Friday, February 21, 2014

The Twins

The twins have been home from Haiti for four years now. Hard to believe that much time has passed. Overall, they are doing well considering what they came from. Those first four and a half years of their lives that we didn't have them were important years for growth, mental and physical development, conscience development, social interactions and so on. We can never get those years back, and we will never know what all went on in those years. 

They spent their first 14 months with both parents, then the mother died. The dad tried to raise them alone but ended up bringing them to the orphanage at about 20 months old. We requested them the first week they went on the list. It took us until they were over 4 1/2 years old to get them home.

In some ways the twins are a lot alike. They both like to read, both like learning new things, both are talkative and outgoing. They are also different. Kayla is pretty much on target for her age socially and developmentally. Kaleb is not. His social interactions are very young. I think there is an undiagnosed problem, but since he is learning academically, no one is looking for a problem. But my mommy instincts tell me we are missing something. 

I'm not going to go into problem areas here other than to say that  both have times when they bully, interact inappropriately with others, are defiant and lie. At this point we feel they understand these things, so they are intentionally making the choice to do these things. That means less privileges at times because they can't be trusted to take part in activities where we are not there to supervise. I know that you adoptive parents understand that well. (I realize biological children have issues too, but we have the advantage of having them from birth onward).

At this point, I'm not thinking they have serious attachment issues. We did everything  by the book when the first year they were home. When we didn't feel it, we faked it well :) 

They have come a long way, and I'm not anticipating any serious long term issues. Of course, you never know. But we went through a lot worse with two children not that long ago. 

Both of the twins like team sports. Kayla is much more athletic than Kaleb overall. He is a faster runner, but she is the more competitive, capable player. We also have to be careful that he is not hit in the head anywhere near his right eye because it's not very stable.

Neither twin has played baseball on a team. With the nicer weather recently, we've been going outside to play catch. Kaleb may play on the team. We have to decide soon. Kayla has had some issues at school recently that make us think she may sit this out. We have to decide by the 28th.

Both like to play outside, but we do not have much play time on school nights. And they still have to be closely supervised during play.

We went to a nearby baseball field to practice batting and running bases. It was pretty fun.

I'm looking forward to seeing how the twins grow and develop over the next few years as their talents emerge and they push beyond some of the behaviors that are holding them back. I think they both are quite capable in many areas. This year is a challenge because FCAT testing starts in third grade. Kayla is showing a lot of gaps in math, and her teacher is working with her on that. Both are signed up for their last year of Peanuts at Teen Missions, but if they fail the FCAT, they will have to go to summer school instead. Unfortunately, we won't know until almost time to go!

I am hopeful concerning the twins. I think they will do well in the long run. They are very mild compared to some of the problems the post earthquake kids are having. Plus we have started a day-by-day privilege system that seems to be working--at least for now.

Plans for summer for the twins include Peanut Camp, and possibly a trip to Wild Adventures. We used to live near it, but are about four hours from it now. It has both rides and a water park. It's smaller than the Orlando parks, and much less expensive.


One Crowded House said...

They have come a long way. I know your consistency in parenting and also clear expectations play a huge part in that.

Kathy C. said...

We try Tanya, but you know how that goes sometimes. They are doing pretty well but ever once in a while one gets on a downward spiral and it's hard to turn it around. I am hopeful though because there are normally more good days than not.