Adopting a child won't change the world, but for that child their world will change.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

One Week Home with Seth (Dusty)

I believe I shared that the first few days home with Seth were a little tough.  He was grieving hard and overwhelmed by how different everything is at home compared to Chengdu.  We got home Saturday evening and on Tuesday he still was not coming down out of his room when everyone else was awake.  He was on his computer talking to his friends, watching his Chinese movies and reading his Chinese books.  Tuesday evening we had a chat.  He had his computer translating through Baidu and we had our computer translating through Google.  We explained to him that he was not going to learn English staying in his room all of the time or how to be a part of his family.  He told us he was learning to adapt in his own way...slowly.  We talked about school to which he said no, he wanted to wait until August.  I then decided to call Maylin's Ayi who lives close to us and have her explain why we thought he should try going to school the last few weeks.  He wants to wait so he can have several months to learn English which I understand.  We asked him to start with eating dinner with us every night which he has been doing faithfully since.  One small step :)

Friday night, almost a week after being home, Seth left the house for the first time.  Richard plays soccer and one of his teammates speaks Mandarin and had agreed to be one of his tutors.  She wanted to meet him.  He watched the game, but I did figure out that soccer is not his favorite sport.  He said he likes basketball. 

Friday was also Seth's birthday, but we decided to celebrate it on Saturday.  We all went to eat at Legends of Asia which in our humble opinion is one of the best Chinese buffets in our area.  The boy ate two heaping plates full...lots of rice, noodles and vegetables.  Food has been a whole other issue.  At least he is good about trying something and now he will tell me if he likes it or does not like it.   

His birthday present.

He "said" he liked the present.

We have set him up with two tutors and his first session was this past Sunday night with my friend Michelle who has her masters degree in teaching English as a second language.  After an hour and a half, she asked him if he was tired and he said very quickly no.  Michelle and I both were shocked at how much English this kid knows.  

He is just not confident enough to use it very much.  He can read and write English.  Michelle dictated a very short sentence and he was able to write what she said.  He really is so smart and very eager to learn.  We all believe that with a hard work, he will really excel just like he did in Chengdu.

Yesterday, he met with his other tutor, Monica who taught English in Taiwan and can also speak Mandarin.  He had another two-hour session and came home with a list of food he likes and does not like.  No chocolate, peanut butter, pizza or cheese...all my favorites!  He will continue tutoring four times a week for now.  

We are all still hoping he will be willing to go to school for a week or so before the end of this school year, but for now this is our plan. 

The last several days he has been practicing his guitar with his door open and it is so beautiful.  He shared with Michelle that he has only been playing for a year and I know he has only had a few lessons.  He has taught himself which is remarkable.  We are so blessed to be his parents!  So, for now he will keep working on his English and I will try to find food the boy likes.  I think we will have Chinese food three times a week and other types of food the four days a week.


  1. Thanks for letting us get a peek into our future. This has to be incredibly hard for him (and all of you). Great job finding TWO tutors! I have a lead on a different one :).

  2. Glad to know things are improving! Little steps will get you there. Not surprising that he doesn't like Cheese. Neither does GW. Now pizza - it didn't take GW long to change his mind on that one!

  3. Cameron doesn't like cheese much either, especially cold cheese. He will eat pizza though. He also doesn't like syrup or other sweet toppings. Our boys do get excited when they can enjoy the Chinese buffet! All in all, they enjoy Dad's cooking and especially his rice! Very glad to see him making an effort to open up a little bit...

  4. I'm so glad to read more about Seth. I think it's great that you guys are taking things in baby steps and I will cross my fingers that he will like pizza soon :) In all seriousness, it sounds very promising to hear how he is doing....

  5. We are now home almost 11 weeks and it is still baby steps for us. We are trying to get our son to be more involved with our family. Some days are better then others. Little by little the shell is breaking down. It takes time. We are encouraging our son to get immersed in as much English as possible. That even means watching Sponge Bob or whatever as long as it is in English. He is going to school which has been great for him. It is a process but day by day and week by week it gets better.