Q&A 1/10/11

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Did you get to see where your children slept? Were they all in one room with beds everywhere or were they separated, boys, girls?
I have not seen it in person. I have seen it in photos. I think it is mixed. Bethany? Kelly? Who knows? 

Do they seem to be afraid when it is nighttime bedtime (not day naps)? Do you have any idea what their bedtime routine was like before you adopted them?
They’re actually MUCH, MUCH better at night than during the day. They both need someone in there with them, but if they have each other, that is fine. I am not familiar with their routine. I do know that they took a long afternoon nap at the orphanage, but that’s about it.

Have you found your children to have food issues, such as gorging and hiding food for later? We have experienced this to varying degrees with our adopted children.
We have not yet. They’re both pretty good with food and can even be a bit picky, especially Lena. She often does not finish all that is on her plate. They both accept when meals are over. They also will wait for everyone to eat if we remind them that they need to (and there is nothing too tempting in front of them). Neither of them has tried to hide any food from us, although I am not sure how they could. And they definitely do not gorge. At meals, they, especially Ilya, get a bit goofy and silly and we frequently have to remind them to eat. He does eat a lot, though, if he likes what he’s eating!

Do you have any advice for parents preparing to travel to your children’s region?
Nope. Honestly, from what I have heard about other regions, it is a VERY EASY region. My advice would be the same for parents adopting from this region as it would be adopting anywhere else in Ukraine or in the world. But, I am not sure I am qualified to give adoption advice!

Will the children enter kindergarten/preschool or do you plan to homeschool them?

I am not sure yet. I would love to homeschool them, but I am not sure that I have what it takes! I am not very impressed with public school (and I went to public school, so believe me, I know). We’ll see.

How is Lena´s language acquisition going?
English? It’s not really. Sometimes she talks, but we can not understand what she is saying at all, unless we just told her to repeat something. She has learned a lot of sign language, thanks to Signing times (and my sister who gave it to us), but she still does not use it as a way to communicate. Right now, we basically have to guess her needs. She does say some words “mama” “doggies”. Sometime “papa” but that is rare. “Baby”. “Babushka”. I think she is on a 12-24 month level with language. There may be a medical reason for her developmental delay, beyond just being in an orphanage, and I am eager to talk to a doctor about that.

Mine comes from the perspective of Ilya being 4, and do you think he’ll be adequately adjusted when it comes time for school to start. Of course, if you don’t send him to preschool, then he has a good year and a half before Kindergarten starts.
I think he’ll be okay to start preschool. He is already pretty attached to both of us, and I imagine he will bond a lot more in the next 8 months. But like I said above, who knows if we’re going to send him. 

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What are your thoughts on adopting two unrelated kids at the same time, rather than one at a time, now that you’re home? Would you recommend that to a friend that is adopting?
Yes, I would absolutely recommend it. Especially in a situation like ours, where we do not already have children. Ilya and Lena need each other’s company and support. The fact that they knew each other but were not in the same group really worked to our advantage too. The same with the male/female combo. Everything worked out so they were not competitors and quickly became friends. I will tell you, it is certainly harder on us at times. We do not really get much of a break, sometimes they wake each other up, etc. But, I do think it’s worth it, especially for the relationship that Ilya and Lena have.

7 thoughts on “Q&A 1/10/11”

  1. Thanks for answering all the questions 🙂 I was in public school my entire life and both loved and hated it so I understand you´re not thrilled with public school. And it´ll no doubt be veyr important for the kids later on to share their history.

  2. I'm pretty anti-public school myself, and had always intended to homeschool. However, when we got our daughter home, we realized that homeschool would not be best for our daughter. The preschool program that fit her best is actually offered through our local public school system. Go figure. It's a program designed for developmentally delayed kids, but they have "peer models" (on track developmentally) integrated into the class as well. She's totally thriving there (speech explosion!), and I enjoy being able to focus on my role of mommy instead of feeling like I'm responsible for teaching her everything, too. Child #2 might be a different story! In any case, check out all your options!

  3. You asked for me to chime in here, so here goes: I assumed the children in the same group all slept in one room (boys and girls), so these two probably slept in different rooms since they were in different groups. Apparently it used to be all one room per group for the children to sleep and play, but now the rooms are separated – one for sleeping, one for playing and one for eating. The play rooms are different per age group: 1-2 year olds play together in one area and 3-4 year olds together in a different area. The "ages" seem to be approximate and is based on developmental level. There is also a separate eating room and I think this is shared by the age groups in "shifts". The third age group is the baby room which is all one room for sleeping and playing. (I think they get transfered to the toddler room when they start walking.) The baby room has about 20 cribs in it and one large playpen that all the children play in together. Regarding gorging and hiding food – fortunately this particular orphanage seems to be great about providing enough food. They get nutritious food and there is enough of it, so there is no reason for the children to feel they are going hungry and need to hide food for later. They get fresh fruit (rare in UA orphanages) and you can tell by looking at the children that they have a good level of nutrition in their diet. In all honesty, I have seen children in other places who have a "grey" hue which means not enough sunshine and nutrition, but the children at this particular orphanage get lots of outdoor play and a good diet.

  4. If you'd like to talk to someone about homeschooling, I'd be happy to put you in touch with my mom. She loves talking about it. 🙂 I was homeschooled 3rd-12th grade and my brother was homeschooled 1st-12th grade.

  5. Alina held my hand and led me upstairs to her group while I was there. Before traveling to this orphanage I suppose I would have thought that I would have seen everything that happens and what's going on. As Team Parker can attest, you really don't get to see much more than the visitation room while you are meeting with your child.Alina took me upstairs, down the hall and to her play room. Yes, the play room and sleeping room are separate. What I witnessed was that there were several beds, very well organized, in the sleeping rooms and boys and girls of the same "group" slept in those rooms.Also, as we passed the kitchen there were large bowls of fruit on each table. As Bethany said, this particular orphanage feeds the children very well with nutritious foods.

  6. Do not be afraid of homeschooling! I thought that it would be so difficult and was so intimidated at first but now I am SO glad that we are doing it. I have a 1st grader, Kinder (Ivan) & a preschooler. I can help you out with curriculum ideas and advice. Sounds like you guys are doing great!

  7. Thanks for doing these Q&As. They're very helpful! My husband and I plan to homeschool, but are also waiting to see what their needs are to make the final decision. I've really enjoyed following your blog the last several months. Keep up the good work! 🙂

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