Friday, February 19, 2010

One Month Together

One Month Today, wow, it's been an entire month since you have been completely and totally in our care. It doesn't seem like forever as some would say, and I'm sure it will soon, but for now, it seems like one month!
You two have come so far in that one month, and so have we. While you're down for a nap and I'm praying you remain there for a good bit today, I'll take a moment to retrace your progress!
Bekeh, you now speak non-stop. 80% in Kambaata and 20% in english-like words. You voluntarily speak the following:
  • Mommy
  • Daddy
  • Brooklyn (Broot-a-lyn)
  • Nathan (Nay-dan)
  • Corban (Tour-bin)
  • Caleb (Day-yeb)
  • I love you, mommy or daddy or whoever you're speaking to.
  • Mimi
  • Hello, daddy, or mommy . . .
  • Bye Bye daddy or . . .
  • Shoes (Your first word to know)
  • Socks
  • Eat
  • Nite-Nite
  • Bekeh's turn
  • Caleb's turn
  • Kitchen
  • Shirt
  • Pony
  • All Done
  • Ella & Dog (who thank goodness is finally your friend)

You also pretty much understand most everything I need you to throughout the day. Yesterday from mommy's bedroom I asked you to go get Caleb's socks, and a few minutes later you came back with them, and clean ones from his drawer no less.

You both have slept through the night from the first night we had you, and you go down so easily for naps. You both love bath time, and even showers with mom when we're in a hurry. You especially love playing outside with your brothers, and scream with joy whenever your daddy walks in the door from work. You guys are both so happy and adjusted, and we're falling more in love with you everyday.
Caleb, you still mimic every word we say, but your skills at connecting them into useful language are still developing. You can clearly voluntarily communicate the word No, more, and EAT. That's your favorite word of all, Eat! Eat! Eat! and you place your fingers up to your mouth and do the sign language with it. It's pitifully adorable. You also say mommy, daddy and Ella, but you don't yell out your siblings names or other people quite yet. You'll say anything when prompted, but we're still working on getting you to talk of your own volition. You are a two year old toot and are an exceptional actor. Anytime Bekeh is crying from hurting herself, you immediately put your hand to the same spot on your body with full out crying and tears, although I was watching you the entire time and you never hurt yourself. I'll give you a look and say "Oh stop that," and you'll instantly stop and giggle at me. Anyone who wasn't watching you would swear you were in need of emergency medical attention!
Your behavior has improved the most these past weeks. You whine 90% less, are so affectionate, and are a true delight. You and I are finally friends, and you crave my hugs and kisses all day long. It's so much easier to be your mommy when you're not screaming every time I come near!
You go tee tee in the potty every time we put you on it, but you're not ready for training yet. You have a little surgery and some work on your communication skills before we start down that road. Speaking of your surgery, we are also going to have some plastic surgery work done on your lip. Because it is exposed to the air all the time, it gets chapped and sloughs off regularly. Your upper lip is often bleeding, and I can only imagine how painful that is, although you hardly let on. Last night as I was applying lip balm to it I said, "I can't wait until after his plastic surgery so this will be better," and Nathan says, "He's having Plastic Surgery? Is he going to be white afterwards like Michael Jackson?" He was so serious and daddy and I just busted out laughing so hard. It was precious. No, you're not going to be white, you'll always be your beautiful chocolate self!
More than anyone, you mimic your sister. Every move she makes, you make too. Every kiss she gets, you have to have too. You two love each other and play together so well. Bekeh, you love to find any of Brooklyn's bags and purses and fill it with your treasures throughout the day. You also, in keeping with your heritage, love to wear scarves. Caleb, not to be left out, you grab whatever you can find, normally it's a dirty tshirt and a plastic grocery bag, but today you found a bag of your own and a pillowcase to fit the bill.
You guys are so adorable and we've had a fun filled, exhausting, emotional, and amazing journey this last month. To many more to come, thank you Lord.

I Heart Tabasco!

Actually, I loathe you and the way you make my food taste, but my daughter thinks you're a little bottle of magic. Whenever my cooking doesn't suit her liking, or our American fare, especially veggies, does not make her taste buds zing, I sprinkle your magic potion over her plate and her eyes light up and the food begins it's vanishing act. Do not feel left out you cousins named Buffalo Sauce and Salsa, you work your miracle powers over her as well. God Bless you McIlhenny Co, and your precious nasty pepper sauce.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Golden Arches

Perhaps I have gone a little crazy, because it seemed like a great idea to get out of the house for a bit today and go to McDonald's for your first time. Thank goodness they had Buffalo dipping sauce, you're still not a fan of ketchup. But Caleb, unlike your sister, you prefer the sweeter over the hot, and preferred dipping everything in the caramel sauce.
The Chicken Nuggets, and the cheeseburger were both hits, and we had our first McD's meltdown when you couldn't have your toy before you were finished with your lunch. Don't worry, Mommy's seen it before, I knew what to do, we survived. The room was filled with other busy two and three year olds, and you guys were captivated by how much they ran and played. You were both anxious to be "all done" so you could get down and see what was so fun about that plastic playground. Caleb, your poor little legs are so short you couldn't make the climb all the way up, but you were cool with hanging out and banging on the glass. You would giggle as the kids came screaming by you on their many rounds of going up and down the slide. Bekeh, it took you awhile, but you finally watched the other girls long enough to maneuver your way to the third story entrance to the slide. You got yourself sat down at the start, and immediately the extreme whining began. Mommy did her best to assure you from my spot way down below that it was fun, but you weren't believing me. I'd like to say you finally trusted me, but I think it was the sassy girl behind you that said, "Go already!" and perhaps gave you a little (or big) nudge, that finally got you started. I ran to meet you at the bottom and the smile on your face and the beaming pride were priceless! "You did it!" I screamed and you jumped up and down so thrilled and excited and ran to give me the biggest hug! After 30 minutes of watching you scale the heights and whirl down the slide I was ready to go, and like all toddlers at the end of their MickeyD's adventures, you weren't ready to go. But once again, mom's handled this before and we made it out the door with all our shoes, coats, purse, and camera. Mom hasn't lost her touch. I can still carry two melting down, screaming, toddlers out the door and to the car without melting down myself, and get a picture of it to blog about too!

Welcome to American Toddlerhood babies! I'd say you're getting it down just fine!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Bekeh and Caleb loved the frozen wo'á! It took a little convincing but I finally was able to assure them it was wo'á (pronounced oohwah, Kambaata for water) and they took a big taste!Bekeh loved chasing the dog around the back yard and throwing the snow up in the air, whereas Caleb preferred to stand in one spot and observe, touch, and catch the falling snow in his hands. I left them gloveless so they could experience all the new sensations, so it was a fairly short visit outside.Bekeh took her first face plant, and cried for a few seconds until mommy laughed so hard it made her realize she wasn't really upset, and decided to frolick along after Ella some more.
We can't wait for Brooklyn, Nathan, and Corban to get home so they can play with us! How's it going you ask since all of my posts lately have been about my sweet friend Jenny, who is being taken off the ventilator this morning, so please pray.
It's going, OK. And that's the best you're going to get out of me if you want honesty!! Things are most difficult for me with Caleb, although Jason would say Caleb's easiest and Bekelech is the difficult one. So it's all good and fair! :)
For me, the one who is home by myself all day with them, Caleb is having the hardest time. He chooses often to completely dislike me. He isn't at all aggressive with his disdain, he simply screams and whines whenever I'm around or holding him.


Nonetheless, we have plenty of giggly and smiley moments, so no one worry about us, it's just extremely challenging and I'm having to work really hard at unconditional love. It's difficult to love some little person who acts like you're the last person alive they want to be around! But, I assure you it's all temporary and we're getting through it with all the prayer and resources we need. But you can pray for us.
Bekeh is truly blossoming for me. She sings like a lark in her Kambaata, and is now picking up and singing songs I make them endure all day long to their delight!


On Tuesday we finally got her to begin answering questions. It was a huge accomplishment. The conversations usually went (with a ton of pointing and motioning accompaniment,)
Mommy: "What is your name?"
Bekeh: "What is your name?"
Mommy: "No, say Bekeh"
Bekeh: "No, say Bekeh"
Mommy: "My name is mommy"
Bekeh: "My name is mommy"
Mommy: "Your name is Bekeh"
Bekeh: "djsaklf djsakl Bekeh"
Mommy: "What is her name? (Pointing at Brooklyn)
Bekeh: "Wha jda ds name?"
Mommy: "What is my name?"
Bekeh: "Mommy"
Mommy: "What is your name?"
Bekeh: "Bekeh"
and on around the house she named them all!!!!

And YESTERDAY!!! Whoo hooo!!! Brooklyn and I worked very hard on this all day, practicing by showing her over and over going back and forth and finally!
Mommy: "I love you Bekeh"
Bekeh: "I love you Bekeh"
Mommy: "I love you Bekeh"
Bekeh: "I love you B. . . (pause) . . . Mommy!"
Connection MADE!!! She still gets Corban and Nathan mixed up, but who doesn't, she probably learned that from listening to me too!! :) So she'll answer questions rather than repeating them, and she's beginning to ask for things she needs, and tells me when she's done going potty rather than waiting for me to ask over and over.
PROGRESS! Nathan is the most excited to come home and play with them every day after school. He says over and over and over, "I'm so glad we got them, they're the best." "I'm so glad we got THESE kids, they are so cool." "Bekeh and Caleb are the best, I'm so glad we got to bring THEM home." He seems to believe every other kid available in Ethiopia would be dull and boring! No offense, they're all precious, but he's takin a likin to these two in particular.

They are happy kids and we do have a lot of great moments in the day, mommy is still having a difficult time letting go of my old freedoms, but we're all making adjustments and loving our new crazy life!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

And the winner was. . .

Amber Booy!
Click her name above to view her blog and follow along on her adoption journey through Ethiopia and China consecutively!
It was Rhubarb pie ladies and gentlemen! It was cold and had a stringy texture. I'm sure many love it, but we were not fans. The cinnamon chocolates, cheese and wines were delicious though!

Amber will be receiving a beautiful Ethiopian made scarf in the mail very soon. Thanks to all who made guesses, they were creative!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Numbers Don't Lie

  • 1 - A singular desire to be obedient to the Lord
  • 2 - semi-sweet chocolate children He added to our family
  • 5 - Amazing children that I love and that plain wear me out.
  • 21 - The number of plates I put in the dishwasher everyday.
  • 18 - The number of cups I wash everyday. Why can my older kids not reuse them?
  • 4 - The number of adorable 2T panties I rinse out each day from the Augmentin toots.
  • 0 - The number of panties I will rinse today! The words "Sc**W it!" escaped my lips and the Pull Ups came out. Forgive me Lord.
  • 1 - the number of times I've hid out in the bathroom today with my laptop. This momma needs to blog and surf! (Don't call my social worker, Elida is out there)
  • 2 - Loads of Laundry per day. 6 on Wednesdays.
  • 88 blissful chocolate and vanilla kisses a day.
  • 44 earth shattering screams a day when the dog stretches, moves, sleeps, or breathes in their vicinity.
  • 2 hours a day Caleb naps so I can recover my sanity.
  • 30 minutes a day Bekeh naps so I can get one thing done.
  • 999 times a day I wish I spoke Kembataan so I could record their conversations to each other.
  • 789 - times a day I shout "No!"
  • 2 - the number of times they act like they understand the word "no" and yet trust me, they understand.
  • 896 times a day I have to speak truth out loud to overcome the lies in my spirit, "You are a good mom, there are seeds in the barn, You are a good mom there are seeds in the barn, You are a good mom there are seeds in the barn, you are a good mom, there are seeds in the barn." Thanks Haggai for reminding us.
  • 942 giggles, laughs, songs, and dances performed daily by all seven Crazy Roots.
  • 1,678 the number of times a day I question why I ever thought bringing two Ethiopian kids to live with us and be our children was a doable and workable idea.
  • 1,677 the number of times I realize I love my life and wouldn't want it any other way.
  • 1,679 the number of times a day God assures me that my life is exactly in the middle of His will for my family, and it's all good.