Thursday, February 4, 2010

First Days Home

Our first days home have been busy but fun. I realize now more than ever that I really prefer things to be run on a schedule around here. Our first night home was pretty crazy. Our kids at home that we had been away from for 9 days were competing for our attention, our new girls were used to having all the attention and lack of sleep was kicking in (at 8pm, it felt like 4 am to us and the girls). The mornings that followed started with dress up and toys being strewn throughout the house. Lots of excitement over new things and a happy chaos. Once the grandparents left and Nick went back to work, we began to settle into our routine.

We started our morning 5 (potty, brush teeth, get dressed, pajamas away, make beds...), instituted a rock jar thanks to our friend Heidi (reward system for catching others doing right/thoughtful behavior) and have laid down the family rules. It was quite interesting to try to explain things in Amahric and English. We found that acting out the wrong behavior first (which the kids think is hysterical)and then the right behavior works the best. Our rock jar is about half full now and things are settling in.

Nick is getting up in the mornings early so he can get the kids ready while I get ready and have a little time to do my devotion and pray (a crucial factor in determining how the day will go). There is just no way around it. If I'm not praying and reading God's word, things fall apart. I'm definitely a better mother when my focus is on Him, especially when I start the day that way. There is no denying that I'm completely inadequate for this job without God. He says we can do all things through Him who gives us strenght, and I'm holding Him to it.

We took the kids to the local Ethiopian restaurant and it was a hit. I'm glad to say that all of the kids enjoyed the food. So much so that we had to reorder an entire second round of food. It was like watching little vultures. The second time around we nixed the family style approach and gave each child their own plate.

Food acceptance is coming along as well. My little Meron is a champ and tries almost everything. Hermela is still a bit challenging. Usually I can pass things by if I sprinkle a little berbere on the food. Vegetables are still being rejected beyond the one bit that I encourage her to eat every time they are severed. She is at least doing that without complaint now. They are huge fruit eaters, love eggs, pasta, chicken and rice and bread. Pancakes were also a hit along with popcorn and peanuts. Every time they like something, Caleb say, "score one for mom".

Our favorite activity is playing outside. We had several days of rain, which really "dampened" our days. Meron is constantly saying "suwashuway, suwashuway" (swing, swing). Once we are outside, it is a constant round of pushing one kid after another. I've finally had to tell them, "Aund, mommy" (one mommy) and five kids. "Koyee" (wait) is another essential word along with "bay Ka" (enough, all done). We are working on our patience (parents and kids).

In the hair department, I fell like things are going pretty well. Except for the fact that Hermela wants her hair straight like Caroline's and Caroline wants hers curly like Hermela's. I'm pretty proud of a few of the styles I've managed. I've found a few that work well for all three girls so they can have the "same" hair.

We had fun today painting on the deck. I'm not sure that the girls have ever painted. I always wonder when we do new things with them if it is the first time they've ever experienced it. We fed ducks at a lake yesterday, which I'm sure was a new experience as every time the girls see a body of water they say, "wooha, America" (water, America). I guess they think lakes are only in America. It has been a true blessing to watch their excitement as they discover their new home. It is one of the biggest bonuses to older child adoption (along with the fact that they sleep through the night and are potty trained).
I'm hoping to post about our trip soon.

Adoption is awesome! Try it, you might like it :)

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