There were 10,000 things that we didn't know when when we started all this. But more specifically, I am thinking about the things that were going on in their heads.
I shared before that we didn't know that all the prior parents had taken the kids on the first day. The kids had to have been so confused when we left that first day.
A week or so into things, Josh told me that he heard JoAni telling the other kids that they better be good or we would send them back to the orphanage. I was so angry. I assumed that she was manipulating the other kids. Thankfully there was some reason that I didn't have a chance to talk with them about this for a little while. So when I finally had time, I sat them all down. At this point their English was still very limited and I had to keep it super basic if I wanted Sylvia to understand me so that she could translate for Sarah and Ryan given that at that moment I was not trusting JoAni to translate properly. I told them "if you have good manners, I love you, and if you have bad manners, I love you, no orphanage, no more". Much later, I learned that a pair of siblings had been picked up from the orphanage by a muzungu mommy and daddy. Later those kids were returned to the orphanage without an explanation. Our kids had reason to be afraid of this happening to them. They had seen it happen. Just recently Sylvia told me that those parents packed up in the night and left without saying goodbye. I have no idea what their reason was. Maybe there was a good reason. The information I have is all through the eyes of children. When Sylvia gave me this extra detail I suddenly realized, we had moved hotels multiple times while with the kids while in Uganda. I asked her what she thought the first time we packed up all of our stuff to change hotels. I asked if she thought they were going back, she said a rather firm "yes". Remember when I told you about Sarah going into meltdown after the first time that we changed hotels? She had to have been so very scared that day. I had no idea.
On a lighter note. We bought some hot dogs in Uganda as something that we could make quick and easy. The kids at first liked them. Then they refused to eat them. We were so very tired and so very burnt out and totally frustrated that they wouldn't eat this easy to cook meal. Well their English was still limited and our parenting was still new. JoAni had translated the name of this new food for them... "hot" "dogs".... It took months for us to convince them that hot dogs have no dog in them!