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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Shifting the Paradigm

I've been home with my Ethiopian children for 8 weeks now. And my world is totally shook up.

Life with three kids is WAY harder than life with one.

Post Adoption Depression is very real, and very complex.

I have no idea when I will return to teaching Literacy Launchpad classes to my kiddos. Soon, I hope. But right now, nothing seems clear.

I am in the midst of a major paradigm shift. My reality is that I have two older children from a totally different culture, whose backgrounds are still very much a mystery to me, they have very special needs, and my oldest has never been to school and struggles much more academically than her younger brother.

This is totally new terrain for me... A mom who read to her bio child everyday while he was in her womb and hasn't quit since. A gal who is passionate about children's literacy, and strongly desires to limit electronics and TV time and such in my household.

I am talking and talking and talking with other adoptive parents and realizing that expectations must be lowered. Concessions must be made. I have to meet these kids where they are, and for the sanity of us all, allow much more screen time and much less reading than I can hardly stomach.

I mean, there's only so much reading I can do with a 10 yr. old who doesn't know their ABCs yet. She actually is asking for bedtime stories now though AND listening to them while I read. Progress.

Today I made them little blank books and they cut out magazine pictures to illustrate them. Yesterday I gave them card making kits and they made Christmas cards for some of their friends.

For Christmas, they are getting Vtechs. GASP! I hardly recognize myself anymore, I know. But it's all about shifting my paradigm. It's very hard. It kind of feels like it's slowly killing a little part of me each day (O.K. a little dramatic).

What's hardest is that my 2 yr. old is now consequently watching more TV and such. More so over Christmas break here, but even when the kids are in school there's more that needs to be done and less time to just sit and read like we used to.

I think this is all a healthy perspective that I really needed to gain as an educator. I was really idealistic, and didn't even realize it till now. I'm trying to look at all this paradigm shifting as a learning experience... a needed maturing.

I'm still trying to fight the good reading fight, but some days it just feels a lot more like a losing battle than it used it.