chapter 19 {first week home}

she loves to laugh.

helps with meals and cleans up. immediately.

first 5 nights at home, slept on pallet in the family room with her 3 brothers.

gets tickled to watch me shuffle the uno cards when we play.

we certainly thought the climate in cool san francisco would be a shock to her hot climate culture, but oh no. she's got no need for even a jacket so far. hot natured girl.

we've given her 2 children's books in gujarati and she loves to read them to us.

she holds close to her photos of her friends back at the orphanage.

she says all of our names frequent and well.

she eats everything we are eating though we are making her special dishes we ate in india!

she says, "sorry."

"thank you."

"please."

we're pretty sure she understands more than she says in english and we're in awe that it's just been a week!

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call it a "honeymoon," call it what you may. i'm calling it living in answered prayers.

not expecting perfection. not expecting a smooth journey ahead. but am relishing in what we've got right before us.

"praise awaits you, our God...You who answer prayer, to you all people will come. You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds, God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas...the whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy." {Psalm 65.1-2,5,8}

it's also called summer! something we really haven't enjoyed since school got out last month.

we are embracing home in the mornings and outings in the afternoon just like we normally would.

except we've got a precious girl seeing all of this for the very first time...

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the pacific ocean. if you could hear her soft 'oohs!'

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the texture of the sand, she just can't grasp. though she held up countless hands of it and let the wind blow it away again and again.

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then mitchell's ice cream {thanks to a family gift card} where she delightfully consumed mango sherbet with rainbow sprinkles.

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day 2 we took her to one of our favorite playgrounds where she swung and swung and swung some more.

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"hi, asher."

"hi, kavita."

"hi, sam."

"hi, kavita."

repeat.

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moments come when i feel like we have a toddler on our hands as we teach her new things and social norms.

then on the other hand, we've clearly got a 9 year old girl who's going places...all the way to the top!

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day 3 was all about golden gate park and the many things to see and do there.

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picnic at stow lake while watching the ducks and paddle boats go by.

a walk around the lake.

a ride on a carousel.

more swings and playground time.

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all on a perfect day.

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getting over jet lag and ben enjoying the last days of paternity leave, we spent sunday getting her a pair of shoes that actually fit.

how is it that the store had only one more pair of keen sandals and they were pink and her size?!

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she's grown so in being in retail places! the first time in the mall in india, she thought everything was free for all! and why wouldn't it be to her? she's learning the concept that dad has to pay for those shoes and we have to be careful what we touch!

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then a stroll to our neighborhood park where she picked up the fundamentals of baseball!

then playground time...and swings!

monday we said goodbye to the older two as they headed to church camp. i'm so curious if she understands that.

i needed a taste of comfort, so ben treated us to chick-fil-a in walnut creek.

she immediately was drawn to the chicken wrap as it resembles something from india. but she set that aside and devoured the waffle fries and chicken nuggets and of course, the icedream cone!

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AT&T park has their children's lot open on non-game days, so we did the slides and played some ball. it was more like batting practice as running the bases didn't seem to fit for her!

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though it's summer, kavita had just returned to school in india. they took off april and may and she was just getting back into the books when we picked her up. she's constantly writing her numbers and the english alphabet, so i pulled out a few worksheets to do each morning. she has a strong desire to learn.

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tuesday we joined some family friends at a nearby pool for hours of jumping in and getting out and jumping in. {repetition is good!}

and yes, it was that warm in san francisco for this mom to get in!

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kavita is adjusting so well. she's bonding to her brothers and to her mom and dad.

it's simply remarkable at how brave she has been in leaving the familiar and learning a new world.

she's tried more new things in 7 days than a normal human being.

she's embracing this life with such a smile.

i know i'm showing the surface here and there is far more to this beauty deep down.

i know she misses her dear friends at the orphanage and has stomached the foods i have offered.

i also know if this girl continues to give me the gift of herself everyday, i will grow in my confidence and courage as well.

she's such a gift from God and we've got so much to unwrap together!