Wednesday, May 19, 2010

4 Months Together!

Do you know how I know things are settling into a little bit of normal around here? It's difficult for me to sit and think about what you two have done in the past month with us. For the first time since January, the family has not solely revolved around the two of you. I know that in and of itself might sound offensive to you guys, but I assure you it's the best thing for you. You have joined our family, and you are finally becoming part of our family, not this separate entity that sends out amazing and beautiful light and energy but also creates a gravitational pull that yanks everything around into it!

Caleb, I've been anxiously waiting to write this post for one reason, to announce to the world that you no longer use me as a battering ram. Wow, where did that word come from? I was thinking punching bag and battering ram came out of my keyboard. That just started a whole thing with the Holy Spirit in me. Whoa.
Siege armies used a battering ram to break down a gatehouse door or even smash a castle wall. To shield themselves from attack, they built a covered shed, in which they hung a thick tree trunk on chains suspended from a beam above. Carpenters tapered the trunk into a blunt point and capped it with iron. Soldiers swung the hanging trunk back and forth, and the forward end of the trunk moved in and out of the shed like a tortoise's head, battering its target. Castle defenders tried to burn the shed down with flaming arrows, though attackers responded by covering the shed with animal pelts or earth to make it fireproof.

I was never your battering ram Caleb, mommy had it all wrong. Jesus was your battering ram. He was the large tree breaking down the walls you built around your heart. I was simply part of the covering shed. I took the fiery arrows from the enemy trying to stop us from breaking down the strongholds. You weren't firing the arrows sweetheart, you were the prisoner locked inside we were trying to rescue. It wasn't until we covered ourselves in the blood of Jesus that we became fireproof and finally knocked through to where you were hiding. Oh praise your name Holy Spirit for showing me that just now. Thank you for being a battering ram for all of us, and forgive me for all those months I wasted feeling sorry for myself because I placed myself as that tree and whined about the beating I was taking against the castle wall. Thank you for tearing that wall down on April 24th and bringing Caleb out from his bondage.

Wow Son, didn't expect God to speak through my typing this blog post, but that's the cool thing about your Heavenly Daddy, He shows up everywhere. That just changed my perspective on everything in 5 minutes. Gotta take a break and process and pray, be right back.
Deep breath. Ok, Caleb, so, our bonding nightmare is behind both of us, and we're able to just move forward with normal bonding. It will take months and years and will never stop, but at least we're together finally. No more frantic screaming, no more avoiding eye contact, no more hiding under blankets. You still startle really easy, it will take time for you to trust and find peace, but we'll get there together. As you toddled around the house today playing and trying to talk in your undecipherable jibberish, I thought to myself, "I really do enjoy that boy." You are hilarious, you have a snorting laugh that cracks us up, you announce very loudly anytime anyone burps or toots in the house, and your cheeks are filling out with extra sweetness enough that the most adorable dimples have appeared! Just squeezable. I love your prayers. I love how you repeat "Caleb no tee tee on the floor, that's yucky. No tee tee in pants, yucky. No tee tee on Bekeh in bath, that's yucky." everytime you go potty. You don't have accidents, maybe because you remind yourself so often. . . You're talking a lot, although it takes one of us to interpret for you to outsiders. Still got a lazy tongue and lips, but we'll work on it! You love playing outside, you love playing pretend kitchen, and you still love WIGGLES!
Bekeh. Your biggest change this month has been in your peace. Although you still pout when you feel left out of anything, which is a lot, you are a more peaceful person. I think a lot has to do with the fact that you now have a voice and vocabulary to express your needs. The other day you came in to me after school and said, "Mommy, Bekeh no like this dress. No more wear it." You had whined everytime I put it on you previously and just got chidded for being whiney. It was good to express your taste, cause the dress went in the giveaway box, and you were very pleased. You have also learned the concept of money and buying. You received a birthday card from Great Grandma Mullen, and about thirty minutes after opening it you came to me and said, "Mommy, where my money from Grandma Mullen?" I laughed cause you were so serious and it was your longest thought and phrase to get out clearly up til then. So I said, "It's in your wallet." Immediatley you responded, "Where's my wallet?" So I showed you in the kitchen. The next day you saw a Wiggles coloring book at the store and begged for it. I said no, and you said in an excessively whiney voice, "Bekeh want it." So I said, "Do you want to buy it with your money in your wallet?" Your eyes lit up and we bought the coloring book and when we got home you counted out five dollars (it was a thick one) and gave it to me. You carried that book around everywhere and told everyone, "Bekeh bought it - money!" I love being able to talk with you now. It's still progressing, and you have to have insider knowledge to understand everything, but you've been telling me whose absent at school, whose parents visited the classroom, who got in trouble in class, what you did, where you want to go, what you think about things, etc. I can't wait to really learn about your personality more when you can express all those amazing things swimming around in your head!I love this picture because Brooklyn took it, and you'll smile differently for her, and because you're wearing a beloved article of clothing! Brooklyn, Emily, and Natalie all received these Hello Kitty nightgowns from Mimi manyyears ago when they were tiny. I think Brooklyn had just turned 3. When she got it, it came to her ankles, and she was still wearing it last month, only it barely covered her toosh. But she loved it and would never let it go. Finally, a couple of weeks ago, I convinced her it was time because it didn't have to go away, she could pass it down to you. It was actually a tough choice for her, but seeing you in it makes her smile, and me too! I love that you will wear it til it's bone thin and barely covers your hiney too.
I'll try and take notes during month five so I'll have more to report, but it was an AMAZING month and we've come so far in getting used to each other and figuring this whole new normal out! Love you babies! (Oh, sorry, you HATE it when I call you that. You don't understand the concept of nicknames or terms of endearment at all!!!) SO. . . .Love you big girl and big boy!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bear's Coming Home!

We are so blessed to have a tight knit group of Ethiopian/Texan families that we share this journey with. Bekeh especially loves Ms. Linda, and thoroughly enjoys our car rides to lunch. She's been waiting for "her baby from Ethiopia" to come and play with her and we're thrilled to pieces he's on his way home this week!!!! He's gotten so big since we held him and kissed all over him for Ben and Linda in January. Can't wait to kiss all over him some more this weekend! He's coming Bekeh and you can play with him again finally! We love you Bereket!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Let's Party!

On Saturday we had a wonderful birthday party out at my brother's place to celebrate Caleb, Bekeh, and Rhett's birthdays. They each came home to our families in January of this year after being adopted through America World, so this was their first American Birthday, and we went all out!It was a cool family affair, and the kids were happily overwhelmed with the attention, and especially the gifts.
Caleb's favorite gift was from Nana, a green ride on Dog. It was the first gift opened, and he sat upon it to open all the others! He and Papa must have ridden up and down the steep driveway a hundred times!Bekeh loved her kitchen from Nana, earrings from Grammy and Papa, and is having a blast with all the sidewalk chalk and puzzles she received. Thank you!
Every American child enjoys the thrill of devouring their very own birthday cake on their first birthday, and these three were no different. Although the majority of their smash cakes were destroyed in a mature manner with a fork, Bekeh and Caleb were forced by their brother and sister to partake with their full face as well!Their first real sugar highs!!!
The kids had a blast playing with their cousins. They played on the bounce house, the zip line, took rides on the atv cart, blew bubbles, rode bikes and scooters. . . by the time we left, everyone had black feet and required baths at 11:30 at night!

Happy Birthday beautiful babies! We were so thrilled to celebrate with you and watch you blossom with all the personalized attention! We love you Rhett! Love Ya Bekeh! Love and Kisses Caleb!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

5, 5, Glorious 5!

Bekeh has been waiting for her birthday for two weeks now. Somehow, on Caleb's birthday back on the 22nd of April, she understood the concept and has been literally counting down the days. First it was, "Two weeks, Bekeh's birthday!" and then "Next week is my birthday!" And Monday it was, "Two days, my birthday!" and yesterday, "Wedsay my Birthday!"
Last night I asked her how old she was and she said, "Four!" and then I asked, "How old will you be tomorrow?" and she held up all five fingers and screamed, "FFFIIIIVVVEEE!!"
So in honor of her 5th birthday today, 05-05-05, here are 5 of our favorite things about Bekeh.
1. She loves Butterflies. When I pulled out the butterfly wings from our dress up box this morning, her eyes were bigger than saucers and she began jumping up and down! Her favorite new song to request is Miley Cyrus, Butterfly Fly Away. She will do all the motions for a caterpillar, and then makes a chrysalis with her hands and then when Miley sings Butterfly fly away, she flaps her hands like a butterfly. It's adorable.
2. She's a smiley, giggly, happy, joyful girl! Sunshine follows her around. She brightens the room she enters, and her love is contagious. 3. She loves school. 11:00 is one of mommy's favorite minutes of the day. Bekeh runs out the door from school with a look of pure excitement and joy to see me, runs to my arms, and can't get all the thoughts to form into words fast enough to tell me about her day and share her creations with me. She knew she was special today sitting in the teacher's chair and having her friends sing to her. She was proud to have mommy and Caleb there to watch her dance and sing with her classmates. I was proud too. 4. Her favorite color is Yellow. She'll choose it every time. Again, she's pure sunshine. When she was first learning her colors, everything was yellow. Now that she knows them, she'll answer me correctly, i.e. "That's red. And this is yellow." and she'll point out whatever she can find that's yellow.5. She's an absolute trickster. She loves hiding things and giggling like crazy when you notice they're gone. She points and says, "Spider!" and then laughs when you look. Today at lunch Daddy asked for a kiss and she refused him and pulled away over and over, one of her favorite games, until finally when he said he didn't want one, she says, "Kiss! Kiss Daddy!" But today, instead of just kissing him, right at the last second, she stuck the apple out of her mouth and poked him with it!At McDonald's which she picked for her Birthday lunch, she was a bit quiet when I served her nuggets to her, which are normally her favorite, so I asked her what was wrong. With a very sad tone she said, "I want cheeseburger like daddy." So Jason popped up and went and ordered her a cheeseburger. She looked at me bewildered, knowing that's never worked before, and I said, "It's your birthday, you get to choose everything you want!" She took that cheeseburger from daddy's hands like it was absolute gold. Every bite she would shake her head with excitement and say, "My birthday cheeseburger!" She's already announced we're eating Pizza for dinner. Her other favorite new food, and the other four are thrilled with her decision! We make birthday's super fun around here, and she's certainly caught on. She knows she's the princess today, and I hope she feels like that everyday, for the rest of her life.
Run toward Six Bekeh, with all your heart. This is going to be a year full of new discoveries and new love. Enjoy it as much as we enjoy you sweet cheeks. Happy Birthday, we love you!