Thursday, February 26, 2009
I also introduced Geta and Tamene to the piano. I was playing one morning and Tamene was very intrigued with the music. He played with me for awhile. Then he sat on the floor while Geta explored this instrument. After close to 1/2 hour of playing with her, I opted to break out Emily's keyboard. We have already replaced the batteries and will need to do so again, but they really love the music!
We also took Aunt Aimee's weaving project to a new level. With Courtney's assistance, the kids all weaved placemats for the kitchen table. Geta made placemats for mommy and daddy using a mosaic instead of weaving. Geta, Miss Lisa and Courtney all ventured out today to have them lamentated, so we will use them the first time tonight for dinner. Geta was so proud to realize what we were going to use these for. While they were out, Miss Lisa stopped by the craft store to get Geta a loom so she can weave a pot holder. She is working hard on that now!
We are off to Indy this Saturday to go to an Ethiopian restaurant and meet some other families who have adopted from Ethiopia. It should be lots of fun, but will make for a very long day! We hope to see Aunt Bobbi and Uncle Bob while we are there.
More next week,
Monday, February 23, 2009
Please let me warn you that if you have a weak stomach, then you should stop reading now! But if you have a stronger stomach, I must share my latest hurdle. I have to get a stool sample from Geta. Tamene's is much easier since it is right in his diaper and he prefers a clean diaper when it is time to produce "Ca Ca". That is Amharic word for excrement of any kind so can apply to trash, poop or even daddy! But I am struggling with how to explain to Geta that she needs to poop in a cup. After my first attempt to explain, she nodded, took the cup, filled it with water and drank out of it. Hmmm... Back to the drawing board. The directions say that no urine can contaminate the sample. Someone suggested I put a trashbag over the toilet to catch the "Ca Ca". But how do I explain that she should not pee in the trash bag. I can't wait to read all your comments! Sorry for the disgusting topic, but you have to admit it is kind of funny! At this point, I have no idea how I will get the sample, but I am sure I will have more stories to tell!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Geta loves to play games. Unfortunately, they are the same games over and over. And she is quite competetive, so she always has to win. She is not above cheating to win!
Tamene has learned the word "No" and uses is often and with enthusiasm. I guess this is normal for a 2 year old, but I liked it better before he knew that word! Geta has learned to say Please and realizes this gets her what she wants. We are still working on Thank you. She won't say it, but will smile and bat those beautiful eyelashes at you. For now, that is just as good as a Thank you! She has also learned all the words to Barney's "Clean up" song. We ONLY sing this song when it is time to clean up, so hopefully that will help Geta learn that she has responsibilites around the house also.
I took Geta and Tamene to St. Joe Grade School today. It went pretty well, but Geta was a little shy. Joshua's Kindergarten class was at music, so we got to explore the Kindergarten classroom. I am hoping this will make Geta a little more comfortable in the classroom when she has to attend Kindergarten visitation day on March 20th. Yikes! That will be here soon and I am hoping she is ready.
Anyhow, I have to go play more Go Fish!
PS Happy Birthday Cam!
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Tamene walked the whole way from our house to Trinity and back. He has actually lost 2 pounds since he has been home (and that is not from lack of eating!) I think he needs to get some good exercise!!
So here is a quick synopsis of our time at home: Geta eats NOTHING that she isn't sure she likes. But we have expanded from only liking Life Cereal to adding Peanut Butter and apples (minus the skin) to our diet. We have had several tantrums (which I am very glad to see since it means we are releasing energy and fear). I, as a mother, can't believe I am saying that and putting it in writing! But it is something I worried about. Our youngest kids have been through so much and I was very afraid that they would cope by hiding their emotion. Well, I am here to tell you, they are not coping in this particular way! But thank God for that!!
I will end with a wonderful video of Tamene listening to some Ethiopian kids music. Where did he get his moves? I, as his very proud mother, am convinced it is natural talent!
Thank you for your continued love and support. I feel so blest to have so many people praying for us. At this particular moment, that is what we need most!
Please say a prayer for their biological father and siblings also. While we have recieved this wonderful gift of Geta and Tamene, they still struggle back in Ethiopia. Having met their birth father, I can't possibly look in their eyes without thinking of him. They look soooo much alike. He said that we were the answers to his prayers and I can't help but think that if we sent tons of prayers his way that God would bless him by making life just a little easier for him.
More later (after I get used to life with a toddler again....)
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Tamene now is a mama’s boy and really finds comfort in daddy too. He has been expanding his play group to include our various other children at times. He still shows some shy tendencies as now when the cook’s come to hug him or pick him up, he clings to his mom or dad, which is probably progress.
Geta, on the other hand, is a Courtney’s girl. She likes Courtney to do everything with her and go everywhere with her. The one exception was when Kristen, Geta and Tamene and I had to go the Embassy to get their final documents. Geta didn’t know what to think of the bus ride and I am afraid she thought she would never see the other kids again. But she made it through it.
Nighttime wasn’t as eventful as Kristen had suspected it would be (thank goodness). Geta wasn’t up for sleeping until Courtney laid in the bed with her, but once Courtney laid down with her, she fell asleep immediately. I am not a fan of having our children sleep with us, but all the literature on adoption says it is very reassuring and is something that should be done, so we let it happen for the first night. Tamene didn’t feel comfortable sleeping without being in our bed. I was actually downstairs when this happened, but as soon as Kristen put him in our bed, he went right to sleep. And here is the great news. They both slept through the night. At 5:15, Tamene made a quick peep, but I put my hand on his head which didn’t help much, but Kristen looked at him and said something (I was half asleep) and he went right back to sleep. They both typically rise at 6am, and didn’t get up until shortly after 7 today. That is my influence of course. I really think the days are only to get easier and better, but there will, of course, be tough days.
The one thing that I think is tough that Geta can communicate in Amharic, but none of us speak it. So, she is going through her third language transition in about 9 months. But she doesn’t seem to concerned about it. She can already count to 20, which I think is from her former schooling, and she can also say all of our names. She is picking up other words and we have a great book at home that some of Courtney’s classmates made for us. It has a picture of an animal, object or something, the word in English and then on some of them, the word in Amharic. I wish we had it here, but believe it or not, we will be home in a couple days.
It has been an adventure, but an awesome adventure. Ethiopia is so rich in culture, so joyful in spirit, but so poor materially. But it doesn’t seem to bother the local people at all. We picked a good 2 week stint as the electricity has not gone out at all. But I was told by an American who works over here, the week before we arrived, electricity went out every night from around 6 to around 8 at night. Dinners were tough, but it didn’t phase them. They also recently had a cement shortage, which means no work for those in construction, and again, no one complained, they just went about their lives. There is incredibly patience over here, and they have many attributes we could certainly emulate. Oh, that reminds me, let me tell you about the driving. There are no stop lights at all. And there are plenty of 6 or 8 lane roads. My interpretation is the right away goes to the one trying to merge into traffic. If that person didn’t have the right away, he or she would never get on to the road. You just kind of pull in and the other drivers move over, slow down or go on the other side of the road (even if it is the wrong side of the road). But what I find most amazing is, there is no road rage whatsoever. They just go with the flow. I don’t think driving over here is for the faint of heart, but they have a system and it works well.
We are very excited about our return home. We are anxious for our new children to get acclimated to our home, to meet Oscar and to get into life as we will know it. Bill and I are anxious to maybe read a USA today, and get caught up on what we have missed. I think Bill also longs for an easily accessible cold beer, and the news. Don’t tell anyone, but he was reading a book today. Okay, just the back cover of a book, but still. I will be happy to have easily accessible internet that can interact with my own personal computer. But this has been an awesome journey. Originally, I thought I could never afford to bring my family back, but now I wonder how I can not bring them back. But that is a ways away and a different topic. See you all soon.
Monday, February 2, 2009
How are all of you? I’m great! Ethiopia is great too, but it is nothing like the US. So far I’ve done many things and met many people. I even went to the national museum and saw Lucy and pictures of Shelam, the two oldest most complete skeletons in the world that we studied in Ancient History this year!
I also met Geta and Tamene Friday. Tamene was not happy and Geta was scared but she played with us anyway. Both have made drastic improvements. I’ll have to see how it goes tomorrow though when we bring them back to the guest house for a while.
Ethiopia has many poor beggers on the street. It is really sad. Also many houses are very bare and have holes them. The houses outside of the city are different though. They are really cool.
We have taken lots of pictures, but don't have access to upload them from this shared computer. We will post pictures when we return to the US. Also, we can't see the blog from Africa, so we hope that these posts are working correctly! If you have added comments, please don't think we are ignoring you. We just can't see them!
After the meeting, we had a short prayer service with all the birth families and adoptive families. Each birth parent lit a candle and gave it to their child's adoptive family. There were many tears on both sides of the room. After a prayer by the birth parents and a prayer by the adoptive parents, we said our good-byes and they were escorted back to their village, about a 25 minute ride from Hosanna. I was very glad to hear that the birth parents were well fed while they waited for us to arrive. It was a day that Mike and I will never forget.
The adoptive families then celebrated a traditional coffee ceremony. While this was a nice cultural experience, it was also a good time for us to release all the emotion of the morning and take some time to ourselves to figure out how to deal with what we just experienced. There is a tremendous amount of guilt that I have come to know in this adoption process. The world can be so unfair. In Ethiopia, people work from sun up to sun down and then some. They come home to small, one room huts that they share with their cattle to have a very modest meal and then sleep on mats that lay on a dirt floor. There certainly is an upper class here in the city, but the rural areas are all about the same. One village looks just like the next.
We did get to stop by the Orphanage where Geta and Tamene stayed from May through September. We weren't allowed inside, but there is something about walking the path of your children that helps you understand their fear a little better. We also got to see a small bakery and school that our Agency has funded in the Hosanna area. It allows single women to work and local children to get an education. Finally, we stopped on the roadside to see the inside of one of the huts that our children would have lived in. It is amazing how well they manage space. The hut that we saw housed 5 or 6 children along with the parents and some cattle. It was probably 15 feet in diameter. The dirt floor was freshly swept and there was nothing out of place. There was a small garden behind the house where they grew food for them to eat.
We arrived back at the guesthouse last night around 4:30pm and had dinner. It was an early night for everyone. (Except dad and one other adoptive father who got up at 4 in the morning to watch the second half of the Superbowl!