"May the God of hope fill you with great joy and peace as you trust in him." Romans 15:13

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Happy Birthday Daddy!

It was Chad's birthday today! He is not a cake fan so we had birthday pie. Chad's big smile in this picture is due to Joshua singing "Happy Birthday" at the top of his lungs. We practiced all day and Joshua had it down!

Chad is very, very hard to buy a gift for. If he wants something, he buys it. One thing he has talked about off and on for years is a tattoo. So... the kids and I surprised him with a gift certificate for one! He was shocked. I was thrilled to see him get a little pale at the thought. (Sorry, unkind I know. But a certain man I love gave me diamond earrings one year as a bribe to get me to double pierce my ears. I am just getting even.)

I bought temporary tattoos to put on Chad and all the kids, just for fun. I hope Daddy sits this nice for the real thing!
Can't have a birthday without balloons. Joshua and Daddy had a little fun.

We had our first dinner party since Joshua came home. It was very small - only Chad's mom and Grandparent's - but we all had a nice time.

Happy Birthday Chad! I do not know what you wished for, but I am praying for a simpler year. One filled with laughter, pleasant customers, profitable jobs, and lots and lots of time at the lake. I love you babe!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Our 3 Month Anniversary

Last summer Chad and I ran to the video store to rent a video and asked the girls to take the dog on a quick walk while where we were gone so we could watch a family movie when we got back. When we were almost home, my cell phone rang. It was Krissy. She said, "Mom! Brenna..."

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.

"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is double-minded and unstable in all he does."
James 1:5-8

Those words pierced my heart and my anxious mind. God has given me wisdom... instincts - and I was choosing to ignore them. I was filled with doubt. The last thing I wanted is and was for God to remove that wisdom from me.

So I promised right then and there to trust Him. I thanked Him for the deep connection He has given me into my son.

Case closed... nope the next morning I was questioning myself again. Until...

I noticed once again the verse from Hebrews 11:1, I have hanging in my dining room.
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for
and certain of what we do not see."

Sometimes I am shocked that Joshua needs so much sheltering, many times he feels as confident and secure as any of my kids at 2. The instinct to protect him, to remove him from an interaction or activity sometimes takes me by surprise and confuses me. But I am done questioning it. Just as God planted this child so firmly in my heart before I had the evidence that he even existed, He has given me the ability to be his momma.

And Joshua Gebeyehu Chad D. I adore being your Momma! I thank God each and every day for choosing me to be your momma. I love you Mommy's baby.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Firetruck Park

Joshua's very favorite place in town is "The Firetruck Park!!!"

It is VERY fun... if you are 2.

However NOT so exciting for bigger kids. So just what do my older kids do at the famous "Firetruck Park" to keep themselves entertained?

They do a lot of this...

And when playing toddler style gets old, THIS is what happens!

Our trips to the "Firetruck Park" end like this...

with my tired kids taking a rest!

Hats off to my big kids who spend a lot of time at a little kid park! You rock and your brother has gotten so much stronger thanks to your tolerance! (more on Joshua's developing motor skills soon)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Just some stuff I want to remember...

  • 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

First Day

Well, I must say that for a first day - it went OK.

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!

Looking Cool for Back to School

Well, everyone made it out of the house looking good and on time.

Take a look...

Krissy is DONE with traditional back to school photos!

(Can you believe I am old enough to have a daughter in heels?)

Jamison, my ever tolerant 7th grader
Sweet Sierra as a 5th grader

Bubbly Brenna as a 2nd grader

Joshua wanted his picture taken too and we all know how much I like to take pictures!

Father God, Thank you for blessing us with these wonderful children. Please bless this school year with learning, confidence, and friendships. Help each of us to be who you call us to be, to shine for you in all that we do.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More Transitions


I am really tired of transitions! Really Tired!

But school starts tomorrow and thus another transition begins.

Please pray for...

Krissy - as a 9th grader, trying to be true to who she is called to be AND survive in a middle school

Jamison - as a 7th grader, learning how to be a middle school kid

Sierra - as a 5th grader, making new friends as her BFF was transfered to another school

Brenna - as a 2nd grader, getting up early and going to bed early

Joshua - as an ONLY during the day!

Momma - to have the energy, focus, and LOVE to see each of my kidos through this transition

Daddy - to have a little more of Momma back at work, (hoping with only one at home during the day I will be a little more support for my hubby!) and to persevere (boy is he tired of that word!) in the face of a lot of YUCK at work

For all of us - that LOVE, hope, peace, patience, and joy would reign in our household (especially in the mornings and at bedtime)

I do not have a clue how I will get everyone dressed and out of here by 8AM tomorrow! It was a hard, nervous, pick-on-your-sister kind of an afternoon. It was a restless, mom-I-just-can't- sleep kind of a bedtime. But His grace is enough.

To all my "bestest"teacher friends, I am praying for you! I hope you have terrific first days and all your kids do too.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

First Haircut

It was a day for haircuts. Jamison, Sierra, and Brenna went to the salon for cuts this morning. Joshua kept reminding me all day that he needed a haircut too. I was hoping when he saw and heard the clipper he would change his mind... I love his curls!

But he was serious! So here is my first attempt at cutting his hair! It has been a long time since I have run a clipper. Chad shaves his hair himself and Jamison prefers a longer more professional cut so I am rusty!

He sat really really still!

Checking our Momma's work
"Good Jobby me Momma!" was Joshua's response to the finished product. He is such a sweetie pie!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sleeping and Eating

Is there anything sweeter than a sleeping child?

Well, sleep has certainly been one of the most obviously difficult for Joshua Gebeyehu since he has been on my hip. It has gotten much easier but is still not what I would consider "normal" in our house for a 2 year old.

Like a typical 2 year old, Joshua does not enjoy going to sleep. He has much better ways to spend his time than sleeping! However I am very thankful to say that going to sleep is no longer traumatic. He is still needing me - and only me - to rock him to sleep! He is VERY into routine, read that skip a part and expect a melt down, so no matter the time we follow this routine exactly.

We start talking about naptime at lunch. When Joshua is done eating we tell everyone in the house "mah tah mah tah", go to his room, read the book of his choice, say prayers, snuggle with mama and his blanket on the rocking chair, and rock until he is asleep. Naptime rocking is usually brief - like 20 min. He NOW wakes from his nap calling confidently to me. We cuddle and rock a few minutes and he is ready to play! (All of the above is "normal" in our home but the rocking to sleep! Huge improvement to the terrified tears at first!)

Bedtime... routine is KEY! (Our social worker says she thinks routine is so very important to newly adopted kids because it is something they feel control of and they have had so little control over their lives.) Joshua starts worrying about bedtime at supper. He asks "no mah tah mah tah?" before we even sit down to eat! So, we make sure to do something FUN after supper. Playing outside is one of his favorites. We come in at 7:3oish for a bath. Once in the bath Joshua LOVES it, but it takes a little convincing to get him there because bath means bed is coming! After bath, he gets lotion, a pull-up, pajamas, warm milk in a coffee cup =) and a snack. He eats his snack very, very slowly! Then we tell everyone "mah tah mah tah", read books, say prayers, and settle in for the cuddle! Bedtime cuddles have gotten shorter, Joshua is usually asleep by 9:00 these days.

Joshua wakes up about 4AM (on a good night), calls for me, and then gets to come to our bed until morning. In our bed, he is still certainly a snuggler - but he no longer has me in a "choke-hold!" At first he kept himself totally wrapped around me. Now he just likes to be near me.
I immediately know when Joshua is struggling because sleep is totally affected.
While I look forward to no longer sharing our bed (something we have never done before), it is just not time yet. I also look forward to snuggling for a few minutes and then putting Joshua in his crib to fall asleep on his own. I have never routinely rocked a child over 4 mo. old to sleep. But I am really, really thankful for the progress we have made. Joshua is become so much more comfortable, capable, and confident.

One funny note... Joshua has slept through the night one time, but just like when our infants first slept through the night - Momma was up checking to make sure he was OK.

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
  • corndogs
  • milk
  • granola bars
  • anything breaded and fried

He usually likes:

  • goldfish crackers
  • juice!
  • fruit snacks
  • "Walmart" all-meat pizza
  • bread/toast/bagels
  • peanut butter
  • Hershey's chocolate bars
  • M&M's
  • graham crackers
  • crunchy cookies
  • chips - have you noticed that American junk food is all over these lists!

He sometimes likes:

  • cereal - not if mushy
  • oatmeal
  • corn-on-the-cob
  • watermelon
  • 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
  • veggies
  • cheese
  • eggs
  • rice
  • pancakes
  • 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

More lake pics

It was another relaxing weekend at the lake. Take a look...

Poor little man - he hates it when his kids swim so far away!
Joshua's new favorite is kicking his feet in the lake anytime the tube stops. He loves, loves water!

Sierra up on skis! Yeah!!!! Sierra!!!
Joshua loves to sleep on the boat.

Below is the reason we CAN go to the lake almost every weekend....

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


It has been a hard couple of days.

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

Running and Wrestling

There is no good way to photograph running, so you will have to check it out with your own eyes... but Joshua IS running! This is so so exciting because he when he arrived home (just 2 and a half months ago) he was still unsteady walking. Tonight I watched him tear off across a rough grassy field. When Joshua runs he chants "Faster! Faster!" and pumps his arms like crazy.

Thank you Jesus for Joshua's strong legs, fast feet, and improving balance!

Daddy and Joshua had a good wrestling match this evening.

Joshua says he won!

*** Daddy's Joshua story of the day....
Joshua and Momma came into the office this morning. Soon after arriving, Joshua asked Daddy to check on the 4-wheeler. So Daddy thought they would take a quick peak and then come back into the office to get some work done with Momma. When they got to the part of the shop that the 4-wheeler stays in Joshua asked Daddy for a ride. Daddy explained that he did not have Joshua's helmet. Joshua quickly commanded Daddy to "Come with me!" He brought Daddy out of the shop to Momma's macheena (car). He went to the back end and asked Daddy to "open it, pleas." Daddy opened the back and Joshua was thrilled to show him that the 4-wheeler helmet was inside. Daddy was shocked, he had no idea that Momma and Joshua had put the helmet inside 5 days ago. But Joshua remembered! And yep, he got a 4-wheeler ride from Daddy.

Joshua Gebeyehu Chad is one smart cookie!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Joshua's Announcement

I finally made and mailed Joshua's "birth" announcements. With my first four kids, I had the announcements addressed and in my labor bag. They were in the mail before I left the hospital. I was not as speedy this time! Or as organized, so if you did not get one - please give me lots of grace! I would love it if you would email me with your address if you were left out. I quickly went through my address book and so if you have moved or I forgot to get you in my book the last time I sent out Christmas cards, you were probably neglected. Sorry!

Anyway all disclaimers aside, here it is:

I chose to use the verse from Philippians 1:6 on his announcement, and I am betting a few people are wondering why I chose that verse.

The first time (in this process anyway) that the words of Philippians 1:6 "He who began this good work in you will be faithful to complete it" were whispered into my heart they brought a great sense of comfort. I loved resting in the fact that God was in control and He would complete His work in His time. It was like a hug from above.

I clung to those words all throughout our wait, then one day I looked up the WHOLE passage and I did not so much like what I read. You see the whole verse says, "I am confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

I confess I did not like the "until the day of Christ Jesus" part. I wanted completion of this work to be Joshua getting home - NOT the day he went to his heavenly home. I wanted Joshua to get home and everything to be peaceful and easy. I wanted a time of rest and rejoicing.

Bringing Joshua home has been filled with much rejoicing. He is absolutely a gift, a treasure that God has chosen to bless us with, and we are humbled and grateful. But it has not been peaceful or easy or restful! (It in this case means ALL of life - not just Joshua's homecoming. If the only thing I would have needed to focus on these past week's would have been Joshua coming home "it" would have been much less difficult!) I am unable to explain how difficult it has been or how wonderful - never have I had a greater mix of the two all in one serving!

However, I have come to LOVE the words "until the day of Christ Jesus." I am so thankful that God has many, many good works planned for each of our lives. I am so grateful that He is walking with us NOT just through adoption paperwork, but through every step of our lives. I may think I need a little rest, but God knows me better. He knows how best to prepare me for whatever comes next. He has a greater plan for myself and my family than I could ever imagine. And He, who created each of us, will carry us through each and every path to complete each and every good work He has planned for us until He calls us home.

So I have come to treasure those words in Philippians 1:6 and I do trust "that He who began this good work WILL BE faithful to complete it."

(and won't it be exciting to see what good work He has planned for each of us?)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Stupid Question

Ok so I have a longer deeper post bouncing around in my brain, but it is late and it has been a loooooooong day so I share with you perhaps the STUPIDEST question I have ever been asked.

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


One thing that we have been advised will help Joshua's large motor skills develop is to CRAWL, CRAWL, CRAWL! Yesterday a really fun tunnel surprised us in the mail! Crawling suddenly became a lot more exciting!

Just in case you are wondering... yes Joshua is walking well. But there is a lot of reasearch about how good for both the brain and body crawling is, so in addition to walking, climbing, dancing, "jumping", and running - we are crawling!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


One thing that alarmed me when Joshua first came home was his reaction to getting hurt. If he was hurt he would either ignore it or cry in a very isolated way, closing his eyes, tilting his head back and to the left. When he cried this way his whole body exhibited how alone he felt, how he "knew" that the only one he could count on was himself. If I picked him up while he cried he would almost not notice. As he became a little more comfortable, if he fell and got hurt he would welcome me picking him up - but then push me away and scream for Daddy, Krissy, or Jay to comfort him as if it were my fault he was injured because I was the closest to him.

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

Hot, Hot, Hot!

Another day of 90 degree heat, so we escaped to the water park. We were not sure what Joshua would think. He loves the water, but he is not big on crowds. However, we all had a lot of fun.

Here is the proof:

Hey "D" cousins, we missed you today! Last summer we went to the water park with all of you!