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Archive for June, 2006

You know how I’ve mentioned that communication hasn’t been an issue? Well, we had our first major problem: slug bugs. VW Beetles. PunchBuggies. A favorite game from my childhood.

Lily loves to play slug bugs. The car game that involves yelling SLUG BUG ________!! and filling in the appropriate color. (We leave out the actual slugging)

Now, try to imagine describing this game to a 3-year old who has only spent 4 months in this country. Poor kid. Lily screams “slug bug YELLOW!” and I look to see Dawit searching the sky for yellow bugs. Lily patiently describes the game to him a fifteenth time.
“Bugs are cars?” Dawit says, bewildered. “Silly Lily.”

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Four month update

The three-year-old stuff he does:

  • climb EVERYTHING
  • talk non-stop
  • tell silly, silly jokes (Mommy’s a lemon!)
  • refuse all food other than bananas and Healthy Choice chix & rice soup
  • keep score:  everything from kisses to shoes.  Has to do/have more than Lil.

Amazing adjustment:

  • had an alone playdate at a friend’s house
  • speaks only in understandable English
  • tells details of his life in Ethiopia before the orphange
  • loves the dog (this is a HUGE difference from when we came home)
  • looks people in the eye and says hello
  • kissed my friend Kate goodbye!

Things that still have me puzzled:

  • he gets very quiet around people of color
  • stories of his birth family that don’t match the history we know
  • he is the happiest kid I know
  • I know people are curious when we’re out and about, why don’t they just ask?

General Mommy observations:

  • I’ve played a lot less Candyland now that Lily has a playmate
  • I’ve finally figured out what types of boys’ clothes I like
  • I go to bed very tired
  • I say “lower your voice” at least 5 times as much as I did before
  • I’m proud of the big sister.  She taught him to write his name today.
  • I need to learn the rules of soccer.

Most often, he has this smile on his face:

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Photos of the children who live underground in Ethiopia's capital.

There are about 5 million true orphans in Ethiopia, and up to 150,000 kids living on the streets.  We saw many shelters like the ones in the photos during our travels in Addis.

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Camp

Dawit and Lily are at preschool camp today.  I have 4 hours alone, and of course I find myself in front of the computer instead of crossing things off the list.

When we told Dawit last night that he'd be going to school, he started yelling "lunchbox!  lunchbox!"  Of course he was right, he didn't have a lunchbox to carry like his sister.  John took him to the store to make his selection. So I sent him off this morning with his lunchbox, his name printed in Sharpie on the outside just like Lily,  and his first note from mom tucked into the napkin.  He was so excited to be there, he barely gave me a wave goodbye. 

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Zinger

Some of John's family came to meet Dawit for the first time today.  Among them was a 94-year old great-granny, whom I adore.  She is, as you can imagine, set in her ways.  She had many questions about Dawit, and she slipped this one in:

Tell me, did you know he was black before you adopted him? 

  We haven't been faced with too many zingers like this so far, but it's a good reminder that  the whole world doesn't have  our perspective.  Must work on some standard funny answers for just these sorts  of situations.

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Big Changes


The kidlets at the impressive Preschool Games.  There was an egg race, sack race, hat race, tug-o-war) Lily won a gold medal.  (do I have to mention that all the kids got gold medals?) She will be starting kindergarten, so she takes every opportunity to inform Dawit of what life is like at her school now, where he will be next year.  She loves to be the boss of Dawit.  He's liking the idea of "Dawit go to class".

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