About a month ago, (only 2 or 3 posts ago, though, if you look back!) I mentioned how some things just have to get worse before they can get better. Well, we're here to say that they did get worse, but that they are getting lots better!!
Jonathan has finally accepted our daily routine (one that includes home schooling!) and has become much more cooperative with that part of the day.... both in doing the work that I have for him, as well as not being a hindrance to others accomplishing their work.
We still try as much as possible to keep things really low-key. We attempt to keep as regular a schedule as possible to keep Jonathan from being over-stimulated. I frequently remind myself of all the challenges he has set up against him right now:
- language stresses -- Jonathan loves to talk. That goes a long way in language learning!! Ha! But, it can be frustrating when you can't communicate all that you want to. He has honestly gotten so good at his efforts in "charades" that we have to remind him to "use words, Jonathan!" or he would just depend on really good hand signals with some English phrases thrown in here and there.
- lack of cultural and social understanding -- We are trying to help him learn how to relate to others in ways that are positive and encourage friendship.
- delays and disabilities -- it will be awhile before we see where one leaves off and the other is left. So many of the challenges that Joanthan faces are just stemming from normal delays that come with nine long years of living in an institution. We constantly pray for wisdom in knowing how to discern where to place our expectations for what he can and can't accomplish. Sometimes there is a lot of room for "cutting him slack." Other times, Jonathan needs very much to be held to a high standard of behavior because we know that he can do better. We don't want to be letting him get away with things that he shouldn't, but at the same time, we need to find a really good balance of extending grace to a little boy who has come so far and yet has far to go.