Settling In….

Several people have asked how things are going and how Elizabeth and Elijah are settling in.
All things considered they are doing well, and yes, today is the third day and it was so much better than the first day or two.

There are several things that have been noteworthy (for lack of a better word). They are absolutely terrified of our two dogs. Not just a bit scared, but terrified. We have two dogs, Lucy (black lab) and Nelly (Schnauzer)…when they “met” them both Elijah and Elizabeth literally scrambled almost to my shoulders. If it wasn’t so sad to see them so terrified it would have made anyone laugh. They scrambled in almost one second flat. The cats we have are barn cats, but they do come and look in our back door several times a day. They are also terrified of them.

Actually I love stuffed animals….especially Boyd Bears -all dressed up cute and lookin’ like little people. Well I took two of the sweetest little (and I do mean little) bears to Africa to give to my new babies. I could just picture them snuggling with them and loving on them. After all, I love, love, love bears – who wouldn’t. So imagine my shock when I gave them to them and they cried in anguish and turned away – literally quivering. Okay, maybe not everyone loves Boyd’s bears. I had to quick put them away. You have to understand these were not dogs that I shook at them, but little Boyd bears with over-alls on and a dress and hat on the other – and all I did was reach them toward them. I ended up giving them to Jess and asking her to take them to the slums and give them to someone.

So I should have had a bit of warning from the stuffed animals that our dogs and cats would not be hit. And then there is the picture book with the little patches of dog “fur” and horse “hair” and sheep “wool” and duck “feathers”. I love that little book. But they cower and refuse to touch the little patch of fake whatever. I guess you could say we have a way to go before they are begging for a dog of their own for Christmas.
Yesterday we saw many more smiles. Church went well. Each service Dw had me come forward and we stood and introduced them both to all our sweet family. Both services Elizabeth waved to everyone….which of course brought an instant “Awwww” from the crowd.
After we went to precious friends, Laura and Dane’s for dinner after church. The kind of friends where we just hang out and laugh and eat way too much. Elijah and Elizabeth did awesome. They played and smiled and even ran around a bit.
Laura had a present for each of them. Which reminds me that we gave them a present a friend, Kim, had brought over the other day. They looked at it. Our guess is that they had never seen a present before. We showed them how to open it. Still nothing. It wasn’t just being polite, they had absolutely no clue what to do with it. Here’s Elijah wearing one of the hats Kim made for my kids….(they are so stinkin’ cute)…

Yesterday at Laura’s, again, they just stared at their wrapped gift. We finally started opening it for them and they got curious and eventually helped with opening it a bit. (Pictures to follow)
We are also guessing that they have never seen a mirror before and Elizabeth loved looking in it. She kept saying, “Mama – look and see! Look and see, Mama!” Sweet baby girl!
They love Cheerios! Woo-hoo!! They have eaten almost anything we put in front of them. They are willingly drinking lots of water. Living at 7400′ we have to continually drink lots of water, as altitude sickness is for real. At the orphanage, honest to goodness, we never, ever saw them drink any water. Liquidy “porridge” is part of breakfast and dinner (seems to be made with milk mostly, very thick) and they drink that. Twice while there we saw them each get a little glass of some sort of juice. They had glasses of milk in their little pre-school class they went to, in the ‘classroom’ behind the orphanage’s main building.

Not sure what to do with the box????

10 thoughts on “Settling In….

  1. This is second time I’ve read about a fear of stuffed animals…hmmm, taking note. NO stuffed-ups in suitcase. :o) I’d heard that in Uganda, animals are not pets. Dogs are guard dogs and as such MEAN, and I’ve not heard about the cats, yet. I’m supposed to send pics of me cuddling our cats, which should be very interesting since our cats don’t cuddle. ;o)

    It is so heartening to see your two adjusting. Thanks for posting.

  2. Our girls weren’t thrilled with the Boyd’s panda bears we took to China with us either. They didn’t freak, but they were certainly unimpressed to say the least. One day, my friend, those kiddos will screech with delight when you find their teddy bears after those darn bears had tumbled and hid under the bed.

    This first day home stuff is priceless…and important for them. You’re doing so well! Keep it up!

  3. Poor babies being afraid of the dogs:( Poor dog being chased by those babies in a few months!(I hope). Sydney was so scared of our dog when we came home from China. Maybe not to that degree but pretty scared. She warmed up to her in less than a week.

  4. Glad to hear that things are going well and progressing at your house. They are beautiful babies that is for sure. Things that we take for granted are so overwhelming to them.

    Have a blessed holiday season with your family.

    Lisa from Ohio

  5. I love your blog – I found it this weekend and I have become one of those “lurkers” haha! We just started our homestudy and are looking to adopt from Uganda. After Christmas and such I would love to chat if you ever have a minute. Merry Christmas!

  6. Hi Linn,
    We had the SAME thing with our dogs when we brought Haven home in September. I mean TERROR! She literally climbed up my husbands body to get as far away from them as she could. Terrified does not even describe the way Haven was. It was horrible!
    Our immediate reaction was to separate her from our dogs, leave them outside (which broke our hearts). I called our agency and spoke to a lady very knowledgeable with adopted children and the issues they deal with. Her advice—DO NOT separate Haven from the dogs! Sit on the couch with her and let the dogs roam freely. Let her see the other kids playing with the dogs. Let her see that the dogs are safe and it is okay. She said that separating Haven from the dogs would only prolong the adjusting process, that she HAD to learn that it was safe. She said that separating Haven from our family pets was the worst thing we could do. We took her advice. It took just two days before she was comfortable, so quick. After about four days she was even touching them and letting the little dog sit on her lap.
    Just thought I would share our experience. It WILL get easier, I promise 🙂
    Thanks for the gorgeous pics.

  7. So glad to hear things are going well! We have a million cats (well 5 indoor, anyways!) and when we brought Lucy home she was terrified of them AND our dog. In a couple days she was indifferent, and now they are her cuddle buddies! I am sure in time it will come! She is however still NOT into stuffed animals of any kind….
    Good luck! Praying for you guys.
    Merry Christmas!

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