Wow! Its hard to believe we're approaching two weeks since returning from China. However, we have officially recovered from the trip and are getting settled in.
Classes start tomorrow and Sarah is pretty excited about it. While we are still a ways from having regular conversations, the communication level is improving at a pretty good rate. She has had a couple of sessions with her tutor and Deb has been working with her using flashcards and a little writing each day. Plus, she is picking up a few things from watching TV and regular conversation. She's a sharp kid (no, we're not biased at all...grin), so while I'm sure there will be a few bumps in the road yet with learning English, I don't think it will be too long until those regular conversations are going.
While in China we picked up the first three Harry Potter movies. This week we watched all three (the first two in Chinese with English subtitles and the last one in English with Chinese subtitles). We were watching them downstairs with Mom and Sarah sharing the futon/couch and Dad on a chair next to the futon. During one of the movies, Sarah was cuddled up with Mom about halfway through the movie...I guess there is some magic in Hogwarts after all.
One of Dad's toys is an XBox 360 that had run into the red rings of death (for non-videogamers, this is a notorious problem with the 360's where it stops working) before we left for China. We had sent it in for repairs and got it back a couple of days ago. So, on Friday we went shopping and picked up Dance, Dance Revolution. Sarah quickly got the hang of it and started moving through the levels. Although, I'm not sure whether she had more fun playing it or laughing at Dad's lack of rhythm.
Also, on Saturday we had some visitors. Kevin's Mom and Dad came down for a visit. They surprised Sarah by taking her out to pick up a bike, so today we all went for a little bike ride.
Now for some "bad" news. We started this blog to keep family and friends up to date on our journey to Sarah (although we didn't know her name was going to be Sarah at the time). Along the way we have found many new friends. Some of you have left one or more heartfelt comments along the way and I'm sure many more have followed along, sending their good thoughts and prayers along the way. We truly appreciate all the goodwill that we have received. However, at this point we feel we are telling her story as well and that is more her story to tell instead of ours. We will leave the blog up for a little while longer, but it will probably be coming down before too much longer and this will likely be the last post. Please feel free to keep in touch through email. If you have questions, we will be happy to answer them. If you are just curious about how things are going send us an email. I won't promise an immediate or a super detailed response, but we will be happy to let you know how things are going.
We also hope that along the way, a few families that might find their hearts wondering about the possibility of older children have gained a little information from our experience and have seen that, while there are a few unique challenges, the rewards can be wonderful. The ability to bond as a family does not disappear at age one, two or three. Sarah will have fewer years in our home before going out on her own, but she will be our daughter forever. If your heart is with a baby, pursue that dream. However, if you have considered an older child, don't be afraid to pursue THAT dream.