Friday, September 27, 2013

A letter to my son

Dear Mihretu,
I am overflowing with joy this morning. The sun is shining and as I dropped you off at school, I carried you to the gate like I did in the photo below - that photo that was taken by a team member on the trip when I met you. That photo that was taken the first day we met - July 24, 2011. That day changed my life. You changed my life.

You are so much bigger now but I love to carry you like this and kiss your head and say "remember when you were little and I held you like this when I first met you in Ethiopia?" You smile. I don't think you actually remember that but I  know you what I'm talking about because we have the picture hanging at home and we talk about it a lot, about mommy holding you when you were "little". 

Oh Mihretu - my sweet boy - 1 month from tomorrow is our 1 year gotcha day anniversary (Oct 28) and you're growing up so fast. You're 3.5 inches taller than you were last October when I came to bring you home.

You are so smart and so independent. You are a good eater and will try most anything once. You like to make your own scrambled eggs, including cracking the eggs into the pan and not even getting shell in there - you're good at it. You think it's fun.

You love to climb up on the counter and scoop coffee into my little keurig insert, put the top on, put it into the machine, close the lid, put my cup under and push the button. And then you say "mommy, will you get the coffee creamer?" and you love to put that in for me too.

You're such a helper. I tried to do things for you early on but I've finally learned that it's who you are and that I need to let you help because it gives you joy and confidence. So you've become my little helper. You dump the laundry soap into the washer for me and you climb up on top of the dryer and I hand the dirty clothes to you and you throw them into the washer. When the load is done, you stand in front of the dryer and I hand the clothes out of the washer to you and you put them into the dryer. You love to fold washcloths and hand towels and you do it really carefully and perfectly. You love to be in charge of taking out the bathroom trash while I take out the kitchen one. You like to help me roll the trash bin out to the street. You love to get the ketchup, ranch or whatever condiment we're using out of the fridge and pour it onto my plate and yours all by yourself. You love to wash dishes.

You love to get my toothbrush and yours out of the cupboard and put toothpaste on them both. You still like me to help you brush your teeth though. And you still like to sleep with me and even in your sleep - you're constantly reaching out to touch me, making sure I'm close by. Sometime you move in your sleep and your head ends up on my stomach or chest or neck. The other night you climbed right on me and your face was pressed against mine with your breath in my eye. I shifted you around a bit for comfort but I think it's pretty sweet that you still like to be close to me. You're talking in sentences now. You are learning about the rules of driving because you pay attention from the back seat and ask my why I'm stopping everytime I'm at a light or behind a line of cars. You know that red means "stop", yellow means "slow down, get ready to stop" and green means "go". You get frustrated when it's green and I don't go immediately because another car is in my way. You like to ask why. You ask why a lot:) When we get on a certain road or highway - you recall when we went that way before. For instance, it's been quite a few months since swim lessons but every time we get on 440 to 65 South - you say "this is the way to swimming mommy. Mona, mommy!" Mona was your awesome swim teacher. You are now telling me about things you're doing at school. Not all the time but once in awhile you'll tell me all about your day and most of your focus is on what kids fell and got hurt that day or who got in trouble. You tell me when you have fallen or gotten hurt or got into trouble. You remember certain toys were given to you by certain people. Last Christmas Auntie Deb gave you a giraffe and everytime you pick it up you say "Auntie Deb - Giraffe". You love puzzles right now and are getting pretty good at doing them with only a little bit of help. I just got you a bunch of new ones - a little more complicated - but you're figuring it out so fast. You love when we read books at night. You like to say the "Polar Bear Polar Bear What do you hear?" book back to me after I read it to you. You have it memorized. It's so cute to hear you go through each page.

You like princess movies and princess stuff but you're very much all boy too - you think it's absolutely hilarious to say "poopy butt" over and over in all kinds of situations. You crack up the most at that kind of stuff. When you crack up, it makes me laugh too. We have a lot of fun together. When I'm being goofy - you smile and say "mommy - you silly". You like to recite lines and re-enact scenes from movies. You're really fascinated by babies. Whenever I hold a baby - you seem a little jealous but you don't make a big deal out of it. But you do come over to me immediately to see all about this baby I'm holding. You are so gentle and you touch their little hands and toes and check them out, commenting on how little they are. It's so cute how gentle you are with babies. You're also really gentle with dogs. You seem to like the bigger ones better than the small ones that bark alot. You still talk about our dog Auty a lot even though it's been several months since we surrendered her back to the animal rescue organization to find her a new home. You still pray for her and talk about how she would bark at coyotes and chase squirrels and bunnies. I miss her too buddy. We pray at meals and if we're with a group of people - you almost always initiate the prayer and will often lead it. When we visited your friend Sitota in Maine - you said the prayer every time and sang the "God our father" song and then listed all the things you were thankful for. I love hearing your list of things you're thankful for. Sometimes you just look around you and thank God for everything - food, water, ketchup, fork, place, napkin, mommy, table. Other times you add in the names of people you love - sometimes people come to your mind that we haven't seen in awhile and I smile because you thought of them. You now say "how about..." when you suggest we do something or want to pray for someone else. Like "how about Auntie Merrill?" "How bout Auntie Casi?" and on down the list of my coworker friends that he likes to pray for and talk about. You do so great with babysitters. Last weekend while mommy had work stuff on Saturday - you had 3 babysitters all in one day and you were so good for all of them. You are very social - you love to go to church and make your rounds to all the people you recognize. You find a few of the guys on staff at church that you think are fun and you always go up and say hi to them and give them a hug. Everyone loves you sweet boy. You bring so much joy to so many people. You're full of life and energy and excitement. You just bring joy with you every where you go. Now you have your occasional meltdowns but it's very rare now and mommy finally understands you enough to know what works and what doesn't and I've learned how to distract you when you're getting upset about something little so that you don't have a big meltdown about it. Distraction works so well with you. The Hatch family taught me about that. Especially in situations where you want control and didn't get it and are about to throw a fit because of it. I distract you with something fun and you forget about how you wanted to be the one to turn off the dvd player and we go on about our day without a meltdown at all. We are working on saying things with respect and how you don't get your way when you're bossy or disrespectful but you do get things you want when you ask nicely and say please. We are now to the point where I can say "try that again" and you know what I'm talking about and you ask instead of telling and you say it nicely with a please in there. You love going for walks in the neighborhood with your new plastic little tikes wagon. You liked riding in it with a snack for the trip until about a week ago - now you like to pull the wagon through the neighborhood.

You like to point out things and tell me they are "dangerous" like people riding motorcycles and kids trying to climb on things that are high up. When you describe something far away - you say "way, way back". It can be an airplane in the sky or when you're talking about how your friend Sitota lives far away - you say "way back". You love going to get Ethiopian food but you don't really like the spicy stuff anymore. You try it and say "too spicy mommy" and stick with the injera or the mild appetizer I now order for that reason. You like to play games on my phone and your favorite right now is Avokiddo where you get to put different hats and outfits on either a zebra, giraffe or sheep. You can have them blow bubbles, eat food, paint them different colors and you figured this all out in about two minutes the first time you played the game. You know how to take pictures on my phone and love talking to people on the phone too. You call everyone you like "my friend". Even relatives. I'll says something about Grandma and you'll say "my friend Grandma?" Too cute! You love water and are quite the swimmer. No floaties or anything - you can swim like a champ. You like to tell me what food items have sugar in them and the way you say "sugar" is so cute. It sounds like "sue-grrr". When I tell you no to certain foods because it has sugar in it - you seem to understand why and you don't press the issue. You say "oh, ok" (usually). You're almost the full length of the bathtub - you're growing at rapid speed my son. You are totally brilliant - the things you think of or remember or figure out. I really think God has a pretty big plan for you someday. I think you'll be a strong leader. You have leadership qualities for sure. You are like a sponge - you soak things up. You know almost all the letters of the alphabet when you see the letter and you can count to 10. You know blue, green, red, black, white, grey, yellow and orange. You can fully get yourself dressed and you even like to make sure your shoes match your outfit.

You notice everything. Like if I drop you off at school wearing my workout clothes and then am wearing a dress when I pick you up that afternoon - you always notice and not only do you notice but you say "mommy - i like your dress. Pretty." You're very complimentary and you notice beauty. You're always pointing out the oranges and reds in the sky at dusk and saying "look mommy - pretty". You love to point out the moon and airplanes. Whenever you see an airplane you talk about how you took an airplane from Ethiopia and to see Sitota. Whenever we talk about going to the beach you say "like with Sitota" and "what about Auntie Merrill?" We went to two different beaches so far - one in Maine with Sitota and one in Tennessee with Auntie Merrill. You're so smart kiddo! And although you never talk about any specific memories of Ethiopia, I wonder how much you remember from being there because you seem to remember so much here. I love how sometimes when we pull in the driveway to come home - you say "my home. I like home". And how sometimes you give me a big hug and kiss my cheek and say "I like mommy". I think that means even more than you saying "I love you too" when I tell you I love you. It makes my heart smile when you say you like me. I like you too little man. And I love you this much (arms as wide as they can go). You think that's fun and you like to say it back and show me how wide you can get your arms to go to. And you'll say "I love you way way way back mommy". Me too buddy, me too.

You are the most amazing kid ever! I am so thankful that you are my son and I get to be your mommy. I know it took me awhile to figure out this mommy thing and I haven't always been patient with you. I'm so glad you still like me anyway. And I'm so glad we get to have adventures and do life together. You make life so much more fun. My love for you is overflowing. I can't imagine life without you in it. 
- Love,


  1. What a great way to remember the little things that make ordinary days extraordinary. :)

  2. This is so beautiful. I think he sounds wonderful. You're a great Mother.

  3. This is a really great blog about single parent adoption . I'm single and am looking into adopting. Thanks for sharing your story.



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