1. Preparations continue! We’re only about a week out from the arrival of our orphans. We’ll be picking them up on the 10th and trying to keep things low-key for a few days while they recover from jet lag. My goal is to keep a running log of everything we do, and to document it with photos. Due to orphanage restrictions, I can’t show pictures of our orphans (except maybe the backs of their heads), use their names, or identify their home country on the blog. (I did mention it in one post earlier and have since gone back and edited the post and comments that referenced it, so, no you’re not crazy.) When writing about them, I’m going to use the names Bart and Lisa and refer to their home country and language as Springfield/ Springy.
2. Thanks to everyone who purchased items off our Wishlist! Almost everything has been purchased! I’ve collected all your names (plus those of local friends and businesses who have donated services and items) and will place them on our family’s home altar. Know that we’ll remember you in our family’s nightly prayers this Advent and Christmas season.
3. I’ll be spending the weekend organizing closets, making beds, and creating household signs in Springy with the help of Google Translate and one of the many books we purchased off Amazon with the intent of diligently studying Springy. Thus far, they have been really useful for stressing me the hell out. When we do make time to practice Springy, we rely on a great playlist of YouTube videos created by a native of Springfield. Less helpful was the YouTube video that gave both English and Springy translations of major military items and assorted weaponry. “No we are not watching that video again! We need to learn to say basic phrases in Springy, not ‘ground to air missiles’!!!”
4. Amazingly enough, language is not supposed to be a huge hurdle. But because I need to feel fully prepared for any and everything, I’m labeling the hell out of the house. I’m gonna be like Beyonce’, but instead of a ring, it’s gonna be a label, in English and Springy, on everything. (Maybe you’d like a video of me strutting through the house putting labels on everything?) Plus signs with simplified rules, our daily schedule, and reminders in the bathrooms to put used toilet paper in the toilet and not the trashcan because apparently in all of Eastern Europe THIS IS A THING.
5. As excited as I am, I’m also imaging worst case scenarios. Everything from Fulton catching pneumonia and needing to be hospitalized (he’s fine right now BTW), to Bart and Lisa being physically aggressive towards my kids. I have no reason to believe this will happen, but I do know that these orphans have experienced great trauma in their lives. They have not been raised in a loving home and basically exist in survival mode. I cannot fault them for acting out, or not having good manners, or not knowing how to properly express their feelings or wants; I just hope that we can love them enough to make it all work out regardless. (What clichéd 80’s love song has the title I’m thinking of right now???)
6. We have undergone training, which has been very helpful in understanding the mindsets of these types of children and how we can make the hosting experience better for us and them. We’re in contact with lots of great mentors and other host families too. I’ve also been reading online and borrowing materials from friends who foster. If hosting orphans was a strictly intellectual pursuit, measurable by test results, I’d be all set. But realistically we know that any advice I could give now on hosting would be akin to when dog owners give parenting advice to people with actual children (vs “fur babies”). And man, those people are so annoying.
7. So stay tuned! It’s going to be like some sort of extended Hallmark Channel Christmas Special up in here (sans the ‘Christmas Shoes’.)
What are you gearing up for this Advent season? Write it down, then link it up below. Be sure to include a link back to this post so your readers can find the rest of the Quick Takes. I look forward to reading your posts!