Monday, November 14, 2011

A busy but settled life

Life continues to be busy, and we are never bored.  Emmett is really settling in to the routine though.  His language is improving to the point that at bedtime each night he talks through what is happening the next day, and asks any questions he has.  It is quite amazing.  As I've been working on his photo book that consolidates his China photos, he's been telling us stories about his life over there.  We understand that he went to school, but his two friends didn't.  They both had more needs, and were schooled at the orphanage.  He acted out a dance he performed in school in 2009 (photos of him in green hood), and we were amazed again by how much he can remember.  He had all of us (including Grandma and Grandpa) doing our parts.  A few nights ago while we were playing games (he's just starting to learn), he shared that he never got to play at school in China.  We pretty much knew that, but now it's confirmed.  As we understand, they don't get what we call recess.  Their gym class involves everyone doing the same exercise routine in unison.  Most of class time is sitting quietly in a desk copying what the teacher is doing.  I can't wait until he can even share more with us.  I'm so glad he is willing to tell us!
Emmett is settled in school and doing very well.  His teacher says he is better at remembering the names of his classmates than a lot of others are.  He has friends there, and knows the routine very well.  He can tell me ahead of time if he has gym or music class that day or not.  I have some photos of him doing "Guess and Tell."  Kindergarten does that instead of show and tell.  The child and parent pick an object, and write three clues to help the other kids guess it at school.  The child reads the clues (whispered in his/her ear by the teacher), and then calls on classmates to guess what it is.  After it is guessed, they call on 5 friends to ask questions about it.  Emmett loves doing this, and is very comfortable in front of the group.  Here are some photos of him with his fire truck train (thanks Blake!) last week. 

He dressed up as a clown for Halloween at school, even though he had no idea why.  I really wonder what he thought about these crazy Americans dressing up so funny.  He learned the word Halloween! 

He has learned to climb trees, been to the zoo, helped with corn harvest several times, gone roller skating, learned to play with legos, trains, and how to draw fairly elaborate pictures.  He has also experienced snow, for a couple days anyway.  He was fine with wearing boots and snow pants, but when out at recess just walked around and looked at it all!   We are amazed at how he continues to absorb what is going on around him.  Yesterday he and Linnea packed their small suitcases, and took a trip out to the swing set.  The went on a long journey to get there, and were "gone" several hours, popping in to get food occasionally.  It is so fun to see his imagination soaring! 
His birthday is in three days, and he is very excited about it.  He started asking about his birthday after his first classmate had hers.  He knows what will happen at school, and is learning at home.  Brianna's birthday was yesterday, and we had her party Friday night.  He watched the cake process and the presents with obvious interest.  We've invited a few of the neighbor kids that he loves to play with over for cake after school on Thursday.  We'll see how it goes!  We went roller skating at Brianna's party, and he picked it up pretty quickly.  He was doing well on the carpet; still unsure on the hard floor. 

He loves airplanes, trains, and tractors.  He and his dad are quite a bit alike!  Here is his school photo this year.  It turned out very well!

He is very aware of everything his sisters do, and very concerned that everything be fair.  He noticed that they had scrapbooks made by Grandma, and was feeling like he was missing out because he didn't have one.  Grandma made one for him, a 12x12 scrapbook of his life starting August 1, 2011.  Hers really tells the story of what all has occured since then, both in China and in the US.  Wish I could post a link to that one on line!  The one I created is to help him bring together his life before and after joining our family.  In adoption lingo it's a life book, telling about the child's life, as much as we know anyway.  I anticipate printing this book again later, when he can add some stories to the photos in it.  He gets quite animated when talking about those pictures, we just don't understand it all yet.  He now loves books and loves to be read to; which is very amazing since even 6 weeks ago he didn't sit for books at all.  It has opened up a whole new world to him.  Now that he is experiencing some "normal kid things" (zoo, tractors, garbage trucks, etc) it makes the books mean something to him.  Currently his favorite is Green Eggs and Ham.  We ate green eggs and ham for supper one night, and he really liked that!  He also likes Richard Scarey, Curious George, and any book about trucks or tractors.  I can't wait to see what he thinks of his birthday!  I'll post more after the party. 


  1. Hi Brian and Laura... and Emmett... along with all of you.

    I didn't know about this before now. I'll have to come and read some more another time. I am sure it will be a special joy to have a boy now too.


  2. Another post! :) First off, love the family picture and his school picture! (Is Elena still 12?) Happy Early Birthday, Emmett! (In case I don't read it that's going to be the case!) Love reading about your life with him, he is a cute lil' guy! Tell your family hi! :) Oh, and come see us sometime! :)

  3. Brian, Laura & family - Emmett's story/journey...well, actually, your family's story is SO heartwarming! I have loved following along! Will be looking forward to seeing birthday pictures and hearing about that special celebration!
    Rudonna Pipgras

  4. What a cutie! Thanks for including us in his life. We look forward to meeting him when he comes to see Gma and Gpa. Take care, Linda

  5. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, EMMETT!! :D Hope you have a great day! :)
    Love, Emily ;)