Another Referralversary!!

March 6th, 2012

Five years ago today we received a very special Fed*x package in the mail.  This precious photo was enclosed!  Our lives have never been the same, and this sweet girl continues to brighten our days!

School & Learning

February 29th, 2012

Homeschooling Miah in Kindergarten has been a blessing this year.  It is such a joy to see her learn and master new concepts.  After reviewing the ‘Key Learnings’ for her grade, and seeing that she has surpassed most of them, I guess we can slack off a bit . . . Seriously though, she is learning at her own pace, school is very informal in this house, but the teacher in me just naturally brings learning into pretty much everything we do.  I guess when you read multiple books with a child every single day since bringing her home at nine months of age, she will learn to read without much effort at all!  She enjoys playing the phonics game, too, so I’m sure that has helped.  Although Miah has been reading for a while, she is just starting to feel confident enough to read to other people, and with more than a whisper voice.

A big advantage to homeschooling is the time it allows the girls to be kids, and not sit behind desks for hours in a day.  More time for playing outdoors.  I’m thinking the bicycle has got to be one of the greatest inventions!

I’ve been working with Ami also, doing preschool activities while Miah does her work.  We are blessed to have two bright little girls.  I have noticed though, that Miah was learning things (colors, numbers, etc.) at an earlier age than her mei mei.  (But Ami has reached higher speeds on her bicycle than her jie jie did at her age!  This is our ‘no fear’ child.)

I read something recently from another adoptive parent, and it reminded me to put things into perspective.  She worded it well, so I’ll quote her:

“Age does matter. Dr Tony Tan did a study and found that children adopted at approximately 12 months learn the language of their adoptive parents as a first language and have no significant delays. But as children age and begin to speak in their native language – and learn concepts – learning English becomes subtractive bilingualism, where the child is losing their first language while learning a new FIRST language in a totally unsupported environment. Even with adoption at the age of three there will be several years delay in conceptual language- though they may appear to be “fluent.” With that language often go newly learned concepts – colors, number etc. for toddlers. This is one case where the more they have learned, the harder the transition.I strongly recommend you read the works of Dr Boris Gindis,” http://www.adoptionarticlesdirectory.com/profile/Boris-Gindis,-Ph.d./2

I learned this years ago while taking Masters courses in ESL at the University of Guam, but I hadn’t really thought about it in terms of my own children.  Although Ami was 21 months at adoption she really wasn’t speaking (of course that was mostly due to her cleft), so I didn’t think ‘subtractive bilingualism’ was much of a factor.  We knew she needed time to catch up, and she appeared to do so quickly.  (Within a couple months her receptive language was right on target!)  But over time we’ve recognized that the concepts were slower in coming.  Now, after being home 19 months, we certainly don’t see any delays.

We were blessed to be able to bring home both our girls while they were still quite young.

“The younger the child, the easier the transition” is definitely true!

(On a side note, you can see by the pictures that February can’t decide if it’s spring or winter!)

Referralversary!!

February 11th, 2012

Has it already been two years?

Two years ago, today, we got our first look at this little face that has since changed all our lives!  For the better!  Ami you are a blessing and a joy, and we are so glad you are part of our family!  We love you!

Catching Up

August 16th, 2011

We took a short vacation.  (Our first in three years, unless you count last summer’s adoption trip to China.)  Therefore no updates on the blog for the past couple weeks.  Now I’ve got some catching up to do!  One of our stops was our Adoption agency’s (AWAA) annual picnic near Portland.  It was great to get together with families we traveled with, have met before, or just met for the first time.  It seems we all have similar life perspectives and experiences, and friendships form easily.  This snapshot of the girls in the fountain is the ONLY picture I captured this year…  Here is a link from last year.  And the Year before that.

On our trip we had one LONG day of driving from the central Oregon Coast to Mt. Adams in Washington.  We were happy to take a much needed break from driving to stop at the home of AWAA friends.  Ami was able to take her first pony ride!

She was soon ready to get down and play with W who is the same age.

Miah wanted more time on Gizmo, so J led her around,

Then gave Miah a turn at leading.

He’s a very nice pony.  Even allowing sliding dismounts off his rump!

Thank you, Sondra, for the nice visit!  You are in our prayers as you travel back to China SOON for your new daughter!

Gotcha Ami Day!

July 26th, 2011

One year ago today was Gotcha Day for Ami!  It’s hard to believe a year has already gone by since we traveled to China to make our family complete.

Although Ami initially only showed us her somber side,

We knew her true personality would soon emerge.  And it didn’t take long!

Ami has definitely added energy to our family.

We wouldn’t want it any other way.  We love you, and thank God for you every day!