On learning English...
This morning while playing go fish he started saying "Do you have any 2's? Do you have any 5's?" and so forth. He's mimicking and the numbers aren't always right and he also says the numbers in Chinese. But he's mimicking constantly. He knows how to count to easily count to 10 already. He's definitely learned the words for apple and car and are using them pretty regularly.
Boo decided that he wanted to learn "photography" yesterday. So we've already had several lessons, usually when we're out and about exploring we walk and talk, and he practises shooting a few frames. Easy enough for me since I've been teaching long enough that I know my curriculum by heart. He's shooting in Manual mode and toggle focusing already, and I can say I'm pretty impressed how quickly he's catching on. (If you're one of my students you know what I'm talking about and can probably figure out we're up to lesson 7 in just 2 days!) So it's only fair to say that some of the pics from both today and yesterday are his, including any of the ones with me in it and the one below! And I'm thrilled that I get pics with me in them!
Part I-Today we had our first signs of grief and what going on in Ru's head and the sadness and turmoil he's feeling inside. He was getting pretty tuckered out (see below on nap time) by the time we got to a required appointment in the police station and by the time we arrived he sank in a chair and got really quiet. He's been "on" 24/7 since we've gotten him, laughing, teasing, joking... so this quiet somber mood caught our attention pretty quickly. I'm not sure if it was the official looking/feeling building that triggered his feelings, or maybe his tiredness or what. But he wasn't himself. Or maybe he was and we were just getting our first glimpses of it. We asked our guide to come talk to him, ask if he was doing okay. He wouldn't talk to her or make any eye contact with anyone. I sat next to him just to be with him, indicating that I'll always be with him if he needs. Papa and I decided to get out my cell phone and let him play a game on it. He hadn't had any "electronic" babysitters yet, but we decided now was the time since he really was looking pretty heart broken and we know he loves electronics and video games. He wouldn't even take my phone but rather looked the other direction. So I started playing slither by myself. A minute later we was leaning in to me watching my game and when I again offered the phone to play the game a big smile came over his face and he took it to play. This isn't how we always want to deal with grief and attachment, but for now it's what we think is best.
Part II-Back to feeling like his old self as we took a little tour around a local monument our guide explained that the hotel isn't our home. It's just a hotel where we will stay until it's time to get on the airplane and go to our home. She also asked Ru if he liked our family or had any questions. he didn't, but he did tell her that he likes me the most. Really, not that it matters. We're happy if he likes anyone the most at this point. But it did make my heart jump a little!
This just makes my whole body hurt! Yet he can do it indefinitely!
This morning I would have told you that hand holding was going great! He reaches for my had and actually holds it rather than me holding a wet noodle. But this afternoon, after the police station incident, he actually refused to hold my hand. I let it go. I think it's all part of the processing that he's going through as his whole life is flipping upside down. Later this evening at dinner he was looking for my hand to hold again.
On card playing...
Yes, were still doing LOTS of it. I've been researching and learning (relearning?) that a lot of cheating is inherent in the Chinese culture, and goes hand-in-hand with being competitive. Along with go fish and war we've added trash and memory to our repertoire.
I'm taking back some of what I said yesterday about needing to eliminate his nap in order to create an earlier bed time. Maybe this lack of a nap thing isn't such a good idea. He's understandably gotten really tired and the last couple days at "nap time" and it's possibly resulted in defiance and/or sadness. But we've been out doing official meetings and business and it's been unavoidable.
On the orphanage visit...
Tomorrow we are going back to Ru's orphanage. He has some goodies that he wants to hand out to his friends and say some last goodbyes to friends and nannies. Our guide asked him if he wanted to go, and he said yes. It was an unenthusiastic but, but it was a yes. If he would have said no, we wouldn't go. Prayers that the visit go well for his little heart are appreciated.