This month has been the hardest mainly because of the difficulties he is experiencing with American school. It is difficult to see your child work so hard only to earn a failing grade. He doesn’t cry outwardly, but I can tell he is crying inside. It is difficult for him to see his 3 younger sisters come home with mostly 100%’s on all their work and he works 5 times as hard as they do and still fails. In my own personal opinion he is doing an exceptional job considering he has only been in American school for a month. He is simultaneously learning a whole new language and learning completely new concepts at the same time. He is still adjusting to a new culture and family life. But he will not hear our encouraging words. He knows that a 60% is not a good grade. He very much wants to earn a 100%. He is a perfectionist and he gets very hard on himself.
This month has also been most difficult because we have had to work with him each night with school work and he does not want to. He feels that working hard for the 7-hour school day should be enough. He thinks he should be able to come home and just play all evening. I’m sure eventually when learning comes easier, he will not have to study as hard at home. However, for now he has got buckle down and work hard. This requirement results in several hours of moaning and groaning and complaining and arguing. In Ukraine studies are not emphasized as much as they are in the States. So in addition to it being hard, it is a foreign concept to him to focus this hard on school work. I have had several conversations with him like this one:
B: Why (do) I need school?
Me: You need to go to school to get a good job when you grow up.
B: I get (a) good job. I work (with my) hands.
Me: In America you need a college education for whatever job you get.
B: School is for women.
Me: Dad went to college and he is not a woman. He provides for this family.
B: What is this “provide?” (What does provide mean?)
Me: He buys you toys and books and food. Dad is a good man because he provides for his family.
B: I do not like school. I like (to) work (with my) hands.
Anyway, we would very much appreciate the prayers if you think of us. We are encouraged because he is improving. Also, his teacher and his school are very willing to be patient with him and work with them as best as they can. They agreed to modify his curriculum to meet his English Second Language special needs. This is very much a blessing.
As difficult as this month has been with his education, it has been equally rewarding. He has begun to pray on his own. On August 23rd, he prayed “Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for this day. Amen.” This was the first time he has ever prayed. Last week when Tim was in Hawaii on a business trip Brandon prayed, “Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for this day. Thank you for my school. Help Daddy (be safe).” He is also asking questions about God. A few weeks ago we had a violent thunderstorm on our way to an activity at church and he said “(Did) Jesus make (this) rain?” It caught us off guard, but we answered, “Yes, God made the rain. He is a strong and powerful God, isn’t He?” Last night on the way to AWANA we were going over his weekly memory verse. He asked why he had to know Psalm 25:4. I had the opportunity to share with him (and Brandon understood what I was saying!!) that we prayed that very verse while we were in Ukraine looking for a boy to adopt and did not know him yet. “Show me thy way, O Lord; Teach me Thy path.” God answered our prayer. He clearly led us to our precious son, Brandon. There has not been a day that has gone by that I have not thanked God for the awesome privilege of raising this boy. He is such a joy and delight.