Sunday, May 20, 2012

Week 2 ups and downs and ups

Tonight is two weeks since our boys arrived in the United States.

Monday morning we went to the doctor for blood draws. It took three nurses for each kid and us literally lying on top of them (on the kids, not the nurses). After the doctor, to get their mind off things, we took the kids to the children's museum. That was a huge hit. Their favorite part was a big sand box with lots of construction equipment.

The post-doctor-and-overstimulation meltdowns began Monday night and continued through Tuesday night. A was super cranky and D had wild mood swings. We had our first social worker visit Tuesday evening and that went well. By Wednesday the kids had recovered. They spent most of Wednesday running errands and having fun with T while I packed up the rest of the house. Then Thursday morning while waiting for the moving truck the tantrums started again, so I took the kids and hit the road while T stayed behind to wait for the movers and clean the house. The kids loved the drive. The whole three-and-a-half-hour trip to T's parents' house, they looked out the windows, looked at books, sang along with the Amharic CD and were as happy as can be. Every ten minutes or so D would let out a strangled croak of "Truck! Mommy! Truuuuuuuccckkkk!" School bus sightings elicited shrieks of joy. (D was very, very sad on Tuesday when we visited my school and he couldn't ride home on the school bus with the other kids. He felt better when I told him the bus was for students only and he wasn't a student yet, and he came up with a brilliant solution - he would be the driver.)

The kids had a great time with T's parents. They fed the fish, rode in the wheelbarrow, walked in the woods, blew bubbles, went to the park and saw a river for the first time ever. We left the grandparents after lunch on Thursday. It was a six-hour drive to Philadelphia and the kids were AWESOME! We talked a lot along the way about the new house and Daddy and Buki and about trucks. They stayed cheerful and calm during the whole trip. I was so grateful. We got to our new house and reunited with T and Magano on Friday night.

On Saturday all hell broke loose. Not surprising. There were tantrums all day, interspersed with sweet moments of talking with A or reading with D. A is very, very patient when we sit and talk - he understands that my Amharic is weak and he asks a lot of questions and rephrases things in a way that strikes me as very mature. D loves Sandra Boynton books and has a few of them almost memorized. But mostly it was tantrums on Saturday.

Today was much better. Our new house has a playground two doors down and we spent a lot of time there today, including with our wonderful new neighbors. A kicked the ball around with some other kids from our street. One of these days we'll be able to finish unpacking. Right now I'm glad the kids went to bed tired and happy.


  1. A visit to grandparents complete with woods, bubbles and wheelbarrow rides sounds very therapeutic! And Sandra Boynton rocks. Good luck with the unpacking. It took me months to empty a couple of suitcases after arriving home from the US with Yosi!

  2. It sounds like you have a great perspective on how the changes will affect your boys, and that overall they are handling it well (as can be expected). I love that A works with his communication in Amharic--what a sweetie! You have so, so much on your plate! I'm so impressed by your calm!

  3. The blood draw scene was very similar with Miss E. I was glad I had my husband with me that day!

  4. T had her meltdown AFTER the first dr's apt as we went back to the car. I thought CPS was going to come get us for sure that time. It was the first time I had to use brute force to get her in the car seat and she still tried to get out of it the whole way home. Those days are long gone...thank goodness!

    Hope you all are settling in to the new home!

  5. This is all so familiar! ..and so tough. And we didn't move in the midst of everything. You are doing a GREAT job. Stay positive, get sleep and compassion, compassion, compassion.

  6. What an incredible couple of weeks they - and YOU, of course - have had. Sounds like, even through the tantrums, you are all hanging in there.