Friday, August 31, 2007

5 Months Home!

We have been home with Yosef and Mihret for five months now, and quite honestly, things are going much better than I expected. This is not to say that we have not gone through lots of difficult adjustment, and continue to go through it. But, I was prepared for things to be much harder. All four kids have really settled into their positions/roles in our new little family. Kaitlyn is absolutely thriving, moreso than ever before. Lucas is still very much the baby of the family. For a while, that was really tough, as Mihret is the baby of her family and I had two babies fighting for that position. But alas, Mihret has decided she would rather be my big girl, my sweet girl, and my little helper.

Mihret has done wonderfully with bonding with all of us. She went through a short time where she was really grieving her Ethiopian Mommy. But in her grief, she reached out for me to comfort her. Poor darling asked me one night why I never let her call her Ethiopia Mommy on the telephone like I do her Ethiopia Grandmother. Confused, I told her that her mommy had died ( a fact that she knows all too well). She said, "Yes, but why you not let me call her?" That's when I realized that she just assummed that there are telephones in Heaven! I explained that there are not phones in Heaven, but I really don't think she believed me! :)

Yosef has struggled the most, as would be expected since he is older. We have had some very difficult days and weeks with him. And yet, things are not as bad as they could be. We continue to pray, asking God to enable us to take care of this little guy. And quite honestly, God has been very faithful to help us to know what to do at just the right moments. We've been very blessed to know what strategies will work with him to help guide him through these uncharted waters. Also, school started 6 weeks ago and he has really struggled, as I expected. We have placed him in fourth grade. While he is older than his classmates, he is the same size and fits in quite well. All of teachers and kids absolutely love him. He can be very charming! But he struggles accademically. He does try very hard though. He always does all of his work and has very good behvior for his teacher, so we are very proud of him. His English is getting better and better, so I know that he will not struggle forever. Oh yea, we go to a performing and visual arts school, so he's decided to learn to play drums! My poor ears! :)

Mihret is doing quite well in school. She is actually at the top of her class in first grade! Her teacher is such an incredible blessing. She is South African and has a daughter who was Mihret's age when she came to the US. So, she has lots of compassion and understanding for what this transition is like. Also, she feels such an affinity with Mihret, calling her "my little African sister." Though she did have to send Mihret to my classroom to calm down yesterday. It seems that the kids tried to tell the teacher that she is "African American" because she is brown like them. The teacher said that not all brown people are African American and that she is just plain "African" because she is from Africa. The children argued with her. Mihret chimed in saying that, "No! Mrs. Jita is African, just like ME!" The kids argued with her and Mihret yelled at them, then started crying because she was so mad at them! She's very proud to be African, and I know this has been reinforced by having an African teacher. I'm actually quite glad for this. But geesh! She's awfully tiny and quiet to have gotten so feisty!

Lucas loves school and continues to heal from his burns. He doesn't go back to the burn center until October. The large scar on his lower back is leaving very minimal scaring. The tissues continue to regenerate, and I think that it is actually going to be mostly skin, not a scar, though it may not have any pigment to it. The large and most sever burn on his shoulder is developing a very thick, pitted scar. The kid is taking it so well though! Where some might feel ugly or self conscious, Lucas feels quite proud of his scar. You see, through his shirt, he feels that the raised appearance makes him look like he has a really big muscle that will enable him to kill a bear! He's so cute. :)

Kaitlyn is thriving at this arts school. She is the main reason I wanted to teach here. This is so up her alley. Her little creative heart is being so nurtured and encouraged and instructed here. She's doing so well in all of her subjects minus the frustration of being forced to shut off her creative side.

Life is certainlyl busy and tiring when you're a working Mom, as many of you already know from experience. But we are getting the hang of it, slowly.

I leave you with some pics! Enjoy!

Friends at the Fourth of July!

Yosef taking good care of his "carria", or peppers. He's very proud of them!

Grandma (Avery's Mom) with her girls.

Yosef's first glimpse of the ocean. If you think that adopting older children means missing out on all of life's "firsts" just look at this little face as it experiences yet another "first"!

Mihret's first glimpse. Can you say DISBELIEF????

For the record, no children have suffered from a broken limb...yet!
The First Day of School! 6:00AM...sleep....
Lucas insisted on a picture with just him and his "mama" He cried when I had to leave him...which made me cry....several days in a row.....thankfully, it's better now. :)


Julie said...

Thank you for the update. I LOVE seeing all those pictures of your kids. They are all so beautiful!

Sharon said...

Wow you are busy! I'm glad that things are going so well at this point and glad that Lucas continues to heal so well. They all look so cute in all of the pictures, especially their first day of school picture! Keep up the great work!


Elizabeth F. said...

I love all of the pictures! I miss seeing you guys so much! Maybe soon our paths will cross. Zoe mentioned the other day about having Kaitlyn over. Soon?

I love the pic of Yosef in the ocean.

Dkurtz said...

Hi there,

My name is Debbie and I am from Canada. We just recently returned from Ethiopia with our 2 little girls. I saw your video on was wonderful. You have a beautiful family.

God Bless