Monday, November 5, 2012

Celebrating victories

I wish I could write down every single thing.
I wish I had more time to blog.
I wish y'all could see how smart and curious and fun my son is.

I also wish we were past the hard stuff - like him being afraid of the dog and his terrible meltdowns where he scratches mommy's face, tries to bite and hit me. Those are not the fun moments. But those are the realities of adoption. Thank God those are things I knew might come so I'm at least somewhat prepared. Although in the moment, when he's screaming and throwing his little body around and trying to hurt mommy - all I can do is just be with him and pray. Lots of praying. Lots of asking God to heal his little heart. He's never had one person focused on him who would meet his needs and stick around. He's been in orphanages with lots of kids and limited nannies. He's probably had days where his little tummy was hungry and didn't get fed. I know there were times when his diaper was dirty and he didn't get changed. My sweet boy has experienced trauma and we're in the midst of building trust and trying to work through it. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't hard. It is. But I will tell you with 100% certainty - I am absolutely honored to be his mom. And I will absolutely gladly walk through this with him, even if he bites and kicks and scratches my face. Even if I have some crying sobbing meltdowns myself. If you catch me in one of those moments - don't worry - I'm not thinking I made a mistake or wishing I hadn't done this. Yes, I'm tired and yes those moments are hard. That's parenting, right? Yes - hard but no I'm not regretting any of this. He's hurting and I'm his mommy and I want to help him through it. I can't control what happened before he came home but I can do my darndest to make sure he learns that mommy loves him and I'm not leaving and over time, he'll begin to understand that. And healing will begin to take place. For now, it's one day and one moment at a time. And we celebrate the victories along the way. There are so many victories and I am so thankful for those. So thankful that overall, considering everything - my son is doing amazingly. He really is. I love him so much. He's such a precious, smart, curious, amazing, snuggly little boy.

Here are some of the many victories:

• Snuggles - he loves to snuggle and hug mommy. This morning he woke up next to me and hugged my neck and kissed my cheek. Seriously - melt mommy's heart. :)
• He loves to take baths - we're averaging about 4 per day. He is so happy in the tub, playing with the foam letters and washing his body with the soap that he reaches out his hand for mommy to squirt in every few minutes.
• He is a good sleeper. He was on a great schedule in Ethiopia - nap for around 2 hours at noonish and then go to bed between 7 and 8 pm and sleep 10-12 hours. Holy cow - that's a great sleeper. We are WAY out of whack here because of time zones but he's still sleeping a lot - just at weird times. Like this morning, when we were up at 2:30am. Yeah, I'm a bit thrown off on time too:) YAY for parental leave and no place to be for awhile.
• He loves to eat - he eats about the same size bowl of oatmeal in the morning with me, plus a banana and applesauce. He has eaten 6 bananas since yesterday afternoon. He loves them. He very rarely turns his nose up at something - he'll eat almost anything. Including dog treats - he put one of those in his mouth today. Yuck;)
• This one amazes me - he has gone on the potty 4 times since yesterday. He's got a pretty upset tummy - pretty sure when we go to the doctor tomorrow, we'll find out he has a parasite which is pretty much the norm for Ethiopian kiddos. So it's a noisy process when he has to go potty. He tells me "kaka mommy". Sorry if I'm getting too graphic. If you're a parent - you know - bathroom and diapers and potty are big deals:) So he told me he had to go and sure enough - I sat him on the kid potty thingy that sits on top of the regular seat and he went. I was shocked. He's pretty much brilliant!!! My smart boy, already starting to potty train.
• He LOVES to put things in their proper place. For the fact that we speak a different language, we communicate really well. I learned a lot of Amharic words and he talks a lot with body language. The adorable eyebrow raise up and down is like a yes. No is a shoulder shrug or shaking the head no. When he wants something he points to it. Almost always when he says something, I can figure out what he's trying to tell me. Anyway, so he dumped out a bunch of toys and then didn't want to leave the room until we picked them all up. But not just picked up - he wanted them in their proper place so every single toy he looked at me and with his ways of communicating asked me where it went. We ended up separating 3 bins of toys into 3 categories as mommy directed.
• Puzzles - people gave me a few puzzles which are actually pretty advanced. Probably not the type of puzzles you start doing puzzles on. One has textures and shapes and low and behold - today he looked at the octagon with the pink textured top in his hand, looked at the puzzle board and figured out which one matched. He then proceeded to pretty much do that with all of them - from square to triangle to diamond to oval and so on. I was impressed. He is so smart.
• We have a changing pad that you can travel with and it's super easy to fold up and velcro shut. He loves to help me put it away and once I showed him the shelf it goes on - he absolutely wants to make sure it gets put there everytime we use it. He loves things to be where they go.
• He thinks it's fun to rinse all his dishes in the sink after he eats. I put the step stool in front of the sink. He climbs up there and rinses everything just like he saw mommy doing and then he climbs down and puts them in the dishwasher. He loves to help.
• He's still not ready to be too close to the dog but we're making progress. He thinks it's fun to throw treats to her over the baby gate.
• Huge victory - yesterday he wanted down in the backyard to walk around while holding mommy's hand. And the reason that's huge is because the woosha (dog) was running around the yard too. Auty would run right by us but not too close - she's so smart - she knows he's afraid of her. If she got really close, he'd want me to pick him up. But otherwise, he was fine to be down while she was running around. This is a big victory. So is the fact that I can now walk Auty while I'm carrying Mihretu in the ergo. This morning, he even wanted down on the walk. Wow!!! Huge progress. Can't wait till they are best buds.
• He loves to wash his hands and brush his teeth. The first time I handed him his toothbrush, he went to it like he'd done it a million times. I'm glad I got babyganics organic toothpaste without flouride cause he's brushing his teeth a lot. He also washes his hand a lot. We are getting lots of use out of this little step stool in the bathroom. We are spending a lot of our day in the bathroom between baths, potty, washing hands and brushing teeth.
• He is already learning words in English. Like "up" when he wants to be picked up. And "thank you" when I give him something. I always say those to him so he's picking it up quick. He also says "hello" in the cutest amharic accent. And there's nothing that beats the way he says "mommy, I love you". Melt my heart.
• When someone calls - like my mom or dad or cousin or anyone - he likes to get on the phone and talk to them in his adorable cute voice. I think we need to skype some friends soon:)
• He loves to be covered in baby lotion. He also wants some in his hands to rub it on himself. It's a process after each bath. This kid is the cleanest, best smelling kid on the planet right now:)

Those are just a few of the hundreds of fun things we get to experience everyday. LOVE LOVE LOVE this kiddo. And I'm gonna love him through the hard stuff as well as all the fun stuff. 


  1. i appreciate you sharing the full adoption experience. i hope the hard times get easier, as i know they will.

    you have a smart little guy, that's for sure. :)

  2. Love this update. You're doing amazing with him!


LOVE our Ethiopian family

We just returned from Ethiopia and oh boy - my heart is completely wrecked. Mihretu and I traveled on our own last March (2018) over his ...