Esther's English is improving so much and it is amazing to watch. She is decoding things and piecing things together into sentences. Pearl is relying a lot on her big sister so she isn't trying as hard. They both start school next week - Esther in 4th grade and Pearl in kindergarten- and that should help them both. They love to get out and play with other kids. They love church. We're all excited because they are getting pretty bored around here but it has been a good time for us to get to know one another better.
I wish that my writing abilities were better so that I could describe this process in greater detail but I'm not even sure if I have words for it yet. I wonder if in a couple months I will be able to do that. Right now living it is about all that I can do. It is slightly familiar territory though. We feel a lot like we do when we have a brand new baby. Exhausted, overwhelmed, emotional, happy, delirious, grateful.
One of the most enjoyable parts is introducing the girls to so many new things. Their first campfire, their first smores, Pearl's first lost tooth, treats, roller-skating, easter egg hunting, spring. Both girls are from big(polluted) cities so just getting to experience the seasons is new and wonderful to them. Swinging on a rope swing hanging from a tree branch, family dance contests, Michael Jackson youtube videos, mud puddles, American schools, church, blue skies, all of it brings such joy - for them as well as us as we experience it all over again through new eyes. Yesterday Esther asked me through google translate if I had happy birthdays in my childhood. I told her I did and she replied in broken English, "Esther no happy birthdays." I told her that next month on her birthday we will have cake and friends and a party with gifts. She was so excited.
I have found that as I take care of myself spiritually I have greater love for the girls. If I am spending time with my scriptures or in prayer - my attachment with the girls grows. I am grateful that the Lord magnifies my abilities and adds to me - I can feel it. I am also grateful for friends who have talents and skills in other healing modalities that have truly blessed us so much.
Nearly two years ago when Mike and I sat down and opened our hearts to hear what the Lord wanted us to do with our lives we felt impressed that someday we would adopt, among other things. We felt that there were two girls and a boy out there. We didn't know how soon we would find those two girls! But what about that boy? We don't know yet. When we came home we were so spent we couldn't even think about adopting again - we didn't want to even open our minds to the possibility. Slowly, ever so slowly, our hearts are mending and we are beginning to feel safe enough to say that yes, we will return to adoption again. It becomes easier as our love and gratitude for our sweet daughters grows. Already I wonder what we would have done without them. This past weekend while watching a church conference I realized that there was a little daydream of sorts floating through the background of my brain and that it was of Mike and I in Guangzhou with a little boy on Mike's shoulders. I was surprised by that thought and I know it wasn't mine. I am grateful for those little whisperings.
Thank you all for your support. You are part of this amazing miracle. These girls belonged in our family. They feel it - we feel it. They fit right in too - both are crazy and talkative and full of energy. How will I ever repay you all for that? I will be in your debt for eternity. I kind of like that - to think of us all in the next life with eternal debts to one another.