Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Enjoying the last days of the year

We are enjoying the last few days of 5770. Tomorrow evening we are lighting the candles to usher in the new year: 5771. We are busy with homeschooling Noa, and Ezra had his eye surgery. It ended up a same day surgery, so he was home yesterday afternoon. He slept through the aternoon while I gave the other kids away to my step-mom to spoil them. My step-mom loves all the grandkids and great-grandkids (which, being 41 and pregnant with her second child is kinda funny. Oh yes, I'll be a big brother once more).

Saturday was my newest nephew's bris. This time there were no surprises with the name, he is named Shimon Avi, and he barely cried. He was mostly sleeping through the party. He was loved on by a gazillion cousins. That kid will have to have a very strong immune system if he wants to survive all the cousin exposure. He did great, though, and it was very endearing watching Noa and Shiri hold him and play with him. Asher is a proud big brother, he added Shimon's name to his vocabulary, and he goes around saying "achi, achi" (my brother). Too cute.

Homeschool goes well with Noa. Twice a week she has Armenian lessons with an Armenian school teacher over Skype. She seems to love that! She is still talking to her foster parents about once a week, and she just realized what a great thing e-mail is! So at this point she is teaching herself to type. At this point we have English (US), Hungarian, Hebrew, Russian and Armenian keyboards lying around the apartment... yeah. Does anyone know how I can get Armenian Windows for Noa? Not that she has any issues navigating English. She is actually soaking up English, and we are having more and more conversations in English. Kevin is also learning a lot of Armenian from Noa. Kevin is a linguist at heart, and he loves learning languages, so I can see building his Armenian up.

Last week we were contacted by our social worker about another respite/disruption situation. She hoped we could take the children for a few weeks while the family tries to work through their issues, but at this point we had to turn the offer down. We are not in the position at this point to accept, even temporarily, two more children into our family. It's not a financial thing, not even that we don't want more children, but at this point we have 4 kids in the family who have been with us less than a year, and they do deserve the time and attention to help with their adjustment.

Yes, I still count P as a "new" kid. He still has his struggles and he is not completely attached yet. He is adjusted to our family, to our routine and definitely has found his place with the other boys, and he likes us all right, but the process is not complete yet. He is actually suspicious about our motives at certain things, like why I didn't want him to convert right away. So after consulting with my own rabbi and with my brother (an Orthodox Rabbi) and another Orthodox rabbi, we decided to go forth with P's conversion. While he is still a minor, the bet din (the Jewish court, comprised of three rabbis) were kind enough to meet with him and us at our request, and it was a lovely meeting. P understands all the physical requirements as well, and the time was set for his hatafat dam brit. Can I say I have one super excited 9-year-old? The funny thing is that this way I will have a bat mitzvah girl and a bar mitzvah boy exactly 6 months apart - with Noa's celebration first and P's second.

This afternoon the kids are over at my dad's again, they will all go to pick up my twin brother at the airport. It's just amazing that this year, for Rosh Hashanah, all my dad's children will be together for the first time ever. It will be my first time of meeting my eldest half sister!


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