I have been a major blog-slacker lately, have I not???
I will post pictures soon -GREAT pictures! – but for now, an update.
Zoe celebrated her 2-week anniversary tonight sitting on the couch with the kids watching Rolie Polie Olie’s A Winter Wonderland. She didn’t even notice when I slipped out to fold a load of laundry and that is monumental for a few reasons!
For the first week that Zoe and I spent together in Ukraine, I couldn’t be out of her sight for even 3 seconds (literally) without her breaking into tears. As she has become more comfortable at home, she has started to wander further from my side. If she sees something that she would like to play with in a different room from where I am, she will enter the other room to retrieve it. And then come back. She wouldn’t have done that 3 weeks ago. She sat with Hattie and drew with markers at a table from where she couldn’t see me for about 20 minutes. And now, when she wakes up in the morning, she walks through the house to find us – no tears! Yay!
Besides not wanting to be without the one person who is most familiar to her (and who could blame her), Zoe is fitting in perfectly! The kids have been awesome in welcoming Zoe into our family and have learned all of the Russian phrases to use with Zoe which have turned into Russian-ish. Hattie says, “This is our sabaka, Zoya. Our sabaka.” I asked Nash what he was doing the other day and he said, “I’m hushai-ing.” Hushai is Russian for “eat”. Hattie has been the most purposeful in learning anything Russian. Tonight she said, “I love you, little Zoya,” to her new sister at bedtime – in Russian. Nash has been great at just being there for Zoe. He watches her, laughs at her and places his hand on her back to reassure her spirit. Jet is enjoying having someone his size around the house who sits at the table with him and takes naps with him. He thanks God every night for “Mommy, Daddy, Zoe…” in that order. Too sweet! Of course they take toys from each other and are learning to share with each other against human nature, but their interactions always end in a hug. Zoe eats well, sleeps well and is learning English, too. When we say, “Be soft,” she will stroke the dog (or Jet) very gently. She knows “all done?” and can say all of our names. Her pronunciation isn’t very clear, but we can tell what she’s saying! She babbles very intently to us at the table with very expressive gestures. It’s so cute that we have to hold our chuckles in. Or at least we try! She will also babble on the play phone. I don’t recall that she babbled in Ukraine very much, so it seems that her communication skills are growing rapidly. She loves to try all of our shoes on and play with Tupperware lids under my feet while I’m cooking. Zoe has not been interested at all in watching TV, so I was surprised that she actually watched a show tonight.
Zoya is very serious about her food and is a good eater. She is so careful while eating that when we are cleaning up the table, she is still eating. If I take her plate, she asks for it back and won’t let it go until she is ready. I have Nash get dressed and come sit by me after breakfast each morning. While Zoe is finishing her food, we start his lessons for the day. It all works out! Zoe will eat just about anything. I can tell that she hasn’t had to chew very much, but she is catching on quickly. She ate part of a cheeseburger the other night….and it is just so so cute to what her face as she experiences tastes for the first time. She has some hilariously cute faces!
After running around like a crazy-woman for months collecting and recollecting papers to send and resend, I have been using my time at home to get caught up and enjoy not running around. Our church family kicked in meals, which made time for unpacking five suitcases, catching up on laundry, sorting through clothes, recovering from the stomach flu and bonding as a family. We managed to dig out Christmas decorations (just a few) and put up a tree that we cut down as a family. My parents watched the kids so that we could get some Christmas shopping done and really…we are getting there! Being out of country for almost 5 weeks would give anyone schedule-lag.
Our family and friends have continued to be super-supportive, even after our return home…and that has made our return most awesome. More soon!!!!