Sunday, December 21, 2008

Multi-lingual

I know I've posted on my daughter's beautiful language abilities before, but I just can't get over how wonderful the child's brain is. Thank you, God, for creating such an intricate brain!

Considering when Yolanta and Katie first got here 5.5 months ago they spoke zero English, it's amazing how far they've come. I mean really, AMAZING (Tiff, that word is for you). Could your brain learn another language fluently in under 6 months? To the point you don't even speak English to your sister who is with you 24/7?

Well guess what, I can speak multiple languages, too.
I speak my daughter's love languages.

Amy’s love language is Time
She and I have always been such great friends and always enjoy each other’s company. I’ve come to realize that this is how she both expresses and receives love. Give that girl your attention and she’s in heaven. She’s a little beyond her years which makes chatting with her so fun. She’s so articulate and will talk non-stop about all that is in her precious mind. She’ll do anything with you if it means being together. And if on any random day I say something like “You sure are special,” she’ll respond with “Thanks, mom. I’m going to stay with you all day long.” If her dad is going to run to Costco or the bank or wherever, she’ll often jump up and say “I’ll go with you!” Being homeschooled I purpose to set her up with play dates and enroll her in extracurricular activities so she can be with friends. And this Christmas her gift to her BFF is the gift of time. They are going to join an archery class together and also pick out craft bags to do crafts together. Together together together. This effort she puts into being with people will serve her well when she’s older. Just being with people is something Jesus does Himself.

Her language is special to me being my first born because I too, long to be with her.

Yolanta’s love language is Affirmation
It must have been so hard for her to be moved out of her country after six years of knowing only Haiti. Poverty. Pain. Creole. Black skin. Lost family. Orphanage. Sure, being brought into a loving environment has proven to be healthy and wonderful for her, but I can tell she’s anxious. Is this permanent? Do we really love her? If she has a gloomy look on her face, she will gladly accept my arms around her, but what really makes her shine is when I speak encouraging words to her. Anything affirming: “I love you.” “Good job on that coloring page!” “I’m so glad you’re my daughter.” “I’ve been thinking about you today.” “You look so pretty in that pink shirt!” “Thank you for helping your little sister carry her dishes.” This makes her feel proud and special. It’s as if those words tell her “you are mine forever.” Then she will show me or tell me about things she has done that she thinks will win my favor just so I will praise her. And when I do (solicited or otherwise) she smiles and giggles and jumps up and down in happiness. It’s not hard for me to remember to give her the affirming words she needs throughout the day because she is indeed a happy, pleasant little girl full of things to positive to say about her. My heart still double thumps when I hear “I love you, too, “ from her lips.

Katie’s love language is Touch
You’ve heard me before call her Saran Wrap baby because she’s always clinging to me. J
If this girl could be carried around on my back like a monkey, or on my front like a panda or even tuck her into my jeans like a kangaroo, she would. That girl forever wants some part of her body wrapped around mine. She doesn’t have anxiety issues to leave me when it’s time to go to Sunday School or Grammy’s house or even if I go upstairs and she is downstairs. Nor does she cry when it’s bedtime (even if she goes to bed before her sisters do). But her preferred method of moving around the house is to follow me holding on. I know this is a security issue and a possible fear of being left again. After all, her mother left her when she died. Her father left her when he dropped her off at the orphanage for two years. I showed up in Haiti for a 4 day visit then left her there for another year and a half. Now she’s here America living in a family environment with a mother and father again. But she’s four years old and has a lot of trauma in her life. Does she KNOW it’s forever? Does she know what forever means? I think her way of ensuring I won’t leave her again is to be holding my leg when we go up the stairs. Pushing her face into mine till it hurts. Hopping in my shower in the mornings. I don’t mind the clinginess because she’s so soft and adorable.

So, I can’t verbally speak multiple languages, but I speak the languages of my home. For there are many and I want my family to know that I care about their needs.
I learn their languages and tell them in their unique ways “I love you.”

13 comments:

Tiffany said...

Clearly a heartfelt post. It struck a chord with me on so many levels. Just beautiful Julie.

Your loving insight is a gift to your girls.

Youthful One said...

Absolutely PRECIOUS!

My heart is in my throat, and tears are in my eyes.

You are a remarkable mom; an inspiration.
And DEFINITELY cut out to be a girl-mommy.

Kismet said...

Excellent, excellent post.

Your children will always cherish in their hearts the fact that you do indeed speak their love language. And what touches my heart also is the fact that they each speak your love language, whether they (and you) know it or not.

You were meant for this.

Love you.

~K!

Amanda P said...

Way to know your girls, doesn't it make a world of difference. I'll have to post my kiddos sometimes.

On a weird side note, from that shot, your kitchen could be mine, but we have a slate backsplash. Weird.

What's your love language?

That last photo...you look like Jen. :)

The Pfeiffer Family said...

What a blessing it is for your girls to have parents that understand what their love language is. Not only know it, but also show that language to them on a daily basis. Your girls are so precious. You have done a wonderful job of building a secure loving environment for them. They will continue to grow and thrive in your love. You are doing a great job raising your girls.

Have a wonderful Christmas!!

Becoming Me said...

Such a precious post. Your love for your daughters blooms through your writing!

christa jean said...

It is truly a wise mother who takes the time to prayerfully and carefully understand the best ways to love her children.

You are wise and one day your children will use the example of your wisdom in their own lives. They will rise up and call you blessed!

Jenny said...

Love, love love!!!

Anonymous said...

Having had such a long time between visits with Y & K, I was able to see a remarkable change in them. Y went from being reticent to brave in initiating contact. K seems a lot more free to be her individual self. And both of them seem so happily settled into the family. Absolutely fabulous!
MomB

ames said...

A nomination for post of the year! It was so warmly written.

Molly W. said...

I love that you know your daughters so well and know just what they need like only a mommy does. Precious.

Amy Brownell said...

Julie, that was a beautiful post! Your girls are so precious! I love checking your blog because I am guaranteed a smile in seeing their beautiful faces.

Blessings,
Amy

SuperDave said...

Great post. Now I am pondering what my kids languages are. What about my own? Is the language you speak with A,K,and Y, the same language I speak with them? Now my head hurts.