Red Thread

"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle but will never break." ~ Ancient Chinese Beli

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Next stop USA!!!!

We are one week into our new life in Singapore and are leaving tonight for the U.S. (just a mere 20 hour trip!!!!!).  Other then Mimi and Papa, the rest of my family will be meeting Lexi for the first time - so much excitement!  And for Mimi and Papa, she is a very different little girl today then when you first met her 8 months ago!!

We have not had much of a chance to get out and explore as we have been busy trying to tackle our admin. (i.d. cards, banking etc) and get our permanent housing taken of.  We are making progress so we have been busy!

Adjustment to life in S'pore for the girls has been better then expected.  I imagined Ella crying and missing her friends and Lexi's level of anxiety at its worse day and night.  But for the most part they are both doing well (for now!).  As long as Ella has some space for her make believe play and her dancing, a good book and time to swim her laps she is happy.  And Lexi just finds comfort that me and Ella are always within an arms reach - she seems to be more attached to each of us and is able to express her joys and happiness on a very different level.  She loves to laugh and giggle and to interact with us.  She still is not playing much on her own but she is playful so that in and of itself is a huge step.

Most importantly, Lexi is finally accepting of her big sister and wants to be with her (or at least into her "stuff") at every possible moment.  Yes a little suffocating for Ella at times and causes some sibling rivalry but this is so healthy for both of them (but yes I need to remind myself of the "healthy" aspect in order to deal with my constant headache!).  Lexi adores her BaBa and follows him around in the morning as he gets ready for work. Her attachment to me is quite strong and she is still exhibits anxious attachment most of the time -  this can be tiring but  I have to admit the nights are getting easier so this makes life so much more manageable as I have more strength to deal with our day time "stuff".

Health wise, we are so blessed.  Lexi's epilepsy has not been an issue at all and we are weaning her off the meds she was on for 2 years in China.  Hard to know if her character change is as a result of the meds or just progress with us over the 8 months she has been with us - likely both but we will take it.  Lexi's attention span is getting a wee bit longer and she is more calm in general - although having said that still a live wire at both ends morning - noon - and night.  Still trying to make out if she happens to be a child who does not need a lot of sleep - does not like to sleep - or is afraid of going to sleep because of what could be there - or not - when she wakes.  We think it is the latter because  of her past circumstances so are hopeful that someday this might change.  But as I said once she falls asleep at night she can go for very long stretches so getting better.

Lexi speech is really coming along as well.  She made a lot of progress and then hit a plateau for awhile but it has picked up again.  She was in weekly speech therapy in HK and I continue to follow the structure that her ST put in place.  Our main objective is to build Lexi's vocabulary so she has words to work with - so as an example get her to use her words rather than whinge, whine, point etc.  We have been told not to worry to much about her articulation at this point (which really does not seem to have much rhyme or reason in terms of pattern and it can be very hard to understand) - this can be worked on later.  As her vocabulary grows the tantrums related to communication are getting less and less.  There are still times that she is trying to tell us something and we have no idea what she is saying but we manage fine.  Her big development this past week has been putting two words together!!!

Food is still an obsession and provides way more comfort to Lexi then I wish was the case.  When she is feeling anxious she tends to want to eat and when she is around food (especially in large abundance in a non controlled area outside of the home) she becomes incredibly anxious and goes crazy until she is able to get her hands on it and then shovels it in (breakfast buffets and parties the worst!).  It is sad to observe and very difficult to manage but it is what it is and we at least have periods of time when she can self regulate and tell us when she is "all done".

I know I sound like a broken record but when I look back to where we were just a few months ago it is hard to believe that Lexi is even the same little girl - and for that matter we have all changed so much --- and I like to believe, for the better! :)

The Girls......


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Goodbye Hong Kong.....Hello Singapore

When I started this post our move to Singapore was quickly approaching - but that was weeks ago so I have needed to go back and do some edits because.....we are here!

We arrived on June 18 which is only a few days ago but it already seems like we have been here for ages.  The mix of emotions that we all went through prior to leaving Hong Kong was much greater then we anticipated so it was a rocky few weeks for all of us.  Hong Kong was more then just a place we were living for a few years -  it truly became our home.  And after 4.5 years we really felt sad to say good bye.  

Hong Kong is a place that captured us from the moment we arrived.  A place where the East meets West with utter - but controlled - chaos surrounding you at every turn.  The quirky, the unpredictable, the craziness became a part of us.  We loved everything about it....other then the air quality but that is another story!

Hong Kong is also the place where Ella went from being an only child to becoming a big sister.  HK is  the place that we sat and waited...and waited... to be matched with our darling daughter from China.  HK is the place that Min Xi Xiu became Lexi as we brought her home 8 months ago.   

HK is a place that we met amazing people who will be life long friends.  This happens in expat life when you are seperated from your extended family.  Your good friends become like a second family to you so when you have to part ways it is quite emotional.  We have been through so many ups and downs in the time that we have lived in HK and our friends have been there through it all and have supported us and loved us when we needed them most. 

We left Hong Kong just a few days ago with heavy hearts - we are different people then we were when we arrived there in 2007 and we feel so priveledged to have grown from such an experience.  We  did leave a part of ourselves behind but we have taken so much with us as well.

We will miss you Hong Kong but look forward to a new chapter as we start again in a family of four!

xo p.