Now that Brandon is getting better at his English I am able to ask him questions and get answers. It is a lot of fun to hear about his life before he came to us. We have a lot of conversations like this one on our way to and from school during our 35 minute commute (the ONLY positive thing I can find of a commute this long).
1. Did you have a lot of thunder and lightning in Ukraine and are you scared of thunder and lightning?
No. I no scared thunder and lighting. Orphanage, big tree, through glass. Broke window. Boys and girls sleep outside. Glass. Boy and girl beds.
2. Did you get a lot of snow in Ukraine?
No. A little. (He gestures maybe 6 inches).
3. Did you play in the snow.
Yes. A little. I like this (he gestures sledding). I no like cold.
4. Did you get presents on your birthday?
Yes. Present. Pencils. Pens. Paper. Small Car.
5. Who gave you this present?
Babuska. Bogdon play broke my small car. Me sleeping my birthday.
6. Was any woman or man mean to you at the orphanage?
Yes. One woman. She say, “good morning. Out bed now.” Me say, “me very tired.” She come and say “Now Serejo” push me bed and me on floor.
7. Were you the only child that she was mean to?
No. Me and 3 boys push floor.
8. Did any man or woman at orphanage hit you?
No. Man or woman no this hit.
9. Did you get any presents at Christmas?
I no like Christmas. Last Christmas. Box. Pencils. Pens and Barbie (insert disgusted tone of voice, a scowl and arms crossed).
10. Do you want Mommy and Papa to buy you a Barbie again this year?
(Laughter) No please. Thanks. Watch. Maybe yes? Maybe no?
11. You want a Barbie watch? Okay. Yes. We will get you a Barbie watch.
(More laughter). No please. Thanks. Maybe black one. Eagle. (He’s referring to the one he saw in a catalog the other day. His sisters showed him to put a black Sharpie circle around it and his name so we know what he wants for Christmas).
12. What did you eat on Christmas?
Borsht or soup or salad. I like this Borsht, soup and salad.
13. Did you eat 3 times a day at the orphanage?
No. I eat 7 times a day. 1 at Good morning. 2 at clean. 3 at school. 4 at lunch. 5 at play. 6 at 7. 7 at Good night.
14. Did you like school in Ukraine?
Ugh. No. I no like school in Ukraine.
15. Ohhhhh, so it’s not just American school that you do not like?
Yes. I no like Ukriane school and I no like American school. I no like English lesson. I no like writing and no like math. I no like ‘no talking.’ Ugh.
16. Do you like Mr. Kellett?
Yes. I like Mr. Kellett. Mr. Kellett like sports. I like sports. I like Mr. Kellett.
17. Do you like America?
Yes. I love America.
18. Do you miss Ukraine?
A little. No a lot. A little.
19. Do you like Mama and Papa and your sisters?
I love Mama and Papa. Sisters no (insert impish grin because he knew they were listening and he just wanted to hear them scream).