I know many of you have asked how Jubilee’s adjustment has been going. She fits in like she’s always been here. You who have adopted know what I mean when I say, “I can’t remember a time when she wasn’t here.” But there still have been some really tricky stuff to manuever (to say the least).

We knew when we we first started pursuing her that she had many special needs. Obviously, we weren’t sure what that would look like, but we knew that God was in it and so we forged ahead. We also knew that one day Uncle Mark would most likely be with us and since he’s a “lifer” (meaning he’ll be with us for the rest of his life although today he keeps muttering under his breath that “i goin’ home and i gonna’ stay there” – not sure why he’s so unhappy. ugh) we were really comfortable with the possibility that Jubilee also might be a “lifer”.

Adopting an older child has its uniqueness, shall we say. Some have many struggles. Some have fewer. With Jubilee being almost eight we wondered what that would mean as well. We really had no information on her throughout the 600+ days we waited. We only got one update during that entire wait, and so we had no idea what to expect.

Many people bringing home kids use “sign language” (more like charades) to help them communicate between each other till the kids become so emersed in the language. We have been doing that on our end. But from the get-go, it was obvious that Jubilee didn’t have a clue how to “show” us what she wanted or needed. I would try to make her understand that using charades would help me to understand her – but was always met with a blank stare. Time after time I tried to get her to “show” me and time after time she would just look at me in bewilderment.

Dw and I would look at each other and say, “Do you think she will ever understand us?”
We both weren’t so sure.
Teaching her to say things went sort of like this:
Mom: Jubilee say thank you.
Jubilee: Jubilee say thank you (or at least something that sort of resembled that)
Mom: Jubilee say I love you Isaiah
Jubilee: Jubilee say I love you Isaiah (more garbled talk)
Mom: say please
Jubilee: say please (more garbled stuff)
When something was upsetting to her and she would be trying to tell me something I had no clue. She would chatter away trying to get me to understand and it really has seemed that she hadn’t realized that we were speaking a different language than her. Graham remarked that it seemed to him that she was saying the same things over and over and over. I thought so too. It’s been tricky, to say the least.
We began to really pray in earnest that she would begin to understand, even a tad bit, of what we were trying to say. We have prayed and prayed, cause really, if it is frustrating for us, we imagine it is pretty frustrating for her as well.
Well the other day I went to her and did some hand motions along with saying, “We are going to eat now, can you please go wash your hands?” She looked up at me and said, “Okay.” The glazed look was not there. The bewilderment gone. I shrieked and giggled and scooped her up in my arms and jumped up and down cheering – “Yippee Jesus, Yippee Jesus, Yippee Jesus!! You understood me! You’re getting it!!”
Just a simple “okay” but to us, words of gold. There was a breakthrough. Since that day there have been teeny, tiny steps. She is beginning to understand a speck. Our hearts rejoice!!
And so this Thankful Thursday, We just want everyone to know – don’t stop praying – but we are encouraged –
It’s going to be

46 thoughts on ““Okay”

  1. sort of like your own little hellen keller. once she gets it, REALLY gets it, the world will open up for her!
    praying for you all. you have had quite a time of adjustment!

  2. oh Linny! I am sitting in the lobby of a resort in Lake Tahoe California..my dh is playing a hand of cards with some other guests and I came to check in on my favorite peeps. I am crying over God's faithfulness!
    How I wish I could give you a big ole Southern HUG!!
    Praise God from Whom ALL blessings flow. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Sweet! I've been curious how you work a newly adopted child into homeschool. Especially with language barriers.

    My husband and I are going thru the same thing with our new Ugandan 3 yr old treasure. He doesn't know how to respond with yes/no yet. Or at least he hasn't made it clear… until Grandma was joking around and asked, "Elijah would you like some cat food to eat?" "NO!" immediately came!

    I'll be in prayer for Miss Jubilee that she continues to learn her new language:)

  4. Linny,

    We just adopted two boys from Ethiopia. I don't know if you use videos in your home or not but we love Signing Time since it uses pictures, English and Sign language. I am amazed at how much my boys learn just from watching one video.

    Many blessings on your journey and you are right …everything will be "Okay."
    I have been blessed by your life story.

  5. Linny, I can jump up and down saying Yippee, Jesus with you for sure!! I have a sweet girl that might have similar challenges to Jubilee. We chatted about it once via messages. What we have found is that she gets things, it just takes a little (ok, a lot) longer. But she does get things. In the last year and few months, she has come so far! Just recently, she has made some bigger developmental jumps rather than the usual tiny steps. Amazing. She is covered in prayer all the time! We love her as she is, and we love the girl she is becoming too! I love to hear about your Jubilee!
    Barbra King

  6. funny I just posted about poopy progress lol. so happy that jubilee is making progress. I was making note that the last time Ben had a potty accident he was very apologetic and scared. this time he at first thought it funny(while I didnt encourage that) we were very matter of fact that these things just happen and get cleaned up and you move on with your day. he was very calm and not worried and not "sorry mama sorry. sorry mama. sorry sorry mama" he did try to tell me the dog did it, but I still think its progress and Ill take it!

  7. Yeah Jubilee! I can say that as a mother of a daughter that was born with a cleft lip and palate AND had undiagnosed hearing loss due to many ear infections, we still struggle 13 months after we came home, to understand her. There are so many sounds she just can not make because she never heard them, or the way her lip was prepared, is not physically able to make. We know it may take years to be able to communicate with her in a way that is clear. My heart breaks every time she tries to say something that I just can not understand (most of the time through signs, charades, and pointing I can get it). I don't want her to feel defeat so I make sure she understands that it's my issue.

    I will keep praying for your sweet girl.

  8. Gosh, Linny, she sounds so very much like Haven. Only difference is that Haven is obviously completely non-verbal. So many similar characteristics though, even the same age. I felt like I was reading about Haven, not Jubilee.

    Such a similar journey.

    So thrilled to hear about your HUGE breakthrough. Wow–what is does to a mama's heart, hey friend?

  9. Gosh, Linny, she sounds so very much like Haven. Only difference is that Haven is obviously completely non-verbal. So many similar characteristics though, even the same age. I felt like I was reading about Haven, not Jubilee.

    Such a similar journey.

    So thrilled to hear about your HUGE breakthrough. Wow–what is does to a mama's heart, hey friend?

  10. Praise the Lord!!!! What a gift 🙂 I remember the day that Cade seemed to "turn on" and there was nothing that could have made me happier!!!! I am so thankful for your OKAY!!!!!!

    Blessings to you all, Lisa C.

  11. How awesome. I think sign language might be the way to go. I worked with deaf children at the school I taught at for twenty three years and sign language was the universal language for all students in our school. I still find myself reverting to sign language when I am in a difficult language situation. It just seems so natural and somehow the point always gets across. I will pray for you all. You might start out with "Baby Sign Language." There are several books on that.

  12. You bet it's going to be OKAY because she is God's miracle and God doesn't make any mistakes. I firmly believe you will hear her speak and it won't be long before she does. Praying God quickens the process for both of you. Hugs and love

  13. I love this post, it was exactly what I needed to read. We are waiting to adopt a 5 year old from China, and at times I get very scared about adopting an older child.

    Our 2nd son was adopted at 1 year, and was completely unresponsive for at least 6 months, and then something clicked. It still took time, but your post was a great reminder to have faith and patience – things are happening even when it does not seem like it.

  14. Oh, goody! I've been wondering how it was going with sweetie pie, but you (as always!!!) had so much on your plate!) I'm gonna email you with some ideas, which may be useful, or not.

    Hugs…Nancy in CT

  15. Oh Linny! Praise God! What a beautiful break through! We are praying for understanding over here too as Georgia seems to get so frustrated when she cannot tell us what she wants. I know that she is only 2 and that our situation is different but those little breakthroughs are golden. I will be praying too! Also…hope it was ok, I posted a link to your adoption post below on my sight…so well said!

  16. You should know God moves mountains!

    I can imagine things might be a little frustrating at your house. But she will be "okay" with you guys and God by her side.

  17. have you tried Signing time videos? they teach basic signs to kids and we have used them with much success – I'd be happy to send your ours if you'd like to try them. Just let me know. (We got them from friends who used them with an adopted daughter who they were told would never communitcate – with in 12 months she could sign over 300 words and with in 24 months she was talking – yipee Jesus!)

  18. Okay! Celebrate the small steps, sister! It is frustrating…and sometimes I forget how frustrating it must be for our kiddos. After 3.5 months home, Kooper knows a handfull of words…and I think he still thinks it would be better for his parents to just learn Chinese 🙂

  19. Oh, that's beautiful! We had similar victories with Daniel–it felt like witnessing Helen Keller recognize the word for water. (And now he's practically fluent in English.)

    Praying for many more fabulous "okays" and continued strength and wisdom as you care for your precious family.

    Much Love,

  20. That is just the sweetest picture, and for anyone who does not believe that God really cares about the smallest of details in our lives amazes me. I get more excited when He answers the minor everyday things that I pray about then when something huge happens. It seems so much more intimate. I love that! So thankful for the spark of hope in the little word "Okay".

  21. Linny, I love following your blog and hearing all of God's many blessings for you and your kiddos! Yipee Jesus for little "okay" s! I don't know if you have had your cleft team visit yet or not since arriving home with Jubilee but just wanted to encourage you on the audiology side of things. Xia is also cleft affected and for a couple of months after coming home it just seemed like she wasn't responding very much and it turned out that she had so much fluid on her ears and also wax (really common with Asian kids) that her hearing tests were flat line until she received her first set of tubes. It actually took a second set to get them finally cleared up after the first set clogged up within a few weeks of being put in. I will be praying for Jubilee and the rest of your gang!
    journeytome.com mommy to Xia, Sadie, Katie and my boys Jacob, Eddison, and Luke

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