Monday, May 4, 2009

April Update

Wow, it's been a while. I'm taking a month long course and it really consumes my time. So... this update came Thursday night and I'm just getting it up. The lady who normally sends our updates has gone home to the US because of severe illness. I haven't heard any recent news but I'm sure with some family loving and care, she will be fine.

All that to say... April's update was written by Joyce who teaches Peterson every day. So she knows him quite well. Joyce and Molly are both so busy with the kids that when they have the time to give an update, we treasure it. They both spend so much time with the children at the Toddler House and they write such heartwarming stories. Anyway, this is the entire thing.

We all had a wonderful time helping Peterson celebrate his 8th birthday. We
have individual birthday parties for the older children at the toddler house
and Peterson knew that his day was coming soon. When March 1st hit he
thought that he was pretty much there. Having to wait another fifteen days
nearly killed the poor boy. He waited patiently although you could tell he
didn't find it very fair having to wait for what seemed like years for a
birthday. When the day finally arrived you could see the anticipation on his
face the whole morning. Molly, the kids and I sang happy birthday to him
over and over and gave him so many hugs I thought he would never ask for a
hug ever again. He simple ate it all up. Peterson loved all the attention
and smiled, laughed and sang along to the songs and chants. Peterson's
nannies found out it was his birthday and they both planted big kisses on
either side of his cheeks. Molly went to Peterson and asked him what type of
cake he wanted. Peterson chose vanilla without hesitating and went on with
his game. Molly made a beautiful white cake with blue swirls and white and
green frosting. We decorated the school room and finally it was time for the
party. Earlier that day Peterson had chosen the seven kids that he wanted at
the party. He chose Robenson, Arry, Djoulynson, Jackson, Robbie, Venor, and
Remy. The kids ran down into the school room where Molly and I were waiting
to start the party. We asked Peterson what he would like to do first and his
eyes caught the presents and without hesitation he chose the gifts. Peterson
tore into the presents with excitement. He received bubbles with fun wands,
a volleyball, an activity book with coloring pencils, a recorder, marbles
and the favorite gift of all a new portable CD player with a CD to listen to
The kids squealed with excitement as Peterson opened the gift and his eyes
grew wide when he realized he received a CD player just for himself. After
the presents Peterson was ready for cake. He sat so proud as all his friend
sang to him at the top of their lungs and handed out high fives at the end
of the song. When the song was finished Robenson (a seven year old here)
asked if he could sing a special song for Peterson. Robenson stood up in
front of the small crowd and belted out the cutest and most random song for
Peterson. Peterson sat with a grin on his face watching as his little buddy
sang a very special song for his friend. After cake it was time for goodie
bags. Peterson grabbed the Spiderman goodie bags and passed them out to all
the kids. We asked Peterson what he would like to do next and he chose to
watch a movie. Peterson picked what he wanted to watch and we ended the
night with a movie.

Gaëlle has moved up to an older bedroom and is doing very well. Her temper
has slowed down and she becoming more obedient to the nannies. Her "diva"
attitude has seemed to die down a little. She is even helping the nannies
with little tasks such as helping make the beds in the morning, picking up
the clothes after bath time and running little errands for them. Gaëlle is
very competent and her nanny knows that if they need to send a message down
the hall to another room she can ask Gaëlle to do it and it will be done
properly. Gaëlle has no problem expressing what she wants to say and is a
very bright little girl.

Gaëlle started English class this month and is very co-opertive and usually
does as she is asked the first time. She does however like to show her
stubborn side at times and has had to sit in time out a few times this month
Gaëlle is learning her colorings, learning new songs and working on tracing
letters and learning how to follow direction. Gaëlle is usually up for any
thing we do in school but really enjoys build with her hands whether it's
building with blocks or sculpting with clay or using scissors.

Peterson is doing great in school and is catching up quickly. He is in
English class from 8:40a.m. Until 12:00p.m.with a twenty minute recess at
10:00. He is writing in his journal everyday and is able to put thoughts
together in English and get them down on paper. He is reading at an early
grade two level and his comprehension is close behind that. We are currently
working in the "American start with English" books and his class is halfway
through the third book. We are reading through the lesson pages (he is
reading it all without problem) and he is able to finish the workbook pages
each day with little to no help. He is usually the first to finish and
quietly without being told will get up and get his work checked then find a
book on the shelf to read. Peterson is by far by easiest student here and if
they all were a little more like him I probably would be a little more sane.
Peterson is getting 14/14 on his spelling test each week and is able to give
small explanations in English as to what each word means and is able to come
up with wonderful sentences in English as well. This week he had the word
"belt" that he needed to give a sentence for and he said in his sweet little
voice "I need a belt for my pants because my tummy is little and my pants
are falling." It was such a great sentence and I was so proud of him because
most of the kids like to give their little sentence and move on to the next
child. Peterson is also spending 3 ½ hours in Creole/French class and his
wonderful teacher Erlange tells me that he is doing great and is very
responsible and respectful.

Gaëlle and Peterson both had to say good bye to some of their good friends
in the last couple of months. Gaëlle warmly said good bye to 3 ½ year old
Vania and Wencia. Gaëlle kissed Vania on the cheek and waved good bye the
day she her mom and dad were coming. Peterson said good bye to his good
buddy Jackson who is 7 and Djoulynson who is 6. Peterson was very sweet and
was excited that they got to go home with their forever family.

On Sunday afternoon all the little kids were asleep and the big boys and
girls were outside complaining that there wasn't much to do so we got out a
bat and ball and started a baseball game. We just played the simple way
where whoever caught the ball would be the next person up to bat. We played
for a while and the kids started to really get into it. One of the bigger
boys was up to bat and the ball came right to me so I grabbed it and it was
just out of reach of Peterson. Well Peterson was getting a little
competitive and said a bad word to me that we don't allow the kids to use
here. Well the minute he said it he froze and realized he made a mistake. I
walked over to him and held his arm and told him he wasn't to use that word.
Well that's all it took, I crushed his heart. He broke down and was so upset
that he had to be corrected. He sat off to the side and was broken up. I
walked over and chatted with him and told him that I wasn't mad but I didn't
want him using this word anymore. He understood but still didn't like that
he slipped up and got corrected. Peterson is very sensitive and I think I
can probably count on one hand the amount of times he has actually been in

I wanted to thank you guys so much for the three laptops for school. They
are such a blessing to have and the kids absolutely LOVE them. They seem to
keep the kids more interested in school than everyone having to listen to my
voice over and over (big surprise). The day after they arrived I brought
them home to the toddler house and started setting up our jump start games.
The kids were at the top of the stairs knowing that I was working on them
and they finally decided on which child was going to come down first to see
if they could come play. I told them that they were almost ready and but
they would have to wait one more day before playing. The kids all hustled
down and the topic came up as to where the computers came from. I turned to
them and said Petersons family sent them for us. Peterson clapped his hands
so proudly because he was the winner. A few of the kids gave him a pat on
the back and told him he did a good job. Later that day the boys were
hanging out outside and Molly overheard them talking about the laptops. One
of the kids said "We got new laptops," and Peterson with a proud voice said
"the big blue one is for me because my mom and dad sent them to me." No one
argued at all about that and decided that it was fine and Peterson could
have the blue one just for him.

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Oh Beth, What a treasure these words are!! I have tears in my eyes after reading them. You must be bawling.

I was just emailing with Molly today about donations she needs at the Toddler House. Our church is sending a team to provide a VBS for the older kids again this summer. I am so eager to go back. The one thing that is making me sad is the same kids being in VBS this year that we had last year. I wish that all of the kids from last year's VBS were now with their forever families and we would have a new batch of kids to teach. Don't get me wrong, I would love to see some of my buddies again like Peterson and Robenson. But I would love to see them home with their forever families more.

Thank you for sharing your update. Molly and Joyce are so great at what they do and it shows in the updates they send out, doesn't it?