It's hard to believe 2 months ago Matthew & I were beginning our 33-hour commute home from Ukraine! I still thank God we made it safely home by His divine protection. We have had a fabulous few months.
It is fun getting to know Matthew and picking up on all of his likes and dislikes. It’s fun seeing the world through a new set of eyes. It’s fun watching him learn new things. It is fun teaching him how to read and write in English. It is fun watching him get involved in the community with various sports.
Matthew does not like chili. He does not like spicy things. He does like just about anything else food wise. He does not like when people raise their voice. There have been a few times where his playfulness was too rough either with the other 4 kids or with one of the pets and we’ve had to speak sternly to him. He will go and hide or sulk for a while. He does not like to sit still. He loves to play, loves to be active, loves to help, loves to be a part of the family, loves to help cook, loves to eat, and clearly loves life!
He has been able to learn some new things. He’s learned how to bat a baseball and catch with a glove. He’s learned how to throw a football. He’s learning about our culture. He’s learning what it means to be a part of a family. He’s an eager learner in most areas of his life. He was excited to get a phone call a few weeks ago from a dear friend of his that was adopted the same time he was from the same orphanage. We had the privilege of having dinner with the parents of his friend and we agreed to have the kids talk with each other every so often to continue to use their Ukrainian language.
Homeschooling got off to a rocky start with him because it was chore getting this active, energetic boy to stay in his chair without me being able to speak in his language. I basically had to sit next to him all day long or he was out of his seat fooling around and distracting the other kids from their school work. Now he usually stays in his chair when he’s supposed to be doing school. He finally knows all of his English letters and their sounds. Today we went through a stack of 100 3-letter word flashcards and he got most of them correct. He still struggles with confusing the “d and b” sounds, the “w and v” sounds and some of his vowels like “u and i.” He is working hard at it and reviewing one-on-one 5 days on a week is really helping him.
Matthew is involved in sports inside our community. We have a club at our church called AWANA. He enjoys the game time especially because it’s relay racing and he enjoys running. Last weekend they had a tournament with several surrounding churches and he was on the relay team. He won first place for the 6-lap relay against other boys his own age. I had no idea the boy could run so fast. He also did tug of war with one other boy against 3 other teams. They won first place in tug of war as well. We gave him the choice between Spring baseball and indoor soccer at the local recreation center. He decided to do indoor soccer. The fast pace of the game suits him very well.
When Matthew first came he was a little reserved and didn’t like a lot of affection from anyone. Now he will go out of his way to hug me and he’s even tolerated hugging the girls good night at times, which they of course love. He has lost several of his contact lenses. His vision is so bad he will drop them putting them in or taking them out and then he can’t see where they are. We are thankful we have his glasses as a backup that he wears most of the time and we save his contacts for church and sports. His director told us when we were there that he loves to help out adults. She recommended that we have him help out a lot and she recommended we keep him in sports. We now know that she was hinting that he is a very active boy and he needs to be kept busy or he will get himself into trouble. We are heeding her wise advice. He truly loves to help out. He learned to mow the yard and operate the leave blower and weed eater. The other day Tim had to fix the gate latch on the fence and Matthew was thrilled to be able to use Tim’s power tools. He looked like a natural working with his hands.
Overall things are going really well. We are so thankful God saw fit to bring Matthew into our family. We can’t wait to watch him continue to learn and grow to his fullest potential. We pray that he is like Jesus in the passage in Luke 2:52 that said he, “grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and with man.” We truly want Matthew to be a man of great wisdom and godly character!!!
|He styled his hair this way|
|The boy loves to dress up|
|Playing some baseball with Dad and Kylie|
|Watching Kylie hit|
|Talking to his Ukrainian friend who was adopted the same time as him|
|His first indoor soccer practice|
|God bless our patient dog who has put up with all kinds of torture the last 2 months. ;)|
|Enjoying mowing the lawn|
|He did a great job especially for his first time mowing|
|A rare moment where he is sitting still and reading. He has his glasses on.|
|Friday night ritual is going to Kylie's softball practice, then watching movies. Matthew was snuggling his teddy bear. All our boys love their teddy bears.|
|Kylie and Matthew climbing like monkeys|