We met one sad, scared little man.
This passport photo was taken maybe thirty minutes after that traumatic first meeting. I sat him on the stool in front of the white curtain, my arm on his back to make sure he didn't fall. "Smile!" I said in a cheery sing-song voice. Although an appropriate thing to say at a photo session, it was quite ridiculous under the circumstances, spoken to a child who didn't understand English and had just left everything he'd ever known. "Smile!" The poor boy.
What an amazing 6 months we've had together and what a truly amazing child. Not only has he adjusted, he's thrived. His teachers at church and at school give us nothing but glowing comments; they all adore him. His English is incredible. He certainly doesn't have the depth of vocabulary that some 4 year-olds have, but he's not very far off. Not far off at all. He speaks in full sentences--sentences filled with adjectives and adverbs, pronouns and possessives. He still has a touch of an accent, but it's quickly fading and we'll miss it when it's gone.
He is sweet and helpful, smart and funny. Oh my, is he funny. He makes us laugh every single day. What a blessing to have that contagious smile in our home. He lights up a room with his whole-face grin. It's humbling to think how easy it would have been to miss out on XiXi, to have let that gift pass us by without ever knowing what we'd missed. Over a year ago, when we saw his photo on a website, we were in no way ready for an adoption. At least that's what we thought. Heavenly Father obviously knew better.
Happy six months together, precious XiXi! SMILE!