It has been a week since my last blog post, and you'd think that with Joshie now in school along with Kenny and Matthew I would have tons of time as I am alone at home much of the day, but somehow that really isn't happening. I can't really account for how my time has been spent, as it has been on this and that, but I have been really busy. A friend pointed out to me today that perhaps I am keeping myself busy so that I can distract myself from adoption nonsense...like getting one more FBI fingerprint check done (Now really, how many times for one adoption do we have to prove we are not child molesters?), or waiting and waiting for things to move, even though I know there is only so fast it can go. You'd think after 3 international adoptions this would be easier and I would be more laid back this time around but the fact is this is the hardest of all for many reasons.
I was in Kenny's and Joshie's clas volunteering this last Friday, and I couldn't help but send up a prayer of thanks for the terrific teachers that all 3 boys got...as if God knew (well of course He did!) exactly what each one needed and saw to it that they got it.
Joshie's teacher is a brand new teacher, sweet and young and very, very good. I got a phone call yesterday afternoon from her because she wanted to share something with me. She said they were discussing a story in class about things that babies do that big kids don't do anymore, and each child was to share something they used to do. When it was Josh's turn he told the class how he used to "cry and cry all the time" and even "threw cars at mommy from the back of the car" but that he didn't do it anymore because he had just been worried I would leave him but now he knows I will only leave him if I die. Just like that, very matter of fact, he kind of summed it all up in a brief sentence. She wanted to share with me how she handled it all, how she reinforced for him that she knows I love him very much and would never leave him, and that he had lots of people in his life that loved him. I was so glad that I sent her that email before school started explaining his background and some of our current struggles about him thinking I would die while he was in school. She wasn't blindsided by Josh's statements and was able to handle the appropriately, and she cared enough to call and check with me to see if I felt she had done ok. What a gift an in-tune and caring teacher can be.
Poor Kenny is struggling a bit, as this year he is in a different circumstance and is expected to follow along and not just read a book if he can't understand something. His regular classroom teacher is ESL certified and so she knows exactly how to get Kenny up to speed and also understands very well his limitations. We have been emailing back and forth coming up with strategies, filling in the blanks for her about his experiences, and finding our way around what is the best way to work with Kenny. I found yesterday afternoon that we have another challenge that I had not thought about when it comes to reading. He was to read a book together with me (I am doing most of the reading but he is sounding out a few words) and then write a few sentences phonetically about the story. We all understand he is not ready for real spelling yet but are working with him to hear sound and be able to write them down or read them. All phonics, all the time right now. Well, Kenny's speech, while certainly intelligible, is very poor. Many of the sounds he simply can not make, and so he substitutes another sound for it. G sounds like a K or C to him, so that is what he writes. TH is impossible for him so he makes an F sound, but then he writes the F sound in lieu of a TH. We can all see this is going to create some new challenges for him as he learns to read and write phonics but writes things exactly the way he says them, which is incorrect. That doesn't seem like such a big deal until you have a 10 year old in 3rd grade who still can't read more than 7 or 8 words and he is quickly becoming further and further behind. I feel often like we are in a race against time to get him caught up, and yet I am outwardly keeping it all laid back and cool. I don't want him feeling pressured as he is working diligently in class, comes right home and gets on whatever homework he has with no delays, and I realize we have a lot to make up for in all areas of his life, not just academics.
An interesting development around our house is that both Kenny and Matthew are fascinated by the presidential election. We watched Barack Obama's speech as well as Sarah Palin's and although Kenny didn't understand much of it, we tried to explain pieces and parts of it as the speeches we being given. I was surprised that he was interested at all, as I had assumed that would hold not hold his attention at all. We are finding though that he has firm opinions on things, and I admire his willingness to share them and his well thought out comments. Matthew loves the whole process and has asked tons of questions about it all. He has gone with me to vote before and wants to go with me again this time. I wonder where this interest in politics has come from? It certainly isn't that we are all that political here at home, although we have talked about it from time to time. But it is kind of cool that the boys are even thinking about it, and watching the speeches together was interesting to see their reactions and hear their thoughts.
So we are all getting back in the groove of things with school, activities, early bed times. I am having to adjust to having no little guys underfoot for the first time in 8 years, and honestly it has been easier than I expected, most likely due to the fact that I have a lot of projects to work on which is keeping me occupied. But it is bittersweet as well, as we say goodbye to one phase of our life and we enter another.
Wonder what the next phase holds for us all?