Archive for August, 2013

It’s Been a Year?

Time sure flies when you are having fun. And getting sick, and on hold with various government agencies.

It is hard to believe it has been a year since Amie flew home with Micah and Asher. It has been a great year, and a hard year. Right about now is the time we should be seeing their true personalities (a social worker for our first adoption said it takes about the length of time they were in an orphanage). We had to talk about this with the social worker.

Micah is all personality. She is fun loving and can’t resist the opportunity to dance her silly dances or make her silly faces. She is a pouter and silent crier when she is sad. No big dramatic flair like you might expect. That is good: one drama queen is enough for a family. She enjoys riding her bike and playing with dolls. She spends most of her time with Eli. She is finally showing an interest in reading. She has a good memory and has done well with her catechism questions.

The last few days she has been sick. The house is much quieter. She just lays around and doesn’t say much. It is like we have a completely different kid.

Asher is usually good-natured, but he can get pretty stubborn. We noticed a pattern with him about control. First was the food in the mouth thing. Then he was holding in poop. Then, many months after being fully potty trained, he started peeing in the morning before we came to bring him to the bathroom. He has these little rebellions. This could get interesting, in a bad way, when he’s a teenager. But usually he’s laughing and being a silly little boy. He hates to feel left out, though. He can get loud with his tantrums. He loves the dog! Hard to believe he used to scream in fear at the very glimpse of Lulu. Micah tolerates the dog.

The family has probably finished the adjustment. There were a few disappointments for Jadon who had the most difficult adjustment. She used to play with Eli most of the time, so she feels like she lost a brother more than gained a sister. But her world is expanding as she has friends in the neighborhood and can visit with them without the others.

Eli’s hardest adjustment has been with Asher. He doesn’t get that Ash is only and barely 3. When Ash parrots him, Eli thinks he is making fun of him. Projection. It is a beautiful thing. He struggles with Asher’s declarations, as if they matter. “No, Eli. All the cars are not his. Ignore him, he’s two.” is a frequent refrain in the house. He gets a bit more physical with Asher, who is starting to give it back. I guess that was inevitable.

The kids sometimes enjoy our frequent morning ritual of Bible stories, catechism questions and prayer. Sometimes they just want to get on with their day. They do enjoy going to church. My sermons are another matter altogether.

It has been a hard year too. Amie has never been sick this often. And some of those illnesses hung around for awhile. All of us except Micah had the flu this winter. Somehow she remained above the fray on that one. It is just all the stress of suddenly parenting 4 kids instead of 2. But Ash and Micah have been very healthy.

We wasted too much time this year on hold with USCIS and the IRS. But the kids have been re-adopted (so they are citizens) they have their passports and we finally got our adoption refund. This means the construction can begin. Our miniscule porch in the back will be torn down and replaced by an 11 foot porch that runs the length of the house. That will provide some shady living space for grilling, eating and talking. Then we will add some small rocks, artificial grass, shade and fruit trees and some colorful plants. We will have a beautiful backyard that we can enjoy with friends and family (when they visit).

We also wasted too much time with some people who criticized us for adopting 2 African children. It is hard when you are called a racist because you adopted 2 kids who had no hope. It hurts, it stings. It stinks to be so misunderstood. Thankfully our kids haven’t experienced that. I know it will come. Perhaps our experiences will prepare us to comfort them. Maybe not.

But let’s get back to the good stuff.

Micah and Asher have met both sets of grandparents, as well as all their aunts and uncles (okay, not my brothers’ wives) and cousins. They have experienced countless airports on their way to see friends of ours in the mountains of North Carolina, the Jersey shore, the mountains of NY and VT, and the Merrimack Valley region of NH. They played in the ocean for the first time. They played in the snow for the first time. So many firsts, many of them good and great.

But it has just been a year. We look forward to so many more years filled with laughter and tears. And a little screaming. They fit in well with our family. Hard to imagine life without them again. I don’t want to have to. There is no going back.


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