This is the definition of brotherly love!
The Bears were playing (we won't go into the outcome - but the first quarter was GREAT!) We'll make a football lover out of Joseph yet. Football is with a brown oblong ball, soccer is the black and white one!
The sand box is fun even in December!
I know many of you are wondering how things are going now that everyone is home. I can only tell you that we must still be in the “honeymoon” phase because it has been absolutely wonderful. The boys both love playing with Michael and Charity. They are helpful and polite but not TOO polite. (We have our fair share of “bathroom humor” at the dinner table.) They make jokes and tease each other and all of us too. They basically are fitting in very smoothly. I’ve had lots of people ask me about their English skills. To begin with, they don’t speak any English. They are starting to pick up on what I call the politeness phrases: please, thank you, hello, goodbye and excuse me. Michael and Charity go back to school on the 5th and we will begin working hardcore on English with Joseph and Jonathan after that. If anyone has any brilliant ideas or sources of info on how to make this happen feel free to let me know. I’m hoping to have Joseph ready for 2nd grade by the fall and Jonathan should be ready for Kindergarten by then as well. I think it will be helpful to have both of them working on the same things at first. Nothing like a little healthy competition to move things along. We’re able to get around conversationally pretty well. Luckily we know the words and phrases for taking care of basic needs – eat, toilet and sleep. Everything else is taken care of by pointing and trial and error. Luckily we haven’t had any major issues or needs. If and when those come up we’ll just have to rely on our Russian phrase books and the online translating sites. Today we have stayed home and played, well the kids are playing, and I am doing laundry and dishes and all the other fun stuff that gets backed up whenever I’m not looking. I kicked the 3 oldest kids outside while Jonathan took his nap so that gave me some time to work on the blog and check up on some of the other ones I like to follow. I found a new one today of a couple that adopted 2 brothers about a year ago. I was reading about some of the attachment issues they were dealing with from day one and feeling very fortunate that we aren’t having any of those. Both boys have loved us from the near the beginning of this process and seem to be getting more and more comfortable and thinking of this as “home”. Joseph is fairly comfortable around strangers too which could be a sign that we are in for some rough waters in the future but Jonathan does not warm up immediately to strangers. He does very well when his brothers and sister are around but if they aren’t there he is VERY hesitant. We saw it come out in full force this weekend. He absolutely hated church on Sunday. Eric thinks it reminded him too much of the orphanage – all those kids and no parents, just teachers - and he was having NONE of it. Eric and I had planned to tag-team it that morning and each spend an hour in his room anyway so it really didn’t change our plan much but it will be interesting to see how much time it takes him to figure out that Mom and Dad always come back. Joseph didn’t have any trouble. He is in the same room as Michael and Charity so they showed him the ropes and made his morning down right fun. (Miss Lisa and all of her volunteers had a lot to do with that as well.) Time will tell us how this is all going to play out. The more time we spend as a family the more we are convinced that these little guys were meant to be in our family. They had a rough start in life but they are home now and we are absolutely thrilled. Keep praying for us and for their transition.