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Our first day of Hosting

When we adopted last year we worked so hard with the kids right away, trying to catch them up to speed, but this experience seems so relaxed, easier and just fun.

Sweet little miss slept and slept this morning, our times zones are about exactly opposite.  Maria got up, got to school, the boys had their morning, and played with the OT therapist.  An hour before their lunch and nap time, we decided to wake her, so that she could sleep tonight.

Finley and I walked in, “Good morning, J!” Finley said, and she woke up, a little bewildered, but then started smiling.  She is very quiet, but very self sufficient.  We decided to take her to a Filipino restaurant for lunch for her first meal, settle her in a bit.  Rice and teriyaki chicken, a hit with everyone.

It’s just a shame the kids didn’t bond today, or enjoy each others company.

Photo 1

Once the boys zonked out for their afternoon naps, she went outside and found Maria’s bike.  She tried it a couple times in the grass, and fell each time.  And each time, got right back up, determined.   Andrew saw her from the office and asked her if she wanted to learn.

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She nodded, determined, quietly. IMG_1018

They worked so hard, sweat dripping down her smiling face.IMG_1024 IMG_1027

And little by little, she gained confidence, peddling faster and faster.

Photo 2

***

Afterwards, she and I ran a couple errands.  I thought about all the other host families taking their kids to fun places, but I needed to go to the bank and the grocery store, and she was happy to tag along.  She is shy, almost silent, and I allow it, not trying to force too much conversation.  It’s a very relaxed hosting experience.  She is smart, curious, and independent.  “She’s really great,” Andrew and I say to each other often, finding out more about her.  While we were at the store, she started  dancing in the aisle for a moment, then blushed, but I saw a bit of her spunk and gave her a high five.

When Maria was home from school, and the boys got up, they all played in the yard together.  Laughing and crashing.  IMG_1036

The kids barely enjoy each others company.IMG_1044 IMG_1057 IMG_1062

Andrew brought his bike out and they looped and looped around the yard.  I thought we might get a noise complaint from all the giggles.IMG_1077

For dinner, we made salmon, cheesy maple brussel sprouts with cashew (incredible: recipe here) and rice.  Pumpkin pie for dessert.

Photo 8

I don’t know how this dinner ended up kind of fancy, so random, but it was  a hit.

Photo 4

After dinner, the kids played toys.  J loves toys, making my kids rediscover old toys.  The kids love playing with her.  She is so sweet and fun, still coming out of her shell, with bits of personality popping through here and there.IMG_1084 IMG_1087

J ran to her room and pulled out a gift for us, a hand carved boat, the kind they make in her village.  It’s gorgeous, and we were so thankful!IMG_1096

Photo 7

She brought us some Filipino candy, too, and the most beautiful scrap book of her life.  It was seriously an AMAZING scrap book, some things made us sad, others were so sweet.IMG_1102

Once the boys were down at 6:30, they girls played and played.  It was beautiful.  Maria doesn’t really love playing by herself, so to hear the two of them playing doll house, snuggled and reading together was so sweet to us, I think they are both such good influences on each other in many ways.

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Meanwhile, Andrew and I cleaned up and had some tea, we were like, “Where are we?  Aren’t more kids supposed to be harder?”  We prayed with the girls and tucked them in early.

Man, this whole hosting thing is great, we are loving it!!       IMG_1097

Hosting in a nut shell day one: Sleeping (mostly), playing (like a champ) and eating.  Great, great day!

 

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{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Kim December 17, 2013, 11:08 pm

    I am really enjoying reading about your hosting experience. Please update often. This is not done in Aus as far as I am aware of. Such a shame as we would be the first to put our hands up. Perhaps it is the distance?

    Hugs

    Kim
    x

  • Rebekah December 18, 2013, 5:21 pm

    Those smiles are amazing! The hosting experience looks like such a blessing all around!

  • Jennie Leung December 22, 2013, 4:07 am

    Thank you for sharing your hosting experiences. Jonalyn and Maria can pass for siblings! I am inspired by your style of writing, and really like the new blog format. The font is clearer as well. Enjoy the time with Jonalyn.

    Merry Christmas as we celebrate the glad tidings. Rejoice, He cometh!

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