Here are some of the diverse things I have done since being in the Romanian group.
Made hotel reservations for people, pretending to be them to keep things simple.
Diagnosed rashes and other minor health issues, in the library of the hall, and recommended treatment.
Helped to read and explain complicated immigration documents.
Did lots of tutoring for the kids in school.
With trips to family planning clinics, the "couple's aisle" of Rite Aid, emails to my doctor about the effectiveness of Moldovan birth control pills, and very detailed explanations (Yikes!) I have helped two couples to remain surprise free in the early stage of marriage.
Attempted many explanations of the cleaning products we use at the hall. I know how to read "Dirty Rags" in 3 languages.
Dispelled many myths they hear from the Russian community. No, "they" are not going to implant you with a computer chip in your wrist. And no, Obama is not a Muslim.
Had lots of conversations about American food products and how to cook with them.
Answered unending questions about living in the United States, realizing they would do the same for me if I were navigating life in Eastern Europe.
But until today, I have not had to pretend to be anyone's mother. I would be proud to be the mother of these kids, but the facts are the facts. This afternoon, while Daniella is in pioneer school, I had to return a book to her school so she could receive her grades. She had a bunch more questions she wanted me to ask, and she said that if they ASSUMED I was the mom, it would be so much easier.
So I dressed in the best Mom Clothes I could think of, nice jeans, Sketchers, a cute and flattering top, plus just a touch of lipstick. Hey, if I'm going to be the mom of a teenage girl, I don't want to embarrass her. I went to the office and turned in the book, and bam I had them, they thought I was the mom. Now I wasn't trying to deceive, but the real mom is learning English, is busy with school, work and another child. So I kept asking the questions Daniella wanted to know about: ROP, work experience, how many hours she can work during the school year, etc.
The question came up, has she enrolled for the new school year? What a loser mom, I didn't know. Fortunately from being married to a teacher I knew what the Tdap shot was, and got the information for getting my darling daughter immunized. Then I made the appointment to re-enroll and they asked for the phone number. Holy Toledo, I should have memorized their home phone. I just gave mine. Then I panicked, what if they ask to spell the last name, I know these people well, but they have a last name I always need to spell twice and recheck. Whew, they didn't ask.
Mission accomplished, my dear little girl is set to start her Junior year. My how time flies. It seems like only yesterday I didn't even have children.