Tuesday, August 21, 2012

FAQ ~ Continued Continued

Q1: "I'm coming with an 8 year old post op heart boy in October. I think my biggest concern is language. How long did it take for your boys to understand you enough to get by ok. If you used a translator what kind was it?"

Ahhhh those translators.
I was all amped up about them before we traveled for the boys.
I did my research,
read the reviews,
scouted the latest and greatest,
payed $25 for and installed the best on my phone....

and then promptly never used it.

I guess my simple answer is:
Don't sweat it.
Charades are very effective and even better.....
8 year old's can charade right back at ya.

We did try the translator app once or twice but found it to be slow and not always precise.
For example,
"Do you want to go to the park?"
Quickly turned into:
"You park and dishwasher said the moose to the turtle."

I made that up.
But you get my drift.
They didn't work quite as well as I imagined and hoped they would.

Besides, some things are just universal and transcend language barriers.
Pointing works great,
pantomiming works wonders,
but for the heavy stuff or bigger conversations you need to have...
ya know....
like you are going to the hospital and they are going to cut your chest open to fix your heart...my best advice would be to make friends with someone who speaks Mandarin.

When Joshua came home a sweet friend of ours had called the local Chinese Christian Church and they met us at the hospital at 9pm that night he landed.
They rallied around him.
They loved on him.
They comforted him.
They cooked him some off the hook delicious Chinese food.
{Watching the nutritionist in the PICU trying to count calories and fat intake for foods that she had never even heard of before was rather comical. How many fat grams in a duck head would you say?}.
They did wonders for him.
Hi Guys! We miss you!
And I will never forget the love they poured out on him...heck on both us for that matter. I'm not sure I would have been able to even shower that entire month if not for them coming by everyday. 
And even if you aren't facing major surgery the first few days home,
make some friends......cautiously.
Much like I wouldn't want any English speaking stranger talking to my bio kids,
I didn't want just any Mandarin speaker talking to my newly adopted kids.
You won't know what they are saying and that can be....well....dangerous.
Find some Mandarin speakers who love Jesus as much as you do and who are committed to helping you grow and nurture the new relationship between you and your new kiddo.  

So bottom line, seek out some connections in your community that are trustworthy and throw the translators to the curb.

Q2: Have you figured out a solution to the socks??? Cuz if you have, I NEED TO HEAR IT! 

Oh goodness socks.
Thankfully our sock issue isn't an issue for us.
John, Jason and Jordan all wear the same brand/size so that's easy.
The twins wear the same size, different brand than the others so that's simple.
And the little one's all have microscopic feet so it is easy to determine which one's belong to them.

What I haven't figured out yet are the shoes.


I've done a post already about shoes a few months ago so I won't go into all that again but suffice it to say we have something like 27 pairs of shoes around here. 54 individual shoes without a place to call home. A pair of tennis shoes for each person, a pair of flip flops or crocs, baseball kleats, basketball shoes.....I'm tellin you. It's borderline ridiculous.

So this is me throwing that question right back at ya.
Heck do I do?

Our porch looks like something out of a bad episode of Hoarders....only instead of trash and 8 broken dishwashers I have piles and rows and rows and piles of s.h.o.e.s.

Help me.


  1. Shoe storage ideas. :)



  2. Waiting for some shoe miracle here...the only miracle at our house is that I don't go insane picking up shoes and putting them in the organizer in the garage. 'Cuz no one else in this house is doing anything with the organizer! Ah well...I sure love all of my little cuties (and my big one) anyway!!!

  3. The shoes...be glad you don't have girls! (I don't have kids, but being a girl...with a little sister...we have a lot of shoes.) I have like...thirty pairs (or close) just myself. However, I have a hanging rack that's only about 7-8 inches wide, that just hangs in the closet on two hanger-style hooks, and holds pretty much all my shoes. It might be worth investing in! (And I'm sure it's pretty cheap...no idea where ours actually came from - it has just been around for who knows how long.)

  4. I use a laundry basket for shoes, especially cleats and crocs, etc. The girls have their own laundry basket all for themselves...yes...it's full!! :)

  5. Still waiting for my FAQs to be answered :(

  6. I have 5 kids and the shoes were driving me crazy - especially the teenage daughter's shoes. We have two approaches - shelves by my back door in a tiny little mud room - 6 feet of shelves for shoes. We also have pretty baskets by the front door - one for each kid who has multiple shoes (my 13 year old son only wears one pair. seriously, he's odd.) That way if we find shoes anywhere we know where they go, and there is a place for them by each door.

  7. I think I asked the sock question. I guess my biggest issue is that they take them off and I find them everywhere (in the couch, under the couch, outside?!, in the floor, etc.). But sometimes ... a lot of the time ... one is missing, so then I throw the single socks in a big laundry basket. But rarely does the other one turn up, so then I have like 40 socks that are all mismatched. I eventually toss them ... grrrrr ... they are so expensive.

    I am seriously considering charging them for missing socks. :))) Notice I said considering. Don't know about any of y'all but money talks around here!

    BTW, on the translator, we actually love our Besta, but our son was 10 1/2 at adoption and I think that makes a difference. He still uses it to practice his Chinese, which we are serious about him keeping and he is too. So, for us, it was well worth the investment and we used it a lot in China. I think the google translate doesn't work well, but the BESTA is a good investment I'd say for the 10 and up crowd. At least from our experience.

  8. We have 6 (kids) and each has a basket on a shelf when we first come in the door. Each person's basket holds about 3 or 4 pairs. They keep their sport shoes (e.g., cleats) on a separate shelf out in the garage.