I don’t even really know what else to type right now.
Today our family was completed!!!!
We met our closest family and friends at the airport. They brought signs, food, balloons, and hugs.
We’ve been through a lot with these people and it really meant a lot to us that they were there. I’m crying now just thinking about it.
After a short wait the kids we’ve been waiting on all these years stepped off that plane. I greeted a very happy Mareg:
And a very scared Yordanos:
It was the first time in 4 months that I’ve seen my kids. Yordanos was scared and wore her grumpy face at the airport, but she avoided any major meltdowns FOR THE ENTIRE 26 HOUR TRIP. This was huge!!
We spent a little time at the airport catching up with our family and friends, loving on these kids, and annoying passerby as we took huge group pictures:
It truly was a magical moment; a moment just as special to me as my wedding day or our biokids’ birth. Thank you to those who took part in it, whether you were physically there or just there in spirit.
While we were at the airport and I was chatting with a friend I realized I am now responsible for 4 souls and I only knew where 2 of those souls currently were. The reality of instantly becoming a mother of 4 started to sink in and I wondered how on Earth I could do this?! Eventually our loved ones left, we rounded up our crew and left in our now-packed minivan.
The ride home was surprisingly quiet. The husband and I wondered what we had gotten ourselves into.
We got home and walked into the living room- instant toy overload. And most of our toys aren’t even in the living room! Both kids were in heaven going through mostly toddler toys. That room was destroyed in a matter of minutes! We decided to just spend most of our time for the night in that one room. The three big kids played while we prepared a spaghetti supper. Wiggles is going to LOVE having the big kids around. He keeps right up with them. That is not to say that they don’t have their share of squabbles- I already lost count of how many little spats they had tonight. But I can tell that although sharing his toys is a real challenge he really enjoys having playmates around.
Our first family dinner:
The baby got a little fussy during dinner and Yordanos comforted her; a sight that really warmed my heart:
After dinner we played outside for awhile. Mareg had a blast on Wiggle’s ride-on toys; we’ve got to get him a bike or something soon.
And Yordanos really liked the swing:
And then back inside for pajamas, teeth brushing, and a little wrestling match:
The kids go to bed really well. They are pretty much ready to go to sleep before you even read them a book or kiss them goodnight. I can’t wait for them to just be kids and for them to let me mother them and tuck them in.
Overall, night one was a whopping success!!
That being said, I know we have challenges ahead of us. It’s going to be totally overwhelming sometimes- at one point one kid was banging on the piano, another was playing with a singing Elmo, another was playing with some other kid of noise-making toy, and the baby was crying. Everyone was being pretty good but it was really loud and really chaotic. That’s going to take some getting used to. Batteries may start disappearing.
Language is going to be an issue. Everything is going to be 10,000 times easier when they pick up English. Once Yordanos feels comfortable she is REALLY chatty. She just talks and talks in Tigrinya. It sounds like gibberish to us and it’s a good reminder for how we must sound to her.
There are so many practical things for these kids to learn. Right now we’re worrying less about things like flossing your teeth and more about things like toilet paper goes in the toilet and not the trash can.
Mareg is very bossy towards Wiggles- probably a cultural thing. He speaks to Wiggles in a demanding tone and pretty much expects Wiggles to do whatever he bosses him to do. Wiggles can be a big jerk to other kids his age but it’s pretty awesome to see his jerkiness at work with Mareg. Mareg will give some demand and Wiggles will yell back “NO!”
The kids aren’t really disciplined (not that we expected them to be). They’re used to doing their own thing with little guidance or direction. Living in a family is a new concept to them and that’s going to take some getting used to.
It will be really interesting to see how the next few weeks go. I expect that as the newness wears off and they realize that this is it, this is their forever, there will be some struggles, some tears. I expect the husband and I to nip at each other as we’re home for long days with 4 very needy kids. I expect to feel tired, to question the way our family has come together, to wonder if we can really do this after all.
But I also expect the next year to be one of the most rewarding years of my life.
I expect this little boy, who has a smile a mile wide but sometimes cries in his sleep, to embrace the love and stability of a family. I expect that he will make a lot of friends. I expect his little mind to be stretched in new ways; to be challenged instead of wasting away. I expect he will embrace the opportunity he now has and I just can’t wait to see what he does with it.
And this little girl, oh this little girl. She has a grasp on my heart already. I expect her to get over her meltdowns eventually, once she learns she can trust us and feels safe with us. I expect her silly side to come out more and more and her grumpy side less and less. She is a total girly girl; she loves all things pink and purple and headed straight for the shoes in her closet.
These kids have had a rough beginning to life. There are going to be challenges. But I expect that week by week, little by little, their rough start is going to be redeemed.
And I feel so honored, so blessed, to have a front-row seat to watch.