Wednesday, February 4, 2009

No English and No Naps But We're Having Fun

We have been home for 11 days now. In some ways, it feels like an eternity. The days are LONG because I am not used to being 'on' for the entire day. But, we are surviving well.

First, I want to let all my readers know about the amazing help I am getting from my friends and church. We get meals delivered to us at least every other day, sometimes more, and almost each day someone picks up laundry and then delivers it back to my house, clean and folded! I told someone that I feel like I'm riding a bike with training wheels right now and eventually, those wheels will have to come off but for now, what a relief that they are there.

We are enjoying being a family of 8. When we pack everyone into the Suburban, it is such a delight to look in my rear-view mirror and see 6 little faces looking at me. Mealtime is loud and crazy but full of fun - our table for 6 is full at last. Our new kids are great eaters. They rarely complain about anything in front of them and when they do, I just give them a look and they go on and eat whatever it is anyway. We have found that we have to cut them off, especially Mebratu, or he would eat until he makes himself sick. It has been nice, though, to have them as examples to the existing picky eaters in the family. We now have a no-tolerance policy for people who don't eat their dinner and the Ethiopians are leading the way with that.

Regarding the English speaking, we are still waiting for the words to come. My hunch at this point is that they are absorbing what we're saying and that one of these days, they might try speaking something in English. One Amharic word that has got to go is 'shint' which means 'bathroom' in English. Having them yell that in public, as happened today, is not going to work. I have tried to get them to sit in front of the t.v. to watch 'Sesame Street' (I had been advised this is a good way for them to pick up a lot of vocabulary as well as conversational English). However, Mebratu prefers to run through the house all morning playing with loud, electronic baby toys. When we 'forced' him to sit and watch it this morning-- so that I could do school quietly with Sophie and Henry upstairs-- he balled his eyes out for an entire 35 minutes. Mind boggling. I thought all kids love t.v. but now we know... Nonetheless, coerced 'Sesame Street' viewing will be on my agenda each day.

The babies are a TON of work but so much fun. We love on them and kiss on them just like we did Sophie and Henry. Bonding with them has come naturally and we see signs of attachment such as refusing the extended arms of others while burying their little faces in our shoulders; and noticing that a 'mommy sighting' (me trying to walk by without being seen) produces wailing and tears. Woohoo! They love us!

We have had a few episodes of pinching and hitting among certain family members. Again, this is so hard to sort out. Who hit who and why? I'm so afraid of falsely accusing the new kids because they cannot tell me their side but I am realizing more and more that they are not blameless, although their faces make them seem that way. So, we are slowly starting to implement discipline and it has been effective... I think. When the English comes, it will be a whole new world.

Besides the ketchup strangely appearing on the walls around the home, Olivia's daily poop blowouts (it mysteriously ends up all over her body and she's just sitting there doing nothing- how does that happen???), the drip system being pulled up from the backyard, Olivia refusing to nap more than 30 minutes at a time-- we are really doing quite well. But, please keep the prayers coming. We cannot imagine how we would be coping without them.
P.S. - Notice that I attempted matching outfits, sort of, in the picture above. That was foiled by one of the infamous Olivia poop blowouts mentioned in this post. After that, I gave up on the stripes.


Amy Phelps said...

Hearing how "life" is setting in for you all warms the heart. God is so good. You write beautifully - your attitude is amazing. Much Love - Amy

Karen said...

I love to hear from your family and know what your days are like. I laughed and smiled a lot in reading your post and just love hearing how things are. What a gift God has given you and I am so touched by you saving these 4 children and making them your own. What a beautiful picture of how God saves us and makes us His. Bless you all!

Leslie said...

LOL: "you will sit and watch T.V. and do not complain." That is hillarious. I imagined kids from other countries being mesmerized by T.V. and never wanting to stop.

It's so fun to hear that they are attaching to you and identifying with you and that you love them just like your biological babies.


The Andersons said...

Beth - I have been praying for bonding and attachment - Praise the Lord!

Ashleigh said...

Beth, thanks for taking the time to keep us all up to date on how things are going. I can imagine it's difficult to make the time to write.

Savannah (she's almost 7 months) does the napping for only 30 minutes thing. It is frustrating. We finally broke through that recently and she slept a few times for an hour and a half. Normally though she does wake up at that 30 minute point, so I've started to let her fuss a little, and now she tends to go back to sleep. It doesn't always work, but naptime seems to be getting better.

Laura said...

Still praying for y'all and thanking God for the continued progress. Amazing and wonderful.

Thanks for the update!

Amy Jo said...

Praying for your sweet family!!! So glad you have such amazing support from your church and friends! God is so good. Praying for He will continue to give you all that you need, each and every day. Your family is SO beatiful! :-)

Jamile said...

Hi! I found you via Bounless and can I say what a kick reading your blog is. I will be praying for you and the whole parenting challenges you're facing. You guys are really blessing me via your story. I pray that God would bind you all up closer and closer in his love.

CB said...

Hi, I am new to your blog/journey & will be following you along because I am so in love with your family! I am so blessed & broken hearted to hear about these sweet precious kids & how God has given you the heart to adopt them. The story of their birth parents is so heart breaking, but God has given them LIFE through you! He sent you there just in time to keep that baby girl alive too. I am so inspired & blessed! I know it's a difficult adjustment, but know my family will be praying for you !!!