|Thoughts of summer consume me:)|
I've moved my entire focus to two things as of late: #1 Nastia's health, well-being and happiness and #2, my work. On the Nastia end, I'm learning the patience of three-hour homework sessions. She has hit a wall in English and writing that is very frustrating and anxiety-provoking for her. She is in need of so much support in this area of learning that she feels 'stupid' and balks at the help she is offered.Her vocabulary is quite advanced, so people always seem surprised that she is so handicapped in the area of writing and reading.
We learned from last year's neuro testing that there is significant damage in the area of her brain that deals with these things. Her spelling has not improved in seven years. At all. She spells completely phonetically. At first everyone thought this was due to her ESL status. It's not. Her brain simply cannot properly process or retain the information. We've tried everything. This is extremely frustrating to her, and humiliating. For this reason, she avoids even texting friends (except Bridget) and posting on FB, even at the urging of her friends. I'm trying to find ways to help her accept this area of disability, but she has dug in her heels.
On a good note, she made the tennis team and is doing surprisingly well! She had to play matches with a decidedly better player yesterday at practice, and she tied her. That was a huge confidence boost. She had played her first two years home and was very good, but that was five years ago. The local coach back then raved about her natural ability, and urged me to get her a private coach and really pursue it, but her anxiety got in the way, and she wanted no part of it. Things have changed enough that she pursued joining the high school team all on her own. She practices on her own every day at the school next door, and seems genuinely happy when I pick her up from practices. In two weeks they begin playing matches against other schools. She is worried about travelling to new locations (anxiety) but I'm hoping this worry will ease as she feels more comfortable with the team. If she feels safe in that group, the travelling will be less anxiety-provoking for her.
As for me, things are finally looking up. I not only have my first job since October starting up next week, I have four other schools vying for programs this Spring. Although it will be difficult to fit them all in, I'm doing my best. I have alot of catching up to do financially, and I can't afford to say no to any jobs. I'm praying and hoping my RA (reactive arthritis) stays in check. A big transition like this can easily cause a flare-up; just one can knock me off my feet for days. I'm trying to pace myself and also get back to doing daily yoga to help fend off a potential flare-up. Eating raw vegan is the surest way to keep one from occurring, but I've always found it really hard to stay committed to that diet. I'm compromising with having cut out all processed foods entirely. Our kitchen looks like a farmer's market. We typically eat very healthy anyway, but breads, pasta and soda are my constant weaknesses. I'm doing my best to walk away from them forever.
So we are making do with 'what is' at present. We can't get to Russia with an empty bank account, so instead we send Anya cards and talk online with her as much as possible. I can't make this adoption happen, so instead I am focusing on the things I do have control over - my work and family.
I'm looking forward to the homecoming of a very dear friend/former student who has been in India for eons. He is one of those kindred spirits that makes me feel all is right in my world. He'll be working with me all summer, so I'm revelling in thoughts of summer Shakespeare right now. It can't come soon enough.
|Anxiously awaiting the blissful days of summer with these beautiful souls.|