Monday, January 7, 2013

In Which We Do All The Things

Well, that was one heck of a busy day!

Ellen had both her first day of school and her first day of swimming today.  It's going to be quite the schedule, though it's not quite as strenuous as her schedule was at the orphanage.  They gave us a rundown of her average day while we were there and it was. . . impressive.

She had a fantastic time at both school and swimming, which was great.  I think that having the routine is going to be really good for her. 

Anyway, so she's starting to test her boundaries and feel out what it's like to have parents, which I think is a good thing as it means she's now comfortable enough with us to relax and stop feeling like she needs to always be on her best behavior. 

Some of the frustration she's experiencing is due to miscommunications; she got pretty angry with me tonight right before bed when I asked for her school class schedule and teacher list so I could make a copy of it.  Despite being upset with me, she dutifully got out the schedule and was just sitting down at her desk with a piece of paper and a pencil when I walked into her room, asked for the schedule again more slowly and clearly, and then introduced her to the miracle of our scanner/printer. 

It turned out she hadn't understood me the first time and thought that when I said that I needed her schedule so I could make a copy of it, I was actually saying that she had to copy it out by hand before she could go to bed-- a monumental task for a child who's a beginning English language learner and one that she would have every right to be upset over.  She was pretty relieved when she realized that wasn't what I was asking for.  Also she thought the scanner was awesome.

So some of her frustration is because of things like that.  And some of the frustration is because she's a teenager.  And she probably had a preconceived idea of exactly what living in America and having parents was going to be like, and we don't always measure up.  But she bounces back quickly, and for the most part she's a joy to live with. 

Connor had a great day today as well; he had no seizures, which was really nice!  Hopefully the medication is really starting to kick in.  We did have a problem this morning-- his g-tube completely clogged and I had to take it out and unclog it in the bathroom sink, which was not nearly as fun as it sounds.  Otherwise things went well for him.

So all in all it was a pretty good day!



Herding Grasshoppers said...

Thanks for the view into your life with Ellen, and her adjustment. I can sympathize with her frustration at the misunderstanding - so glad you were able to get it all cleared up. I can imagine her surprise at the scanner/copier!

How long will it be before things are finalized and you can show pictures of her?


Moose said...

"...not nearly as fun as it sounds"
That already does not sound fun!

Longtime reader, infrequent commenter here to say congratulations on bringing Ellen home. I'm so happy for all of you and glad it seems she's settling in. International and transcultural adoption are so complicated and I think you've approached it with compassion and education in a way that many don't. (On a related note, you might be interested in the recent documentary Somewhere Between, which is about four teenage girls adopted from China, from their perspectives.)

Julia said...

I'm scurrying to get caught up -- sorry for my long absence. Soooo glad to hear that Ellen is home and adjusting well so far. Congratulations on your new daughter!!! Not good news about Connor's uptick in seizures. Happy New Year to you and yours!

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dlefler said...

I have been SO behind with commenting on blogs - I am much better at reading them. The scanner/copier must have been quite a nice surprise for Ellen - I can imagine her frustration at thinking she had to copy everything by hand.

I hope Connor's seizures settle down again soon. Clogged g-tubes are no fun. Nolan hates having his removed and replaced (we use Pediasure and it is STICKY stuff - sometimes clogs but thank goodness for heavy rinses of water!).

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