The bonus boys’ English is improving greatly. Every day it gets a little easier to communicate.
Our foster agency is amazing. The caseworkers don’t expect the foster homes to do all the work, and are actually partners, and grateful for your role as a foster parent and respectful of what it takes to do the job well.
The boys have a fellow Tigrinya speaker coming over today to check on their mental health and help us with any issues we need to discuss, along with a life skills specialist and later on, an ESL tutor for a few hours. Oh, and the boys came over to the States with a friend and a caseworker arranged for him to have a sleepover here Thursday as they are all missing each other. See my above statement.
We all went to Main Event last night. Air hockey is the great international equalizer. I think every foster home with a language barrier needs an air hockey table. We laughed until we cried and had a great time.
According to Gus, all the food in America is big. You should have seen his face when they brought him his salad at the restaurant last night. I told him all the food here is big, and we learned about to-go boxes.
In an effort to fatten these very thin boys up, we are having milkshakes twice a day. Gus, at approximately 17 years of age, weighs 108 pounds with all his clothes on. They are painfully thin, and one of our goals is to get some weight on them. Today, with the translator, I’m going to hopefully communicate to them that I want them to help themselves to food and whatever they need from our pantry and fridge. They seem hesitant to do that, and there’s no need. Plus, I need to find foods that are snack foods they will just grab and eat. Snacks are a foreign concept to them, but they’re teen boys. They need LOTS of snacks!
I’ve felt sadness before, and I’ve seen injustice, but it’s simply heart shattering when a 17 year old boy is asking you to please write a letter to get his 11 year old sister out of the refugee camp. I know this is because he is worried about her being trafficked, as he told Stinky all about how common that is, and how worried he is for his sister. Sometimes, I feel the weight of how small I am as just one person, and how little I can do. Anyone out there want to get licensed and take in Gus’s little sister? Give her safety?
People have been asking if we will keep the boys. The answer is no. They are leaving August 1st to go to ESL camp, and then to a home that can take them along with their friend. This home is close to a wonderful ESL school, and will serve them all well, and they can be together. Our plan, as it always is with kids we have even a short time, is to keep in touch and have them back for respite often. They are sweet boys and I look forward to watching them succeed.
All the other kids are doing well. I can’t say enough great things about the way my children have welcomed the bonus boys, and what fabulous ambassadors they are. I am so very proud of my kids, and their open and willing hearts. Sharing your parents with strangers who don’t speak your language is a tall order, and they do it with their arms wide.