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Reply with quote  #1 
I am a Brazilian national living in the USA. Hubby is American.
We are adopting 2 girls from the Ukraine (ages 10 and 13) who speak fluent Russian, Ukrainian, and basic English.
We are also expecting a baby due February.
My family ONLY speaks Portuguese. We talk on webcam once or twice a week, and spend a month out of the year in Brazil.
About the older girls: It is important that they keep their Russian. We are going to get them once a week tutor so they keep speaking Russian (Russian is the main language in the area they live in Ukraine). It is also very very important they learn English because we live in here and they are already VERY behind in their education. I got them a Portuguese Rosetta Stone, and we will visit Brasil next year (in April), so perhaps they can learn slowly... I don't know when it is fit to start teaching them Portuguese.
BUT I really want baby to speak Portuguese now.... Want to speak with baby in Portuguese only, so baby can learn on the easy way... But don't want to leave girls left out...

Thought of suggesting that girls speak with baby in Russian (without forcing it, of course).

What do you think?????
Reply with quote  #2 
Hi, Sandy and congratulations! It seems like you have your plate full.  I know that adoption is a noble choice and can mean a better life, or a life period in many instances.  My initial question, and one that I must ask, is what about the Ukrainian? I understand that living the United States, it will be much easier to find a tutor or someone to work with the girls to upkeep their Russian, also materials, books and films will undoubtedly be easier to come by, but if you understand the history of the region, you must know that the Ukrainian people, culture, language and identity has experienced abuse, no harm intended, and dominance by the Russian government.  If these girls speak Ukrainian, they certainly are not Russian but Ukrainian, and it might be more imperative and really necessary that they continue and upkeep this aspect of themselves over the Russian. After all, it is who they naturally are (I am intelligently assuming) and who they have a right to be. And you are in a position that can help them to realize and explore and flourish in this aspect of themselves, of who they are, instead of fostering an environment of continued oppression, choosing Russian over Ukrainian.  Please, I really don't mean to be rude.      
Erik K
Reply with quote  #3 
Trying to preserve their Russian language skills is wonderful. But why not preserve the Ukrainian also, since they already know it?

Do you live near a large town? If so, you should search the web for Russian (and maybe Ukrainian) social groups in that town. The two older girls (and the baby, when old enough) can visit such groups periodically. For the two girls, the benefit is to practice their languages, and also to find familiarity and comfort in a strange new land.

Also, you can post messages on several website forums. Explain that you are looking for Ukrainian or Russian-speaking kids of the same age as yours, so they can socialize.

The Russian tutor sounds like a great idea also. Because your girls are behind on their schooling, it would be helpful if that tutor could teach more than Russian language. Maybe he/she could speak Russian while teaching the various subjects in which the girls need to get caught up. But that would cost more money.

I think you have an excellent idea in asking the girls to speak Russian to the baby. Tell them you would be very grateful and pleased if they give the baby that gift. Explain why you think it is so valuable. The girls will feel like they are contributing and that you value them and their language.

Speaking Portuguese to the baby is no problem. Initially, the things you say to the baby will be things that other people don't need to hear. Eventually, you will need to sometimes repeat the same words in English so everyone else understands.

Actually, instead of that, you could say everything twice to the baby and the girls, once in Portuguese and then again in English. That way, you will teach everyone to speak your language! Do you have enough time and patience to do that consistently?

Do the girls need to learn English better before they can use the Rosetta Stone software? I'm not sure.

Reply with quote  #4 
I also adopted a year ago, a 4 years old girl, it was the best thing I've done in my life, congratulations for you new kids. I think you should let them decide if they want to learn Portuguese or not since they are older kids, you can tell then that you speak Portuguese with your baby but let them know it's ok if they don't want to join the baby, my girl didn't speak Spanish at all when I adopted her (I'm from Uruguay)it took her 6 months to speak “understandable” sentences, it’s a long process and sometimes it’s very stressing for adopted kids so don’t push them too hard, they already have to cope with a new family, new house and new country! Just go slowly.

Boa sorte e parabens! nao sei se conhece uma pagina que se chama, ela que nem o Facebook mas so com pessoas que adotaram.
Albany Estrela Herrmann
Reply with quote  #5 

estou escrevendo a minha tese de mestrado sobre criancas bilingues. Tb sou brasileira, meu marido alemao. Por favor, entre em contato!


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