The nineteenth marks one month that our sons from Haiti have been home. I will try to give a little summary.
Overall they are doing really well. Today we vistited Ally’s class and had lunch and recess with her. We then visited our township library. They are now asking tonight if they can start school tomorrow! LOL! I originally thought they would need to be home longer, but for several reasons we will be starting sooner. First, in talking to other adoptive parents from Haiti , their children have done well and enjoyed school. Second, they are not learning very much English as they are talking to one another so much. If they are separated and immersed in English we feel they will progress sooner. I actually think we are learning more Creole than they are English! LOL! Ella said to me one day, “mom , I don’t want to play in the nej today.” Nej is snow in Creole! We also have the advantage of having the entire summer with Ron and the kids home to continue to bond. They have been doing well with the schoolwork I can give them, but I just realize that I am limited in knowing what to teach them and how to teach them. We can tell that they want to be like their siblings and go to school as well. I realized today when taking them to school that they don’t even realize how many people have been praying for them and rooting for their arrival here! We have tried to explain this to them.
They have adjusted to eating a variety of foods and love pizza, cereal and pb and j. So, that helps a ton! Of course, they still love rice and beans. And they LOVE eggs! I can boil one and half dozen eggs for lunch, along with a fruit, sandwich and soup and they eat it all!
Jimmy is our resident comedian keeping us often entertained with his antics. Samson wants to make sure I know when he made his bed, and did all the things he was asked. Ricardo is doing the best at learning English because he is willing to repeat things often. Robenson has been enjoying building lots of lego creations. They all love legos, playing outside, riding their bikes, and do sit quite well for the school work I have been trying to do with them.
It seems like the things I thought would be hard aren’t hard and the things that I didn’t even know would be hard are. For me, it is mostly the emotional aspect of the change in dynamics of our family. Ironically, with a larger family, there are always changing dynamics: when a child graduates, goes to college, gets married, etc. I have had to be very graceful with myself, with Ron’s help, to see that I can’t instantly feel super emotional towards each of them in the same way as with our bio children. I am reading a book entitled, The Post Adoption Blues that is helping me. For three years you are waiting and praying for this BIG thing to happen and it happens and you realize that there is hardness to it that you thought you were prepared for but can’t really prepare for. For the most part they are adjusting well to our expectations of behavior, guidelines and routines. We can’t complain about that! But, adding FOUR people in any family takes something out of you. I have to allow the bonding to be little bits each day and not expect instant emotional connection for me or them.
The language barrier is harder than I thought. It is mostly hard because we can tell them what we need to, but we can’t really “hear” them as much as we would like. We are able to use GOOGLE translate and then have them read or read out loud what we said to them. I think about in a year asking them what they were thinking in the beginning.
Continued thanks for your prayers, meals, and just general encouragement!
Love , The Schaffners