Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sadly, They've All, but Forgotten

I was quizzing Bella today on whether she could remember Illongo. She says,"no, I speak only English!"

*Sigh!* I really wanted them to hang on to their Illongo just a little bit. I asked her to talk to Peanut in Illongo, but it wasn't going to happen. It seems the only thing they remember is the Philippine National Anthem. I can understand why. It's a pretty and catchy anthem. Sadly, it's likely in Talalog.

So no more Illongo here except the few words we learned from them early on. We still try to use them, but it's pretty hard to remember to do so when your daughters won't even use them anymore.


  1. Hi Deborah,
    That is totally common as I am sure you are aware. My daughter's sister in law adopted a beautiful little girl from Guatamala. When I saw her last weekend and spoke spanish to her, she told me she didn't know spanish. The good thing is that it's in their brain and I'm pretty sure that when they get older if they were exposed to the language it would come back farely quickly. It's just a guess.
    They are so blessed!

    Happy Sunday to you and a nap in your future today?

  2. Deborah,
    Yes this is common! No need to worry, even though it is a bit sad. We remember a good handful of words that we were taught right when 'T' got home,so we could communicate at least a little. :) She spoke Amharic, and even a different language before that, before she was taken to the orphanage.

    I'm going to go listen to that anthem right now! :)

    Blessings to a good Sunday,

    P.S. We were blessed with a few very cute videos of 'T' sent from friends before we had even met her! In them, she was speaking very rapidly to some of the other children in the orphanage.

  3. Yah, that is kind of sad, but look at the bright side... assimilation :D

    My grandma's family came from Sweden and learned English as rapidly as possible. They were proud to be Americans. She and her eight siblings forgot most of their Swedish, though my grandma and my Aunt Lucille remembered enough to cheat at pinochle ;D

  4. You know... thinking more... I'm NOT an adoptive parent, so disregard at will.

    I was just thinking that it's surely a good thing to honor your kids' heritage. It's a good part of their past, not something to be ashamed of. But maybe - like my grandma's family - they are happy to move forward, to embrace being a dB, and a Canadian.

    It's funny. I know several people out here that have adopted from China and they're very diligent about embracing Chinese food, customs, etc. But I never thought to wonder what the kids actually want.

    Does that make them feel honored and special? Or does it emphasize their different-ness and maybe even make them feel like "you're not one of us"?

    Sorry, Deborah, I'm not intending any of this in an accusing way at all! - just thinking "out loud", so to speak. I'm sure you've put a lot more thought into it than I have!


  5. Think away my friend because you have some very good thoughts and I've wondered myself. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!


  6. Kids just want to be like each other and in particular little kids want to be like the big kids. The big kids don't speak Illongo so the little kids don't want to either. Keep using the words you do know as a family and eventually they will become the normal household words for those things. Eventually the girls might decide they want to learn more about their heritage or maybe not but either way they are loved and happy.

  7. That's so interesting that the girls have lost their first language so quickly. I wonder which language they dream in?



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