I had Lucas at the mall 2 days ago. We stopped by a Chinese fast food place to get a drink (and somehow ended up with a plate full of food--thanks to Lucas saying "uh huh" a few too many times to the chinese ladies). I thought it would be fun for him to speak to the ladies behind the counter who were obviously Chinese. I told them he was adopted and from China and they should speak to him. He did not say a word. He would not even say "Ni Hao" (Hello) to them in Chinese. He refused to speak it. I was stunned. He understood them well enough to order all that food when they asked him in Chinese. But, he didn't want anything to do with speaking it to them. He made a concsious decision to Not speak it.
One thing is for sure--he is a determined little man. He is trying to speak English all day long. It's pretty basic stuff. And some of it our family gets and I'm sure outsiders don't understand--sort of like living with a toddler learning the language in that respect. You know how the mom "gets" what the kid is saying but nobody else does??? But, overall I think most people could understand him. We just need to fill in a few details.
For example he will say "get jammies on" when he means "Isaac it's time for you to get dressed" He thinks everytime we get dressed we are "getting jammies on". =) isn't that cute?
Just now he said "Mom, Buddy go outside" when he meant "Mom, I'm going to bring Buddy in from outside".
He is trying so hard and I'm blown away at the speed that he is picking this all up. And even in the trying he doesn't seem frustrated most of the time.
Once in a while I will still get a "story" in Chinese. But, it's not like it was at the beginning. Most of our communication is clearly done with English intent.