Monday, January 11, 2010

Down Time

We have had a relatively quiet couple of days. We visited the girls yesterday and went bowling along with the Oborns, just to get out of the apartment some. The kids all seemed to have a good time.

This is an awkward phase to go through...officially and legally family and yet family life has not yet begun. Sure, we visit for a couple of hours every other day, but a third party is present with Irina, and we are not yet really on the road to growing as a family until they are out of the orphanage environment and 100% in our presence, relying on us to meet their needs. It is a different kind of limbo than we have experienced before. Never have we gone this long with a visitation schedule. In fact, with Kenny, we walked in the orphanage the first time and 20 minutes later he walked out with us! Not at all the way I would necessarily recommend doing things, but this seems almost too far the other way.

So we spend our days in a not unpleasant monotony, school work is taking precedence, and we are getting quite a lot done actually. The boys are all working on a new project today, they are each creating comic books! I'll take photos and post them when they are done. Matthew is making one about the book he last read, William the Conqueror. Kenny and Josh are making up stories and creating one about whatever they want. Josh came running up to me in the kitchen saying "Mommy, you aren't going to believe this...I have made 13 pages! I can't wait until I hit 20 pages!! Then he dashed off to work on it some more. I asked for dialogue, a well organized story, and lots of details. It should be interesting to see what they come up with!

We are reading a lot, doing some spelling and dictation work, and Matthew made a mini-goal to get 15 math assignments done this week on the way to his larger goal of finishing the book before we get home. Not sure if he will accomplish it but he will still be pretty close even if he doesn't actually finish! I am discovering that Kenny is really, really struggling with his math...not because the math part is too hard but the text uses far too many academic terms and new vocabulary for him to ever remember. When I read the text myself, and then explain it without the complicated math terms, the light bulb flicks on and he totally gets it. We also are working a LOT on root words and how prefixes and suffixes work together to create new words with the same roots. That seems to be helping him understand vocabulary better. He doesn't have those skills yet to link one kind of learning with another and take it to the logical next step. He does if it is explained to him, but can't make the leap himself yet.

On the brighter side, at least for me, I found 6 cans of Coke Light today! Been over a week without it, and I was thrilled. takes so little...

Angela and Olesya are doing well, and they seem to be pretty comfortable with us now, although the boys and I had a talk about the fact that we are very likely to see a lot of tears the day they leave...and that they can be excited and sad all at the same time, that emotions don't come in just "onsies" so not to be worried. Ever emotionally astute Kenny says "That's OK mom, that just means they know how to love!". He is right and I am glad that he recognizes that!

Angela is really showing a soft side with Josh and Yannik, which almost surprises me after everyone at the Boarding school talking about how she and the other girls who are "sports girls" are not gentle and are not very openly loving. Sorry, I am not seeing that. Is she a "hanger on"? No. Is she kind, tender hearted and warm? Yes. Just because she is a tomboy doesn't mean she doesn't have a softness to her, and I hate that stereotype as I too suffered from that one when I was younger. Angela was surprised to learn I played sports, liked them a lot, and could really throw an American football very well AND played baseball too. She asked if I had a glove and everything, and I replied "Of course!". She couldn't hide the look on her face, it was cute. Like "Hey, that fat old lady can do that stuff?"...hahaha! Yea, let's go to the batting cages, Girlfriend!! hahaha!

Olesya is a total sweet eater, and always asks for sweets. Angela even pointed at her when I explained we do not eat that much sweet stuff at home like we have done here because of the holidays and such. She too is very protective and nurturing with Joshie, and when he got out of the car at the bowling alley and I was not yet out she called out to him and grabbed his hand to keep him safe.

Dominick is being SPOILED ROTTEN by all our friends back home!!! What love he has been shown, and how touched he has been. I don't think he has eaten at home a single night! And honestly, he needed it. He has had an exhausting time....the flight back and awake so many hours, on the run, battling our bank for our refinance, yet another one day trip to Denver for another apostille, and being sick on top of it. He is doing better on antibiotic, thankfully. I admit, reading his instant messages as he tells me of visiting with everyone gave me my first real touch of homesickness to date.

As for myself, I am vacillating between a lot of things right now. Tummy is still out of whack but not horribly so, just enough that every few meals I know something is not quite right. Sleep is still a mess, but I am working at it. Just not sure I will ever get on a normal schedule or pattern here, the boys aren't either. I go through days where I am a little nervous about all the changes we are about to experience and have begun, and others where I feel very calm and ready. I lack confidence one moment, and then am certain the next. There are no doubts at all about the girls being ours or going home with us, just fears about my own ability to do right by them I be able to handle it all. I think if I wasn't feeling a little like that there would be something wrong! Being here alone doesn't help either, and I am grateful for the Oborn's and the Yager's presence to give me some adult time mixed in with all the great kid time.

But the minute I find myself feeling a little low, a little lonely, a little scared...God steps in through someone reaching out to be with me, even from afar. My dear, dear friends who are so rock solid and are often what keeps me going under some difficult circumstances. You write me daily to keep me from feeling abandoned, even if it is only to share with me the joys of doing your laundry. You write and tell me you miss me! You write and encourage me. You write and share scripture that you think is (rightfully so) perfect for the moment. You write and share your experiences and let me know it is OK to feel what I feel, even if others disagree. You anonymously send things, not knowing our current need but anticipating we have a lot on our plate. You shop for my new daughters, carefully selecting just the right clothes for their new wardrobe. You pick up my sons' homework. You keep them connected with their classmates. You tell me "I love you", and I know you really, really mean it and will be there after all the excitement has subsided and the real work begins.

I need you, I love you very, very much, and I am honored to have each of you in my life. Thanks for letting God use you to "reach out and touch someone". Wasn't that an old AT&T commercial???

So we are here, just hanging out, biding our time. All is well, all will be well.


Anna said...

Sounds like you are doing well. I have also been touched through our journey how our friends have been so willing to be his hands and feet. It seems like when I am discouraged somehow the word gets out and someone steps in. I find that Gods word and His presence are a perfect "constant "right now.

Kelly and Sne said...

I think everybody in Kaz waiting for their children to become available hits that "wall" when the monotony gets to them and they wish that they could just get on with it. It helps to have your husband and a strong support network - which it sounds like you have. We felt the same about the middle of our trip too. Ironically, looking back on it, I really really miss that time in Kazakhstan. When do we have the opportunity to just spend time bonding with and teaching our children and socializing. And not much more. Not pulled in so many directions by life's "to-do lists". Not weighed down by work and all of our other life obligations that prevent us from spending as much quality time as we'd like to. So, if you can, project yourself forward into the future when life will be a lot more hectic and try to relish the slow pace of life today in Kaz. If that doesn't do it, perhaps another round of diet coke? Take Care!

Bill and Cathe: said...

Dear Team LaJoy;

The waiting is almost over, and soon you'll have more activity (perhaps wishing for a little down time!!!).

Once Gotcha Day came, we went into overdrive, getting new paperwork and getting ready to head to Almaty. We're excited, and Kate looks forward to saying, "HI!"

P.S. Kate asks if the girs can send her greetings to Ira Vall as well.

Anonymous said...

Back home--I have volunteered to sit on the suitcases while Dom tries to close them. I won't spoil any surprises, but what I have seen of the clothes has been lovingly and carefully chosen. The box from Josh's schoolmarm and schoolmates looks like it holds some surprises. And there are others. The shoppers, gatherers, chore runners are blessed by your asking and trusting.


Bob; Carrie DeLille said...

No way-second base by any chance?