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Monday, July 15, 2013

joys and concerns

At my church we do a frequent activity called 'candles of community' in which people from the community, church members etc come up and light a candle in the name of some significant joys and concerns in their lives.
I dont go up too often, but felt the urge to put them here.

Countless shrieks and giggles from two little Ethiopian children who seem like they grew up together- the instant love is amazing and i hope it never fades
A husband who is supportive and patient with me and the children, a fun dad that specifically goes out of his way to make sure he spends some one on one time with each child.
Two glasses of wine- right now there are two on the table next to me....i poured one and because John is always to attentive, he poured me one....not realizing - woo hoo
The sheer excitement of a little boy so overjoyed it wasnt raining that he ran to the pool and jumped in, with his socks on!!!!
My work- i love researching and developing curriculum and managing education research/projects for our local schools and charter school development
My animals- my beautiful tortoise has a new outside 'habitat' and my doggies all love one another.
My fearless new daughter who even during times of slight concern, digs her heels in and stays present, with us and engaged with our family. She could shut down out of grief and fear and even though she is likely feeling those things, she has remained 'with us' and willing to experience anything.
Our new schools for this upcoming year

Raising a son of color in a post Trayvon Martin verdict world
My Lula dog- she is loosing sight, hearing and i think a bit of dementia is setting in :(
My kitchen floor- really it sucks, its horrible, it needs to be rescued
My dissertation proposal, or rather my lack of a dissertation proposal
Developing a new charter school amid weird school politics
Our children's academic futures

Saturday, July 13, 2013

so many new things

whew most days have been so busy with family and resettling here, settling Kidist in, that at the end of the day we feel like we have run a marathon. All of us are really giving it 110% to family time, engaging Kidist in new experiences while at the same time trying to keep her world small. She seemed eager to meet some little girls her age- but only was able to hang out with some for a short time at the water park before rain set in. John has been home all week except for Friday. We have been busy- kids museum, pool, small water park, playing games here with Sam, Gabe and Ross. She likes video games, and Gabe has been trying to show her the Wii- shes getting good with certain Wii Fit games. We have not called her sister yet, but plan to very soon. She prays in Amharic and at times sings in Amharic- but has been trying to mimic Sam and Gabes words. This girl knows how to go to bed. As soon as she sees thats what we are all doing, she gets her dolls ready on her bed, gets changed and before we know it, is often laying down awaiting good-night hugs. Today we had a former student of mine come to do her hair. She loves getting her hair done. Food- she tried any and everything, but is not gorging or hoarding. She will often clean her plate and get more but in a very non-aggressive way. However, when it comes to certain snacky items she will go through the kitchen at will and pull out any food that looks interesting. We have child doors on the larger cabinets but the fridge gets open from time to time. Drinking from a straw at the guest house and at restaurants has been a new novel fun thing for her- so much so that she has been known to drink up ketchup with a straw. She gets along great with Sam but just today I have started to see a bit of rivalry or testy-ness with Gabe. It may be brought on by him, a bit, because he gets overly territorial/argumentative over most everything, so she could be reacting to him a bit. He sees little value in giving of his time or effort unless we specifically tell him when and what to do.This has caused significant strife with Sam and I fear it may cause issues with Kidist. But at this moment i have put them both on the Wii, without disruptions of me, Sam or John and they are doing well together. Of course I am in the very same room. We are making sure not to let her too far from us even if shes with a brother.
I was re-reading a post on another blog I follow about attachment and some guest posts from another blogger about older-child adoption (the challenges, unknowns and positives). This time it does feel lots different than with Sam- but theres good and challenging 'different'. The good- shes able to really relate to Sam and Gabe in great ways, is responsible, able-bodied and can take care of many of her needs. She has a great memory of her language, culture and history and values singing and praying in her language. She is ahead of where we thought she would be as far as school skills goes. NO POTTY TRAINING! The challenges- since she is not small and in casts (like Sam)- there lack of physical contact. We would hold and hug Sam all the time and now we have to try make opportunities for that. She has a big personality that can exude lots of confidence but at the same time it make be a mask for not letting us in on a deeper level (which I totally understand). She and Sam both have complicated histories- both spent years in institutions and/or not living in a traditional family structure. Luckily both have taken to John in a big way- which I am so so thankful for. Kidist and Sam both just seem to exude so much joy when they are experiencing fun and exciting things- little trepidation. However, when they do not get what they want, they both show it- Sam more so than Kidist. Next week will bring changes- Gabe will be at his dad's house, Sam will be back at his pre-school/day care and John will be at work. It will be just me and K, and at times going to work for little bits at a time. Wish us luck!!

Monday, July 8, 2013

blue birds hotel, Kidist and Fruit ninja

i have so much to say and explain and describe about my very eventful embassy trip. We are home! Kidist is resilient, beautiful, creative and artistic little girl who has been so brave, and really extended herself to embrace her new family. She has timid moments, but they are few. Sam is so in love with his new big sister and Gabe has embraced being a big brother to a little girl who is much more patient, calm and attentive compared to Sam. I stayed at the Blue Birds hotel instead of the Horizon House Guest house. The guest rooms are not ready and at this time they are likely choosing a different direction and using the rooms who would have been a guest room for older children's games/learning. I had Wifi but only had my Kindle- which does not have an app that I can use for Blogger :( I will type more as the thoughts come and my mind is not like mashed potatoes. I have tons of Facebook, so i will get some pictures up here.

Kidist mastered some games on my Kindle- one being Fruit Ninja :)

She is brave and excited- loves her dolls and will patiently be 'taught' chess by Gabe, while also spending time wrestling and tickling Sam....beautiful girl.
Selfie- day one !

Love this was across from my hotel

Dressed up for embassy :)

Kidist took this picture- I gave her this doll right before we went to a traditional dinner. 
Baby Princess Tiana came along!

So beautiful right before the coffee ceremony

Just landed in DC!!!

Wasting time, 3 hour layover in Dulles!!

Lounging on our first morning together

Not a great picture but her smile shines thru!!!