Quote of the Day


Tidbits yet again

Posting from: Khabarovsk
Local time: 1:45 pm on Thursday, September 7
Weather: clear and warm

While the children nap, I'll address a few questions and comments from the Remarks section and from my email box.

  • Yes, I made the borsht -- I practiced before we left home. The pelemini is in the frozen food case at the store. I have no idea what flavor we ate.
  • They seem to be getting a clue about the future. Andy has started to show interest in the picture book and last night was showing Juliana their future beds.
  • They are usually very nice to each other, sharing and helping. Andy does enjoy teasing her more than I would like, but I am rather teasing-intolerant in general.
  • We figured out that the problem with the borsht is that zupa (soup) is a lunch item and we had tried to serve it at dinner. When we served it at lunch time, it was a hit. Today we had miso, which Andy loved and Juliana hated. I have the fixings for chicken soup for tomorrow.
  • They answer to their new names, but when meeting new people they introduce themselves with their old names.
  • Though they love the bath they both burst into tears, recoil, and whimper when I pick up the spray. I set the sprayer on low and the temperature on warm and they very slowly and tremulously test it. When they confirm it is okay, we spray. Each and every time, though, they are afraid of it at first. Poor tykes. I do love it that they are willing to trust me enough to try it. I’ll know we are making good progress when they don’t have to test it each time.
  • Eating: they eat a lot and are thrilled to be able to get second/thirds. Andy is really thin and has virtually no muscles, so we are pleased to see him clean his plate 2-3 times a meal. They usually will pour some of their drinking water into their yogurt cup or soup bowl in order to get the last drops.
  • Language: All this is language that we’ve learned in less than 48 hours. Imagine how much we will have by the time we come home!
    • Words they use now: Please, thank you, more please, I love you, good afternoon, mama, papa, okay.
    • Words we use that they understand, but don’t yet say: socks, shoes, kitty, give to mama/papa, come to mama/papa, pajamas, pillow, sit, don’t touch, bed, sleep, stop, yes, no, good boy, good girl, hurry, pick up your toys, time for breakfast/lunch/snack/dinner, make your bed (they did this without being asked this morning J), clear the table, leave the kitchen, take a bath, bubbles, it’s okay, no.
    • We recognize the Russian words for: bath, walk, give, hungry, pillow, teeth (they love to brush them, btw), shoes, small, mouse, dog, cat, cereal/rice, juice, poo and pee.

A few observations for those of you adopting older children.

  • The first day was really hard, but life is steadily improving. Everything has just changed for these guys and they have no way of knowing whether or not behavior expectations are included in this change. When they started to see discipline (we are using TakeAway) their behavior improved a lot.
  • If you are debating between one child or two, here are some thoughts about two. We think it is much easier on them and on us too, as they have a playmate and an ally. Though not biologically related, they have been living as siblings in their group all along, and the transition is natural. If you are considering two, I would suggest that asking for two from one group may be more significant than asking for two with shared genes.
  • Don’t forget forts. Any living room can be transformed into a fort to their endless delight and amusement. Forts, as you may recall, have to be built and rebuilt a zillion times and will keep your children happily occupied for hours.

Our cool thing of the day: Andy asked us how to say something in English. This was the first time he has made a move to adapt his communication to us. Prior to this, everything was just repeated with hyper-clear enunciation. I think he has decided that we are too dumb to ever understand Russian, so he may have to resort to English.

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