Ava had a "Miss Spider's Tea Party" costume party in her class. She had to be an insect so we used part of her Halloween costume and came up with a butterfly. She had a great time. The kids in her class had lots of questions for me about why I look different, why I'm not speaking chinese, how do you say ????, etc. Very cute; very innocent and very welcoming to Ava. They all had to tell me their names and that they are friends with Ava. Her parent-teacher conference was the next day and she is doing very well and adjusting. Her teacher and I decided that maybe I should come in and read a book about adoption during book time; and also come in during the Chinese New Year to talk to the class about it and let Ava show some things. (Would welcome any of you BTDT's opinion or experiences.)
Eliza got her haircut shorter this time. (I always cut it because it's too much of a sensory experience in a negative way to take her to get it cut professionally). Anyway, I loved how it turned out and would like to go even shorter! She refused to stand still or look at the camera; this is her whizzing past me, and her picking her nose, and her actually letting me snap a picture of the back (lol).
Halloween was fun for Ava though she wasn't sure what to make of the scary parts of it! Eliza
You should've seen Ava's face when she saw the first bowl-filled w/ candy that she got to choose from. She took a while deciding as all the other kids were off and running to the next house. We never did catch back up with our group. By the end, she was just grabbing and going. She finally said "tong" (hurt) and pointed to her legs. She was exhausted. Admittedly, I did play the "adopted from China" card a few times too when I had to explain that she couldn't understand their questions or the scary monsters sitting by people's front doors. So she got lots of extra candy and lots of compliments! She always said thank you and bye-bye, which is more than most of the little
(She went along w/ Allie, my friend Kim and me to see the Amelia Earhardt movie on Sunday.) Believe it or not, she enjoyed it...and the popcorn, soda and Twizzlers! The cinematography was beautiful and not too much speaking, so she sort of understood what was happening. I found myself watching her during the movie, just like I did when I first took Eliza to a movie. I also had one of those moments when the magnitude of a "China adoption" hits you...the paperwork...the travel to a foreign country...the entrusting of a child to you... It really hit me sitting there watching THAT movie (about a woman pioneer) and my daughter. I was a woman pioneer traveling to China alone. Now I know what you all meant when you would e-mail me telling me that you couldn't believe I did it alone. At the time, I wasn't thinking about it in that way; more of just needing to get there and bring home my daughter.
An update on Eliza that I've been meaning to share: We're trying a sleep medication for Eliza (Clonidine); not having much luck w/ it. Still averaging 6 hours of sleep per night; that's about 4-5 hours for me. She IS still sleeping up in her room though and she IS still falling asleep relatively fast. Seems her autism is debilitating her progress at school and home these days though. She's requiring more redirection than ever and prone to the silly's, the twirling, laying on the floor, and flapping or hitting herself. She has outburts of laughter, raging, crying. Poor thing. She's just completely unfocused and uninterested. Please pray that she'll breakthrough this cycle as she has in the past. She is really stunted right now. These cycles are hard on everyone. She's had a lot of changes both at home and in school; lack of sleep doesn't help; but really the changes have been gradual since mid-summer. Ava is one that Eliza will really engage with though and that's great to see. Ava adores her and fortunately, thinks Eliza's quirky ways are funny. Having a child with autism is an isolating experience, especially during these more-autistic cyles, because life outside of the home is limited for the family. I love Eliza so much; she's so beautiful and so intuitive; I wish I could do more for her as her mother. (Ava's classroom looks out on the AU pre-k playground so I got to watch Eliza a little bit when I went to Ava's Miss Spider party. Most of the time, she was either standing next to a bush or laying in the sand looking up. I had tears in my eyes for her as I heard Ava and her classmates talking and interracting behind me.)
Enjoy all the pictures!