Since we seem to get asked lots of the same questions lately I thought I would do a little FAQ page, I will add to it as more questions arise.
1. Are the girls twins/how close in age are they?
The girls are 8 months and 1 day apart. Dariya was born Feb. 2003, Alayna was born Oct 2003.
2. You must be really awesome to adopt a child with special needs/ you must have tons of patience.
Truly this one cracks me up. When I was attending college and declared my major as special education I heard, "wow you must have a lot of patience" a few million times but, I hear it now over and over again. The truth is we aren't awesome folks. I don't have super human skills or patience, trust me call about the time I am trying to cook dinner and have 2 toddlers and one school age child whining that they are hungry.
We are just average people trying to follow God's call. A year ago we never would have thought we would be the parents of another child. Jason and I both clearly heard God calling us to Ukraine to get one very sweet little girl. He chose Dariya for us, not the other way around.
If it were up to us we would have said no, too much money, I can't always manage the two I have now let alone adding another with special needs to the mix. But, you know what? When you lean on Jesus and ask him to break your heart for what breaks his he does it. He has clearly shown us that orphans break his heart. Check out the beautiful faces on Reece's Rainbow and see where God is leading you?
3. How did you potty train your kids so early?
I have covered this topic in our potty training 101 posts but, I do get asked it a lot. Rumor has it that kids with down syndrome and boys are much harder to potty train. My kids have kinda blown that thesis out of the water. Aidan was daytime trained (even at nap) by 2½ and night trained by 3½. Alayna was in panties at 26 months and Dariya has jumped on the potty bandwagon since being home. We believe slow and steady wins the race and consistency. Each child does this skill at their own pace. We use positive praise and cheering for all our successes and for our kids that has been enough to motivate them to stay dry.
4. Did Dariya learn sign language / English at her orphanage? How does she already know so much English language?
All the people at the orphanage either spoke Russian or Ukrainian. Only one caregiver, Tamara spoke some broken English enough to talk to us but not to really understand us. So Dariya has learned all her sign and English language since joining our family. She is a quick study and has mastered over 250 signs and is using more verbal language than sign anymore.
5. How does Dariya do with her glasses?
She has come a long way from the first week of taking them off and crushing them over and over. She now requests them to be put on daily. She now leaves them on while in the car (she has them in her backpack while traveling on the bus to preschool, I am not that trusting) but, for the most part she is wearing them without hassle.
6. What is the girl's school schedule like?
They go to preschool 3 mornings a week in a classroom that has typical peer models. They receive PT, OT and Speech therapies during preschool time.