Tuesday, February 21, 2012

In Which We Drop Off Some Things For Ellen And Have A Busy Day

We had a pretty busy day today!

Connor had a great day at school, and we stayed a little late afterwards so his physical therapist could try out some kinesio tape along the little guy's spine.  We've got a little while before his back brace will be made, so she wants to see if she can get him to use his back muscles a bit more in the meantime.  We'll be keeping a close eye on him to make sure he doesn't have a reaction to the adhesive from the tape.  So far so good.

After that we stopped in at the house so Connor could have some quiet time and I could make some phone calls and take care of some chores.   Then I loaded up the car with the donations for Ellen's orphanage I've collected over the past year and with her latest care package, which was Valentine's day themed.  It may end up arriving sooner than her last care package, which we sent off a couple of weeks ago, because it will be delivered in person.  Our adoption agency leaves next week for Thailand, and they'll be visiting Ellen on one of the first days they are there! 

Hopefully the visit will go well and we'll have a better idea of what the status is of her file when they get back.  Our dossier will have been in Thailand a year in March, so we probably still have another year or longer before we can expect to travel.  It's likely that they are still compiling Ellen's file and completing her background check-- basically an exhaustive amount of research making absolutely sure that the potential international adoption is legal, ethical and the best available option for her, and that there's no possibility of her being cared for by someone in her birth family or being adopted in Thailand. 

In the meantime I'm slowly continuing to learn Thai-- I've got a pretty good handle on the alphabet now, though I'm sure my handwriting is probably atrocious.  I haven't plucked up the courage yet to write anything in Thai on Ellen's letters other than her name on the envelope because I still don't know enough Thai to do more than copy phrases out of books, and I'm afraid I'll screw up, think I'm writing something like "We love to cook Thai food for dinner" and actually end up writing something like "We love to cook Thai children for dinner."  There's nothing like promoting cannibalism to make a good impression on your future kid. 

So we'll continue to rely on our agency's more than competent translator and I'll stick to just practicing for now. 

I can say a few short phrases in Thai now too, but I don't know how useful they'll be in communicating with Ellen.  There are only so many situations in which a phrase like "the boys are reading" is going to be relevant, and while I can also discuss the current reading status of a man, men, woman, women, boy, girl and girls this doesn't extend my conversational skills by much.  Hopefully by the time Ellen comes home I'll know a bit more! 

The agency will be taking a video camera with them and we're hoping that Ellen might be able to demonstrate some of her English, pass on some questions for us or tell us things she'd like us to know, but it will be completely understandable if that doesn't happen.  My guess is that if you pull any fourteen year old girl out of whatever it is she's in the middle of doing and stick her in a room full of strangers who point a video camera at her and ask her personal questions through a translator, she's not exactly going to be a Chatty Cathy.  We've been blessed enough to see some of her amazing personality shining through in pictures over the past year in situations where she's more comfortable, so we'll just be happy to see her on film even if she doesn't say a single word. 

And hopefully when our agency gets back we'll have a better idea of where we are on the timeline.  Keep your fingers crossed for us that things have been moving along!


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