Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Some great things about our sons

They remembered us. When they saw us, they came toward us with their arms up for hugs.

They claimed us. When other kids were around, they sat on our laps. They gently pushed others away. We're theirs.

So far they mostly understand our Amharic and we mostly understand them.

They liked seeing themselves on the videocamera.

When they were playing, they were a team. They took turns. They held things for each other.

They were curious about their new pull-back cars and their talking photo album. They figured out how to best balance things on the cars, and how to record their own voices on the photo album.

They said they liked our dogs. So far the only names they've learned from the photo album are the dogs' names. D even kissed their pictures. He liked Buki's tiliq milas - big tongue.

They each had a turn leading prayers and they both did a great job.

They put stickers all over Tabb's face.

D covered our faces in the photo album with stickers, then asked us where our faces were. Comedy gold.

A played demolition derby with me for almost an hour.

D looked at the photo album with Tabb for almost an hour.

D LOVES the photo album, especially the picture of the house and the car. At snack time he shoved his bread in his mouth all at once so he could finish and come back to the photo album.

When we did something D liked, he patted us on the shoulder.

A likes soccer.

A showed us where everything belonged when it was clean-up time.

They gave us kisses and accepted kisses.

They're cute as all get out.

A took lots of photos with Tabb's camera.

They stopped when it was time to stop, and didn't touch when I told them not to touch (I know this will change once they begin to test limits, but it's great to know they can do it).

They were sad when it was time for us to leave, but understood when we said we would come back.

When I told A to give a toy to a little boy who was crying, he didn't want to, but he did it.

When it was time for everyone to go in for a bath, D snuck back out to be with us.

They laugh when we tickle them.

They are full of smiles and hugs.

We are so happy to be with them.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Family letter

The other thing I did this weekend was write a letter to the boys' family in Burji. "Humbling" is not a word I use a lot, but sitting down to write that letter was definitely humbling. After deleting the boys' names, I made a word cloud out of the letter. I like that "family" and "always" are the most used words.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

a book for the boys

This weekend I made a variation on what Patty Cogen (Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child) calls "the three-photo story." The point of this book is to show your children's life before adoption, during their transition, and with their adoptive family. You use the book to answer the question, "What happened to me?"
I called the book "A and D's Story; YeA inna yeD Tarikachew." It starts out with pictures of Burji and says that A and D lived in this beautiful place with their family who loved them very much. Then it has pictures that were taken soon after they entered the orphanage and says that something very bad happened and they were very sad. The next page has photos of us meeting them in November and it says that they had a new family who loved them very much. Then there's a picture of an airplane. There are a few pages of pictures of where they are going in the U.S. The book ends by saying that the boys now have two families who love them very much. I wrote a very simple text in English and this week our tutors will help me translate it into Amharic so we can start reading the book with the boys as soon as we arrive in Ethiopia. I hope it is helpful for them.

Friday, April 13, 2012

...and we have an embassy appointment!

Tickets are confirmed. Our embassy appointment is on April 30. We fly to Ethiopia a week before that, to complete the family visit to Burji before going to the embassy.
As before, we are hugely grateful to our generous family member who provided our tickets through frequent flyer miles.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

So close now

Yesterday we received this email from the U.S. embassy in Addis:
"This office is ready to schedule an interview for the I-600 petition filed on behalf of [..]."
Which means our case cleared the embassy.
Which means the rest is a formality, a chance for us to appear at the embassy and express any concerns about our adoption process.
Which means we can go pick up lijochachin, our children.
We don't have an embassy appointment yet. We have reserved plane tickets based on our best guess for when the appointment will be, and we are waiting for the go-ahead from WHFC to confirm them.
I have a million things to do. I am able to do some of them. I finished clearing the weeds out of the garden today, because I don't want our kids to think we're bad farmers. I did some of the enormous amount of work left to do in the house. I did a lot of sitting and staring into space. Because that needed to be done, too.
Lijochachin. Innime'tallen!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

a few updates

Some updates and thoughts from the last few weeks:
  • We've received two emails from the U.S. embassy in Addis so far, and we're hoping to get THE email within a week. 
  • I think about Trayvon Martin and Florida law enforcement every day.
  • This month's 10% Challenge went to Ethiopia Reads, in honor of Liz.
  • There are some other big changes coming up in our lives. I'll be blogging about them once the answers to basic questions are something other than "I don't know."