4th week of school and randoms

I’m not even sure how to start this post. So much has been happening and changing. I’m feeling overwhelmed and numb. Some things have been good and others not so much.

School is going good. The ESL (English as a second language) program here is awesome and we are very impressed with the changes and improvements in the kids. There are however huge problems. Ericka is not wanting to try at times to try to learn the work. They’ve pulled her out of some elective time to do more English and reading work and we can definitely tell a big difference. She’s still struggling with finding classrooms as she’s never had to change rooms before and I’ve visited the school and wow. The hallways are so crowded! She’s so behind in some areas and we need to play catch up. Specifically math. But I’m finally on the email list so I’m getting her homework assignments by email so we can get more work done at home now hopefully. Luciano is dangerously behind, specifically in reading. The little work we did with him before school started, we found out he didn’t even know his letters in Spanish…. So we’ve been working on some tutoring and me helping him. The biggest problem here is his lack of try. He is so smart but when asked to study he completely shuts down and refuses to think. You can seriously see the brain turn off. We’ve had horses do that in the past… There is this attitude that I’m just gonna go to sleep and wait this out… Well I’m not falling for it because I’ve seen how smart he is. It’s a struggle because not only am I NOT a teacher but I’m also NOT IMAGINATIVE…. And cool new ways to keep him thinking and open up so he can actually LEARN is going to be the key… We’ve recently decided with his teacher to move him to first grade reading… Hopefully this helps…. Sigh… I’m afraid Ben is gonna fly under the radar with all the extra needs of the other three so I just sent an email to his teacher too… I don’t want to miss anything going on with him just because the others need extra work… Angelly is in 1st and she’s doing ok. She isn’t reading either but she is so super willing and trying that I don’t hAve much worry for her but she just needs extra work at home. We are focusing on the letter sounds and learning how to sound out words with the help of pictures in the books. Angelly and Luciano are really at the “beginning of kindergarten” level with their reading and math skills. Even in Spanish so we are basically starting from the very beginning. I had a conversation with Luciano that he will have to work super hard to learn fast and get caught up if he wants to move on to third grade with Ben….

I had a hard “almost teen” night a few nights ago but I stayed calm and we figured things out. The go to position when mad at me is apparently going to be “you aren’t my mom and I want my mom”. (Bio mom is deceased) my go to response is gonna be to calmly say “yes I am your mom. You have two moms, 1 is in heaven and 1 is here, I love you, and I’m sorry about your mother and wish you had her too, but you have me and I am your mom and i love you and when you are 18 you can do what you want but until then you do have to listen to me and have some respect” over and over and over. Because I do. It’s horrible and mean and not fair that they lost their bio mom. The most amazing part is after all this I was helping her with a chore she didn’t know how to do and she started crying again and said “I’m just so sad”. And at that point let me hug her and comfort her. Which she has not let me do before. And then the next day, in a random moment when she was cooking and I was doing laundry she says “mommy, yesterday? When I said you weren’t my mom? Well that was a lie. I was just upset. I’m sorry” I just said “I know. It’s ok. I love you” and we went back to our chores. Happy happy happy. Seriously. Blown away with her maturity sometimes.

Among the learning issues we are battling some disrespect issues with Luciano as well. If I ask him to do anything he sighs and complains and stomps his feet and generally acts terrible. Yes this is normal. Yes it’s even good in terms of adoption because it means he trusts us enough to act out… It’s still not acceptable behavior in this family. So we are practicing correct answers such as “yes mommy” in lieu of an ugly “ok or I’m doing it or fine”

And among all this we have been battling bedtime. The last few nights have been better but it takes a lot of work and patience from this tired overwhelmed mommy. We will get there. This too will pass.

Dios es bueno. God is good.

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