Okay, last night I wrote, “Jeannette even wondered aloud if she might not be ready for school yet. Less than two hours later, she wondered aloud if Jillian might be ready for a regular public school. The truth is somewhere in between, probably. . . . But I’m getting ahead of myself.”
Last night, Melody was writing on a small dry erase board. Jillian wanted a turn. First, she drew a small triangle, but she erased it right away . . . and wrote an A, then a B, then a C. I’m not sure where she would have gone from there, but Melody began writing subsequent letters and Jillian also wrote them along with her. Jeannette wondered if perhaps Jillian knew her English alphabet but not the Chinese characters.
Elsie, our guide, talked with Jillian today and figured out that she can read some simple Chinese words. In addition, we were incredibly blessed yesterday to get a “Half the Sky” scrapbook with pictures and commentary (in Chinese) of Jillian’s entire life! Half the Sky is a foundation that seeks to improve the lives of children in China’s orphanages and one thing they often do is document these kids’ lives so that their early history isn’t lost. In this case, one of the things we got to see was a picture of Jillian writing her characters.
This photo is of her writing the ABC’s at our “adoption appointment notary” appointment today, where we finalized the adoption, promising “never to maltreat or abandon” Jillian.
Another example of how sharp she is came last night when we got on the elevator. We are on the 15th floor and wanted to go to the 13thfloor. She wanted to push the button. Melody beat her to it but it didn’t work, so Jillian moved to the other panel of buttons and, either from memory or from hearing Jeannette say “13” remembered to reach for and push the button for the 13th floor.
She is very quick to pick things up and seems quite self-aware. We also saw some hints today that she is rather competitive and might be a bit of a stinker. She and Melody are getting along great but earlier today she managed to get the room key away from Jeannette before Melody could ask for it and then raced to the door to open it. Melody wasn’t too happy about that!
This morning, Jillian got to talk to her brothers for the first time, using QQ. QQ is kind of like Facebook and Skype. It was great to see the kids interact and Phil even got to show her her new bedroom. She seemed excited to see it. She had been introduced to it in the photobook we sent a few weeks ago, so I think she understood what she was seeing.
After a trip to McDonalds, the girls visited the swimming pool and little play area. We suspect it was Jillian’s first trip to a big pool, but we can’t know for sure. She is a strong little girl. She may be scrawny but she’s got muscle and determination. She’s going to need it!