Tuesday, September 14, 2010

He Speaks

Many of you have asked us if Aaron is talking. The short answer is a definite “yes.” When we first met him, he communicated mainly with silent pointing and facial expressions, and we even wondered how many native words he knew; but now, we’re getting the full force of his well-rounded native vocabulary, along with a library of little boy sounds and loud noises. He is going to rival Ben and Elijah for the “most talkative” prize in our house. Most of what he says is lost on us, but that no longer seems to bother him. He directs our daily playtimes with word and gesture, and we meekly obey. Since we rarely understand him, he often repeats his instructions at double volume. I’m sorry I forgot my earplugs. His life of disappointment has made him so patient that he doesn’t get frustrated with us when we don’t understand him.


At first we were not sure if the noises Aaron began making were real words. Most of the boys at his internat have little to no language skills, and we were so ignorant of the sounds of the native language that we couldn’t really distinguish his words from the guttural groanings of the other boys. As the weeks have gone by, we have learned a bit more, and Aaron has begun to use a great number of native words with us. We even understand a few of them, but very few indeed. I just wish we had a couple of hours with both him and a translator, but it’s no use-- he clams up whenever other adults are around. We’re just pleased to know that he has developed some language ability, which is pretty impressive when you consider his surroundings. For a child who has been locked away for six years, with only a few caretakers to speak with, he’s done very well. We are taking a great deal of pleasure in hearing his voice.

We’ve even started him on English. It’s like having a toddler again. He started with “truck,” which is of course the most important thing in the universe. He also knows “uh-oh,” which he uses every time the axles fall off of his cheap little truck. He’s hopping down steps two-footed now, so he’s learned to say “hop” with his little native accent. When we go through his picture book, he can identify plenty of objects when we say their English names, even if he can’t say the words himself. He’ll have some frustrating times when we get home, but he’s going to get along just fine.


11 comments:

  1. Wow, he is just darling, that last picture of him is so precious! So glad he is feeling comfortable with his mama and papa, he must be such a joy.

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  2. I'm excited for the day when you & Aaron won't need words to communicate "I Love You!" You might consider teaching him a little bit of sign language... "I Love You" in sign goes a LONG way. :) Still soooooo happy for your family!!

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  3. You'll probably be shocked how fast he learns English after he is home, and how fast his native tongue disappears . . . at least, that was the way it was for our Dd adopted at age 5.5 from Russia. HOWEVER, do be aware that even several years later, she can USE a word correctly in a sentence and still have no real idea of it's meaning. . . and we still spend a fair bit of time teaching meanings and useages of words. But for those who don't know . . . her speech doesn't give her away AT ALL and hasn't for several years. (Home 5 years!) And while she doesn't remember much at all of her native lang. she picks it up quickly and easily when we plunk her down on Rosetta Stone Russian. ;-)

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  4. He looks so cute and happy!! So glad he's finally in a loving home :)

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  5. Thats awesome that you are understanding some of the words he uses.
    We also have that book- its a great tool! Have you used the online version to hear the words?
    http://www.usborne-quicklinks.com/uk/uk_entity_pages/uk_select_page.asp?lvl=1&id=1986

    We wrote all of the english words underneath the russian words, and our girl taught us as we taught her.

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  6. SO happy for you and him. Praying for your boys.

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  7. Thank God for this little guy... and for his family. Seeing the progress you all have had with Aaron is so encouraging and special. Praying things continue to go well as you wait.

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  8. Such precious precious pics!!! So excited for you all and that is so wonderful!

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  9. I look so forward to checking for your posts! I am so happy for your family!

    I love seeing how Aaron is already beginning to blossom!

    Can't wait for the next update!

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  10. What a precious gift he is! I had a Bible verse in my heart for you- since court but couldn't find it. I was looking for your email address on your profile to email it to you, but it's not on here. Because the verse is a promise, I still want to give it. My quote is from the Amplified Bible
    Is 45:2+3:" I will go before you and level the mountains [to make the crooked places straight]; I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut asunder the bars of iron.
    And I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, Who calls you by your name."

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  11. Hi Rob & Julia, We are all excitedly waiting to meet Aaron back in Virginia!! I have enjoyed reading your blog and seeing the photos you have posted. Aaron is very handsome and I really think he looks like you both! Julia's Dad & Melanie were very quiet teaching across the divider from me at ACTS these last two weeks. I never hear anything. We all learned that we can't vacuum at the same time or we trip a breaker. Elijah was vacuuming and my class helper Molly started ours up! We will have to open the divider and check on eachother now that we remember that this happens. The students have been excited to be back in class and I know your history & writing students will be happy to have Julia back when you return home. You, Aaron and your older boys are in our prayers. I have loved seeing the great pics of Aaron on your blog. He is a handsome fellow! God Bless--I hope these next 10 days go quickly for you.

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Loving words from kind people make our hearts glad!

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