D doesn't seem to quite understand the concept of 6 weeks. Her Director told her she was going to America for 2 months (or so she told us) and she thinks that means she will be a 'grown-up' when she leaves. She just announced this last night. We do have a calendar by the door of her room and have shown her the arrival and departure dates, but she seems unable to process the information. We cross off each day so she gets the idea that time is passing, and we will reminder each week of how many 'sleeps' she has left with us. But I would be lying if I said I wasn't worried about how she will handle departure day. She is insistent that she will be my height when she leaves us.
As far as we can tell, she seems (thankfully) in the dark about the potential for adoption. We were told that older children and teens might make that assumption based on knowing other kids from their orphanage who have been hosted and then were adopted, but the younger ones think this is in place of summer camp (a fixture for Russian & Ukrainian orphans.) We do not discuss adoption at all around D, obviously, and we can only guess at how she truly percieves her relationship with us.
As to her friends, there is a sweet little boy her age who is being hosted three hours away in Connecticut. His host family and I hit it off at the training weekend, and it turns out their host child and D are very close. ( D tells us he is her boyfriend.) We will be visiting them sometime in the next two weeks. D has spoken on the phone with him, though.
Melia asks: How does someone go about adopting the children that are hosted? You said you can't post her birthdate, but can you tell us how old D is (or did I miss it somewhere)?
I do know that if a host family is interested in pursuing adoption, the host agency has adoption agencies they recommend. Not all of the children are available for adoption, but the majority are. International adoption is a roller-coaster ride and obviously not for the fainted-hearted. Hosting a child for 6 weeks is really the best way to see if that child would be a good fit for your family. I think that's another reason why hosting often leads to adoption. You get to know the child so intimately.
D is six and a half years old. She is also not currently available for adoption, but will be soon. Of course our hope is that she will become available right as the Ukrainian government reverses their recent single parent adoption ban. It is a very new law and likely to change. I've received conflicting information about singles adopting. I spoke with a single mom who was able to adopt from Ulraine after the ban, but it was a special needs child. That may have been the reason they let her. We can only pray the timing works out for us.
Anonymous asks: Have any jealousy issues come up for Nastia? I know she is diagnosed with RAD and assume this adjustment might be difficult for her, however much fun she is having, too. Is she adjusting to sharing you?
What perfect timing for this question. The answer is yes. Today, as a matter of fact. Nastia has done so well all week. I was really impressed. She has been such a trooper. As amazing as D is, she also requires quite a bit of one on one attention. I'm guessing, from my teaching and education background, that she might have ADHD. its difficult to diagnose in girls as it is, but with the limited time i've known her, its even harder. She is a tornado of energy from 4am to 9pm every minute of every day. And that is not an exaggeration. Nastia is used to quiet, and alone time, and a set schedule, and 12 hours of sleep a night. Adjusting has been hard for her and today she announced to me that she was ashamed, because she felt jealous of D and the attention I have to pay to her. I'm proud of her for recognizing it, and we are talking about it quite a bit. She's terrified of losing me, and I'm doing all I can to comfort and assure her that D's presence does not affect my love of her in any way. This is the best thing that could happen for her, though, because she needs to work through these feelings. She loves D very much, and that helps to counter the jealousy a bit.