Well, things seem to be getting a little better around here. We're slowly starting to break out of our cocoon shell. We've been to church together, had some play dates and having more friends come to the house. We still keep our visits short, but we are thankful for the little bit of time around friends and family. We are so thankful for our friends and family that have been extremely helpful and understanding. Getting out does us a lot of good, but we cross into over-stimulation very quickly. Over-stimulation for Hannah means more tantrums and frustration. I am ready for us all to be back in church again, and for Todd and I to go on a date, and to be able to run an errand with the kids...but we are not there yet. Hopefully soon!
We are communicating more with Hannah, and she is getting into our family rhthym. It's pretty amazing to see the wheels turn in her brain. She has learned so much in 6 weeks! She is constantly practicing her English on us. She's also learning, the hard way, that temper tantrums are not the way to get what you want in our house. I feel sad for Hannah, that for 10 years, she's had to scream at the top of her lungs to get her needs met. [I feel so sorry for our neighbors too that have heard it every day]
Some funny communication moments:
- The Chinese word for noodles sounds like "mean"... when the boys say "you are being mean"...Hannah points to the noodles.
- The Chinese word for rice sounds like "fun"...when we say "are you having fun?" ....she points to the rice
- Hannah has a hard time distinguishing between the "b" and "p" sound. It's pretty funny to help her learn the difference between "I have a boo boo" and "I need to go poo poo."
We are still struggling lots of Hannah's emotions mid-morning. For some reason, there's an emotional switch that gets turned on around 10:00 a.m. It doesn't matter where we are, what we're doing/not doing, what we've eaten or what we're playing with, there will be tears. I've started keeping a meltdown log, trying to find some kind of pattern to help us figure out what we can do different. I pulled out a daily calendar with pictures, to help her see what I have planned for the day. It seems to help when she's not blindsided by a new activity.
Personally, this week has been better than last. I've been overwhelmed by all of the needs of the family and the house. There is usually at least 1 child that is unhappy at all times. I've had to learn to be o.k. with my children being disappointed. I've never been a morning person, but lately I've been waking up way too early with a lot of anxiety about the day. I'm learning to trust God with my day and with my family. I'm learning to pour out my heart to God like David did in the Psalms. I'm learning to let a lot of things go. It's really hard to live by faith. I prayed for joy this morning and it's amazing to see how God flooded my heart with His joy.
Institutionalization has some pretty scary effects. I fear the worse for Hannah. I fear autism or Aspergers for her. I am praying that the things I see will improve over time and that I am wrong.
The kids are screaming for me right now...back to Mama's work.....