparently Parker's friend had done something that was common to a character on Hannah Montanna. Parker noticed it and asked where his friend had learned to do that. His friend kind of hemmed and hawed until he finally spit out, "They do it on Hannah Montanna." Parker was ecstatic! "You mean you like Hannah Montanna, too?" he asked. Apparently they have even more in common than they thought they did.
Jesi continues to charm. Elli is up and down. Taylor is our rock. And Graci is...still developing socially. But we love her tons:)
Talk to you soon!