Well, we've been home with Twiggy Four since July 7 and the adjustment is further along than I had hoped. He definitely knows who mom and dad are and is wary of people he doesn't know. The girls adore him and love to laugh and play with him. Up until this week, Twiggy Three hasn't really known what to do with him, but this last week they began rough housing together. Hearing them race around and yell did wonders for my heart.
The trip overseas went very well. Mr. Branch and I got to take a 2 day safari in the jungle in which we got to zip line, tour the open zoo, take a night safari, sleep in an air conditioned tent on the open zoo, do the obstacle course in the trees, and just plain relax. It was very hot and humid, but so worth it. We hadn't been away by ourselves for quite some time so it was needed before we began the next phase of parenting.
We met Twiggy Four on June 28 and he came right to us. As we toured the orphanage, he held my hand and willingly said good-bye to his peers and caretakers. He didn't appear sad, but I cried when a caretaker became emotional. He was clearly a favorite. He and Mr. Branch played outside with a ball for a few minutes while some paperwork was done and he was quite the tease. I knew right then that we were in for it!
Our hotel was close to our missionary friends and they were very helpful in translating and teaching us words we needed to know. Between the words we know and lots of gesturing, we understand each other most of the time. Every day now he says 1 or 2 new words in English and understands us more. This week I go to register him for Kindergarten and I'm praying that his lack of English doesn't keep him back. He was in school overseas and knows everything we would expect of a kindergartener except that it's in a different language.
Home life is very busy these days. Having a VERY curious 5 year old from an orphanage, who is a lefty by necessity not nature, and is potty trained but lacking greatly in aim means keeping eyes on him at all times and much cleaning up. I can't count the number of rags I go through in a day! He also wants to be independent and do everything himself which combined with the language barrier can get difficult.
Last night our small group talked about doing "the dance" with our hurt children and that nailed exactly what I've been trying to do. We each take steps toward and away from each other but as we do our bond is made stronger and we eventually end up at the same place. Mr. Branch and I are the leaders of the dance but we allow him to have control of some of his movements which gives him confidence.
Twiggy One is thinking about doing some guest blogging about the adventures of Twiggy Four. He comes up with the funniest stuff and the craziest stunts. Numerous times a day I ask, "Why is ________?" For instance, the other day Twiggy One came out of the bathroom and asked, "Why is there water in the jar candle?" Hmmmm. Or, "Why is the door stop in the trash can?" He keeps us on our toes, that's for sure.
He just came over and snuggled with me for a minute. Ah, my heart!
Today he has his physical therapy evaluation. I'm hoping to get the process started to get a splint fitted for his hand. We want his weak, curled right hand to be able to open so beside therapy, it needs to be splinted for several hours a day. I learned about a great therapy that I would like to do next summer but in order for that to happen we need him to see that his hand is useful. We met the occupational therapist last week and she was happy to see that he can open it when reminded to. She was really great in playing with him and making him laugh. I was worried that he would be stubborn and not want to cooperate, but it was so much fun there that he didn't even know he was working hard.
As always, thank you for praying for us during this adjustment period. Our family is blessed beyond measure.
He is Faithful,