Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Before she even finished the story I was looking around the vehicle for something to mop up blood. I just knew Brenna was hurt and bleeding.
And she was. She fell off her scooter -without a helmet on- and face planted on the concrete. Her head and mouth were bleeding a lot. Her lip was swollen so much it stuck out as far as her nose. As I tried to clean off the blood she kept asking, "Mom, what happened?"
It slowly dawned on me that she truly did not know what had happened. We brought her to the ER where she began vomiting and we waited for a CT. We eventually learned that she had a concussion, but was going to be fine.
I have thought about that a lot these past weeks. I have marveled that I KNEW without a doubt that my daughter was hurt badly and bleeding before I had been told. Mom's just know stuff sometimes. I believe God gives us this special instinct.
Joshua has been on my hip for 3 mo. today. I think the greatest change that has happened this month is that I have started to truly trust the instincts God has given me as Joshua's mother.
This has been a journey for me. I have loved him with the deep, special, lay-down-my-life, don't-you-hurt-my baby kind of way that is reserved only for my kids since before I ever held him. That love has never swayed. I was as attached and madly in love with him from the moment he climbed into my sight as I have been with each of my belly babies since they were plopped on my chest after birth. I never questioned my love for him or my ability to love him.
But I did question my motherly instincts. These instincts are so very strong that at times it is like a physical assault. There have been times when I am nearly physically sick with the need to remove my boy from a seemingly normal interaction. These instincts are just SO different with Joshua that I sometimes have a hard time to listening to them. I have never been a very protective momma, but with Joshua I have been extremely protective. I am a very independent person and have encouraged independence in my kids. Not Joshua. I have sheltered him and nurtured him totally differently than I did the older kids at his age.
These instincts have been further confusing because they have been encouraged by some and disregarded by others. One person tells me "Alicia, trust your instincts." or "Of course you know, you ARE his momma." Others have not trusted my protectivity one bit. I have struggled to decide which camp to believe.
The other problem is that Joshua's wounds are not swollen or bleeding. There is not the same visible evidence of his pain, insecurity, and fear.
A few times I have chosen to ignore my instincts because they just have to be wrong, no child could really need this much sheltering. And you know what? I have regretted it every time.
After my most recent episode in ignoring my instinct to protect and shelter Joshua Gebeyehu, I opened my Bible to the book of James. I have read the book of James many times in the last weeks, but God seemed to highlight these words as I questioned my ability to really trust myself as Joshua's mom.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
- Daddy walked into the office deep in thought, he walked right by Joshua with out a hello. Joshua walked up to him, put his hands out and said,"Daddy? Where oh where is Joshua's big hug?"
- Jamison was unbelievably kind and patient with his little brother when we tagged along to get his football gear. Surrounded by all his buddies, Jamison just laughed when Joshua insisted on wearing Jay's football helmet and trying on his pads. So proud of my boys!
- I apologized to Jamison because I had an errand to run and could not walk with him to his first football practice. My kind son just grinned at me. His grin said it all and I quickly realized how "gay" it would be for his mommy to walk him to football practice at middle school. Thanks Jamison for being so patient and having such a great sense of humor. We are both still making fun of me!
- Joshua has discovered that he, Jay, and Daddy all have the same name! He LOVES it that all my boys are "Chad D." He has decided that I am "Momma Chad D."
- Joshua is a hunter NOT an animal lover at heart. When we play with his farm set he pretends to cut the chickens head off, then he sticks it on a stick and feeds it to momma. (With a warning to blow it because it is hot!) He does a similar thing with toy fish, but first he whacks them hard. "Just like daddy!" And then he pretends to fillet them.
- For months the only thing Joshua really loved at the park was to "drive." If there was not a steering wheel at a playground he would ask to go home! If there was a steering wheel, he would ask me for the keys. I would throw him pretend keys through the air, he would catch them, ask if I was buckled, wait for me to pretend to buckle up, and then he would start "driving." He has an absolutely wonderful and very detailed imagination.
- He would also play "Momma's Baby is Crying" constantly! He would stop whatever he was doing and say, "Momma's baby is crying!" I would drop everything and run to him, pick him up, and whisper how he was OK and momma loved him and momma would take care of him. He would giggle and cuddle in. Usually he would get down and play right away, only to repeat this game again in 5 min. or so. It has been a fascinating game. As he has become more confident in me, we play it less and less. It drove the older kids crazy! They thought it was totally annoying because although he said he was crying he clearly just was testing/goofing around/needing me - depending on the moment. I kept reminding them that I picked them up every time they cried when they were babies and he needs that too. This game is becoming rare. It is amazing to me how he has found some really good ways to have his formerly unmet needs met.
- Since I never leave Joshua (except with daddy) he attended the open house at the middle school with Krissy and I. He insisted on going down the steps in the very busy school by himself. We were absolutely causing a minor traffic jam between him being slow because he is little and him being distracted, but Krissy was so so patient. She calmly reminded him to keep moving, but never got upset or embarrassed a bit.
- Joshua, our little motor-head, knows the name to each and every car in his bag. He has a dumpy truck, a payloader, a backhoe, daddy's jeep, daddy's truck, a bus, a garbage truck, an airplane, a helicopter, krissy's yellow car, etc... He brings his bag almost everywhere and loves to name off his collection.
- Joshua has struggled with people asking him questions like "How old are you? What is your name? How are you?" He likes to have me practice them with him. I will point to Krissy and say "What is your name?" She will answer and then it will be Joshua's turn. He will prompt us to do this more! He really wants to figure this out.
- On a similar note... Joshua is 10! Yep, he wants to be 10 just like Sierra. At first when we would practice how old are you he would respond,"2! No how old Sierra?" I didn't catch on right away and would tell him Sierra is 10. He would proudly say, "Joshua 10!" Now he just claims to be 10... but Momma can be 2!
- We continue to be totally amazed at Joshua's intelligence. He is seriously smart. He found an alphabet toy. You can push the buttons and the toy says the name of the letter you push. He was so excited when he heard it say his name..."W" (yep "W" sounds a lot like Gebeyehu) He soon discovered that it also said Jay's name, "J". He would ask me about momma's name. I pushed the "M" and told him M is for momma. We went through all the names in our household and then got busy for the day. Several days later he pulled out the same toy and ON HIS OWN pushed all the letters and told me which letter was for which name with incredible accuracy - even "d" for daddy and "b" for brenna. I was totally amazed. And to make it even more shocking... the toy has all lower case letters which are much more difficult for beginning readers to identify one from the other. Since he does not seem to recognize letters other than the ones I told him go with family names, I do not think he has worked with letters much. But even if he had, I think recognizing lower case letters with family names so quickly is quite a feat.
- Last one...(remember this is Joshua's baby book and our family's memory book so you have to humor me!) Joshua really struggles when called Gebeyehu right now. When I say his name Joshua Gebeyehu Chad D. He says "NO Gebeyehu! Joshua Chad D." When he is just called Gebeyehu he usually shuts down, sometimes even burying his face into my shoulder and sucking his thumb. Other times he just ignores it - but there is certainly evidence that his name, who he is, who he belongs to, etc... is something he is striving to work through. Being both Joshua and Gebeyehu will be a lifelong journey I do believe. We all have to figure out who we are, I just see it more and so much earlier in Joshua Gebeyehu.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Krissy is pretty positive about all her teachers. She is relieved about who is not on her team. Lunch was hard.
Jamison had a good but really long day. He has football practice after school until 5:45, so he left at 7:45 and did not return home until 5:45. Add in the overwhelmingness of starting Middle School AND 90 degree full gear football practice and we had a HOT, HUNGRY boy.
Sierra really missed her BFF. She made it though the day and was really kind to a "new kid." But we are praying for a new BFF - or many!
Brenna had a really good day. She likes her teacher, is excited about what they will do in grade 2, and has good friends in her class.
Joshua was a little concerned this morning when everyone was AWAKE... we usually have a lot of quiet time as the big kids like to sleep in! There was a lot of nervous energy in our house and it did shake him up a little - but once the kids were all at school, Joshua had a super fun day with Momma. We met and played with friends for a couple hours this morning. Joshua (for the first time) was genuinely comfortable in a new place for the first time. He enjoyed his little buddy as much as any 2 year old enjoys another little man. (You know little guys play near eachother not really with eachother.) Then we went to work for a while, to the grocery store, and then for lunch with Daddy. Joshua went right down for a nap when we got home and I had to wake him up to get his sisters from school at 3. He was happy to see them but also content to play with his trucks while they told me about their days.
Chad brought home a new printer. Mine had quit and we were holding off buying one because we kept thinking that it would eventually work for me to be at the office more. Well... eventually it will work, but it is going to be a little longer than we had expected. So, my home office is up and running again! We are also investigating some ways to get our computers networked so he will have access to the accounting files that are on my machine remotely since Chad gets no work done when Joshua and I come to the office. (Joshua is pretty talkative and wiggly AND he thinks Daddy should give him rides in all the cool machines NOT work. Joshua does really well when Chad is not in the office, but when daddy is there it is play time!) We WILL get this work situation all figured out. Once again, I am SO grateful that I have a flexible job!!!! Joshua is just not ready for day care yet and I am so very very thankful that we have the options that we do. It is not a perfect scenario. My boss/hubby is putting up with a lot - good thing he loves me so much AND understands his son so well.
This newest transition is far from figured out, but at least the first day went well! One more day until the weekend, I fear next week will be a better test. I sure am glad we get to start this new schedule slowly!
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
These pictures crack me up because for the most part Joshua HATES to be messy!
Joshua definitely has a 2 year old appetite. He is totally finicky and what he eats one day, he will not eat another day. He is most certainly the pickiest eater in our home, but it no longer concerns me. He is no happier eating Ethiopian food than American, so he is stuck with whatever Momma cooks up.
He always likes:
- chicken nuggets and fries
- most any meat - taco meat, bbq's, meatloaf
- granola bars
- anything breaded and fried
He usually likes:
- goldfish crackers
- fruit snacks
- "Walmart" all-meat pizza
- peanut butter
- Hershey's chocolate bars
- graham crackers
- crunchy cookies
- chips - have you noticed that American junk food is all over these lists!
He sometimes likes:
- cereal - not if mushy
- boiled potatoes - NOT mashed or seasoned
- pasta dishes
He never likes:
- cold stuff - yogurt, Popsicles, ice cream
- smooth or mushy textures
- fruit - he likes juice now, so maybe someday
- anything soft or mushy is usually rejected
- sauces - ketchup, bbq, maple syrup
So, I am no longer worrying about making food to please Joshua. He IS unpredictable (Sat. he ate several pieces of raw onion) and picky, but he is also very well mannered and tries most everything with a "no thank you" response to those items he is not crazy about. At our house you either eat what Momma cooks with a "thank you" or you wait for the next meal... and Joshua is figuring this out!
Funny food note - One day we were talking about what to have for lunch and Joshua shouted "McDonald's!" Man do kids learn fast! He has only eaten McDonald's two times and he is hooked! His sibling laughed so hard! They also cheered him on as they LOVE McDonald's as well. Only Momma does not share that love!
Sunday, August 22, 2010
teamwork! It is a lot of work to pack up and go to the lake. It is even more work to drag everything back into the house when we are all sweaty and tired. But each of our 5 amazing kids help every step of the way. We have an agreement that no one showers until everything is unloaded and put away. All the kids work hard until the work is complete and I am really, really proud of them.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
I am watching Joshua grieve and it hurts.
It is not as deep or intense as it was when he first came home, but he has moments of grief just the same.
It is not constant, but comes in surprising bursts.
His grief does not show itself when we are busy or in public... whose does?
His grief shows itself in floods of tears over things that he would normally not be bothered by... and the tone of the cry is not anger or frustration or hungry or cranky, but sadness.
His grief shows itself in keeping too busy and too active.
His grief shows itself in Amharic songs.
His grief shows itself in irritability and whining.
His grief shows itself in waking many times in the night.
His grief shows itself in a neediness that can not be satisfied.
His grief grieves my heart.
Please pray for my boy... and his momma.
PS I know this sounds like normal 2 year old behavior, he is my 5th 2 year old. The behavior is the same, the emotions behind it are very different.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Anyway all disclaimers aside, here it is:
Monday, August 16, 2010
Last week when at the water park, I ran into an acquaintance/friend who had formerly met Joshua and was aware even before that meeting (via rumor) that "the D's were adopting!"
She asked me, "So what does he call you?"
For the record MY SON calls me "Momma" or "Mommy"!
***I will also note that although I am still annoyed by this extremely "???" question, it is the first "???" I have been asked. I have actually been amazed that everywhere I go and everyone I meet recognizes that I am Joshua Gebeyehu Chad's MOMMA.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Now you are just going to have to trust me when I say these reactions were unlike any I have experienced with any other children. I know there are tough kids that rarely get hurt. I believe Joshua is tough, but why? Because he just is? Or because he had no expectation of anyone caring that he was hurt? I have often read of how silent it is on infant wings in orphanages because eventually the babies quit crying knowing no one will comfort them... I suspect that Joshua's lack of a reaction to injuries early on was similar to this.
I tell you all this to put into perspective how much his reactions to "owies" has changed. He now almost looks forward to minor injuries because they are an opportunity to ask each of us to kiss it! He put a sticker on his leg today, just for fun. But when he pulled it off it hurt a little. He went from me to Krissy to Jay to Sierra to Brenna and made sure each of us noticed and kissed his owie, grinning bigger with each kiss.
Yesterday he had his first "big" owie. He fell on the sidewalk and scraped his knee. It bled! He looked down and saw the blood, then reached his arms up to me and said, "Momma help you! Joshua owie!" He burrowed his head into my chest, sucked his thumb, and wept as I carried him into the house for a band-aid. He then was "totally unable" to walk until after nap because he had an owie knee. It was all blessedly, beautifully normal!
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Hey "D" cousins, we missed you today! Last summer we went to the water park with all of you!