Now for the second installment of the Q and A post...
What ages are your kids?
Lucas Alan-8.5, Alik Reid-5.5, Danil Dawson-5, Raylen Jayne-4.5, Josslyn Alina-3, Kellen Beck-18mths.
The femur is a hard bone to break. Do you know if Josslyn might have some other health issue going on that caused her bones to be weakened?
While we were at Texas's Children's Hospital for Josslyn's leg, they did blood work to check that out. I never heard the results, but I'm assuming they were normal or I would have gotten a call by now. I wouldn't automatically assume that with every doctor, but TCH is on the ball.
What curriculum do you use?
Little bit of this, little bit of that.
Seriously though, we are kind of a mutt. For pre-school I am using Answers in Genesis pre-k curriculum. It if my first time to use it, but I'm really liking it. It covers all subjects and is heavy in the Bible department.
-Abeka for phonics/language arts, spelling, reading, poetry, handwriting,
-Saxon for math
-Answers in Genesis for science
-For history and geography I am pulling from several different sources I have, including, but not limited to, Abeka, the Light and the Glory for children, Galloping the Globe, the internet, Rod and Staff... We are studying American history right now, so our geography is revolving around that also, for the most part.
-I also have several different workbooks that I get his seatwork from.
Do your children have a chore system?
You betcha! Luke, Ray, and Alik have chores they do before breakfast. Luke feeds and waters the dog and unloads the dishwasher. Ray feeds and waters the cat and unloads the silverwear from the dishwasher. Alik empties the bathroom garbage cans in to the big garbage can and puts new bags in. Danil's chore is to unload the clothes from the dryer and bring them to the couch. Kellen usually helps him with this. Luke, Alik, Ray, and Josslyn all make their beds before breakfast and fold and put up their pj's. Danil also folds and puts up his pj's, but he doesn't make his bed because he sleeps with no covers so there is nothing to make up. Josslyn is the only one without set chores, but that girl loves to clean. She is my side kick. She loves to fold laundry and is really good at folding rags, hand towels, kitchen towels, and small undies. So she generally folds that stuff. She will fold ALL the laundry, if I let her, I just end up having to re-fold alot of it. If she is around when I'm doing house work(if she's awake, then she's around), then I usually give her a feather duster or dry rag and let her clean along with me. She LOVES the feather duster and will dust everything. Including her siblings, if they let her.
My children are also responsible for keeping their rooms neat and tidy. I work hard at having a particular place for all their things. They are well aware that if they can't keep their things picked up, then mom is going to chunk it. As a part of our before nap and before bed routine, the kids pick up all their toys and put them away. This has helped to eliminate alot of stress in my life. Mess and clutter stress me out.
As my kids get older and their abilities increase, so will their chore load. We are a family, and a family is a team, so that means we all work together for the greater good of the whole family.
What does family worship look like in your home?
In the evening, the last thing before the kids go to bed is when we have family worship. When Josh is not working nights, the kids recite any scripture they are learning for him and go over their catechisms for him. I have found, that with so many little ones, what works for us right now is learning our scripture and catchisms over breakfast. In time that may change, but for now that is what is working best. It also insures that our day gets started off on the right foot. Having family worship right before the kids go to bed, helps to end the day on the right note also. I tend to get stressed in the evenings, so it is a good reminder to me to chill out and focus on what matters. I also like that the kids go to bed with Godly things on their mind. Besides scripture and catchisms, the kids also talk about what Bible story or scripture passage we read at breakfast and or/in school. We usually sing. And we always share prayer requests and then close our time with prayer. We encourage, but don't force, our kids to pray out loud, especially if they have voiced a particular prayer request that is on their heart. Ray is our praiser, and will thank God for everything under the sun, and then thank Him for the sun. I love her grateful heart. When I listen to her pray I am always reminded to praise more and request less.
Luke's Spanish pronunciation is awesome(in the 6 Kids: On a Swing Set post). Does he speak more Spanish?
No, but he was throughly immpressed that someone thought so. The only other Spanish he knows is counting to ten and a couple of other random words. I would love for us all to learn. If any of you know of a good curriculum for teaching children(and their mother) Spanish I'd love to know. We live in Southeast Texas, so Spanish would be a valuable language to know.
What were your children's full birth names?
For privacy reasons, I don't wish to share their full birth names. I will say that Danil's name was Tymur(pronounced Tee-moor), Alik's name was Oleg, and Josslyn's name was Lena. Lena is a beautiful name, and after meeting her and was very drawn to keeping her name Lena, but I never had a peace about it. As it turns out, our good friends, the Hazleton's are in the process of bringing home a Lena, so everything worked out like it should. It might have gotten confussing with two Ukrainian Lena's running around together. Plus, Josslyn adores her name now and it fits her perfectly.
Here is some interesting info about the children's birth names. In Ukraine, your middle name comes from your father. Since Alik and Josslyn were abandoned at birth, the hospital picked their first names, and then gave them their mothers last and middle name. Danil went home from the hospital with his parents, but was given up several months later. His full name was choosen by his parents. Just a little tid bit you might be interested in.
Will you adopt again? Do you plan on having more biological children?
Isn't that the million dollar question?? Or $35,000 question, if we are talking about adopting again. I don't really have an answer for you on this one. Josh and I are fully surrendered to what ever God has in store for us in the future. I honestly have no clue what that will be. More biological children? Maybe. More adopted children? I would be shocked if the answer to that is no. Right now we are not actively pursuing either of those methods for enlarging our family, but you never know when God will drop a bomb on you and rock your world. It's always when you least expect it. Kind of exciting to think about what the future could hold.
Any advice on whether to adopt 2 at once, or do two separate adoptions several years apart?
My best advice on that is pray, pray, pray about it....and then pray some more. Your best option is to go where God leads, even if that means only adopting one when you would rather adopt two, OR adopting two at once even if it is scary. I have a very neat story about an awesome couple that wanted to adopt two children, but God said no, only one right now. If they had not choosen to obey, then our adoption story would have been written very differently. I thank God every time I think about it, that they chose to obey, even though it made no sense at the time. WE also have a neat story about options we considered when we were praying about adding a child to our adoption. If we had made the logical choice, not the GOD choice, then the Hazleton's story would have been very different and my sweet Josslyn would still be sitting in an orphanage in Ukraine, unable to be adopted because of the changes in the law since we brought her home. Whew! Praise God for saving me from myself!
Anyway, all those stories are for another day. I brought all that up to say, pray about it and go where the Lord leads. If/when God calls us to adopt again, we will undoubtably be open to adopting more than one at a time. It has been an excellent experience for us, but it is because we obeyed, not neccessarily because we adopted more than one at a time.
If you could pick one child from Reece's Rainbow that you met when you traveled for your adoption to find a family, who would it be?
SHEESH!! Slap a hard one on me, why dontcha! Well, thankfully, several of the children we met that are available for adoption through RR have found families. Kirk and Lori(Anton and Lena Hazleton, now!!), would have definitely have been children that I would be dying to go back for, if God had not called the Hazleton's to adopt them. Right now, orphans with HIV under 5 years old are not able to be adopted. This is very very heartbreaking to me, because we met SO MANY sweet, beautiful, and wonderful children. Many of the children in Josslyn's groupa were listed on RR right after we adopted Joss. Right now, there are a few children listed on RR from my kid's orphanage, but we did not meet any of those. All the ones we met that do not have families have been removed from the website(hopefully temporarily), because they are not currently available. It is truly a tragedy.
Well, I really didn't mean to end this post on a sour note like that, it just turned out that way. I guess that is something that I would like to ask you to pray for, that the adoption laws in Ukraine be revised and the list of "special needs" be expanded. They have a very minute chance of being adopted in their own country, so would ask that you fervently pray that the laws are changed in order to give them some sort of fighting chance.
I plan on updating on how school is going and how Joss is doing later this week. Josh is off the next 3 days though, so I might not get to it until he goes back to work. He has been working nights and I miss him!
Have a great day!