Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Answers to Common Questions

Here are answers to some of the common questions we have been getting. If you have a question, feel free ask it (by commenting on this post) and we will try to answer it!

Are the kids happy or scared?

Remarkably, given all they have gone through, they are very happy right now. As I mentioned before they are in the honeymoon stage. Everything is new and fun. They have a house, bed, clothes, food, toys, kids to play with, and a mom and dad. They are all smiles and giggles.

How are you getting along since you don't speak the same language?

It has not been a problem. We know a dozen of their words and they know a dozen of ours words now. This, along with lots of hand gestures really gets you pretty far. Then we have our kids, which are a huge help. When we say, "Time for baths!" all of our kids run upstairs and F.G. and K.D. follow them. The girls take F.G. into the bathroom to take a shower and in a little while the three of them emerged ready for bed. Our kids are stepping up to the plate and being a great example for F.G. and K.D. to follow.

How are they doing with the food?

Great. When we first picked them up from the care center, we were astonished at how much they ate. After a few days it slowed down to just a very hearty appetite. They absolutely love all bread products. Meat and vegetables are a bit of a harder sell, but this is largely because of their reduced exposure to these foods. They are adapting quickly and eat more than our other kids. CrazyMom has a good feel for things they will like and always makes sure there are some new things to try at mealtime along with some tried and true items.

Have you started home schooling them yet?

Nothing formal yet. It has just been a few days. We are giving them a little space to adjust to all of the other things first. As we play, we count, do colors, write some letters and things like that. They both can sing the alphabet and can recognize some of the letters. They both can count in English and I worked with them yesterday on putting the numbers in order. F.G. can recognize and order 1 – 10; K.D. can do 1 – 5. They both seem so eager to learn!

Do they go to bed OK at night?

F.G. and K.D. are playing so hard during the day they are absolutely exhausted at night. The first night we went through the bedtime routine with all of our kids even though it was early. We told our birth kids that they all would go to bed, but they could get back up after F.G. and K.D. fell asleep. Well, K.D. was asleep before the boys could even get into their beds. F.G. took another 60 seconds or so. Each night has been the same. We have to rush to get to them to say good night and that we love them before they fall asleep!

When are their birthdays?

Well, we don't know. Birthdays are not that important in Ethiopia and that is a part of their history that we don't have. As they go through medical exams and dental visits, we will probably get a little bit better idea of exactly how old they are. Then, when we readopt them in the US, we will pick birthdays for them. This will be a tough time for CrazyMom and me. She wants every child to have their own birthday so each one can be celebrated. I think I have too many things to remember already and we ought to put both their birthdays on the same day as one of our other kids. Just think of the efficiency!


Anonymous said...

Now that you have gone through the adoption process: What are somethings that you wished you knew before you started? What are some steps you are really glad you did and what did you not need to do? What would you do differently?

We are collecting information on different adoption agencies and looking at different countries. Now we just need power from above to take the first real step.

CrazyD said...

Great questions! What would we have liked to know before we started? I guess it is the things we could not know. One of them would have been intimate knowledge of our adoption agency, which you really can't know until you have gone through an adoption with them. Adoption agencies are large and complex, a lot like people. You will find there are things you like and dislike about your agency. Be sure to talk to people who are doing an adoption similar to yours with the agency you are thinking of. By similar, I mean adopting the same number of kids, the size of your family, the country, and if you are considering special needs.

What are we really glad we did? When we did the initial paperwork (application, home study, etc.), we signed up for more kids (and older kids) than what we wanted. Adoption is a long process and you will not be the same when you complete the process as when you started. The attitudes and desires of your heart will change. Be as general as possible early on so that you have room to change and grow without having to redo tons of paperwork. We started thinking of one infant and ended up with two kids 5 and 7 years old and are happier than we can imagine.

The other thing that we are ecstatic about is that we started talking about adoption to our friends and inviting them to join us. We have two other families that are adopting with us (one of which we got to travel with). What a blessing this has been. Obviously it is hard to find other people to adopt with you, but you never know how God is working in the hearts of others.

What would we do different? Hmmm. . . Not to sure. We are having so much fun right now (although tougher times are ahead, I am sure) that I think we should have signed up for more kids! (Actually, I ran this response by my wife and she said the kids have been bickering this morning. Evidently today would not be a good day for more kids!)

Sarah said...

Hi again...the birthday thing would be hard to determine. I know one family that celebrates the day they adopted their children. They call it Gotcha Day and they get a small gift. Did you ever consider doing the birthday the day you finally were united?


CrazyD said...

A Gotcha day! That sounds great. I will have to talk about that one with CrazyMom.

Thanks for the idea!