May 7 was the day we met TongJie for the first time in the Civil Affairs Office in Hangzhou, China . . . so today marks the one month anniversary of our life together! In reality, it's hard to believe it's only been a month - it seems like we've had him so much longer than that. In the past month, TongJie has made absolutely amazing strides in his motor skills, communication, sleeping, attachment, and adjusting to his new environment! We find ourselves noticing new skills or developments almost daily, some large and some small. For instance, today he voluntarily sat on my lap for a rather extended period of time while I was sitting in a chair, something he never used to do unless there was a bottle or food involved. That might not seem like a very big deal, but to us it's really encouraging to see signs of attachment like that. He's getting so good at walking now, and he communicates with body language and (sometimes) using the sign for "more," plus he can wave and say hi and "lye" (bye). His sleeping has improved dramatically and he lets us put him into his crib without crying at all; in fact, he loves to laugh and play peek-a-boo and have stories read to him when he's in his crib. This evening when we were putting him to bed, Jeff left for a few minutes and when he returned he started laughing because I was reading a story and holding the book so the pictures were facing the crib, and there was TongJie sitting on the edge of his crib with his legs dangling over the edge through the bars and his hands grasping the bars with his face pressed as far as he could get it between two of the bars. I wish we had a picture of it. We thought it looked like I was visiting TongJie in his jail cell and reading him the latest news that he'd been missing out on. When we were in China and the first week at home, we would not have believed that within a couple of weeks we'd be able to actually put him into his crib while he was still awake. We seriously thought it would take months to get to that point, and some days we felt like we'd never get there. God has blessed us so much!
Today was also an exciting day because the staff at Clovis put on a baby shower for Jeff during their morning staff meeting. Sounds like a pretty good meeting to me! So when Jeff came home from school today, he brought clothes, toys, and books for TongJie, plus the staff had donated money on a money tree. TongJie was pretty excited about the toys - a dump truck that makes popping noises, an airplane with little people that go in it (an appropriate gift for him, seeing as he spent so many hours on airplanes the first couple of weeks we had him), a stuffed Curious George, and a miniature red Radio Flyer wagon. He also got a Curious George puzzle but we're saving that for later. He loved all of the toys, but was especially enamored with the little wagon and spent a long time pushing it and pulling it around on the floor. Maybe for his birthday Jeff and I should get him a real wagon.
Someone also gave TongJie a little outfit that came with a pair of sunglasses and it was hilarious to watch him try to put them on. He has a strange idea of how sunglasses are supposed to be worn - he definitely doesn't seem to think they should go over one's eyes! Jeff tried to get a picture, but TongJie was squirming around because I was trying to help him put them over his eyes. By the way, I don't think sunglasses are going to work very well for him. His nose is so flat that they have nothing to rest on. Maybe someday we'll have to get him a strap that goes around the back of his head to hold them on tighter or something.
Finally, we couldn't help sticking this sticker on the seat of TongJie's pants; it was just too tempting!