Tuesday, June 5, 2012

School, Soccer and Dentist

The remainder of our third week together consisted of things revolving around school, soccer.....and, yes, the dentist had to be squeezed into the week as well.

Sami was invited to practice with a local soccer league on Wednesday.  It was their last practice before try-outs on Monday, June 4th.  I tried to imagine what it would be like to move to a new country, join a new family and then just dive right in and play soccer with a bunch of boys who know each other, of which I knew no one.  Oi!

But Sami did great!  He was a bit shy at first ~ as would we all be! ~ but within 10 minutes of playing, he was calming down and finding his groove.  Within the next 10 minutes he had stolen the ball from a State Cup champion player, made a goal -assist and then scored a goal himself!

All while playing in a pair of Sambas!  (flat tennis shoes) We had not yet purchased him cleats!  The coach hustled over to me and complimented his technique, skill and ability to view the whole field and see the bigger picture of the game.

My heart swelled with excitement for Sami as I watched him play the sport he loves.  So neat to see how soccer ~ and play in general ~ is such a universal language!  He had other boys coming up to him high-fiving him, shaking his hand and complimenting his play.

Yes, I refrained from embarrassing my son by taking photos the first time he played organized soccer with a team!  But boy will it be fun to photograph him if he makes the team!  I will let you know how try-outs go!

Before soccer on Wednesday, Sami, Kaleab and I toured the school Sami will be attending in the Fall.  We met his English Language Learner (ELL) teacher and she is a gem!  She even offered to meet again with us Friday to kind of see where Sami is academically and assist us in our decision of placing him in the 5th or 6th grade!  She has such a GREAT heart!

Sami liked the school, and being in it helped ease his fear that the school was too big.  And, of course, he loved the HUGE playground area behind the school!

Thursday brought us back to the dentist.  Having never received dental care, he only had ONE cavity and it was scheduled to be filled this day.  I had heard nightmares of extensive dental treatment needed for children of other families, so we were so grateful that he only had one cavity to be filled!  He was a rockstar!  The teeth cleaning and filling took an hour-and-a-half and he did AWESOME!!!  Seriously awesome.  Such a brave kiddo we have!  And bless his heart for Jesus, he really seemed to like that I prayed with him before going into the dental office.

Our meeting Friday with Megan, his ELL teacher, went splendidly.  After talking with Megan, Sami and Jeff and I talked and decided it was best for Sami to start in 5th grade.  This makes sense to Sami, since he was in 4th grade in Ethiopia.

It makes sense to Jeff and me, since he is already taking in a lot ~ a new country, new culture, new academic setting and standards, etc.  With Sami turning twelve in a couple of months, we really could have placed him in 6th grade.  However, Megan suggested that he be placed in the classroom that has 5th and 6th graders combined.  And, if needed, we have options to accelerate his academics (and therefore help him graduate a year earlier), if he catches up to the other children his age that will be graduating the year before him.

We all feel GOOD about the decision of fifth grade!  We also decided to NOT do summer school this summer, and continue down our current path of doing academics together at home, while continuing to be a family, focusing on bonding, attaching and just having fun.  Fall and school will come fast enough as it is!

A lot was accomplished this week on all fronts.  Academically, emotionally, socially and familially (is that even a word?).  Sami is still terribly shy to try his English with others, but we get to see him come out of his shell and even practice his English with us more and more with each new day!  Bless his heart!


Elle J said...

LOVE IT!!! What great decisions being made for your family - how exciting and I bet it feels so good!!! YAY to that great soccer experience too! =)

erica said...

Sounds like he is doing WONDERFULLY!!!! So happy for your family! :)

Abby said...

So happy for all of you! He sounds like an amazing guy!!

Debb said...

THANK YOU, ladies! We are feeling so good about God's guidance toward our various decisions! And yes, Sami is loving to play soccer on the BIG GRASS FIELDS!!! So fun to watch him play! God is GOOD!

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