We were all a little nervous about the start of the school year. Matan had been asking for a new “gan” for months, but barely mentioned it over the weekend. I was also worried about what kind of peers he would find in special ed.

Matan will be living in luxury. I doubt there are many private programs that offer the staff to child ratio he’s got. There are always at least 2, usually 3 or more adults with the 8 children. When we arrived I saw one mom I know, whose son has a speech delay. They live right near us, and her son is quiet, but very nice. In addition, I ran into another adoptive mom, apparently she remembered Matan and me from one of our adoptive family events. Her son is from Russia, and as soon as Matan saw him doing headstands in the incredibly soft astro turf, Matan had to join in and the two of them were doing somersaults and having a great time. I see at least two good potential friends for Matan, and both live in our area.

We still don’t have an after care program for him, but the head teacher told us she was working on a solution since none of the parents agreed to have our children hauled across town just to have lunch and then a free hour. The municipality was offering us a school bus to take the children, and then return them to our homes at 4 pm, but the thought of them being on a bus for up to an hour each way had all of us against it.

Karen also apparently had a good day. Her class is smaller this year because four children left, but none were added. She reported that when she first went to the meeting place for the after care program, they told her she wasn’t registered. She said she cried, but then they found her name and all was well. She was in a great mood when I picked her up, just very demanding. We called one of her girlfriends to come to the playground, but the girls and Matan really wanted to go to the pool, so I took them, even though both Karen and Matan’s behavior deteriorated after 5 pm. It was a long day for both of them.