I haven’t written for awhile. Part of that is that I am back home to laundry and cooking my own meals and work and cleaning and homeschooling. But the other part of it is that Eyann’s place in our family doesn’t seem that mentionable anymore. I mean that in a good way….in a “She doesn’t stick out so much; she blends” sort of way.
Some day, though, I will want to remember what she was doing two months after she joined our family, and so I’ll write today.
Let’s start from 8 am. At exactly 8 ‘o’ clock, the girl comes blasting (never quietly) into our room and yells, “Goodah Moorahningah!” Then, she usually jumps on us and laughs. Loudly. She has been known to put her lips over my ear as she greets us in the (very early, for me) morning.
The girl then runs to the kitchen to request a banana. (The requests for bananas persist every hour, almost all day long.) She says, religiously, to September, “Time for school?” when she is done eating, and the two of them head downstairs. This girl recognizes at least 10 letters, she’s learning to write her name, she can count to 15, and she knows her shapes (most of the time). I can’t take credit for any of that. S has been annoyed that the “little kids” don’t do school as much as she does, and she has taken responsibility for getting all of Eyann’s school hours in.
People have asked about her language. We have stayed in contact with one of Eyann’s friends who was adopted on the same day to a family in Iowa. Her parents have told us that their daughter refuses to speak Mandarin; even with a Chinese exchange student that had come to visit. Keith and I laughed, saying that Eyann is wondering why it is taking SO long for us to learn her language. She’s probably thinking, “Man, how do they only know a handful of Chinese words!? It’s been a couple of months!” This girl still spouts out whole paragraphs in Mandarin and then stomps her foot and scowls when we tell her we have no idea what she’s saying. The kids, on the other hand, have resorted to speaking Chinese to her. Soren has taken advantage of all of Eyann’s “bug words”: He will go into her room, grab one of her “prize possessions”, and then wave it around in front of her, saying, “Soren dah” (which, as far as we can tell, means, “This is mine.”) He has also picked up what we like to call Eyann’s “Chinese swear words”. When she is mad, she has a handful of comments that she uses, and while we know they are not kind, we’re not sure what they mean. When Soren and Eyann are fighting, he will mutter under his breath, “Liggatoot!” or “Toyette Eyann!” When Eyann is mad at him, he will run into our room and cry, “Mom, Eyann just said Liggaseppy!” And I have to remind him that we don’t know what it means, and maybe it is nice, and he is too smart to believe that, because she always says it with a stamp of her foot and a shake of her little big-haired head.
Which brings us to the next point. The girl, for an Asian, has big hair. Maybe this is one of my uneducated and wrongly held assumptions, but I always thought Chinese people had beautiful, straight, shiny, black hair. This kid? She’s got big hair. And it’s not straight. It’s coarse and pretty unmanageable. We’re still working on what it looks like to make it look cute. Maybe by the time she cares, like when she’s a teenager, I’ll have figured out all the tricks for her. A friend of mine laughed at me when I had a haircut scheduled before I had thought about a pediatric visit. But hey! A girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do, right? S is growing out her hair now, so the two of them can have matching hairdos. Eyann always makes sure to tell S that she looks “prelly!” She’s nice like that. She is constantly telling her siblings that they are her buddies and that they are cute and that she loves them.
She’s really, really sensitive to our family and their feelings. Keith, who says that sharing who he is in public, as a pastor, gets him unusually emotional, sometimes cries while he is speaking at church. Two times now, Eyann has been upstairs to see this, and both times, tears start welling up in her eyes. Soren gets hurt more than any kid I know. Constantly. Without ceasing. (If I prayed as much as he got hurt, I’d be a freaking saint.) So, he also cries. A lot. Eyann doesn’t understand why I don’t often run to his aid. But really? I’d be running to the kid every five minutes. I tend to ignore him unless his cries sound different than the “I am annoyed that I ran into the wall again” cries I usually hear. Eyann doesn’t think this is acceptable. She often drags me to her brother, hugging him and saying, loudly, “YOU OKAY?” over and over again, hoping I learn from her example and, through time, figure out what it looks like to be a “good mom”. :) Apparently, September was crying in her sleep about some dog that died or something, and she didn’t wake up because she was crying, she woke up because Eyann was repeating, over and over, “YOU OKAY, SEPPY? YOU OKAY?” with her cute little not-quiet voice.
We like this girl. She is good for our family. We hope we are good for her. Every night, she makes Keith and I pray for her, and this is the prayer she models for us to say: “Jesus, thank you for Eyann. We love her so much….” and every night, when she reminds us to pray, I really mean that prayer. A lot.