Thursday, September 10, 2009


Ana had her first ballet class this week and she loved it. The teacher said she listened well and followed every thing she did and was well behaved. Yeah! Isn't she so cute here! When I went in to pick her up she was still practicing her turns.

We got into the car and I asked her if she learned first position and she said yes. Then Tanya asked her to show her (Tanya) first position. The rest of the evening Tanya had to show everyone how she could do first position. Still super competitive. Ana took it well and showed me after Tanya went to ride her bike.

So what to put Tanya in? She loves to show everyone her back bends so we asked her if she would like to try gymnastics and she told us no she wanted to run. She is a fast runner. So I told her she could run track at school. Well, cross country started this week and I couldn't' get her to go. No, no gymnastics! What? I told her classes had already started and she can't keep changing her mind. So yesterday at the library she found lots of books on gymnastics to show me. Then today, Grant decided to stay after school and try cross country. All during dinner Tanya said she wanted to run at school now. (I'm sure it's due to Grant telling us how far they ran today and what the times were). Of course this morning I took back the shoes, socks and clothes I had bought for her to use! She'll have to use her P.E. stuff next week and we'll see if she really wants to do it. I may be bald by Christmas.

Since school began Victor every day lets me know that school is too long here and that they were done at noon in the orphanage. We were driving home a couple days ago and he started complaining. (It's getting better, but these kids complain a lot!! Who has time to think up sooooo many complaints? Victor got a bigger bed, Lagoon no fun we had to leave, swimming no fun it too hot, had to sit in the back seat, no touch at museum/zoo, Percy didn't sleep on the bed all night, etc. They never learned to enjoy anything and so we spend a lot of time asking specific things so they can see that they did have a fun time, or enjoyed something). Off subject, sorry I was complaining! Back to the previous topic of how long school is. Our usual conversations start with who has homework and in what subjects, who wants to play, who has class and who's driving and then Victor mentions school got out at noon in Ukraine and that it's too long here. I took a deep breath and said, "I'm so sorry you didn't have a good school in the Ukraine, you will learn so much here. You are at a really great school with really good teachers and it will be so much better than anything you had before. He hasn't mentioned anything about the long, hard school days since. I hope it wasn't too harsh, but I was done with the subject.

Things have been getting better as each month passes. This week was 4 1/2 weeks since the kids came home from the Ukraine. Ana and Ethan have become pretty good friends and are in the same class at school this year. I told the teacher I didn't care if they sat by each other, whatever worked for her. So they are sitting by each other and it sounds like it is working out really well and that Ethan has been a good helper with Ana.

So, for some reason our schools elementary back to school night is the third week of school. I went and met their teachers. Ethan, my baby and angel who does no wrong, has gotten in trouble a couple times for talking out in class. What, really? I asked if he was goofing off for Ana... no, Ana wouldn't encourage that behavior. Oh. Ana, is loved by all the teachers and seems to be able to do no wrong. So I started to look at Ethan's papers and Ana's were then laid on top and in front of me and it was pointed out to me that she can write her numbers to 7 and can sing the continent song. Wonderful! As I was looking through her papers I noticed Ana was writing things like... Yesterday I played Halo with Grant. I got to play basketball with Victor and Grant. Friday was way awesome because my best friend Ethan played at my house. We played Star wars. I showed the teacher and she laughed and said Ana doesn't know how to spell so she copies whatever Ethan writes! (He informed me today that she copied his entire geography test! I guess I'll be emailing the teacher, even though it will be Ethan's fault for letting her look at his paper. Sorry that was uncalled for.) But it did crack me up to see Ana's pictures of girls and animals and then having written underneath, I played Halo or Star wars. She does have good handwriting, I'll give her that, but so does Ethan.

Last year at school Ana would walk around the class pinching kids, so I asked if they had had any problems like that and they said no, Ana is a sweet heart. Then the instructor laughed and said, "well... if anything of Ethan's touches her desk she pushes it off the desks or pushes him off his chair. And like a gentleman Ethan never pushes back (what every mom wants to hear : ). She said the funny thing is that usally it's Ana's papers, pencils and crayons that are all over both their desks and Ethan just works around her. Funny little kids, but they do play well together. Actually this past month all of the kids have been getting a long a lot better. Victor still shadows Grant and Grant gets a little frustrated with that, especially if he has asked him to leave him alone for a bit, but other than that things are pretty good.
*I jinxed myself. I just got an email from Ana's math teacher that she was pinching the boy next to her and they made her apologize. (I was impressed it's tough to get her to say sorry, she'll take any punishment over saying sorry).

I'm harder to figure out, still have good days and bad days, but much more mellow since they have started school. My biological kids have been such an example to me and are so much more patient (most of the time) with our adopted kids than I am. This is so much work compaired to hosting the children. All in all I'm starting to like the kids. They are becoming nicer to each other also, that was really hard on me. They could be so mean to each other, physically and verbally. It's made me realize what good children Grant, Morgan and Ethan are and how little they ever argued or fought. I still really miss the kids we hosted and worry about Marina almost daily. I haven't written for about a month now, I doubt she got anything we wrote to her. We've tried to think of ways to help her (she'll be turning 16 next year) and things just aren't working out. It's too bad because she was so bright and kind (and she needed some orthodontic work we could have helped with).

We did the quantum interfiron blood test with the kids to determine if they really have TB or not and Ana and Vicotor are positive and Tanya was negative. So only two will have to take the 9 months of antibiotics. They are all on a 9 month waiting list to be tested for fetal alcohol syndrom. We've had two doctors say they think Ana has a mild case. We've felt like Tanya has PTSD, but a lot of the symptoms are the same for FAS. So we're are kind of playing the waiting game. That is sort of good too, because their English should be much better at that point in time and that will help with their diagonisis.

This post may never end. So I went to send friends home and Ana and the neighbor girl toliet papered Tanya and Morgan's bed room! For some reason the kids like to destroy Tanya and Morgan's room (maybe because Tanya is OCD and freaks when something is out of place). Ana is the cute spunky one, but is constantly getting into trouble and not doing nice things to people. This is better than cuting all the barbies and dolls hair off or calling the neighbor girls dumb, slow and/or fat. But still... What to do with her? She has friends because she laughs easy and likes to be silly, but she's lost neighborhood friends because she can be mean. Tomorrow will be a new day, a school day at that.


Carol said...

Carlin, You completely and totally amaze me! I sounds like you are handling things really well, and what you are doing is working! Keep up the awesome (hard) work!!
Lets grab lunch soon. :)

Wendy said...

I laughed out loud at the phrase "Who has time to think up sooooo many complaints?" It amazes me that a child that had so little can complain sooo much!! And about the dumbest things! Alex complains about the length of school and I hope you don't mind but I'm going to use you're response word for word! I think it was great!
How cute is that Ana! And what a sweet son you have to be so tolerant of her in school.
You amaze me. Thanks for blogging, I just love to hear how things are going with others....

Andreas and Carrie said...

You guys are an inspiration to us. We're doing it with one, and are in awe that you are doing it with 3! Enjoy those hours that they are at school. We can hear the bell ring from our house. Carrie asked me if she should feel guilty about dreading the sound of the end of school bell. :)

Keep up the great parenting. You and your husband and awesome.

Lori said...

Carlin, you are amazing. I miss talking to you. We need to get together for lunch?