I have so much to tell you that I could probably fill 29 pages…but don’t you worry. I know you don’t want to read 29 pages so I’ll keep it short
(er than that).
Yesterday was a bit of a tough day, but that had nothing to do with the kids and everything to do with me being sleep deprived. Being with any child all day requires a lot of patience. Being with four children, two of which have no idea how to be in a family and don’t nap and can’t communicate with you, one of which is a hilarious but whiny 2-year-old, and one of which is a newborn who nurses 10-12 times a day requires piles of patience higher than Mt Everest. Challenging on any day but nearly impossible when the baby decides she wants to party all night.
So with that caveat, the kids are doing fantastic!! The husband and I have been so amazed at how well things are going. We know them well enough now to give them blog names. Our girl will be Diva and our boy will be Smiles.
In Ethiopia Diva could have been considered bipolar. She had plenty of goofy silly moments but just as many grumpy moments. When she was having a grumpy moment she would push you away physically and emotionally. She did not like to leave her comfort zone and had screaming kicking meltdowns during transitions. She told us that America was “ca ca” (yucky). Needless to say, we were worried about how she would do here. She has blown us away! It is like she is not even the same person. She does have a tough time when she wakes up/goes to bed but that is it. The rest of the day she is nothing but smiles and laughs. She chats nonstop in Tigrinya but randomly interjects “I love America. I love Daddy. I love Mommy.” She has been emotionally and physically affectionate. She loves to play with my hair and she loves to climb all over the husband. I love watching him with her and can just see her wrapping him around her finger. She has one of the most expressive faces I’ve ever seen and her happy faces are just the best. She is awesome and we are so proud of her adjustment thus far.
Smiles is doing well too. We weren’t as worried about him; his personality is naturally more friendly and outgoing. He is eager to please and does best when given a chore or task to complete. He’s so helpful and is fun to be around. We have to remember that even though he’s 8, in many ways he is still a toddler. They say adopted kids have a chronological age and a family age. He’s very young in family age. Today he got super excited to watch Barney! (as annoying as that show is, the kids picked up the theme song and walked around saying “I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family” for hours afterwards, which is super sweet for our situation). We’re meeting with the school district tomorrow to discuss enrolling him. As previously mentioned, I do think he’s going to struggle with school. Since he has not been in school he obviously does not know much, but he doesn’t even really seem to know how to learn. I’ve been doing “lessons” at home and he just doesn’t have much of an attention span or seem very interested. Again, reminding ourselves that in many ways he’s a giant toddler helps us be patient with him.
Overall these kids have far exceeded our expectations and are doing great. For the most part they are well-behaved, respectful, and loving. We may be in a honeymoon stage as they haven’t really tried to test us yet, at least not significantly. There have been minor things, like when Smiles poured water on the husband from the deck above (really hard not to laugh at his sweet giggles). The days aren’t always easy to get through, but there is progress being made each day and we are so lucky to be a part of their journey.
Here’s a few random things from the last few days:
- The husband puts Franks Red Hot on EVERYTHING. The kids wanted to try it too. Wish I had a picture of their faces J
- Today we went to the soccer fields- their first time being in a car since we’ve been home. This had potential to be a meltdown moment but everything went smoothly!
- Except for one little thing…
- Smiles has something wrong with his ear…not sure what it is, but there’s some sort of mass inside that bleeds sometimes. It was hurting him today. I pulled up a picture of a doctor and told him we were going to see the doc tomorrow. Immediate tears and “No mommys!” I did this 10 minutes before we left for the soccer fields, so the whole way there he thought we were going to the doctor. “No mommys!” the whole way to the fields. He is going to hate us tomorrow.
- Smiles is a rockstar baseball hitter but has no interest in catching/throwing the ball.
- I’m pretty sure Diva’s arm could qualify her for MLB right now, but she has no interest in hitting.
- Other than throwing, Diva is more clumsy than any drunk I’ve ever met. Constant random falls.
- These kids LOVE the game Memory.
- Food. Smiles eats most anything; Diva is a little more picky (what would you expect from a Diva?) They don’t like grapes or apples. They LOVE broccoli and think it’s a treat (well, they like the ranch they dip it in equally well). They also LOVE peanut butter.
- Our daycare lady gave us a bicycle for the kids and Smiles is obsessed with it. They also love being pulled in the bike trailer.
- Diva won’t touch anything in her closet that is not pink, purple, or sparkly.
- I turned off the camera on the iPad because when Smiles has it he navigates away from the educational game I have pulled up and takes nine dozen pictures of himself, the floor, and the dogs
- They are repeating a lot of what we say but not always appropriately. For example, I’ll draw a few letters and say “which is the A?” and they’ll say “which is the A?” They have learned a few words but it’s mostly charades over here.
That’s all for now…wish us luck at the doctor tomorrow!