We've been a family of five for a week now - wow! In some ways it seems like Alina has been with us for forever, and at other moments I can hardly believe we aren't in Latvia anymore! It has been a wonderful week spent getting to know each other better and better each day through all kinds of interactions. Each moment is precious...and I pray I can live the rest of my parenting moments this intentionally!
The boys are LOVING their sister! God has really given Jude and Calvin special hearts for adoption. After our failed adoption, their hearts were broken, but when we vaguely brought up the idea of trying again sometime, both boys said, "Yes!" And they meant it. Having us gone for 17 days was a huge sacrifice for them, and it wasn't easy, but when it was time to get their input on the decision to adopt, they both told us to go get their sister. I have been so blessed to hear the three of them giggling in Alina's room playing a modified version of Barbies. When we go for a walk, Jude and Calvin always hold her hand. I know the new will wear off at some point, but I can already see how God is knitting their hearts together as siblings.
As for me, I am doing well. I have had a lot more trouble with jetlag than I thought I would! When 4:00 PM would roll around last week, I hit a wall and it was difficult to drag myself through the rest of the evening, which included making dinner, overseeing homework, running to karate, and bedtimes. By the time the last child's head hit the pillow, mine immediately followed! But each day it gets a little better, and I am starting to feel more comfortable and energetic in our new routine.
It can't believe I am saying this, but it is very different having a daughter! Alina is somewhat of a girly girl, and I have spent the last 9 years in a world of overwhelming testosterone, so having Alina has reminded me of that girly girl hidden in me! We had a fun time one night going through my shoes (which is a much smaller collection than it was pre-kids, but still slightly impressive). Alina wanted her ears pierced, so we did that one day last week. I'm certain I as far more nervous than she was!
We are doing a light version of homeschool, and that has been fine. We are taking it nice and slow with a few workbooks and a trip to the library for books to read. She is doing so well with her English, but I can tell she struggles to find the Latvian word for something, and I think it is disconcerting to her that she forgets Latvian words sometimes. My heart's desire is to get Rosetta Stone for Latvian so I can become close to fluent in it, but at several hundred dollars, it is on hold for now. She is doing well with homesickness, and she is good to come to us for extra love if she is feeling a bit blue. No tears or outbursts, but I can only imagine how this transition is for her. I am so proud of her strength, and I am honored to be this precious girl's mother.
I will blog some more soon about our path to Alina, but for now we are just enjoying her. She is a gift from God that is above and beyond what we could have asked or imagined. We are filled with thankfulness and gratitude and joy!