Thursday, December 23, 2010

It's begun

Their Christmas break. Oh yeah. They woke up fighting. So I broke down and pulled out a surprise, a game card for their Ninte*do system with 67 games on it. New to them. MINE to keep, so there is no fighting over it. I've heard nothing but game playing since--phewww. If it can only last 11 days?

I have to laugh at my niece, she CLAIMS she will never buy a DS for HER boy, Mr. Jaxon, as she calls them "crack for kids." We'll just see about that when she needs a break, how fast she crumbles.

I got the reports back from the school on the boys. I am not thrilled. No special education needed. Are they NUTS? This does not mean they do not need ESL- and I think they are trying to bundle what they boys need under all ESL services but this is not going to get them caught up in math and sciences.

They both got very poor educations in Ch*na and need to be caught up as much as possible to their peers. They have the right to this. We will have a meeting right after the holiday break and I will be discussing this with the school. We also have the help of a college professor who is Ch*nese, she has graciously offered to help the school with teaching Chase, after she meets with him over this break and can determine what will help him best. She has been here for 23 years and helps all the of the local college students from Ch*na.

Dad and I already decided that we will be placing Chase in 9th grade after the holiday break. He knows this and seems to be looking forward to it, albeit a bit nervous. We decided this when we heard from the school last week that he does not have friends in the 8th grade and we realize he is older than most of these kids and he wants to have friends, he is lonely.

So thank God again for Hannah (Chloe's BFF) and her family, she has a sister in 9th grade, Abby, who is able and willing to assist Chase to move up to the 9th grade, as well as the school, since they agreed to place him where we want and are fine with him moving up after the break.

Abby is also around Chase with the church youth and he is comfortable with her, and most importantly, she is able to understand him. We are seeing that his English is very heavily accented and harder for others to pick up what he is saying which is frustrating for him as well as hindering him making friends.

I think it will be a positive move forward for him and am excited to see how it works out for him. We have a good school system, our children are their first true ESL students so we are charting unknown waters but they are willing to work with what we feel is best so far. It's a learning process for all involved and we keep working at it and changing things as needed.

For the time being we have 3 of the college students who are Ch*nese and decided not to go back for the holiday break so they will be here enjoying our holiday with us and are already making the kids happy by planning a huge Ch*nese meal this evening for them:) As well as helping Chase download stuff on his translator from their computer. 2 guys and a girl, which is a super combo for our 3 to pal around with.

I wanted to point out something that we realized when the kids were in trouble at the beginning of the week. They never once said they wanted to go BACK to the orphanage. They said the orphanage was "better than here." This was really interesting to me and showed us that they were using what they said to hurt us. They DON'T want to go back.

So something here must be good for them- even if they aren't willing to admit it. Gotta love teenagers, they are just so smart!

They are keeping us on our toes, just what we need to stay young and on top of things for the 2 that follow them:) Aren't they soooo thoughtful to do that?

I forgot to post the Christmas card pose we decided on. So here it is:)If you didn't get one from us, here you go and Merry Christmas from our crew:)


Sue said...

Erin talks about wanting to go back to China, but that is because she feels there are no rules in China. I agree that you have to stand up for your children when it comes to school, we are really learning that with Erin.

Family said...

What a great picture of the kids. Hey if you get a chance I would like to hear what you think about Titus's education...I know he is suppose to be a good student but how does that correlate to US standards....I want to put him with his brother to finish out the year before deciding what grade he needs to go in...our schools ESL isnt' the best so am worried about that...

molly said...

i think you did a great job at handling the situation, it's great that you know when the kids are trying to manipulate you.

i think it would be a good idea (when everyone is in a good mood) to ask the kids what were some good things about being in the orphanage. i know it's hard for us to imagine, but even for kids from traumatic/abused backgrounds, there is loss involved when we move them out of the situation. obviously your children are waaay better off with your family, but i think it would also make them feel more secure if they could share positive memories of their experience in an orphanage without having to fear that you would disapprove.

Heather said...

I just love Chase and I don't even know the kid! I hope that he does soooo well and meets a ton of friends. I can't wait to hear about their Christmas!

Kelly said...

As a teacher I may be able to offer insight as to why they don't qualify for special ed. Even with ESL children, if they don't have an actual learning disability they won't qualify. A poor family life, upbringing, or lack of family may create some serious holes in education, but does not constitute a learning disabilty. I have a daughter who had to have half her brain disconnected for a rare disease, you would think that would be an automatic reason to qualify, but it took until 3rd grade because she consistently tested just slightly off. Even though she was struggling with learning to read it wasn't enough. Finally we qualified this year. They may need to wait a year and then testing again to make sure that lack of English/past environment isn't a factor and that there is an actual disability. It totally sucks, but how the law in most states works now. Thank you so much for sharing REAL insight into adopting older kids. I read this blog all the time.

Joy said...

Kelly is right. A child cannot be placed in special ed for lack of educational opportunity or limited English proficiency. We have recently gone through the process for our daughter, adopted a few days before she aged out, about two years ago.

Funny thing, our daughter was able to qualify for special ed, but not ESL, as English is spoken in the home. Go figure.

Anway, I hope and pray it all works out for you. :-)