This is the place where we are have documented the road we have walked in order to adopt our four children from Brazil and the road we are now on as a family. We are keenly aware that adopting is not just a process we've chosen to go through, but part of God's plan for us and for our children. May He be glorified through the process and through our family!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Weekend Away

We're away at Limiar's annual reunion this weekend. We have met so many kindrid spirits--parents, kids and teens. I feel like we should have brought a notepad and pen to record all the advice and wisdom we've been offered from kids and parents alike. I guess we will need to do our best to remember it all at the end of a day.

I've delayed writing this post because I can't think of an eloquent way to process all we learned and experienced. So, in an effort to document, I'm going to resort to a very unrefined bullet list; functional, but not pretty. Maybe we'll come back and process this more later.
  • We learned to be strong and prayed-up when our children test our love for them and our commitment to them.
  • We were reminded to be clear with our children that families are forever and we will not give up on them--ever.
  • We received recommendations to stay at Flats Virmond and another retreat center in Curitiba: Lar Rogate (which we found out isn't used any more and that Pousada Betânia is better anyway).
  • We learned that kids seem to learn English quickly and lose Portuguese just as fast. We will have to work hard to make the language an important part of our family life. Some families have. Most don't.
  • We discovered that there are several Limiar families in and around CT.
  • We got some practical advice about what to bring: a frying pan and toys that will not cause bickering or jealous sibling rivalry... Like crayons.
  • We learned that God can heal the hearts of kids adopted at older ages but that those hearts remain tender because of the losses they have experienced.
  • Luciana and Lino encouraged us that CEJA is working thoughtfully and diligently on our case and that the judge is kind and personable.
  • A new friend recommended that we check out Love and Logic, a system to help parents and teachers raise responsible kids.
  • That same friend talked with us about helping our oldest learn to be taken care of as part of a family by gradually removing "parenting" responsibilities and replacing them with age-appropriate responsibilities.
  • We also talked about having our oldest children record or dictate their pre-adoption memories before they begin to forget the details. One family even has "faith chests" where they keep precious objects and memories from the past.
  • A suggestion was made to have a neuro-psychological evaluation done in Portuguese with our oldest children very soon after returning home. This could act as a baseline and will give the most accurate results if we should later need to do any educational testing.
  • I think we will take the advice to write up our daily routine (for while in Brazil, and then again at home) with our children to help reassure them of the stability of their new family.
  • Lino asked us to send scrapbooks for the kids--one for each, and very nicely crafted.
  • During a "newbies and wannabies" talk at the reunion, we met with another family who suggested that we sleep a lot, bring lice shampoo, have Lino help us have a serious talk about respect and sticking together on the first day with our children, use Google Translator, and implement "Zone Defense" by working together as a team.

1 comment:

Julia said...

It is so fun to hear all these practical things that you'll soon be putting into practice, God willing. I can also vouch for the Love and Logic books; they were a good match for our parenting style with lots of gentleness and treating a child with dignity but being effective in setting boundaries and limits.