I thought this morning that some of you not following me on Facebook might like an update on our Katherine Hope. She has almost been home 9 months now and she has stunned us with her progress.
When Kate first came home, she had some trust issues. This is not hard to imagine since she was in a new country with new people who did not speak her language. She did a great amount of lashing out at us. She would hit, scream, bite, kick, gouge us with her fingernails…she was hilariously aggressive and we honestly loved it because it showed a fighting spirit. At least she was not holding it in where we could not see it and deal with it. When we went anywhere, Kate would try to hide. She wouldn’t speak to anyone and usually tried to get away if they reached out to touch her. Again, this was trust issues…Would we leave her with them? If she let go of us, would we be gone? She stayed close to us and rarely went to anyone. Kate could not speak a lick of English. She would babble on and on in Chinese while I wondered how in the world we would teach her our language. How exactly does one start?
Here we are nine months later… If you didn’t see her little Chinese self, you would think that I birthed her and raised her myself. She still has that fight…as a matter of fact she just slammed a carrot down on my desk because she is mad that she has to go put panties on before breakfast. I have had to interrupt this post about 5 times to deal with her screaming, but it is because Nathan is once again teasing her one minute and parenting her the next…it really, really aggravates her. Do you hear the life of a normal 3 year old? She no longer lashes out, except in really extreme cases…if she feels the need to defend herself from the boys, if she is really, really hurt or scared or mad…and I can count on one hand how many times that has happened in the last 4 months. Last night at church, she begged to go to her class and see her “fends” and I had to run after her several times to keep her from doing that 3 year old wandering thing. All I could think was “She TRUSTS!!!” She knows that if she crosses the boundary or goes too far, we will come after her!!! She knows that when we leave her somewhere, it is safe and we will come back. She knows that she belongs to us and she is safe in that knowledge. As for her English, her concept and grasp of word context is completely amazing. She still has a tad of a Chinese accent, but remembers no Chinese. We hope to reintroduce Chinese to her shortly as we are a little sad that it is all gone, but until then we will just be happy that we can fully communicate with her and her with us. And I mean fully communicate. The girl can have 30 minute conversations with you and understand everything you tell her. She is amazingly smart.
As for her leg, it is getting stronger every day. She still walks with a significant limp and cannot run without falling on her face…and yes, it is usually on her face…the girl does not catch herself with her knees and she is flexible enough that her face is usually the first thing to hit the ground, although usually her feet are still on the floor as well…think triangle. The rod seems to have really given her some support and I no longer panic when she falls on it. We have had no incidents since Dr. Fletcher made it better. Yay!! Her bones are all still affected by the fibrous dysplasia and I wonder sometimes about how simple things will be possible, like bike riding or running, but I am truly leaving all that to Jesus… It is all so unimportant and secondary to the love that we have for each other.
And love her, we do. We get lost in those deep brown eyes. We say “No” a good bit now, but it is sometimes very hard and we often end up in stitches when she leaves the room. She is just such a spitfire. David and I do not have enough interesting DNA to have produced this child. It is definitely a good thing that we have plans for siblings for her, because it could be dangerous with the way she has her daddy wrapped around her finger. I thought that I might be a little jealous of this, but I revel in it. I love to see him brought to his knees by someone 25 lbs :). Makes me happy.
My relationship with God has been a little like Kate’s relationship with us. When God adopted me into His family, I had major trust issues. I am not a fighter like Kate, so I just hid. It has taken a good long while for me to trust and release myself fully to my Father. I am currently learning that it is okay for me to wander a little in trying to find His Will, because if I go too far, He will come after me. I am learning that when I mess up (and I DO!), He doesn’t kick me to the curb or write me off as a mistake, He lovingly corrects me and then comforts me as I deeply repent and beat myself over the head with a baseball bat. And I am learning that if, for some reason, it feels like He has left me…He hasn’t and won’t EVER…and soon I will feel His presence again. He is a faithful Daddy. I have been redeemed, just as Kate has.
Kate just ran in here with a new pair of panties. When I asked her what happened to the other ones, she grabbed my hand and excitedly pulled me toward the bathroom…”I show you. I show you.” She pooped in the potty!!! I will not mention that toilet paper was strewn all over the floor, or that she had yuckiness running down her leg. She pooped in the potty!!! No, this is not the first time, but when you are potty training it’s the little things…or the completely disgusting big things… that excite you.