It has been 7 months since we arrived back from Lesotho with our new family. The kids are adjusting well to their new life and all it has to offer. The first semester of school saw them all make dramatic improvements in reading and speaking English.
Phillip, my 13yr old 7th grader has had the most difficult time adjusting, but he is a good boy and wants to do well. He just has the biggest gap to fill educationally and the most loss and grief to deal with at the same time as trying to fit in socially and all that. It is huge. He is going to soccer referee school next week and looks forward to trying out for the elite Rangers team at the end of April. He is really fast and a great soccer player. He wishes life could be easier, i.e. no school or tutoring which takes away from time that could be spent having fun....He loves hip-hop music and wonders if Jaden Smith has to go to school. I think he struggles most with the materialism of this culture and it frustrates him that we can't afford all the latest and greatest TV's and video game systems and why he can't have a cell phone and his own computer. We don't even have cable TV....what a disgrace...LOL.
The youngest ones(David and Alex) are flying and are already forgetting Sesotho despite our efforts to speak it at home....They respond in English when spoken to in Sesotho, but they still hear it and talk it sometimes. They are responding to the love and comfort of having a home and both parents involved in their lives. They have many friends and have been going to lots of birthday parties and play dates.
Karabo(10yr old 4th grader) is making great strides in school and has lots of friends. She struggles with all the rules at home though. I think she didn't have many or any rules for the last couple of years over there. Last night she wanted to do homework after 9pm and i told her it was bedtime and she just couldn't understand why I was being so mean. Part of it is having never had a father in her life who was there to set limits and make and enforce rules. She enjoys being a part of Girls Scouts with Michelle and had fun playing soccer and basketball, though she doesn't want to play soccer this spring. She and the boys are all starting a Taekwon-do class at the YMCA this month. Selloane is also in that class.
Michelle(5th grader) is an amazing young person...so mature and fun-loving...and has adjusted to not being an only child about as well as one could hope. She has her moments of sadness about not having as much of Daddy's time as she used to have, but she absolutely loves the energy and activity and company that comes with having siblings. She is very smart and active in Girl Scouts, Swim Team, and School Choir.
They all played soccer in the fall and basketball this winter. It has been fun watching them play. They are responding physically to a steady diet as well as their heights on the wall charts can attest. There is so much more I could write about each of them individually and as a group, but time is not on my side.
Today I am off but the work never ends for a father of 5. Selloane and I are doing the best we can trying to keep up with them while taking care of ourselves as well. She is at Yoga class right now and I am getting my workouts in as I can. My work schedule right now is actually user friendly for me to get some exercise while the kids are in school. The only bummer is that I have to work Saturdays, so i will miss most of their spring soccer games.
Thanks to all of you for your financial donations which helped us get them out of harm's way and into our lives and thanks also for the continued support. I know some of you continue to make contributions to Action for Africa on behalf of the Lesotho Orphan Fund and I want you to know that the money is helping us tremendously. Whenever we need money to pay for activity fees or excess doctor bills that are not covered by our insurance, it is all covered because of the generous support you and many others make.
A4A is there for us and actually a group of them went to Lesotho last month to visit the projects they have been supporting and they also got to see Papali, the 16 year old sister of our kids, who is now a teenage mother and living at Sehlabeng, Good Shepherd Centre home for teenage mothers. She and the baby (Kabelo Michael) are doing well. I cried when I saw her pictures and the baby. I know I will cry even more when I finally get to hear the video message they have from her to us.
Peace and Love,
Mike and Selloane and 5 beautiful children