The Crew

The Crew
Christina, Matthew, Joshua and Katie Grace XiHua

Friday, February 8, 2013


Our little sweet pea turned 5 yesterday!!  Time is flying by, I can't believe it!   She has been home with us now for 17 months.  We can't imagine the time without her!

Let's talk about how this amazing girl has progressed.  

LANGUAGE:  She is speaking English completely.  Even though she speaks in sentences and has no problem expressing her needs, it still often is like baby talk.  Perhaps how a 3 year old American toddler communicates.  Continues to improve all the time though. Retaining Chinese language has not been easy.  She plays Chinese learning games on the computer and also watches some of her favorite Chinese cartoons, but she is losing it fast.  I wish there was a Chinese school nearby.

SCHOOL:  Hua Hua is in Pre-k.   She is learning and loves school.  She can write her name and knows the days of the week, months of the year, can say her ABCs and more.  However, I would say she is behind the other kids.  She can only recognize about 4 letters of the alphabet still.  She knows most of her colors, but still struggles with several.  She can recognize about 5 numbers as well.  At this point in Pre-K, the kids should recognize all letters of the alphabet and be able to write them.  They should understand basic math using pictures.  I would say she is more like a 3 year old with 4 and 5 year olds in PreK class.  I am not worried about her learning ability.  She is not delayed, she is just not mature like a 5 year old yet.  Still catching up on her life.  

BEHAVIOR:  Hua Hua is a wonderful child!  She is bright and attentive.  She is very loving and affectionate.  Full of kisses, hugs, kind words and love.  She is also thoughtful, doing things for others to make them happy.  I like to call her a sassafras because she is feisty.  She wants her way and she will keep trying to get it or hold her own in a competition with her siblings for something she wants.  I have to tell her several times to stop doing something she should not be doing.  She will look at me and keep doing it!  She will pout and stomp her foot if I stop her plans.  She hardly ever has tantrums anymore.  Once in a blue moon will she have a melt down.  One of her old fashioned tantrum meltdowns.  Some people will say, that is normal for any child her age.  Meltdowns are normal.  But there is something desperate and methodical about her meltdowns when they happen.  She gets into a loop that she can't get out of and won't (can't) give it up. I have 4 children and I am 1 of 7 kids, and these meltdowns are different.  Often times, only another adoptive parent will understand how their child's anxieties are different from an average child.  

BONDING AND ISSUES:  At 17 months home, Hua Hua has developed healthy and bonded relationships with the family.  There is still a bit of progress to be made in some areas, but she is amazing.  It took her awhile to bond with daddy completely, but now she expresses her love for him, desire to see him and loves for him to play with her!   She still clings to mom considerably.  She has anxiety about separation and abandonment still to this day.  She rarely wakes up feeling secure and content even still.  She will wake up panicked and angry, certain I (mom) has left.  Then she is fine when she sees all is well.  She still asks me not to leave her in the car, at the store, wherever we are.  Even though I constantly tell her that I will never never ever leave her anywhere, she still asks me not to leave her, daily.  She still has some food issues.  She eats more than any of my other children and is constantly asking for food, sneaking food, thinking about food.  For awhile I would just let her eat as much as she wanted because she was SO tiny at adoption.  (3 1/2 years old and only 20 lbs at adoption).  I realized now that I need to tell her when she is full.  I need to say, "okay, that's enough for now.  You can eat more later." 

HEALTH:  Hua Hua's last Cardiologist appointment was a great success!  They said her heart looked as though she never had surgery and her lungs are nearly normal.  This is amazing considering the close call it was in timing to get the surgery she desperately needed, and the highly concerning state of her Pulmonary Hypertension.  She doesn't have to go back to the Dr for a year!  She has also grown considerably this past year.  She is still a little munchkin compared to her friends at school, but her growth, weight and appetite are strong.  

FAMILY AND ACTIVITIES:  We adore Hua Hua!  She is entertaining and a joy!  She is SO cute!  The siblings love her and she and Joshua (7) and best buddies.  They play together everyday.  She takes dance class once every week.  She loves to dance!  She goes to Sunday School and always looks forward to it!  

Birthday Girl yesterday with her Birthday button on!  "I'm 5 now!!", she yelled and giggled at everyone we saw!

Loves photo booth on the computer! 

Mom and Hua having fun with photo booth!

Lots of hugs and loves from this baby

Fun faces are a must

Hua Hua in her dance class on Costume Try On Day.  This is the 4 - 5 yr old ballet/Tap combo class.  This is the Tap Costume.  She is so cute and happy about that costume!

What could be better than dress up??  She loves this costume!

Began posing....

Seriously don't know where she got this pose from, but it made me laugh!  

Back in her regular class dance wear

Sweet and happy face!

Many hungry children near the boarder of Myanmar and Thailand-click on photo