Well, NingNing survived his first week of school. He gets on the bus with his siblings and I have been picking him up at 11:10, before lunch. The idea was that next week he would begin fulltime with support from an ESL teacher. However, we heard today the ESL teacher might not be able to do it after all because it is only part-time. So still trying to work that out. My biggest concern is him going to school and having to sit through Reading, English, History/Social Studies with nothing to do and no way to understand. I created some basic English worksheets for him, word searches, and math sheets, since we know now he does know the English alphabet and can say it and of course, you don't need English for math mostly.
I could keep him home another week, but here he watches Chinese movies and QQ a lot, so we want to limit that somewhat so he's not using it as a crutch, so in the long run, I think he'll be better off in school as the more he's surrounded by English with kids his own age, the quicker he'll absorb it.
He seemed very comfortable by today about zipping off to his locker (got his combination down now) and getting his things; he was smiling again today when I picked him up; always a good sign. Don't think he cares for getting up so early, but what teenager does, seriously?
We've started introducing him to chores and helping out. He holds the door for me now, carries groceries in, learned how to empty the dishwasher, and set the table. I know this may not last, but I am so enjoying having ONE teenager who does what we ask immediately with no fussing :). All our other kids have been great with NingNing and treat him just like any other sibling. We are starting to see a spunky, mischievious personality emerging, especially when he's around our youngest, who has always acted like a teen herself. She gets right in there, tickling him, taking his computer, snuggling with him, and even taking one of his earphones so she can watch his Chinese movies with him! Being adopted only 3 1/2 years ago herself, I wondered if she would bond to him the quickest.
The one thing I've been glad to see is that the younger girls don't exclude their older brother, James, from their attentions, in favor of the "new" and "fascinating" brother. I was a bit afraid that might happen, but our house is small enough, we all HAVE to interact with each other! Even if NingNing's watching his shows or doing QQ, he's still out in the living room with us; he seems to like being around our frenetic activity levels! Tonight, at dinner, James was doing one of his funny impressions (he is quite the comedian sometimes), and NingNing was trying not to laugh so hard he choked. It was fun.
Last but not least, he had an eye exam today. He has great eyes and doesn't need glasses; the doc said if he doesn't by now, he may never need any. He went through all the machines like a champ, after we explained what he needed to do on Google Translate. Funny how he seems like a little boy when he sees something new and is so curious about how it works, and then I see the man in him when he greets people with a handshake. I wish so much we had found him when he was younger, but I'm so glad we have him now.