We have enjoyed a lazy summer. No big and exciting trips; just a lot of lounging by the pool and time spent with family and friends. It was so nice not having to wake to an alarm clock each morning (besides Pudding's early morning shouts from his bedroom) and being able to eat supper together each night without having to race to this practice or that meeting.
But all good things must come to an end and, truth be told, I think we were all ready for school to begin. Chipmunk and Monkey are usually best friends; by the last week of July, they were at each other's throats all day...a sure-fire indicator that it is back-to-school time. Now that school has been back in session for a couple of weeks, I have our peaceful household back. We also decided that Pudding needed to go to preschool a few day a week. We know that he is still quite delayed socially/emotionally, but I didn't realize quite how delayed until I watched him interact with other children his age this summer at our library's summer program. He has made such amazing strides in the 16 months he has been home; never in my wildest dreams did I think he would be at the point where he is now. That being said, he needs a little extra push in learning how to follow rules and play in a group setting (with other children besides his siblings). So last week, he started at the same preschool that Monkey attended. I love this preschool and think it will be a perfect fit for Pudding. The class size is very small and the teachers are amazing. I am sure that he will thrive there.
That leaves HotDog and me with three afternoons all to ourselves!! I'm not sure who is more excited about that...her or me?!? Granted, she takes a nap so her time as the only child at home is limited; still, she is thrilled that we get "girl time" together! If you ask her what we need to do during our girl time, she'll answer "Go shopping. Do our toenails. Eat ice cream." I think I'm going to be in trouble during her teenage years!
HD is excited that Sprout will be able to share in our girl time too. We are still not sure when that will be though. We continue to wait for our much-anticipated LOA (China's official acceptance of our adoption). Most come within 30-60 days; we are at day 68 (I think) and still waiting. We did hear that our dossier made it out of translation and is in the review room, which means it should just be a few more weeks. Initially we had hoped to travel in August; now I'll be thrilled to have her home for Thanksgiving. I find it amazing what we though would be our quickest adoption will now become our longest adoption (almost a year from the time we committed to her). I have no right to complain as there are many other families that have waited a much longer time than us. It's just hard knowing these children are waiting in orphanages while they have families that are so anxious to bring them home. Adoption is definitely not for the faint-hearted.
The one thing that does make this loooong wait a little easier is new pictures of our little Sprout!! We have been so blessed throughout this adoption in getting pictures of our newest little love. It had been a few months since we had gotten a new update on Sprout so I decided it was time to send her a care package and remind her that her family can't wait to bring her home. We also sent a photo book to show her pictures of her new family. I was hoping to get one or two new pictures. Imagine my delight when I received 9 new pictures of her with the photo album we sent. I love, love, love seeing her study the pictures of us...every little connection to her helps.