Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Celebrating 4's and Reflecting

We just celebrated our 4 month Gotcha Day anniversary last week and we're about to celebrate Mihretu's 4th birthday later this month.
 For our Gotcha Day anniversary, we went out for Ethiopian food. He loved it. A little spicy and both our tongues were in need of some relief but it was super fun and yummy. I went to show him how to scoop up the food with the injera and he gave me this funny look and said "no mommy" and then he grabbed the injera and went to it like a pro. He knows how to do it! ha ha Everytime I say Africa or Ethiopia - he says "mommy -  my africa?" So cute!!!!

For his birthday, I'm making him the book I've been wanting to make since I brought him home. It's the "story of you" book. I get to work about an hour early each day after dropping him off at school so I've been using this hour each day to work on it. I got a Living Social deal for a book on Shutterfly so I'm using that. Pretty sure my total cost is going to exceed the amount of pages included in the deal though:) Man, these books take forever to make. Probably because I want it to be perfect. So far, it's 24 pages and we've only just gotten to gotcha day. I love that I can literally type out a story mixed with all the pictures. It'll be so neat to be able to read it every night before bed with him. I'm so thankful for the info I have about his birth family too. That is seriously a huge blessing that many families are not able to get. I won't share his story with the world because it's his story and I want to protect it - but I am so thankful to be able to have the info that I do. Now, if I could just somehow track down some baby pictures of him:)

As I look back and put together this book, I'm reflecting on this journey and how far we've come. Some days I just look at him and think to myself "I can't believe this is the same little boy I fell in love with in an orphanage in Ethiopia and now he's really here and I get to be his momma!" It's so surreal sometimes. Pre-identified adoptions are hard and you go in knowing that it might not work out and you might not really be able to adopt that specific child. So I had to go in knowing that and yet having hope that it was possible and stepping out in faith knowing that he was worth taking that chance. I'm so glad I did.

Mihretu is literally the coolest kid ever!!! He's got such a great personality. He's super animated and funny and although he can surely throw a big ole tantrum, overall he is a really, really happy kid who loves life and brings so much joy to everyone around him. He gets all the little girls and teachers at school laughing at the faces he makes. He melts all his aunties with his big ole hugs. And he turns mommy to a big ball of mush when he says, out of the blue, "mommy, I love boo(you)". Be still my heart. He's super thoughtful and helpful. One of his favorite things is to help. If he feels like he's helping, he gets this confident smile on his face like he's so proud of himself. He has such a servant heart. And that's really neat to see at this young age.
 
I watch him looking after younger kids and helping them put food in their mouth or putting their shoes back on them if they fall off. He just naturally does these things. He loves to eat and has gotten to where he'll try almost everything. If he doesn't like it, he'll make a face and spit it out but he likes quite a bit of variety. And what's cool is he likes almost all the foods I do and doesn't like most of the ones that I don't like either. Weird how that works. Also kind of weird but super cool is that we kind of look alike. I always think so and think maybe I'm just biased but other people keeping saying that too. I think that's neat.

 

He's very well adjusted and has settled in to life here as if he's been here all along. He's doing WAY better than I ever imagined or expected in such a short amount of time. Whenever I drop him off at school or Sunday school or even a friends house - as long as I've explained to him what is happening, he's totally cool with it. He just goes on in, gives me a hug and kiss and waves goodbye knowing he'll see me later. He totally gets the concept of mommy leaves but mommy always comes back. That is really cool. Now if I tried to spring something on him without advance notice, then he would cry and melt down but that hardly ever happens cause I know not to do that. He sleeps in his own bed. I hold him in the rocking chair till he falls asleep and then put him in his bed. He gets up in the middle of the night usually between 12 and 2 and doesn't even cry. He just gets up and comes across the hall to my room. I tried putting him back to bed for awhile but I learned pretty quickly that once he's woken up, he will wake up like every hour before morning and if he's in his own bed, he will get out everytime and come get me. That makes for a long, tiring night. What works better is that when he wakes up between 12 and 2 - I bring him in bed with me. He still wakes up a few times but he sees that I'm next to him and falls right back to sleep. Everyone gets more sleep this way. Trust me - that's much better! I don't want to start him out in the bed with me cause I want him to get used to sleeping in his room and once he's asleep, I get some me time which is so needed but this system works well for us. And pretty soon, I'm getting him a twin bed so I will just lay down with him in his room until he falls asleep. I think he'll fall asleep faster that way. He just gets these crazy bursts of energy at bedtime and it can literally take an hour or more to get him to fall asleep once the lights are off and he's in the chair with me. He keeps wanting to get in the bed and then back into the chair again and squirming around a million times and then back in the bed, then back in the chair - until he finally falls asleep. I'm hoping if I can just lay down with him in his twin bed - he'll fall asleep faster. We'll see.
 
My friends are getting a new bunk bed for their kiddo so I'm buying their twin bed from them. He's gonna really seem like a big boy in a real bed. And he'll be 4 this month. That's so crazy. He's small for his age but his motor skills have seriously like gone from 1 to 10 over these past 4 months. Amazing how much growth can happen when given the right opportunity and experiences. Looking back at the videos from the gotcha day - he just seems so much younger. He hasn't gained much weight but he's thinning out in the face and looking more like a little boy and less like a baby. Now he's going potty all by himself and is so independent and so smart. He pays attention to everything. If I move something while he's at school, he will notice it when he gets home. He amazes me everyday. I love him so much. I cannot believe that he wasn't part of my everyday life only a few months ago. It's hard to picture it now. Some days it's hard. A lot of days I have to give myself extra grace for not always responding the best way. But everyday, he's a blessing and a joy and a little miracle that I get to be "mommy" to. I wouldn't trade it for anything.


2 comments:

  1. it's so great to see how well he's doing! you two are adorable together :)

    i'm currently attending my agencie's adoption classes, and expect my home study to be scheduled any day now! so excited to start my motherhood journey!!!

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  2. Hellooo - glad to have found you. Four months in - four months of the most crazy changes life can throw at anyone! As a single adopter too (six years in) and fellow blogger i'm trying to link us extraordinary people up by creating a network to share/link our blogs, or trials and our triumphs. I hope you come and take a look and decise to link up, i'd love to get to know you more - see here http://bit.ly/XZUTQ5 Mumdrahx

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