Now that we are home, I thought I'd say a few words about where we are, where Kylie is and where you all fit in the picture.
If you missed this post, be sure and read it first. Having that groundwork will help you understand what we are going through and what we are trying to do.
Kylie is a very happy child. But being so happy means everyone is her friend. Especially if you are standing and we are not. :) She wants to be moving ALL. THE. TIME. So if we are sitting down with her or if she is sitting anywhere and you are standing, she's going to want to come to you because you are more fun if you are up moving around.
This worked in our favor so far because it allowed me to accept help from Deanne and Jenna while in China so I didn't have to do it all. But now that we are home, Steve and I need to work hard on bonding with her. She needs to know everyone loves her, but she needs to know that Steve and I are more than just "nannies". We have to establish ourselves as her Mommy and Daddy.
Last night, Kylie didn't sleep well at all. I'm sure that is partially due to the fact that her days and nights are mixed up. She could still be on China time and we are all trying to get back on the right schedule, especially Jenna because she has to go to school on Monday.
So what does this mean for you? Are we accepting visitors? YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT! I have spent 2 weeks away from the best friends and family a girl could ask for and I'm thrilled if you want to come spend time with us. We do ask that you call, text or email and ask if it's OK to come. Please don't just drop in. This is for a couple of reasons...we are also trying to get back on a sleep schedule which could mean a nap or two is in order. Also, if you drop in just to see Kylie and she is asleep, then you wouldn't get to see her in action. So just let us know if you want to drop by. We'll tell you if it's OK. And most times it will be.
When you are here, do not ask to hold Kylie. We are trying to limit holding to just Steve, Jenna and I to facilitate bonding. You can absolutely talk to her, call her name, take pictures, rub her back, head or hand and even pinch her cheeks (they are irresistible). Try not to say "boo!" to her. I know that sounds silly but you don't realize how much you say that to a baby until you are trying not to. "Bu" in Mandarin means "no", so when you say "Boo!" to her, she thinks you are telling her "no". As she learns English, that will resolve itself. Also, try not to clap your hands to her. This is what her nannies in the orphanage did when they wanted her to come to them. So when you clap your hands, she thinks you are asking to pick her up.
And please don't take it personally if I don't answer the phone, immediately return an email or text or say it's not a good time for a visit! It's NOT personal! Oh, and if you haven't gotten a thank you note from me, I'd appreciate some grace. I'm getting around to it!
So, enough of the don'ts, let's talk about the do's!
DO feel free to talk to Kylie and try to make her smile. She's a happy baby and loves to smile. She needs to know you are a friendly face.
DO text, email, call, comment on the blog or visit. I have spent two weeks away from those I love most. I welcome seeing you all.
DO remember that Jenna is also our child. She also experienced two weeks without everything familiar, saw scary things in China, missed her friends, ate few familiar foods and missed home like crazy. So many of you have gone the extra mile to make her feel special and I can't thank you enough! Keep that up!
DO keep praying for us. Your prayers literally carried us through this trip. I can hardly believe we are on this side. But we still need your prayers desperately. So, please keep praying. We are trying to adjust in a variety of ways.
DO keep checking the blog! I am going to catch up on my China posts. I hope to put some video on here too.
I can't tell you enough how much I appreciated the comments, emails, scriptures etc. that you sent while I was in China. There is no way we could have made it those two weeks without your prayers and encouragement. It was probably the hardest thing I'd ever done. And we are still a work in progress.
I'm off to feed Kylie some dinner! Wish us a more restful night tonight!