|First family picture in Thailand taken in the outside kitchen of Michael's |
aunt's house just a few hours after our plane landed.
Our daughters had no idea of the enormity of the change they were going through!
Then, one day, we got on a plane and arrived in a new very hot, humid place filled with the noises of tropical birds, barking dogs, and noisy motorcycles. She continued to live in my arms for another two weeks.
Whenever Cora saw a motorcycle or a Thai person, she buried her head into my shoulder. Motorcycles were too loud. Thai people were too threatening to her, always wanting to hold her and touch her. Bangkok is full of motorcycles and Thai people, so whenever we left the house, she closed her eyes and buried her face into my shoulder hiding from the world. For two whole weeks!
Both Cora and three-year-old big sister, Grace, threw some massive, category five tantrums during those first few weeks. They were induced by jet lag, no toilet paper in a bathroom, a slippery chunk of mango jumping out of chubby hands and landing on the dirty ground, finding seeds in their oranges, and other things. The whole nine yards. Screaming, flailing, whole body on the ground mom-and-dad-why-did-you-bring-me-here tantrums.
For the first couple of months, Grace completely and utterly refused to speak Thai. She would not say "hello" or "thank you" in Thai when we told her to. She was in utter rebellion and it was sometimes rude and embarrassing.
But, they've adjusted. (They had to!)
|Wearing tutus and walking to a friend's house for dinner.|
|Picking up lunch from street food vendors and biking it home.|
Both girls speak dozens (maybe hundreds? don't keep track.) of Thai words. And they understand far more than they speak. Grace still sometimes refuses to speak Thai, but that's ok. We see her listening and learning and slowly making progress.
Now when we walk through the streets of Bangkok. They each hold a parent's hand. They hardly notice loud motorcycles passing just a couple of feet from them.
The Thai strangers who used to scare Cora are now our friends and neighbors. They don't fawn over our kids as much anymore because they're no longer a novelty. But, when they do get special attention, our kids ignore it. Or sometimes Cora performs and flirts and sings and speaks Thai to feed the attention. What a difference from just one year ago!