So here we are, we’ve been home for 4 months we’ve been with them for 5 1/2 and things are starting to smooth in some ways and we have all new problems in others.
Ericka – the school and I have been working hard to get her settled. And she finally is. I’ve been to school and made her practice her locker like 4 times between every class and she can do it now on her own! She knows where all her classes are, she doesn’t have gym anymore and is very happy (at the moment) with school. We’ve tried out some Zumba classes to do together and she is bonding so well with me. We are friends but I’m mom too. She’s cried on my could err when sad, told me I’m not her mom when mad, and generally opened up and shares a lot with me. To the point where I have to remind myself that some moms of 12 year old daughters WISH their girls would talk to them, and so I should enjoy and cherish this time. After an initial push to meet and hang out with other family she has backed off and won’t have much to do with anyone. She doesn’t understand the jokes and teasing of American life and they embarrass and upset her. And everyone is trying so hard but it’s just not working right now. We had a major breakdown Wednesday because the kids at church don’t really include her… She’s embarrassed, they’re embarrassed, and no one knows what to do. She tries to talk English and they don’t understand so she gets embarrassed and upset and walks off and then they don’t want do try the next time. Her insecurity is easily taken for “bad attitude” or meanness but she really rarely means it that way. She gets loud when upset or excited and embarrassed really easily. And the people that do make it past her initial shyness end up picking on her so much that she gets mad and doesn’t want anything to do with them….
Luciano – is a tough cookie to crack. He has had a few nights of bad dreams. Not sure where they came from and had a hard time understanding his Spanish the most but would get him settled back down. One night he was crying because Micah hadn’t come and prayed with him (he was already asleep) so Micah went back in to pray with him. What a sweet heart. With me however, whoa the glares and disrespect issues. Shew. We have been working the Karyn purvis stuff and I have him do re dos and corrections to practice the respectful behavior. I try to keep it light. But sometimes…. It’s hard not to get mad when this tough sweet guy is rolling his eyes and giving attitude. His school work is tough. One day or week we will see real improvement and another day or week, it’s like we’ve done nothing… So frustrating… We’ve downloaded a ton of education apps to try to use technology in our favor and his math particularly is improving from that. Now we just need a zombie letter/reading game!!! It’s time to start looking for tutors and other people that can help him. He is at least accepting now that he can learn whereas when we first started school he told me no when I asked him if he thought he could learn to read….
Benjamin – yes this is an adoption blog, but we are a family now and all the kids need to get our attention… Ben has always excelled in reading and this year he has finally hit the “hard” spot. Last year he was used to reading a book a day and going to school and taking the test and getting a 100 on it. Now his books are harder (AR 4.somethings for you who understand what that means) and he is only expected to take 2 tests a week. But he is trying to take 1 a day like last year. And he’s getting 70-80 on them. He was so upset the other day when it was time to read!!! I started so,etching new where I had him read PART of the book and then explain to someone what happened in it. I think if we stick to that we can get him settled back down and less stressed over it. Ben has matured so much lately. It’s crazy. And he’s so tall.
Angelly – is our other self imposed stressed out one. Crying if she can’t do her spelling words or reading book. She’s having memory issues too now and we are also considering some dyslexia testing because she will frequently start her words with the last letter, completely flipping the word around. Although, I did see her self correct on that this week. Bonding wise,she is pretty bonded to me, always wanting to be with me, but she is also getting braver at interacting with others. She’s bonded well with some of the extended family, like our parents but she continues to push Micah away at times, like Ericka. So it warms my heart when she reaches out to him and plays little games with him. She frequently wants him when he’s not there, crying for him when he is at work and wanting to send him smiling faces in a text message, but in person she is more likely to run away or ignore him. She’s very demanding on me and manipulative to get her way. But so sweet that it’s hard. It to just give in! Hahaha! She’s our cryer. She cries all. The. Time. And since I’m a crier too, I’ll let her, but I usually ignore the tears, and she will sometimes come back later and say “do you know why I cried?” And then tell me. We also had a major breakdown from her this week. She was sobbing that she wished she knew more English so she could talk more with me and with daddy. Talk about breaking this momma’s heart. But we talked though it and discussed how good she is doing and it is hard and just takes practice and time.
Anna – oh what do I say about Anna???? She is wild and out of control at times but of so smart and sweet at others. Mommy has not been feeling well this week so she has gotten WAAAAY over the 2hr a day allotment of tv time…. And the sassy worse behavior for it. Sigh. We are continuing to work with her on her school skills such as letters and numbers and writing but it’s more “on the fly” at this point, so she’s still not getting the sit down and focus time… Which we need to work in ASAP. One day last week, Angelly was sick on the bus and they had me come pick her up. So her and Anna got to spend the whole day together (ahem…. Watching my little ponies in netflix) and the next day as she is getting on the bus Anna says, “remember Angelly try to throw up so you can stay home with me” oh my goodness talk about sweet. Oh and the day before they were talking together about how they were never alone because God and all the family were in their hearts. So sweet girls.
Overall – it’s going really well, but it’s hard. And it’s hard where we knew it was gonna be hard, but that doesn’t make it any less hard. My heart breaks when my kids are I sobbing because it’s so hard. I just want to fix it, but as we parents all know, something’s we have to just support them and let them get through it.
Friends in town – our good friends from Costa Rica are in town and we have missed them so much. They are the reason we went to Costa Rica. They supported us and talked to us and helped us all through the process. When we were in country the watched Ben and Anna, helped us get to the stores we needed, helped us get family photos taken, helped us and supported us so much, even taking time off their own schooling to do so. You guys literally mean so much to us and though you’re here for awhile more, I already miss you…. Dang how did all these knats get in my house??? Our kids have been best friends forever and living in two different counties doesn’t stop me from having to carry a kicking screaming Anna out of the church parking lot today while the youth pastor looked on in horror.
We were so happy to be getting to see them, we forgot how visiting with friends from cr affected the kids, especially Ericka. And I think that didn’t help her meltdown Wednesday night. These are the times when you feel like the most selfish person in the world for taking your kids from what they knew. When they are crying for their home country and old friends, your heart breaks and all you can do is say I’m sorry and I know it’s hard and feel helpless and hopeless and let them sleep on the couch on a school night. Haha
There are two plastic buckets in our house, one for Costa Rica, one for Alaska. The kids have been choosing to out their allowance in these buckets. They all five miss Costa Rica. And most goes in there, but some makes it to Alaska. $5,000 a trip for our planes tickets….
Amazing love – an amazing donation came in last week. We basically used a credit card for travel expenses, expecting a reimbursement (adoption benefit) from, well I won’t say where, but legit source. Turned out, the fine print said no…. So while I work part time to help the kids adjust, we have to make a pretty substantial credit card payment each month…. So this donation came in and I literally just sat there and cried. What a blessing!
Animal annoyances – we may have a kitten to get ride of…. Anyone looking for a barn cat? She’s pretty. But she won’t use the litter box. We’ve tried everything… And now one of the cats is going on the bed!!!! Our bed!!!! We are trying to figure out to make sure it’s this one, but the goal is to get the two kittens spayed and neutered ASAP so that the one can go live outside (she’s timid and will probably never be caught again so it has to be done first and if it’s the male going on the bed to like “mark” or something, hopefully that will take care if him too. If not. Pray for us as he was a bday gift for one of the kids (Ericka) and she’ll be devastated if he has to go but we can’t keep a cat that is going on the beds!!!! The surprises in the bathroom floors were bad enough 😦
Ok after having bloggers block, I finally got a lot off my chest tonight and so now…