Sunday, August 10, 2014

Matthew's Been Home 6 Months!

Look how much this boy has grown and changed in only 6 months!  He started out 6 months ago in size 8 boys' jeans and size 4 shoes and now he's in boys' 14 slim jeans and size 7 mens' shoes.  He's 5 foot tall already!  It won't be long before he is taller than me!  He hasn't gained any weight as he's grown in height most likely because he is never still so he burns off any weight he may have otherwise gained.  He eats ALL the time so perhaps when school begins and he has to sit still more often he will begin to gain weight.  I can't believe he's been here 6 months already.  Time flies when you're having fun and this boy is a blast to be around!

He has been enjoying the last month or so in Summer Day Camp with the local Recreation Center.  Day Camp has all kinds of neat activities throughout the day like dodge ball and field trips. He's been introduced to Zumba, bowling, bouncy houses, police representatives, soldiers and other heroes of our community. We take for granted that most boys his age in America would have already done all those things for years.  He is 12 and never has been exposed to any of this and he's had a blast each day.  We were hoping with the full immersion into English camp he would improve in his language skills and we think that our strategy worked out very well.  The idea of camp was to get him used to getting up every morning and heading outside the home. He has also met some kids who will attend his new school.

He is going to begin his Fall soccer league soon as well.  He will be a busy guy here shortly, but he thrives best by staying busy and staying out of trouble. 

Summer is coming to a close and he will begin 7th grade.  We are praying he does not go into culture shock from the American public school. (By "culture shock" I mean that he's been doing nothing but PLAY for 6 months, and all the sudden he's going to be around 2,000 kids his own age and he's going to have to sit still at a desk and adhere to a schedule. He will really struggle with that at first because there is no play time in middle school. His orphanage only had 101 kids in it and they did a lot of playing there as well.)  For the past 6 months we've been attempting to home school him and he hasn't learned all that quickly due to lack of motivation, so hopefully the "experts" in the school system can motivate him to want to learn.  We are optimistic that he will catch up to his grade level very soon because he is very smart! He just chooses to be lazy academically and would rather play. Still even after 6 months home, he's only about a 1st grade American level in math and reading. We are very thankful for the 6 months we had with him at home to get to know him and bond with him and now it's time for him to settle into real school and perhaps mature a bit.

We are praying this next month of changes in his life will run smoothly and that Matthew continues to grow and thrive here in America!  We pray God will send him solid, guy friends who have integrity and who will not lead him into foolishness.  We so much want to be able to trust him to obey the first time and to tell the truth.  We want to teach him to be a boy of good character.  We are praying he will see his need for a Savior.  We so are excited to see what God is going to do in his life and we are thankful for our friends and family who support us and pray for us daily.

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