Saturday, September 29, 2012
Thank you all for noticing the change in Sissy. It's really amazing, isn't it? I can't believe the girl getting compliments on her table manners at a wedding two weeks ago is the same girl I adopted in China who spralled out on the table and ate like a camel.
She has made some great strides in the last two weeks, too. She has come to realize that no one loved her in China. Really loved her. Yes, she was a favorite, but she wasn't anyone's daughter. She fully understands that kissing and hugging from me is a demonstration of my love for her. She hears me say the words at bedtime each night and even during the day. She knows that she doesn't have a life in China any more. Yes, she still misses her friends, but the last best friend she had is coming the the USA soon!
Jie Jie sets the table, Blossom and Sissy clear it, then Sissy loads the dishwasher and/or washes what's left (only things from the table so far, not pots and pans). She may not know a lot of things, but once I tell her, she gets it. For example, she and Jie Jie had a rough day together yesterday. Jie Jie was being a bossy little sister and overly physical with hugs that resulted in a nasty scratch on Sissy's arm. When Sissy refused to play with Jie Jie, Jie Jie cried and pouted, in hiding, which is what she does when she knows she's at fault.
So, I explained Jie Jie's situation of always being the oldest and never having played with kids her age or older before and that she simply doesn't know how. I gave Sissy permission not to play with Jie Jie but that she must speak kindly to her, especially when saying no to her, rather than shouting it at her.
At the same time, I had a talk with Jie Jie about boundaries and growing up. It worked, because as we were all walking today, Jie Jie took my hand, Sissy took my other hand and Blossom held Jie Jie's other hand, which made Jie Jie glow with happiness. No one noticed that I was glowing with happiness that my newest child, on her own, linked hands with the rest of us.
I think that the biggest lesson Sissy's is learning about her own self-control, is that when there is conflict, there are many ways to resolve it that are gentle and fair. She doesn't need to stay angry and/or sulk any more, and this is huge for her. She is able to forgive and move on, with greater understanding.
I do encourage tattling, of sorts. My girls need to know that they can come to me for anything and that no one can get away with breaking the rules, especially if the behavior is something dangerous. This way, each girl knows the other is watching. On the other hand, I also encourage even more, one girl telling the other that the behavorior is wrong. For example, instead of running to me when Blossom starts going on and on about going back to China to live (which is subsiding a LOT), Sissy can walk away, stop listening and ignore it, or tell Blossom to stop. Then, if Blossom follows, Sissy walks over to me and then I put a stop to it.
Sissy is now starting to pick her own clothes each morning. She still needs a little guidance, but she's getting it! She is also doing well washing her own hair and doing so much better brushing her teeth - Thank you, Dr. Denise, the girls' dentist!
Sissy is gaining self-confidence and is discovering her talents. With Blossom to read with, they are pouring of the Chinese picture bible they have. I am very pleased with their desired to learn more about the Gospel. I introduced them to it and they are running with it. I am so eager for the day when they gain their own testimonies and are ready for baptism. Once they get this, they will know how loved they are by their Heavenly Father and I believe this will help them tremendously as they deal with the ramifications of being abandoned.
Sissy has brought up her birth parents a couple of times. She is sad about it and doesn't understand why they left their little baby. One of her ideas is that her birth mother died during childbirth. I introduced the ideas that her birthmother might have been poor. It will come up many times more, I'm sure, and as Sissy's English improves, our discussions will deepen.