We had a good day today. It started off rough. There was no school today so all the kids were home. By 10am Gerry and Abera were fighting and after I got that under control, Gerry decided he wanted popsicles. I told him at least 20 times to get out of the fridge and physically had to take him out of the kitchen several times. We tried time out but he still kept trying to get in the freezer. After giving him several warnings, it was time to get serious. All the popsicles when down the kitchen sink. It was extremely traumatic for Gerry to see all those yummy popsicles go to waste but I think he got the point that I was serious. I'm usually not that strict but it was getting out of hand. At that point it was time to get out of the house or I was going to go crazy. After a good long cry up in his bed, Gerry recovered well and we all actually had a good time at the playground. Abera didn't have any meltdowns (we had a bad one the other day at the playground).
But the afternoon was the best. We got back from the playground and then played some more outside at home. When we got inside we actually did NOT turn on the TV. I was playing dolls with Samantha in her room and I decided to see why it was so quiet. I went out in the hallway and Abera said, "shh-babies sleeping. I mommy, you daddy". I looked down and Gerry was pretending to be asleep in his sleeping bag. Brandon was pretending to sleep in his bed. Abera then picked up a toy and tucked it under Gerry's blanket. He then pulled back the blanket and showed me like 10 other toys tucked in with Gerry as well.(Abera likes to go to sleep with a toy, so I assume he was showing me what a good mom he was by supplying all those toys for his "baby"). The best part is that Abera then bent down and kissed Gerry and Brandon on the forehead while they were "sleeping". I then went to kiss Brandon too and bumped my head on the top bunk. I asked Abera if he would kiss my boo boo and he happily kissed my forehead and started laughing. That just melted my heart.
The rest of the afternoon went really well with only one other fight between Gerry and Abera.
We'll see want tomorrow brings!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
It's midnight now and I can't go to sleep. Because the house is so chaotic during the day, I'm forced to actually do my work at night instead of finishing it up at the last minute on Wed morning. There is just no way I can be on the computer for 2 hours in the morning. For one, the boys will destroy the house. I'll also be having to stop every five minutes to break up a fight and then I'll feel really guilty that I'm not paying attention to them.
Besides the chaos and fighting (actual fist fights and scratching going on) things are going well. Abera is learning English very quickly. Although I have to admit that we watch waayyy too much TV. Even if they are not really watching, it's usually on anyway. This morning Abera was sitting at the kitchen table waiting for breakfast and he started saying, "Little Bear is coming up next" like a TV announcer. He also goes around the house saying "We did it, we did it, we did it , hooray!" Today, I was on the floor playing Trouble with Gerry and Abera came out of no where and plopped down on my lap and let me hold him like a baby...it was sooo cute. He had a big smile on his face!
Tomorrow is supposed to be beautiful, so we will be going to the playground. Hopefully everyone will play nice.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Mr. Abera with his cool sunglasses. He kept trying to wear my glasses so I bought him some sunglasses from a street vendor-it was worth every Birr
Well all the kids are asleep and I'm still awake. I think the jetlag has finally worn off. We got home Friday morning and until last night I couldn't stay awake past 7pm. And there is no way I've been able to post anything significant during the day. I'm not sure where to start. Ethiopia is a wonderful country. I can actually say right now that I miss it. The countryside is beautiful. The people are so friendly. I was part of a wonderful travel group. I traveled alone but never felt lonely (except the first night I arrived when I lost it emotionally). Everyone in my travel group was so helpful to me- I could not have done it without them. Especially in the airport (Abera is a runner and he was testing me big time in the airport-try lugging two pieces of luggage and having your passports handy while trying to keep a "spirited" 4yr old with you-a 4yr old who doesn't speak English!) It was an emotional trip-Ethiopia is so culturally rich but still so poor-it was hard to deal with such a culture shock. I really miss playing at the care center with all the kiddies.
I don't miss the plane ride. It actually went relatively well as Abera slept most of the time-but, man, a 17 hour planeride is a killer. It was great flying Ethiopian airlines though because the staff was very helpful with translating for me and Abera when necessary. The other passengers were so helpful too. Ethiopians love children and by the end of the flight, most of the airplane knew Abera's name and were best buddies with him.
It's been a hard week. It's not easy bringing a scared 4yr old into a family. Brandon has not helped. For those who know Brandon well - this is not a surprise. He is not friendly to other kids (he's gotten into fights with kids at church) and hates to share and can get very spazzy when he's upset. He has come a long way though but Abera brings out the worst in him. There has been a lot of fighting in this house. (including hitting, pinching, and kicking). For the most part Gerry is great with Abera-Gerry thinks Abera is the best kid in the whole world which is not a surprise if you know Gerry. He's the complete opposite of Brandon. Gerry thinks everyone is his best friend and loves to please. But they've had a few brawls too. Samantha and Abera pretty much leave each other alone-although they had a breakthrough tonight. Abera loves "Little Bear" (Samantha's favorite show). Tonight they were sitting together laughing hysterically while watching that show.
Abera is not afraid of Jake and will yell ,"Mommy, mommy" to get my attention and then lean over and give Jake a big hug. Poor Stinky is no longer with us. We ended up returning him to his previous owner. Which really is a good thing because originally we were only keeping him temporarily until the previous owner got her housing situation worked out. It's for the best because I don't know how I would have dealt with Stinky this week.
Abera was mostly very happy and excited in Ethiopia and even gave me spontaneous hugs and one kiss while there. Once we got home though, he was different. For one he totally loves Gerald and has wanted mostly his attention at first. He also got very sad the first few days (for obvious reasons-lack of communication-moving to a strange country in a strange house with complete strangers). He would flinch away if I tried to hug him or rub his back etc... But today he really seemed to open up. He was much more smiley and was singing his happy song (a cute little Ethiopian song he sang all the time in Ehtiopia). I was sad he wouldn't sing it once we got home but tonight he was singing it as he went to bed and he kept smiling at me as he sang. He actually asked me to pick him up today a few times and let me rub his back while he was going to sleep. I'd call that progress. He loves spaghetti and beef noodle soup so no complaints there!
Now I'm getting tired. Enjoy the pictures!