A little explanation about T’s bio–to answer some questions I received.
The bio was written in Russian and translated to English, so sometimes things are worded kind of awkwardly. She might not be mischievous in the negative sense, it’s hard to say. You can’t take the bio’s too seriously in that regard. They say funny things over there, and it doesn’t always come across like you’d expect in English, in a lingual sense and a cultural sense.
The note about her not being gentle with younger children came from the family that hosted her last year. The host family didn’t give any more details that I know of. It may have been a case of the realities of orphans. At the orphanage they fight for everything. They aren’t allowed to have their own toys, not even one special toy of their own in many orphanages. They have to fiercely protect everything. When they get to America they don’t know how to be a part of a family, they don’t understand that they can stop fighting to survive. It’s likely that T tried to defend her stuff roughly, and they all do that. They are allowed to do that in the orphanage, or at least they get away with it because they aren’t watched that closely constantly. It’s simply a matter of survival, you know?
The American organizer told me that last year her host child was a very sweet little girl, but when her three year old picked up one of the host child’s toys the host child flipped her over and started spanking her on the butt. She had no idea that this was unacceptable behavior, but with love and consistency she was able to learn. It doesn’t happen overnight, it requires patience. Geeze, if anything after the past six years of my life I’ve been taught loads of patience.
I don’t know if you all have seen any pictures of Ada, but she doesn’t take crap from anyone. I’m not too worried. If T tries to spank her she will punch her in the face. I have no idea where Ada learned that, but I’ve seen her act that way when “bullied” by a friends three little boys. She put the little boys right back in line, which was concerning and hysterically funny all at once. Oh, Ada. I promise I try to teach my kids to be gentle, haha. She isn’t easily intimidated.
The Ukrainian facilitator said that T has matured and grown up a lot in the past year, and her orphanage director said that she is a sweet girl. The American organizer also met her and said that when she saw her in the group setting with younger kids she acted sweet and calm. She is from an orphanage they work closely with and I don’t think the director would agree to send her if she had some kind of scary issues. She would certainly send a better behaved kid instead, there are plenty to choose from! They only try to send the best ones to the hosting programs.
T at least deserves a chance to be loved. I’m sure no one chose her based on that one negative statement from her last host family. The poor kid went to America to stay with strangers at 6 years old and got labeled negatively. She’s only a little girl!
I plan on translating our family guidelines to Russian. I’m also going to be firm and not put up with any bad behavior from the very beginning. I think it will be ok.
On the off chance that T is more than we can handle the host organization does have back-up families, so we can have T go stay with someone else. That would be a very last resort. I have a feeling she just needs some gentle but firm guidance, and some time to be loved.
They told us in the host training that a lot of the younger kids pee the bed when they come to America because it’s the first time in their lives they’ve been able to relax and sleep deeply, it’s the first time they’ve felt safe enough to go to sleep.
Plan Love a (Potentially) Challenging Orphan: Set to commence on July 16th, 2012! Wish us luck.
Here’s another picture I got of T. It was taken by her host family last year. She looks super dangerous, doesn’t she? ;-)
I’m getting a little less sad and a little more excited. Do you all see how HAPPY she looks in this picture compared to the one from the orphanage? She almost looks like a different kid.