Katie R. asks: Long term plans for schooling? Are you going to stick with homeschooling, or do you intend to just "catch them up" & then use a different venue? :) just curious!
Heh heh. I'm curious too! :) Currently, we think the best plan for us is homeschooling. Our school district didn't have too much to offer other than full immersion. We felt that 6 hours of English shebela-shaying and then homework would be too stressful for all of us. We're not opposed to public school later, we just don't know when "later" is at this point. We're not opposed to homeschool either, and it's been really fun working with them every day. And, heck... all day is school for them still. Their English is growing exponentially, and they are able to better share stories and ask questions about things.
Nikki and family ask: If there was one thing you could share from your experiences with families adopting older children, what would it be?
Chris: I gotta tell ya, Nikki, Lee and I both were hoping the other would answer this question. We have about a million things we could say. We may have to write a whole post on the subject.
My short answer is to keep your sense of humor, and look for ways to bring out your new children's senses of humor. Also, cut yourself and the children some slack. I had to remind myself everyday that all 4 of us are just floundering around trying to make a family out of strangers.
See, and now later tonight, I'll think "Dang it! I should have said x, y, or z."
Lee: Our blog. :-)
Boil it down to one thing? Gah... that would involve brevity which is not exactly my gift. Anyway, um, I would say keep some kind of journal or blog or something, as I see you are doing. Everything changes so quickly as the kids figure out their new life style, it's easy to forget the landmarks. Also, it's a way to let folks know what's going on when you're cocooning. And lastly, your blog will serve as your personal outlet when you just need to shout in either agony or jubilation.
Amy C asks: We are adopting from Ethiopia (requesting age 4), and are wondering what you would do differently and what you would do the same. Thanks!
Hmmm... woulda, coulda, shoulda... :) One thing we figured out after a couple of days in Ethiopia with the children was that all the extra activities with the group was just too much for our kids. We ended up staying close to the hotel and not doing some of the group things... we swam at the pool and ordered room service. I think the people with babies had a different experience.
Also, and this may sound bad, but I'll put it out there... we would have dosed at least one of the kids (and I think you know who) with Benadryl on the plane ride.
As far as what we'd do the same... I think we did a decent job keeping their world small, at least in the 1st few weeks. We kept their rooms pretty bare, and gradually introduced toys and games. They wanted everything right away, of course, and yet they didn't have the schema to make choices.