Friday, January 31, 2014

Year of the Horse

Happy Chinese New Year!! This is the year of the Horse....2014!

This is our first Chinese New Year as A's parents. Even though he is not here with us yet, we will be celebrating & cannot wait for him to be here next year to join in the festivities.

What is the Chines New Year? Chinese New Year is an important traditional Chinese holiday celebrated at the turn of the Chinese calendar. In China, it is also known as the Spring Festival, the literal translation of the modern Chinese name. Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally run from Chinese New Year's Eve, the last day of the last month of the Chinese calendar, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month, making the festival the longest in the Chinese calendar. Because the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, the Chinese New Year is often referred to as the "Lunar New Year."

So happy New Year every one! I wish you all nothing but the best.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Letter to A on his 3rd Birthday

Dearest A,

Today you turn 3. I can only hope that you had a day full of love, laughter & joy. I know more than likely however, this was not the case & this makes me sad. Your mommy & daddy thought of you a lot & even had a birthday cupcake for you...3 candles & all! We took pictures with your cupcake to put in the picture book that we will be sending you.

We had people sending us messages, wishing you happy birthday too! You are so loved already by so many people & this warms my heart.

We cannot wait to have you home with us & get to throw you a birthday party. Your 4th birthday will be amazing! Mommy will not cry because she cannot be with you, I will probably cry because I get to see you experience your first birthday party in the states.

Know how much we love you & cannot wait to have you in our arms...to experience all the 1st with you.

Love,
Mommy & Daddy

Monday, January 13, 2014

School for the Deaf Tour

Last week we went to tour a school for the deaf. To be honest, I was a nervous wreck before we went in as I truly did not know what to expect...and when I get nervous, well, my sign language gets all 'hand tied.'

From the moment we walked in the door, my breath was taken away. The school was not what I was expecting! I imagined a school where nobody talked but the teachers (even though I knew the students were taught bilingually). We started with the preschool program. It is a Montessori program, which boogles my mind. I agree with it & all..but it seems like chaos to me. So against every way I was ever taught.

In preschool & kindergarten the school allows hearing children. They feel it is important for the hard of hearing and deaf children to be able to socialize and communicate with hearing children. All of the hearing children are hand picked for the program & they must know sign language. They are all CODAs, grandchildren of deaf, children of interpreters, etc. Walking into this room and watching everyone interact and play was amazing...you had no idea who was deaf & who was not. Same goes for the pre-k class we saw. All the teachers talk & sign and everything is done bilingually, so you really cannot not tell the difference in the children.

Once the children go to kindergarten, the hearing child must leave the school. Due to the fact that is much harder for deaf and hard of hearing children to read and write, they really hit it hard at this school come kindergarten.

We went to visit the kindergarten class made up of 3, profoundly deaf children. Shocked does not even describe how we were once we walked in this room. This room was so loud with chit chat! These 3 profound deaf children were not only signing to each other, but talking up a storm! They were reading at a 2nd grade level and their math skills (also hard because of reading concepts, etc) were above par...we were blown away.

We then went on to see the 1st & 2nd grade classes, each just as amazing as the previous. This school knew deaf, that is for sure. From the technology that they had throughout the school to match frequencies of hearing aids to the simple things like a green house..this place had it all.

This school knows deaf, what can I say. Things I had never thought about when it comes to a traditional school..like tile flooring. This school is all carpeted in order to help muffle other noises since hearing aids amplify all sounds.

Once our hour tour was over, we left knowing that this is were A will be...at least until 3rd grade. If he stays there until high school graduation or if he mainstreams, that will be determined on how he does & what he wants...but I can say, after the tour...we know this is the school for him! We want him to have the best education & to have all the opportunities in the world. This school, well, I feel like they will give him all that & more. Just as we wish to teach him that there is nothing he will not be able to do..this school will only help reinforce that.

I am excited to see how he blossoms & what will happen once he is in school (minus the fact that I already cry at that thought of sending him to school!)
 
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