It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start. -Mother Teresa

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Another update

My updates are random because I am trying to do them while she is not around. We are not allowing her to use the computer except to translate.

We were told in training it is just easier not to allow her to use the computer for several reasons. The main one being that we can't control who she is talking to and what she is saying...and since she is thousands of miles away from home it could be anything! If she is mad at us for some reason she could say things that could put her stay or even the whole program in jeopardy over something trivial. She would be accessing sites from Eastern Europe. Those sites allow pornographic advertisements (like along the sides of facebook) and are full of viruses.

Okay so updates:

We had cheese omletes, sausage, cinnamon toast, and apples for breakfast. Smoked sausage, fried potatoes and sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, and canned pears for lunch. Eggplant parmesean, breaded zucchini, spaghetti, cauliflower salad (that she made!!!) and garlic bread for supper. Freeze pop, Nature Valley granola bar, and popcorn for snacks. She ate everything but didn't take seconds of anything. 

She is the first one done eating. Then she gets up and takes care of her dishes and tries to start cleaning up ours (we are usually still eating!). We try to have her come and sit back down with us. There are a few table manners to work on but it isn't bad. (We are not choosing to deal with these right now. The only one we are working on is putting your napkin in your lap.)

Today we had pancakes, sausage, plain Greek yogurt, and strawberries for breakfast. She smelled the pancake syrup and took a small taste but did not like it. Again, ate everything but no seconds hurried away from the table only to be coaxed back by us. Lunch today was tacos. She ate one and then another... and then another! Again some smelling of new foods - refried beans and salsa. (No to the beans but yes to the salsa.) She didn't try any grapes or the hard taco shells. Michael had a taco disaster that had us all laughing. It was good to laugh together and it really broke the ice. She still finished first but came back without having to be asked! (I think it was good for her to see Michael cooking the meat for the tacos too!)

In full disclosure, I have burnt at least one item each day. This is now a joke. I don't mind being the butt of it (and deserve it). Sad if one of her first English words is burnt though!

The biggest struggle we are having is having her relax and just explore, rest, and hang out. She wants to help and clean. Jo will take out three books. She will put them away one at a time as soon as Jo is done looking at one! Wiping counters while I cook. Folding up and stacking stuff neatly. Picking up tiny pieces of string from the rug....you get the idea. She asks again and again, "How to help?" 

I have tried explaining several different ways that her job is to rest (she doesn't feel well), enjoy her time, and learn English. We talked about her chores - she is sharing with Nan. She still wants to do more and "be adult" as she told me. Wanting to please us like this and saying thank you after EVERYTHING is part of the "Honeymoon Phase."

The Honeymoon Phase is usually the first stage in a relationship like this. She wants us to like her., She wants us to be sure that we 'keep' her. She is really helpful, kind, and on her very best behavior. I know that doesn't sound bad, does it????

But we know that this temporary phase means that she doesn't trust us. If she did, she would be herself. She would know that we will love her when she is feeling lazy, being unkind, and even when she disobeys. The Honeymoon period is nice but I am ready anytime to get it over with and meet the real Di*na!

She has already given us glimpses into her life and heart. We are trying to find the balance of being interested and asking questions but not prying too much. For example,  I asked her, "Who do you miss? Friends? Boyfriend?" She answered that she doesn't have parents but has a boyfriend. (Who is 18 - stopped my heart for a minute but I didn't let on!) She doesn't like spending time with the girls because they all smoke too much. Michael asked her questions about music and stuff like that. She likes Michael Jackson - which she can say in pretty much perfect English. 

Last night we played on the Wii - Wii fit, Wii sports (the girl can play tennis and baseball!), and Michael Jackson Dance!!!! But turns out she was too shy to dance much. Or maybe it is because Michael and Nan obviously play often and talk a lot of smack??? :) 

She writes poems. My friend, Elise, had sent her a journal and some pretty pens. I pulled those out for her to write in. She wrote two about me and translated it on the computer. (Well, tried. Google translate just gets the idea across.) They were both about moms. 

She does mention family, wanting to stay, and things along those lines already. She tells us it is the best time of her life. She says thank you all the time. This is stuff that we just smile and hug her about but don't answer her. Part of this is honeymoon stuff....but I know part is true. 

Let's see how she feels in a few weeks. Today was another few hours of bathing suit and bra shopping. Done bra shopping but still have not found a suit. We walked the entire Tuscola Outlet Mall and went in every store that might have one even shops like Tommy & Ralph...we are getting desperate at this point! May end up buying online. I bring this up after the family-wanting-to-stay comment because this is a battle we are fighting. I won't buy her a tiny bikini. She needs a two piece but one with a long top. Yes, a bikini is all we can find. No, it is no appropriate. Compromises and the very beginning of battles taking place...

Hugging and kissing - she does that a lot. I have been touched more in the past week then I have in the past month. I am not a touchy person. Plus it is like 500 degrees outside so touching someone else is even less attractive. Working on that part. It is a good thing that I am in a small group that is going through the Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I need that reminder that what needs to feel loved and accepted may not be what I need to feel the same. (Good book, check it out if you haven't already. Michael and I went through it years a go but it was time for a refresher.)

She still has the cough and isn't feeling great. Her head and throat hurt sometimes. She still wants to be busy and "see all you can show me". But she sometimes doesn't feel well at all and you can tell. Please pray that we find the right medicine to give her to clear this up. (She doesn't swallow pills so that is making it a tiny bit harder. )

We haven't had some of the issues we were warned about: she flushes toilet paper (in her country you throw it away or don't use it at all!); she showers everyday without prompting (My friend, Melissa, had sent her a huge box of toiletries -she wants to use them all all of the time!); she doesn't get car sick; she wears her seat belt without complaint;  and she eats and tries new foods.

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