Hi all. We flew out of Nanning on Friday evening and are now in Guangzhou to finalize the paperwork at the US Consulate. I did not find myself with enough time to write a blog yesterday, so I apologize to anyone who was checking. Mylie developed a nasty cold on Thursday evening and did not sleep most of Thursday night. You can just imagine how cheerful this sick, sleepless child was on Friday when her parents could not take the cough away, not to mention her itchy prickly heat rash. She was 1/10 sad and 9/10 mad. We had ENORMOUS temper tantrums of long duration. When the orphange said she was strong willed, they weren't kidding!! Luckily her fever only lasted a short while, and we are now only left with what we are hoping is the end stages of a cold, although her cough still remains at night. Because so many adoptions go through our hotel here in Guangzhou, there is a doctor in our hotel if things do take a turn for the worse, so that is reassuring.
I don't know if any of you have ever pondered this question, but throughout this whole adoption process, I've periodically wondered how I would feel towards Mylie once she was officially "ours". Would she feel like my daughter immediately, or would it feel like Mylie was just a child that I was babysitting/responsible for, and would the love grow and come later? I had no doubt that I could love a non-biological child as my own, I just did not know how long it would take for that love to develop. After having Mylie only 5 days, I can honestly say, that I love her as my daughter. In fact, I could have said the same after only one day. I am so thankful that we were led on this journey and this bright, vibrant little girl is now a part of our family.
Mylie is learning by leaps and bounds -- every hour sees new progressions. I hardly recognize the little girl we met only five days ago. She has done an immense amount of learning already. I said in my first post that Mylie had the look of a child who was just waiting to blossom, but I have never seen anyone learn so much, so quickly, and it is a thrill to be a part of.
Our most difficult task right now is that because of orphanage life and her lack of ability to communicate, temper tantrums are a common occurance. She can go from sweet, fun and loving, to foul tempered in the blink of an eye. Her temper tantrums are not emotional ones for the most part -- they are pure self preserving stubborness as far as we tell...very understandable considering orphange life. Once they are over, there is not so much as a sad sniffle remaining. She is sweet as pie... This preservation technique may have worked well in the orphanage, but is not well suited for family life. We are doing our very best to teach her words and signs that will hopefully allow her to communicate with us enough to get her temper tantrums under control. She has mastered the sign for please, so that is helping quite a bit. We are now working on "all done", "no please" and "show me". Mylie's only language right now when she doesn't like something is to turn her head to the side and complain "mmm.mmmm." which too quickly turns into an all out tantrum. We are hoping that by giving her a vocabulary we can head off some of the tantrums before they start.
Thanks again to everyone for your encouraging emails. As always, we have loved hearing from you.
Kris, Dave and Mylie Gleason
Mattel provides each of the adoptive families with a collectible Barbie holding an adopted Asian baby. I know many will be horrified, but we made short work of the collectible part, and opened the box. Our family has never been one for toys in boxes. Mylie was impressed.
Once Mylie had tired of the Barbies, she used the box as a storage table. She likes to organize things in our room sometimes. In this case, she neatly and carefully arranged the items on top of the box. When she sits down if she notices something on the floor that shouldn't be there she checks with me first and then throws it into the garbage. Today she was finding long black hairs on the carpet and cleaning them up...very strange! I am not sure how long she will be able to keep this up at our house with the dust bunnies rolling around!
Our hotel at night. It is beautiful! The government likes international adoptive parents to stay at their best hotels in order to present a good impression. For Dave and I, who are usually searching for the least expensive Super 8 hotel we can find back in the US, it is a treat. Five star hotel rates in China are comparable to the rates you pay for a Holiday Inn Express back in the States. There is actually a person on every floor stationed at the elevators to push the up or down button for you!! How crazy is that?
Mylie and I are standing on the top of a dinner cruise boat we went on this evening with another adoptive family from Minnesota. Mylie's not blinking in the picture, she's laughing. It took a while to get her up on top of the boat to enjoy the view. We made the mistake of letting her taste my ice cream bar after dinner. What two year old likes your suggestion of saying "all done" to an ice cream bar? Not any one I know. Once, I tried to mop up the bottom of the bar with a napkin to keep it from dripping all over. Knowing no better, Mylie thought that's how you ate ice cream, so every lick she took she tried to get the napkin and wipe the bottom of the bar for me. It was a mess!