First of all, after four weekends in a row of flying to and from Russia, it is great to have one at home. This has been a challenging week with many ups and downs, as to be expected.
Ira Joy is doing well. She's an extremely active child. She's often into everything! Despite the language barrier, we are communicating fairly well with her, using lots of repetition and gesturing. Praise the Lord, she has adjusted to the time difference from Russia to here with no difficulty!
She is having to learn the ins and outs of our household, testing the limits with her new family. She is finding they are set quite firmly in place! This has been hard for her and for us as she learns she can't always have what she wants. I'm sure going from the strict structure of the orphanage to something different would be confusing so she's just trying to figure out her new life. Each day does seem to get easier in this regard.
The kids all love her. Evan likes to carry her and share his Huggy bear with her. Stephen helps get her in her car seat and straps her in. Olivia helps her with puzzles and likes to swing on the porch swing with her. They do however, prefer her not to touch their bigger kid things. I caught Ira Joy just about to give Olivia's American Girl doll, Samantha a bath! That would not have gone over well.
Her favorite toys are a play purse, shopping cart, and a cookie jar shape sorter. She can say the boys names, grandma, grandpa, monkey, up, down, momma, and papa, hello, and bye-bye.
Cute highlights from the week: Matt discovered her mopping the kitchen floor with the Swifter mop; She put toys in the bath for Olivia and proceeded to (in Russian) tell her she had to get in to the bath tub; On the first night home, she made a spot for Olivia to sleep in her toddler bed with her; Singing cute Russian songs when she's happy; Deciding she likes baths herself IF there are fun toys to splash with (before this she screamed); Wearing Evan's eyeglasses and the next day she was surprised with a pair of hot pink sunglasses from her Aunt Ally; Putting the sunglasses on Momma and Grandma and the face of the cookie jar shape sorter; Giving hugs to her aunties, grandma, grandpa and several of the girls at church; funny thing this morning-- She did not want to get dressed because she wanted to get the kitchen swept and table cleared after breakfast, did not have time for that this morning as we were running late for church, couldn't explain that one too well to her but did get that dress on her little body.
Well, that is our week in a nutshell. Ira Joy is quite a blessing and keeps me hopping. Maybe I'll finally lose those extra pounds. If I'm to get something done, I've figured out that she has to have a job too. So, she's been quite the helper around here. It will be interesting to see what the next week brings.