Sunday, July 22, 2012

English as a Second Language

Our little guys have been home three months now, and one of the things that continues to amaze me is how FAST our children are learning English. They understand 99.99% of what I say, and they speak English constantly now, even to each other. This morning they asked me when Austin is coming home (he's in China), and I answered, "In three more weeks." Leo went to the calendar, sang the song "Sunday, Monday, Tues, Wed..." three times, and pointed to the day that he thought Austin would arrive home. He was only a few days off the mark! In church, Sam greeted our pastoral associate by asking her "What are you doing?" She wasn't outside greeting parishioners like normal, she was in the back hallway by the bathrooms, and Sam thought it was noteworthy. Leo asked me, "Today, everybody good church! Today, doughnut?" I will admit, I often reward the little guys with french fries and donuts. I know, I know. I shouldn't start bad habits blah, blah, blah. But they are painfully thin, and I want to fatten them up a bit. Unfortunately, I've also gained weight too, by osmosis it seems. Soon, our french fry stops will be a thing of the past, I promise. But I digress. Before we adopted John and Ben, we spent a ton of time worrying about how we were going to communicate with them. We've found that we just don't have any issues with communication. I'm great at reading body language, and our adoptees have been great self-advocators. They manage to let me know what they need and want with no trouble at all. They need lots of attention, lots of love, and lots of french fries! The English language acquisition hasn't been an issue for us. Ben and John have been here two years and most people assume we adopted them as babies. John still speaks with a slight accent, but Ben speaks American English as if he's lived here all his life!