Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Michael ANIMALU day one

Dear Michael,

Welcome to our home in Northern Virginia. I really hope you like it here. You arrived today by bus from NYC... I think I overheard one of your fellow passengers saying you all got to the Port Authority at 7:30 this morning. I've known you for about five and a half hours and I already believe you are the bravest kid I've ever met. Can't imagine getting on a bus at age 7-going-on-8 by myself with other kids I don't know to travel roughly 400-ish miles to some place I'd never been before or to stay with people I'd never met. Oofah. That takes trust.

I assumed you'd be pretty scared when you got here... when you got off the bus you were pretty reserved and quiet, choosing not to make much eye contact. That's understandable. I do the same thing when I'm feeling out of place or afraid of not being accepted. Perhaps that's what you were feeling, or perhaps you felt something else. I also found myself wanting you to like me and realized there wasn't much I could do about that. We all have had so many questions for you, and it didn't take long to realize that you weren't interested in answering questions. That's understandable, too. My hope for you is that you'll be willing to ask us some questions now and then, and I hope you will feel like it's okay to do that.

After we had lunch and drove home, Zack and Katie showed you all their toys in about an hour. You liked the Hulk Hands immediately, and pretty soon you and Zack were going at it. That was the first time I saw you smile, and I have to say you have a very nice smile.

Liz and I thought that you might spend more time playing with Zachary since he is also a boy and only a year younger than you. When I came upstairs just before supper tonight, you were playing Strawberry Shortcake with Katie on the floor. Surprise, surprise! Later when I wanted to join the game, you decided to sit it out at first. Later you wanted to spin the spinner for me and flatten my pieces down on my playing card. That was nice.

During supper I asked you a question while you were chewing, and you held your hand up, firmly but politely, asking me to wait.

Then I asked you to play snakes and ladders. You had never heard of that game, but you picked it up very quickly! You won the first game and came in second the second time around. You were very focused when you played, and you took your time. I liked that. Also you were a good sport when you didn't win. Your impatience showed when Zack was fooling around instead of playing. Were you really impatient or was it something else?

Liz just put you all to bed. You chose to sleep in Zachary's room tonight instead of by yourself in the basement. You surprised me again there. I thought you would want some alone time.

I'm looking forward to the next two weeks! Hopefully it won't go by too fast.