Overall, we are super thankful for God at work in our family. Transitions are not nearly as hard as we expected them to be. Things that we thought would be a trial are ending up a cakewalk. Then there are some things that we did not foresee at all that have caught us by surprise, even though they should not have.
As I think I mentioned before, the kids came home and interacted in our home as if they have been here before. Moments in Addis where we could not leave the room because it felt like "abandonment" are not even an issue here. Philip
Ok, this blog post may take me three days to write. I hereby give up having any semblance of order to it. It will be a hodgepodge of thoughts as I can find time to type them. Ha ha. I guess this is motherhood at its best!
Neither child is sleeping through the night. Jayce is at the point where I only really need to pick him up around 4am to change his diaper. He's learning that crying at night doesn't really do him any good. Mommy is here and will comfort him, but I won't let him go play just because he cries. Baby girl is another story. She went through 3 bottles last night, and wakes up every hour between 4am and 8am. She is Philip's baby during the night, and the poor man has gotten virtually no sleep.
Anya's diaper issue continues. We have to collect fresh samples before our doctor's appointment on Monday. Something about plastic wrap inside the diaper?? How the hey?? Yeah, not looking forward to that. Pray for us Monday because both kids will go in for their physical, blood work, and general check-up now that they are in the States. I'm not anticipating it being a pleasant experience.
The kiddos have met all of Philip's family that lives locally. We introduced them in ones and twos because there are so many! I'm still not sure the kids recognize them. Philip was joking tonight that Jayce and Anya meet new people and stare like "Oh, look. More white people."
A friend brought over her two daughters to meet Jayce and Anya. Rylea is 6 months older than Jayce, and McKenlea is 6 months younger than Anya. Rylea stared at Jayce for a long time, then slowly pointed one finger at him and said "black!" It was hilarious!
I think the biggest challenge of this parenting thing is how little time Philip and I have to connect and communicate. It's great that he is able to be home and help 24/7. I would explode without him. Seriously, all the diapers he's changed.... This guy is the best dad ever! However, even though we are together all the time, any meaningful conversation and strategic planning between the two of us is haphazard. We are working on being very purposeful about having time together, but its something we have learned on the fly.
I think the whole bonding thing is going quite well. Much better than expected. There are some bumps in the road, but I think most of it is two-year-old related rather than adoption related. Jayce gets wigged out over the smallest things, like me cutting his scrambled eggs into bite sized pieces. Eggs = 30 minutes screaming, and he loves eggs. On the flip side, Anya likes to thwack him on the head with a lego brick, which elicits little more than a grunt of annoyance from him.
We are working on the hitting issue with Anya. It's not out of malice or attitude. It's just one of her favorite past times. Oh, look! A cat! I'm going to hit it! Oh, look! My brother! I am going to smack him! Oh, look! Mommy! A perfect target! All with a very pretty smile on her face. Turd.
In contrast, Jayce and I have had several games of Run-Around-The-Bush-And-Get-A-Kiss-From-Mommy, amid many giggles and squeals. He will absentmindedly play with my hair, or pat my back. Baby Girl and I have had some tickling moments. Her whole body wiggles when she laughs, it's adorable. She has the brightest eyes and most perfect smile ever.
Both kids prefer us to strangers, which is really good. Anya warms up to people fairly quick, and a few people have had an opportunity to hold her. Jayce, however, does not like to be the center of attention. He really does best when things happen around him that he can observe but not participate in immediately.
Neither child is really talking much. After all, English is their third language. I think Anya will begin talking before Jayce though. She is mimicking sounds (including Jayce's whining, unfortunately), and can call for MmmmmmmAh! (Mama) and Daddy. She will also say cat and puppy and a few more words I'm too tired to think of. I think Jayce takes himself too seriously to experiment around with sounds. I think that when he begins to talk it will be in fluent English, in full sentences. Maybe not, but it is just the kind of kiddo he is.
Jayce is spitting out food less and less. He actually seems to enjoy much of the food we have around here, and even ate 4 bowls of mac-and-cheese yesterday. He continues to be neat and tidy, and will take his dishes (and any other available dishes) to the kitchen after a meal. He helped me load the dishwasher earlier this week, and knows where the glass bowls go and can help me put them away. He knows where the garbage can is, and where the shoes go. He is a sweet little helper!
Anya is a little tornado wherever she goes. Not organized, not meticulous, but is a little whirlwind of excitement and smiles and fun. Life is a party to her! She is just like her daddy! It is a little challenging to help her understand that there are boundaries, because no gentle coaxing seems to take effect. Silly goose!
We took the kids to church today. It was an outside service followed by a picnic, which was a perfect introduction for the kids and the church family. The kids were golden! I couldn't have asked for better behaved littles, and we certainly didn't expect it. I'd imagine the sheer volume of new white faces intimidated them into being subdued. For the most part, people were really great. There were a few times when the ring around them was pretty tight, and a few well-meaning folks patted their heads and cheeks. Even then, the kids did well, and we didn't have any meltdowns. No one sitting behind us was able to pay attention to the service. All eyes were glued on our small folk, and the small folk melted hearts today!
Nap time was a welcome event today for both kids. I expect they will sleep well.
Oh, hey, I was able to make the picture things work. Yay.
|pineapple juice in Addis|
|My friend's sister and son, Sammy, me, and Anya.|
Sammy and Anya are just a few weeks apart
|I about cried. Yeah. Jayce looking out over Addis, last looks|
at the city where he has spent most of his life. Lots of changes
ahead for the Little Man.
|Lots of sharing|
|The paper makes noise!|
|Meeting Grandma Bee|
|One of my favorite pics. I'm so glad my mom's fluffy white|
hair wasn't scary :)
|Too. Much. Travel.|
|Our mercifully small welcoming party. And, the kids' first|
exposure to balloons.
|Sweet blankets made by a friend with their full names|
and the month they came home