Last weekend we had to opportunity to go to the African-Caribbean Heritage Camp. It is one of a set of camps put on by an organization in town here that focuses on transracially formed families, specifically formed through adoption. Yeah, they have organizations for everything! We had been to the camp once before, two years ago, and enjoyed it so much that we decided to move to Denver!
Over the course of the two and a half days of camp we were all immersed with people in a very similar situation to our family. There were many speakers and round tables which were both thought provoking and frustrating (mainly the round tables), but in the end it was a great experience for our family to be around other families that look just like ours. That just doesn’t happen very often!
The kids did pretty well. Ethan got to go whitewater rafting. Quinton met some buddies, though I don’t think he learned anybody’s name - he never does. Mireille had an interesting first experience - it was the first time we were leaving her with somebody that wasn’t family. A necessity in our family - she will be starting daycare in a week or so - but this was the first time. It didn’t go great. It took me an hour both days to get her dropped off, and even then I had to sneak out of the room before she would let me go. I suppose it is a good sign that she is bonding. She is having appropriate responses to these strange situations that we put her in, and for that I am happy.
After the second day of camp we had the opportunity to go to a local indoor waterpark. It was a decent little park, though not nearly as big as the ones to which we are accustomed in Wisconsin Dells! As we found out in Arizona, Mireille loves to swim. She can’t swim, but she loves it. She attacked the water like it was about to evaporate for ever. The best way I can describe how she behaves in the water is supernova. Of course, she quickly overdid it and swallowed a bunch of water, then threw up. I saw it coming, luckily, and contained it while shuttling her to Jenny to get her cleaned up in the locker room.
Beyond camp, Mireille is doing a very good job of learning English. I have included some of the notable new phrases that she has added to her toolchest.
- Yes - It’s a nice counterpoint to the ever present “NO!”
- Fooky nack = Fruit Snack
- Foodie = Food
- One Second
- Shutup!!! - I think this is her favorite
- You making me mean - combination of “you’re making me mad” and “you’re mean”.
- Kosumba poop - Linglish for Go Poop
- I like it.
- Oh my God! - Not wild about this one, but she hears Quinton say it a lot, so I imagine that’s what’s going on there. We’re trying to redirect to “Oh my goodness.” Actually for both of them!
Yesterday morning she came up to me and we had a full conversation in English. First she said to me, “Pa, I hungry.” I asked her, “do you want some eggs?” And she responded, “Yes, I like eggs.” I love how she says “yes.” It’s so formal, using all of the consonants.