Just a quick update because today is our 15 month anniversary of having Toby in our family... What has changed since that glorious moment when he became our son? I am glad you asked!
1) Today, our little boy has a language of his own. He is signing proficiently in American Sign Language and doing great in communication. If he doesn't know a sign, he asks me and then I explain it or act it out. Try explaining the word "decide", "commercials", "weather" or even the word" explain"...Phew.... I make sure and use it a few more times so he can understand. He usually mimics everything I do so that he can catch on quickly. He repeats everything I sign in his way of signing.. His learning style is interesting. I LOVE seeing those signs pop up again in conversation and he uses it in the right context and concept. I am SO thrilled at the progress he has made in language.
2) I just got his Preschool progress report. The teacher says "Toby continues to develop skills that are above his age expectancies for peers of the same age. He knows and identifies 31/40 pre-primer Dolch sight words and he counts to 30. " My heart leaps for joy when I hear these words. 15 months ago, our boy did not have any language and did not know any English or Chinese. He was a blank slate with an intelligent mind. To hear that he is above the other children in his class, is unbelievable. He has come so far in such a short amount of time. If you could see him read these little books that he brings home, your jaw would drop. He is a remarkable boy with such a beautiful mind. We are so proud of his accomplishments!
3) He had a medical check up and is doing GREAT. He is now in the 50% in both height and weight. He has grown about 4 inches since coming home. He has also learned to love American food, especially the snacks! He still is having a hard time eating red meat... not gonna force that one, but maybe in time he will try more. He is growing like a weed!
4) Toby LOVES family! He writes our names all the time, talks about us all the time and wants us to always be near him. It is a joy to have a little boy clinging on me during the day. His squishy kisses are the best! He loves being a helper and he can be so thoughtful.
5) Toby loves church. He is involved in Sunday School with kids his own age. He is in Preschool Praise, Special Connections, as well as Awana. I can't thank the team of interpreters (runners) that help us with Toby on Sundays and Wednesdays. They are a God send to our family! Toby volunteers to pray at family dinner every night. I am sure the Lord is smiling when that little guy starts signing his prayers.
6) Toby's behavior is improving. It is much slower than the other items listed, but my high energy, anxious sweetie is learning that he is not the boss and that Mom and Dad are. He is showing signs of knowing this and we are grateful. Just in the last week, he is making a HUGE turn around from when I posted last time. He is actually saying "Yes Mom" after I ask him to do something. We about fell over when he did it all day on Saturday. We know he is an active 5 year old boy so we have some balance with how we manage his behavior, but he is definitely improving and we couldn't be more happy! I still run after him and take him to time out many times a day, but slowly but surely.. Maybe when he is 18, he will finally get it! (:
Keep praying for this little guy! He brings more joy than we ever imagined. We are SO blessed to have him as well as our other children. Each one brings a special touch to our family that can't be matched. We thank God for the gifts He has given us everyday!