Wednesday, February 4, 2009

They never said anything about the tuff times!

First off, let me say how much I love Artem and Sasha!  I don't mean to be negative at all, but they can be so hard.  School is very tedious to them.  I just had an ESL meeting with all of their teachers today, and it wasn't pretty.  What it all comes down to, is that they are getting lazy with the work they have to do in class.  They say they don't understand, when they do, just to get out of doing it.  I know, typical teenager.  Well, after the meeting, when we got home, I put them to work on getting caught up.  It was very overwhelming for all of us.  We took away their computer hour, until they get caught up.  (That is what these boys live for.)  I asked them where they would rather be right now, here or Ukraine?  They replied, here!  I told them that from the beginning we have been giving them everything, love, family, home, clothes, food.  I was going on, and on.  I even have them watch me, when I pay cash for their tutor!  I want them to appreciate not only the time and love we give them, but what it costs us to have them tutored.  Everything cost money, and they need to learn how to earn money, so when the time comes, they can take care of their own families.  They aren't thinking that far ahead, but they did say that they are just going to live with us forever!  LOL!  We have been trying so hard to help in the transition of coming to America.  I know it's hard.  I can't imagine what it is like for them, but come on, they have to want it too.  I told them, it will be a lot of hard work.  They can complain all they want, but it won't change the fact that they have to learn.  I'm so frustrated right now, but it's okay.  They are good kids, and their teachers really like them.  They didn't like me up until an hour ago.  Artem came into my office, with a big smile, and that just melted my heart.  We played Wii, which in my opinion, is a great bonding tool.  Bottom line; I think they want us to be tuff on them.  It shows them how much we care about them.  They are getting English, and are speaking it more everyday.  They are happy, well adjusted kids. 

Thanks for all of your comments.  I was just reading them tonight.  It really helps keep my spirits up, when things get a little ugly.  When they weren't with us, I mostly thought of the good times we would have.  I knew that this wouldn't be easy, I just didn't know that it would be so tuff.  Their ours, and they were meant to be with us.  I will take the good with the bad, and stop complaining.  I'm so grateful that they are here, and they have really blessed all of our lives.          


Wendy said...

I think you got it right. They might not like that you're tough on them but they'll know you love them because of it. I tell my children that if I didn't love them I'd just let them do whatever because I wouldn't care. They're probably just seeing how much they can get away with. Since I have a 9th grade boy (going through remediation for his first F) I doubt that the mentality is any different than Ukraine boys. I don't even think it's a conscious thing, they just want to have fun and do the least amount of work possible!
Good luck. I'm pulling for you!

mcjenn said...

Arri, thanks for your honest post. So many of us relate to the frustrations and the ups and downs of this journey. Lain is very homesick for Ukraine right now. And I tried to hint around about the tuff times before you went. They are great kids, but there are indeed 'tuff times'. I wish you could of got away last night, but it looks like you had your limit. We need to all stick together. Love ya.

arrianna said...

Thanks for all your great comments! It's a little frustrating at times not to be able say what you really want to say to these kids, and have them really understand. We have gone through rounds and rounds with the translator, trying to get a point across, only to have everyone talking over everyone. So much is lost in translation! As time goes on, I know it will get better. They are really great kids. I was doing homework with them last night, and Artem was trying to explain his project to me. It was so funny, that we were laughing so hard. The project was really good too. Once they get the translations of things, they are so smart and inventive. I see new things about them everyday. That is mainly what I need to focus on. I see new things in my daughters as well. Having these boys in our family has really been such a blessing to all of us.

Thanks again for all the support. The people that are involved with this program, are amazing people! I truly feel so privileged to know you!

Andreas and Carrie Horlacher said...

It's good for the rest of us who have not gone through this yet to hear some of these things. Learning from those who have and are going through this is very helpful. Thanks for posting this.

ann said...

I am feeling you Arri. We have had trouble with wanting to do any work lately also. The video games and computer are too much of a draw. We are going to have to get more strict about that. Thanks for the post. Life with these kids are not a bed of roses, are they? Good luck, keep positive. Lunch on Tuesday? I think it is all of our salvations, after the lunch we feel that we can go on. Ann

Trish said...

You don't know us but you may know our son Ryan (Bogdan)Sommercorn, it is very tuff... even now for us and it will be 2 years for us this July. We love Ryan but right now I'm frustrated with the lack of appreciation or gratitude that these kids lack. I really never realized that those attributes are learned behaviors until these kids came into our lives. Ryan will say thanks but the feeling behind it is not genuine. The word is said because it is the right thing to say. How do we help them appreciate the true feelings behind the word? Ryan commented the other day that he needed new shoes and that they were just given to him before. Here we have to wait for a paycheck. Sometimes I am jealous of you people who are not in the neighborhood where they all live.... it seems to make things more difficult when they band together. I know this sounds so negative but I'm still talking to the families that were in our group and we are all still struggleing. Heavenly Father sure picked a 'doosey' trial for all us. We love Ryan and know that he is ment to be a part of our family but this journey has been a bit of a rough ride at times.... I thought it was hard to get him here (we were part of the first group)but little did I realize that was the easy part. Keep in touch... we are your future.