A little over a month ago, Chance and I decided to sign Nasko up for the Little Mister Athens Contest.
Many times over the past month, I've said to myself, "What were we thinking?!"
The contest took place last night. There were three little boys in the competition (in addition to all the Little Miss, Junior Miss, and Miss Athens contestants). There were more than three hundred people in attendance.
Again, "What were we thinking?!"
We were thinking that this would be a good experience. We were thinking of all the social skills that could be gained through this activity. We were thinking that being in front of a large group of people is good for a child's confidence. We were thinking that our community would again see an example of God's grace through adoption (and my not-killing-Nasko if he misbehaved!)
We were also thinking that he would be TOTALLY oblivious if he didn't win, so enter the contest now, or forever hold our peace.
So we entered.
We were right, it was a good experience for him.
And he was totally oblivious that he didn't win!
As we expected though, Nasko gained some friends through the weekly interaction during the rehearsals. He learned the word "practice" and now understands what it means. He learned to answer a few basic social questions that we knew would be asked of him (ex. "How old are you?" "Five" and "What is your favorite food?" "Hot dog!") He learned to wait his turn and listen when it was the other boys' turns.
Unexpectedly though, Nasko also learned how to manipulate his way into the hearts of ALL of the Little Miss and Junior Miss contestants. He learned how to work a crowd of three hundred (plus) people. He learned how much his family, friends, and community members love him. (He received some of the loudest cheers in the contest. We are deeply loved!)
He also demonstrated to me how much he really can communicate. Before the pageant, the contestants were interviewed by a panel of judges. I was allowed to help with Nasko's interview (by interpreting, helping phrase questions, etc.) Nasko was able to tell the judges that he was wearing his "M&M glasses." (They have polka dots on them that he believes are M&Ms!) When they asked if he went to school, he said, "bus." When they asked his favorite color, I said that he wouldn't be able to answer, but he could tell them what color a stop sign was and what color a school bus was. He answered both correctly! He also told them that he wanted to "ride cars" because he had seen the fair rides outside before coming into the room. For a child with only five months of English and a severe speech delay, I thought he did really well! I was very surprised with how much he could understand and how well he could respond.
I'm actually very glad that we decided to enter Nasko into the Little Mister Competition.
I'm REALLY glad that Colby B. won and we are off the hook for having any other responsibilities though!
I'm also glad that Colby won because he was the only boy who actually seemed to understand that there would be winners and losers! He did a great job and was super adorable.
Thanks to his mom (and my dad) for sharing the following pictures. As you will see, I was too busy to take ANY photos!
Walking on stage while the announcer read a short bio about Nasko: who his parents are, his favorite movie (YouTube videos of buses), his favorite color (school bus yellow), and what he wanted to be when he grew up (a school bus driver, of course).
Nasko's single interview questions was preplanned so that we could practice. When he was asked, "What is your favorite thing to eat?" he responded with "Hot dog!" The announcer then sprung a question on us about ketchup verses mustard, and I quickly helped Nasko respond with "Cheese!" We didn't bother to mention that it's soy cheese due to his food allergy...
Also, congrats to Nasko for a job well done! It was a learning experience and we had a great time!