Hosting: Real Talk

I’ve had many people ask, “how are things really going?”
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Truthfully, things are going well. The two hardest parts of hosting are the language barrier and trying to entertain an extra child over the summer.

So, the language barrier. For the most part, we don’t struggle to explain significant things. The program provides a translator, as well as the chaperone, and we could call either one with questions or for translations.  But, Big L wants to know what we are saying. At first, she would yell “WHATA?!” somewhat obnoxiously, when she wanted to know what we were saying. Now, mostly she mostly trusts us to translate what needs to be translated. She seems to understand what I translate into her language for her, but when she translates something for me, it can take several tries to get a translation that makes sense. If I have no context for what she is saying, it is very frustrating, especially for her. I cannot imagine spending an entire summer with, and growing close to people without being able to communicate well.
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That being said, Big L has a huge desire to learn English. She spent some time doing a program called Mango Languages, free through our local library. It is a Russian English as a Second Language course. Russian is not her primary language, but she knows enough of it to understand the course. She learned quite a bit, but still rarely uses it in practice. Just last night, we called her chaperone. Her chaperone asked how her English was, and when I told her that she was shy to use it, the chaperone encouraged Big L to try more. I hope that she will. I believe she has a lot of potential to learn English this summer, but she does need to try. However, I also understand her hesitation to speak in a new language that everyone around her speaks fluently.

So, the second challenge. Trying to entertain an extra child over the summer. Summer entertainment is a big challenge for all of my kids. There is just so much time to occupy. Big L can be very clingy when she is bored, but she is getting better. So far, she has read the entire Jesus Storybook Bible in her native language, made both string and loom bracelets, done an online English course, bike riding, gone swimming countless times, play lots of Uno and Go Fish, and more. I picked up a few books in her native language, and she is doing some reading. I also have a scrapbook for her, so once I have some time to get it started, I’ll hand that over to her and hopefully she will enjoy making some pages.
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[reading the entire Jesus Storybook Bible in 2 days.]

These are both such little frustrations in the bigger, awesome picture. Things are going really well here, honestly. Big L is a great kid and we’re happy to have her around.
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Questions about hosting? Sure, we’re only 2.5 weeks in, but I’m happy to answer what I can! Leave a comment!

2 thoughts on “Hosting: Real Talk”

  1. It is so good to see these pics, and hear these stories! I’m so happy to see her building relationships with everyone in the family.

    How is the subject of adoption handled? Since it is part of the foundation of your family, is it a challenge to skirt the issue? Do Reed and Lena have questions about Big L’s potential for adoption?

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