Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Little of This and a Little of That

The title of this post sort of speaks of my life right now. Lots going on, a little of this and a little of that...

This afternoon we had Kenny's planning meeting for next school year. Our wonderful adoption Social Worker, Joan, came along to offer support as she could. Eight of us were gathered around a table, discussing Kenny's needs and crafting a game plan. After much introspection, and after seeing a bit of a spike in Kenny's reading skills, Dominick and I decided to give it one more year before holding firm on retaining him a grade. Kenny still tests at the end of first grade reading level, but we have noticed significant gains in the past 6-8 weeks. In discussions today we all felt that the "little of this, little of that" approach would work best, and I was shown how creative they all can be in their thinking when a parent and teaching team work together. There will be many supports in place, a new Spec. Ed. teacher who was enthusiastic about the possibility of having Kenny twice a day working with different levels of readers, my concerns were heard and addressed appropriately, and we will see what the new year brings.

Kenny's current classroom teacher is simply one of the best, she is phenomenal and much of Kenny's growth this year can be attributed to her. I was also pleased to see that between the end of school last year and the beginning of school this year, Kenny's reading scores actually went up a few points, which means the work we did not only helped him to keep from sliding backwards but actually led to some concrete gains. I hope we can accomplish the same this year! With the help of a new computer game sent to us by a fellow adoptive mommy friend, I think we might be on track to continue to improve (Thanks Hilary!!).

I have been doing a little of this and a little of that this week as well, working a little bit doing a small project for a friend at her office, trying to catch up on laundry before I leave this Friday for Denver with my Sr. High Youth Group from church...6 teenagers and myself on a 5 hour drive...can I handle their music that long? If so, I deserve an award of some sort! Hahaha! I ma actually looking forward to this as I love being with these young people, have learned a lot from them, and have a great deal of respect for their talents and enthusiasm. We will be attending church where we can hear a large gospel choir, which was their request and something I will thoroughly enjoy, and will also visit a "terrorism" museum that is newly established in Denver which will hopefully lead to some introspective discussions. We have a couple of other things planned as well, so it should be a great deal of fun and a meaningful experience for all of us. Just a little of this and a little of that...

I will get home on Sunday, then catch up on Monday, and we leave Tuesday for Chicago for Kenny's surgery which will be on Thursday. They will be attempting to close his palate (he already had surgery once in Kyrgyzstan but it opened back up), and the bone grafting for the clefts in his jaw bone. For those who don't know or understand all of this, Kenny has a bilateral cleft which means he had two places that were not closed on his upper jaw and lip, so they will take bone from his hope and graft it into the two places on his jaw where eventually they will place implants for the teeth that are missing. He will also lose one more of his front teeth which is unsalvageable. Again...they'd do a little of this and a little of that! Hahaha!

So far, Kenny is doing far better than we anticipated...not too fearful, no panic yet. He has asked if he can take his blankie into surgery with him (Thanks Grandma Barb!!) and a stuffed animal, and he is talking about it all quite frankly. We will see how things go once we get there, but I am so grateful that he is not terribly afraid right now.

Joshie, on the other hand, well...he has been having melt downs a little here and there. We have had him in our bedroom the past couple of nights as he has asked to be, and last night he had a bad dream and started talking which we were able to calm him down from. Tonight Dominick suggested letting him talk more if he has another one, and to see what he is saying as it might give us a clue how to help him as he worries about being separated from us. I thought he was doing all right with it until this past weekend when the meltdowns started for no apparent reason and then with the addition of nightmares returning I know there is some insecurity creeping in there. If it were any longer, I would try and find a way to bring him with us but it would be difficult with Kenny needing us so much during this time anyway.

There are moments when I wonder if he will ever get to the point where he is more secure in such things. The RAD is so far under the radar most of the time that I am a little surprised when things come up...like the other day he accidentally locked himself in their bathroom and for some reason couldn't manage to get the door unlocked...and he was terrified, screaming and sobbing at the top of his lungs when Dominick heard him and got him out. It really bothers me tremendously that he is still so scared at moments, and yet I don't know what else we can do to heal him from that. Maybe it will take time, maybe it will never really leave him. It can be so hard when you have a child whose hurt is so deep you can't really dig it out and throw it away...

All in all, other than the upcoming travel, life is actually finally a little calm. Hahaha! I say that and most of you must be thinking to yourself "That's her idea of calm??". Maybe it is the fact that for the first time in quite awhile I have no adoption paperwork waiting for me, and that feels very freeing.

I have been thinking of this summer and activities for the boys. We don't have a lot planned this year...yet...and not knowing what is happening with travel I am trying to not make any major plans. Our summer starts May 18th, which is earlier than a lot of schools but we go back to school August 18th. The boys will have church camp again this year, but Josh is still too little to go. Other than that, we have nothing else on our agenda! We are going to do a lot of library visits, hit the pool often, have buddies over to hang out and play. I am thinking about doing some sort of homeschooling unit on pioneers or something to go along with their interest in the Little House series. But the thing they are most looking forward to is spending time with "Mr. Steve", a friend of ours. He has agreed to teach the boys basic woodworking, and they are super excited about that! We might fit in a road trip or two, just to "get out of Dodge" for a bit. But I think, overall, this will be a relaxed and enjoyable summer and I can not tell you how much I am looking forward to spending uninterrupted time with 3 of my 4 favorite people! Part of what makes it so enjoyable is I am one of the lucky few who never, ever has heard her kids say "I am bored!".

Just this weekend we were laying around on Saturday afternoon, just kind of decompressing and Matthew was wandering around looking a little like he was unsure what to do. I asked him "Matt, are you bored? Can't find anything to do?" and he laughed and said "Mommy, I never get bored, you know that...I am just trying to figure out what it is I am going to do next! There's ALWAYS something to do around here!!". With that kind of attitude out of all of them, summers are a joy and when the end of the season arrives we all always feel as if we are getting "ripped off" and want more time to be together.

So there you have it...a totally boring post filled with what I promised, "a little of this and a little of that".

And sometimes, that is enough!


Raynola said...


I know that is difficult to go through Joshie's issues of being separated from you and your husband for an extended period of time, I hope it doesn't get too traumatic for all of you, but it can be a wonderful growing experience. Joshie may be afraid while you are gone, but he will have one of his brothers there with him, and when you all return to him it will solidify the bond of your relationship in a way that he can't imagine now. You may be separated by distance and time but you will always be a family and you will always return to him.

We went through the same thing with our son and after a couple of times it is like 'old hat' attitude with him, he still waits for us to get home safely, but he has no doubt that we will return.

Have a safe and positive journey, you will be missed in class but I think that your priorities are well set in place. Give all of your children a hug for me, I am confident that all will come out well.

Hilary Marquis said...

I am so glad that Kenny's reading is improving! I was encouraged when Tyler was able to read a "Biscuit the puppy" book yesterday and then was able to retain and repeat for me what happened in the story. I'm so glad he likes the computer game ;) We'll be praying for his surgery, I know how scary it is for both Kenny and for you. I had an 8 hr. surgery for scoliosis when I was 15...I've been there.