Jesse Yong was a BIG FAN of the kite flying. He pretty much wanted to do that exclusively. (Didn't even care about the twisty slide, which he has LOVED all the other times we've gone!)
We also pulled out the Fire Engine house and were amazed at how excited Jesse got about it. He was giggling and cracking himself and Tyler up the entire time. I guess it's pretty cool to live in your own miniature world for a while.
I know we keep saying it over and over, but we feel astonished at how well he's doing adjusting to life here with us. We have such a great kid - resilient, accomodating, adaptable, eager to please, sharp as a tack. We couldn't have hand-picked one ourselves. He's truly a joy to be around!
As far as language goes, I'm guessing he understands about 90% of what we tell him to do (when specifically/directly addressing him). I'd say he's kind of comparable to having a 2-year-old but in a 4-year-old body. He understands A LOT of what we say (in general), but he doesn't speak much English voluntarily although he repeats basic English words (please, thank you, water, milk, etc) when we say them first.
A good portion of his comprehension is (obviously) from association of our gestures with the words we use. But it doesn't take much repetition on our part before he knows what the words mean on their own ("put your shoes on," "wait a minute," etc). One thing I know is that he does way, way better than either of us would do immersed in Chinese.
I figure, give him a couple months, maybe even a couple weeks, and he'll be flying right along...
I think a huge part of his success is him absolutely LOVING having a family. My dad's birthday was Saturday, and we brought him a framed collage of photos of he & Jesse together. We had Jesse hand Pappy the present. But when Jesse saw the final framed product (he had only seen me working on it), he broke into this HUGE grin and wouldn't stop smiling and pointing to pictures of himself, pictures of him w/his Baba & Mama, pictures of him w/his Grandpa Pappy.
He just kept staring at the pictures, holding the frame, this huge grin splitting his face, refusing to put it down. He is soooo very happy to belong, to be loved and cared for. I think when he looks at the photographs he sees it tangibly represented, like proof he is part of this thing called "family."
It's the same thing with prayer over dinner. He loves it, eagerly points to our hands and each other, trying to say, "Hey, guys, come on! Grab each other's hands!" and bows his little head for prayer, ending with an enthusiastic "Amen!"
For him, there's something about all our hands held in a circle around the table, doing this little routine together that symbolizes togetherness. He's part of it, and he loves it.
I mean really loves it. I think our record number of prayers over a meal so far is four. I guess we had some especially sanctified food that night.