I can hear you asking. It's a bit early for a YIR post, isn't it? Only if it's the only one. So nag me if I don't get another one out in the near future.
When last we "spoke" it was Christmas Eve. Much has spoken since then, of course, but to avoid turning this post into the novella format for which I've become (in)famous among some of you I'll cover just the basics.
Christmas went well, overall. As expected Galya was overwhelmed by many gifts (well, for her many; for her sisters it was a smaller "haul" than usual considering our lack of Christmas shopping time.) The attention and meeting family members created some long, but very good days. She also really enjoyed the Christmas light displays we got to see.
During Christmas vacation from school, the girls did get some time at our daycare provider Joni's house. Joni's son happens, of all the coincidences, to be a fourth-year Russian language student at the U of Chicago. This was nice as we were able to have him explain school, and that we wouldn't just be dropping her at some faceless building ne'er to return. She also heard a translated lecture about the inappropriateness of hitting as a problem-solving technique. She is a high-energy and fairly aggressive child, we're finding. We've heard this is typical of Ukrainian children in general and orphanage-raised children in particular. This is understandable, but an area we're working to address with her.
After that most arbitrary of holidays, New Year's, we started Galyna in school. She was naturally apprehensive, but came back from the first day happy. Even better, she was glad to go the next morning again! We have her in all-day kindergarten two days each week, and then in two other programs designed to help struggling kindergartners catch up to the rest of the class. It's a blessing those two programs had space for her this late in the year, but we anticipate (and are seeing!) that she will learn English more rapidly than if she were just in school two days a week.
Since then things have been going fairly well. There are more ups than downs, though still a few challenges. This is not a complaint; far from it. We walked into this understanding there would be challenges, and nothing so far has really caught us off-guard. That said, a number of you are praying for us, and so I'll offer up some understanding of our challenges to date in the next post (he says, aiming to avoid novella-status for this one.) I'll also post some of the "wins" of the past few weeks, as well as an update from the physician. Oh, and if you ask nicely, I may get some more pictures up on Monday. The employer gave us MLK day off this year, so I'll have some time to catch up!
Thanks for your concern, prayers and support!
4 months ago