Friday, August 20, 2010

A Great First Week

Gianluca has been here one full week and it really has been full of some pretty fun stuff. It's hard to believe he's only been here a week and I am amazed at the difference between the shy young man that I picked up on Saturday and the one who is with us now. Not that he is a different person, it's just that he has really opened up and bonded with our family is a real organic way. It's wonderful to see his big smile. My heart swells when I see it because it tells me he's getting comfortable and trusting us more.

Gianluca is so very similar to my youngest son, Mason, that it's been challenging for them to find common ground and connect. So, last night I asked Gianluca if he'd be willing to go with us to the park and play some tennis with Mason. He was very gracious to do so and I tell you it was HILARIOUS. I laughed so hard, Mason really did try, and of course Gianluca was patient and chased after A LOT of stray balls. I think this simple exercise really did break the ice because it was awkward and laughter was abundant. I think laughter does a great deal to bring people together.

Today Gianluca and I went to take his sports paperwork into his school so that he can try out for tennis next week. We were able to see only a small portion of the school but what we saw was really beautiful. I have never been in this school before and the architecture really impressed me. I have no idea whether the academics are as much to marvel at, but I'll wait to place judgement once Gianluca is actually attending. After going to his school we went down and dropped my car off to get the oil changed and walked down to get a cup of coffee and look in shops at U Village. It was a nice walk. Then we went to AT&T and Gianluca got a simm card for his phone, so he is officially wired! This is great because it gives him more freedom to roam the city and explore. After U Village we went to see a play, "Guys and Dolls", performed by local teens, one of which is a friends son. It was really great. I don't think Gianluca understood much but the music was fun for him and it was a true cultural experience. Tonight I made pesto pasta for dinner and he was so excited. He, for the first time, ate a big helping (actually two) and I was thrilled. I've been a bit worried that he's not eating enough, but now I know it's because I'm probably not making things that he likes. I'm really not a very creative cook, so in that respect I may fail him occasionally, but I'm doing my best.

Tomorrow morning we are headed to Portland. We'll be taking Max (from Germany) and Gabriel (from Brazil) as well. It should be quite the experience for me in a car with five teenage boys! I think I can handle it.

All in all, Gianluca's first week has been very successful. I'm really pleased with his progress with English, but more importantly I'm just thrilled that he is such a wonderful young man who we are all quickly coming to love.

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