brakes and accelerators {an adoption thought}

you can do this! we learned it last week. if I had 2 sets of four, how many do i have?

10?

what?

it’s the same as 4+4!

oh, 8, then.

yes!

now, how do you spell thursday?

wait…why you are you using your fingers to spell thursday?

because i know that it has 8 letters.

what? who taught you that?

i did.

i shake my head. most of the head shaking is because i don’t know what i’m doing!

here’s our story:

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our ten year old daughter jumped feet first into our family 10 months ago.

she has a long list of what she wants to do in life including tennis, playing the piano, speaking on stage, riding a bike, and playing in the snow.

but her drive for learning math and reading is, well… it’s getting better!

if it doesn’t require much brain space, we call it easy.

biting into an apple is easy.

if it requires some thinking and figuring out and talking it out and working in out and getting handy…we call it learning.

sounding out a word is learning.

telling time is learning.

she had no formal education from what we can gather and spent her 5-9 years of life in an orphanage and went to “school.”

of course, those years, she was taught in her native language and speaks none of it among us now.

 so i started homeschooling her with kindergarten in august.

we knew our city district would require her to go into at least 3rd grade and she wasn’t ready for that.

we are fortunate that i stay at home and could be her teacher, though i felt and still feel ill-equipped.

we had pre-determined that i would teach her at home for one year and that she would join her brothers at their elementary school.

it’s been a tough road for me. i had rose-colored glasses on in how our days would be spent, me reading to her for a while, then her picking up those books and reading to me. us galavanting around the city at the zoo and museums discussing matters of science and technology and how things work and dreaming about the future together.

i thought she would love to learn from me {ha!} and that my strategy for teaching would be her perfect way of learning.

i didn’t think it would be this.

one minute putting on the brakes and the other minute pressing the accelerator.

this is how I’m living as a adoptive-mom-who-is-homeschooling-our-daughter-in-her-first-year-of-life-with-us.

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chapter 25 {a special reunion}

it’s such a beautiful and miraculous thing when the kids that did life together for years in an indian orphanage

see each other again in their forever families.

for these kids were bunkmates and classmates.

their stories of abandonment are a common thread.

difficult pasts, yet some cheerful memories they hold internally, yet collectively.

for the past few months, these kids have written each other in their new language and shared silly faces over FaceTime.

so seeing each other has been somewhat common, but face to face since orphanage days?

months in the making, we revealed to kavita just an hour before the big moment.

she was so surprised!

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chapter 24 {6 months home}

for years she was an exquisite beauty on a flat page. i couldn’t even guess her personality or assume characteristics. now here in the flesh, my daughter, is a gift to unwrap every single day.

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and to be quite honest, she didn’t know she had a personality deep inside. she didn’t have permission to dream or explore or create or imagine outside the four walls she lived inside.

 but that has changed now!

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chapter 23 {capacity to learn}

home for 2 months. home for forever.

some days it feels short. other days it feels like always.

kavita hope goes non-stop in processing her new world.

some days are heavier than others in learning english, our family and the culture.

those days are filled with lots of questions and touches and curiosities and discoveries.

other days are observation days. taking it all in through a much quieter, contemplative way.

the curious days are definitely the more popular!

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