Monday, July 28, 2008

To end on a good note... sugar and spice

A little brunch my friends in the hood put together for me.

And just in case you think life is too rosey here are the fits

wow all I can say is that is my sweet angel
frustrated Judah, common face in my house
again, what can I say the mommy cam is on
and of course Nettie... she is one of us
I wander what she is thinking
We went on the Fairy from Coronado Island to San Diego, just for fun.
Mason swinging
I found Abby and Nettie holding hands in the back and when I went to take a picture Nettie broke out with this new model pose
I fond Nettie and Mason watching TV like this. She loves him and really looks up to him. Of course she posed. This is in our trailer in San D
Just Abby being cute
Our trip to San Diego, this is at the Scripps Aquarium
Daddy with his two little ones at our trailer in San Diego
Nettie having some special time
Nettie on a swing at a playground for the first time in San Diego, she loved it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Nettie and Abby

Well they are sisters for sure. They don't sleep. I put them to bed and Nettie moaned to go poopala but knowing the rules of stay in bed (not me orphanage I assume) Abby was the talebearer, reporting all of Netties woes. "Mom she needs food, mom she needs to go poop real bad, mom she needs water, mom she is wearing underwear on her head, my sparkle underwear" So with this last request of my presence I go to find my dear Nettie snug in bed wearing a bright playful smile and a pair of Abby's underwear on her head. She said as she pointed to her underwear "Underwear?" as if she didn't know what it was for or where it went. I told her she looked beautiful and tried my hardest not to just devour her in kisses or laugh. If I had done either of these things she would have been up dancing and playing and capturing me the way she does. I can't stop watching her and her antics make us all laugh. Tonight she requested Abby to lay with her then told Abby she needed wa, (water). She does that, she charms you then bosses you around and you just do it because you are under her spell. So Abby hops out of bed and runs to get her water. I told Nettie to say please and she smiled knowing she didn't really have to do that. Abby stopped with a look of purpose and told me "mom she doesn't have to say please to me, I will just do it." wow. show me your secrets queen Sheba the great Ethiopian queen who charmed Solomon. She must know something I don't . Then I went to tell them a story. I started off with a made up tale of the Ice princess and the fire princess. Abby could barely contain herself and I never got past the power of the ice princess which by the way was Abby's character. Nettie could careless because she kept saying in her little bird chirpy voice "Icecream?" I finally had to tell Abby I couldn't tell this story and she would just have to think of it in her imagination as she was trying to take over my story. Finally at 10 PM all was quiet.

I have been thinking about her a lot and her personality. Nettie is a pleaser, she wants to see everyone happy. She loves to tattle though especially on Judah. She can be the biggest little stinker and have you laughing a few minutes later. She has adopted Mason (6) as her littlest ababa. He couldn't be more happy to feel so important to her. He protects her and treats her like his child more than a big brother. He takes responsibility for her and guides her and nurtures her. She seemed to know the key to his heart then took it and ran with it. Tonight I heard him yelling in Amharic "Beka Nettie, Banana Conjo" meaning "Stop good banana" He apparently tried to feed her a snack as she was probably begging for him to get her something to eat. Chik fil a wasn't cutting it as she is not crazy about chicken in nugget form. The banana wasn't good enough for miss thing and she threw it on the floor yelling back in Amharic "No Mason Coshasha!!" meaning dirty! He was at a loss of what to do with this little fire ball so he put the perfectly good bananna in the dog bowl and threw his hands in the air. Regardless she found the key to his heart. Often he sticks up for her and she smiles slyly to herself and goes to him and rubs his arms and face and sidles up next to him in all of her shortness under the wing of his arm as if to say "Thank you Ababa"

Abby has always been the "Tom boy" she has shown little interest to girly things ever in her almost 5 years on this earth. Somehow Nettie has awaken the little girl in her and she stepped out a bit on the pink side. Don't get me wrong she would choose a boy friend and a truck any day but I have caught her brushing a pretty pony tail and she even wore a dress to church! Big steps for Abby. Abby also has her personal space and not too many are allowed to be in it. When she was little I was, but even with me she would tell me "Turn your breathing off it bothers me" Somehow Nettie has wormed her way into big sissy's heart and I find Abby cuddling with her by her own choice and letting her brush her blond hair. I don't know how Nettie did it. There is no jealousy and Abby is actually coming out of her shell a bit. She even told me that she was thinking of changing her name to "Beauty" now this coming from a girl that you could not say was pretty at all. You could call her cool but she would get mad if you and possibly throw a punch if you said she was beautiful. So again I am not sure how Nettie did it.

Judah, my youngest. We are really in the thick of connection issues right now with him. We don't understand him and are seeking help with his behavior. He has a very hard time socially making connections with people but somehow Nettie did it. She broke down some barrier in his mind and is able to get there and show him love. I put them in the bath the other day and she bathed him like a mother would her son, all the while speaking Amharic and ordering him around. He stood there shocked but smiled at the attention she doted on him. I think that in the future he will connect even more to her. He has started dancing and has taken an interest in Ethiopian dancing as he sees Nettie loving it. He is realizing where he is from. He doesn't talk much to her but he copies her a lot and tries to play with her, mostly by jumping on her at which point she tattles on him.

I can't write for Gary as he hasn't had too much time with her. When he is around she just wants me. I know in time he will get to know her as well.

As for me I feel like there is a spot that is no longer blank in my life. She has come in and allowed me to love her. She has trusted me and reached out to me, she has made some connection with me that only a mom and daughter could know. I really don't know how she did it. I look at my family and I know I am blessed with all my kids. I see completeness and fullness. I feel done with adding to my family but ready to build it up. I have waited for so long for this and I wasn't sure it was possible.

Nettie studies pictures of people, photographs and magazines. She is deeply interested in humans. She has a deep sense of intuition and I think it has saved her life. I just pour tears for her parents. If I can love her like this how must they feel to have lost her? I would not be surprised if Nettie became a Broadway show stopper or a teacher or a doctor or writer or comedian or counselor. It seems to me the world is hers and she knows it.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Holy cow!!

I can't believe I left a month ago! time is just flying by.

Yesssssss tonight Nettie actually went to sleep without crying and by her self. for the last month I have been laying with her and Abby. Tonight bedtime mostly went off without a hitch. She is becoming more confident and loving. We still have not had to do too much heavy correction. A few time outs and now she can count to three because we play that game too. "Nettie come here, 1, 2 3"... you know.

Another Abbyism

She says that sugar cones are made from sugar and cones and the other kind of cones are made from rice but that sugar cones is what the "Statue of Delivery" holds. She is too cute.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Thank you Lord

Nettie's prayer tonight at dinner surprised me. She rattled off something in Amharic then with her head bowed and her eyes closed she said "America amen" I didn't even know she knew that word. I don't usually say America, personally I say United States so I was shocked. Then at bed time she prayed again but this time she spoke her language then said "thank you thank you America" It was so darn sweet. Before she fell asleep she said that I was good, and Daddy was good and then she listed off everyone in the family and kissed us all.

I am truly mourning her birth family right now. They raised her for 4 years, I have only known her for four weeks. It hits home and there is a deep sadness. I am currently looking for them so I can tell them she is fine. I would love to for her sake, have some sort of open adoption. I know she was told about us, she was told about America and that she would have a new family and that we would be good.

Another Abbyism

We were in Walmart today and she found a two piece bathing suite she liked a lot. It was a bit skimpy for my liking so I told her she couldn't have it because it showed to much skin. She was a bit indignant, put her little hands on her hips and said, "Well that's okay my grandmother has a zucchini for me at her house" I am pretty sure she meant bikini.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Just a little funny

The other day Abigail (4 1/2) came up to me with a look of grave concern and something in her palm. She opened her hand up to me and in it were three tiny styrofoam beads. "Mom I think I found your blood sugars"

I had to wait until she was gone to laugh. She was so serious and so concerned. She always hears Gary and I talking about my blood sugar dropping, well she found it on the ground.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Well we are home and things are going so well, despite the fact that I am sick. I feel a terrible cold coming on and I just don't have time for this right now!!!

this will be brief.

Nettie is still just doing great she is a happy child and really a poster child for all things adoption. People are just falling in love with her.

She put on a Tinkerbell outfit tonight with yellow shoes and a train hat and pink purse and a scarf she thought she looked grand, and oh ya the sunglasses. she was so cute.

Abby is doing great as a big sister she advocates for Nettie's needs and swears she can understand her when she speaks Amharic so she is translating as well. The took a shower together tonight and Abby washed her with the soap and they both lost their balanced and ended up in a black and white heap on the shower floor giggling like crazy! It was too cute. Then at bed time Abby insisted that Nettie sleep with her so I had two of my girls in my arms and it was so wonderful. Nettie sang some songs to us and then began to pray seriously insisiting we say Amen to everything she said. I really wish I knew what that was.

Friday, July 11, 2008

3 weeks

I have been netties mom for three weeks. It is hard to imagine as time has gone by very fast for me. I am currently at the cosiest place on earth to me. My trailer in San Diego. It is a 23 foot trailer and has all the amenities of home just miniaturized. I am sitting here in the dark connected to wirless internet, all four of my kids and my husband are sleeping just inches away. I am blessed. Today we went to on the ferry ride from Coranado Island to San Diego and then back. It was fun enough. I think we are going to the beach tomorrow. It is enought though to just hang out here under the giant shade trees enjoying the amazing cool weather. Judah actually complains often that it is too cold. We roasted marshmallows tonight and made smores. Nettie got so sticky and giggly. I am just loving her. She is chunky and uncoordinated, slightly clumsy and very jolly. She knows how to tattle and how to get out of trouble fast. She complains and tells her story just like the others, and some how we understand her. I think she is brilliant and will be incredibly talented as a performer or comedian. I have moments of grief for her parents having lost their child. I cry almost everyday as I am watching her and all her cuteness. I have a case of pink eye that worsens at night and I just hope the kids don't get it. I got some seriously cute pictures but I can't post them until I get home. We have one more night here and the real world awaits me. Hot temperatures, homeschool, piano, gymnastics, preschool, life. You know. Nettie models, when the camera is out she is hamming it up. She has a great sense of humor and is a little tease. She bosses Judah around and mothers him, he seems to like it. She has Mason wrapped around her finger and even had Abby playing pretty ponies with her. It is great she is great. It is like God just answered my prayers straight from my heart.

Monday, July 7, 2008

First day swimming

She was hesitant at first. When we finally got her in the water she was thrilled beyond belief. Neither I nor Gary had ever seen anything like her reaction. I can't describe it and I wish I had video taped it. It was hilarious. She would put her face in the water and come up out of breath shaking like crazy, flailing about then finally a giggle so loud it could be a laugh. She was so thrilled she couldn't breath, the whole experience took her breath away. I had never seen a child so tickled in all my life. You can tell the feeling of being in water was so totally new to her. It was amazing. Within a few minutes she was swimming back and forth to Gary and I. This child is adventurous. She likes to make us laugh and she loves to please us. I am always in awe at the things she does and I just love to watch her. She is a master at sign language and really is good at telling us what she needs. Yesterday she begged me for injera. Poor baby. We are leaving for San Diego today and we are going to get Ethiopian food there. The kids are very excited to get to San Diego, they have done very well with all the attention poured on our newest. Abby said that when I found her in Ethiopia she was so hungry and was working in a garden, then I brought her home. She makes me laugh with her imagination although it drives Mason crazy. Judah and Mason need to run free for a bit, you can tell these boys have been pent up much to long, prisoner to this heat. We are getting Netty a razor scooter today and heading out of town. Judah got a serious hair cut. He has sensory issues so brushing his hair is constantly a battle. Gary tried to just cut it but he didn't like the pulling feeling of the clippers so we just shaved it off completely. He looks older now and his smile is huge now that he doesn't have hair. So showering all four kids was easier as I only had to do three kids hair! Netty has very soft curls and so her hair won't be as high maintenance as Judah's. I plan to just let it grow and be free. She doesn't mind having her hair brushed and she loves to do my hair. She sings her native songs and puts rubber bands in my hair. She is a pro at the side pony tail.

Netsa goes swimming

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Just an update

While I am journaling my whole trip on the living love account I will also update this one as well but with current kid stuff.

I can't believe it has been 2 weeks since I left. Netty is home and is doing great, the adjustment is seamless. Thank God. She fits right in and it is if God made a spot for from the beginning of time.

There is no problems yet. She doesn't like it when I take a bite of her food, but she likes to feed me. She likes to do hair and she sings little songs when she does it. She loves clothes and dolls and all things girly. She is picking up on English fast, We have to learn some manners but she is smart and learns fast not requiring very much correction at all. She loves food and tries anything once, she even ate cabbage the other night. Gary thinks she is 5 , I don't know I think she is a smart 4 1/2 year old. She is tiny, smaller than Judah but fat. She didn't have much opportunity to exercise. She imitates wonderfully, and even lines the toilets seat with toilet paper cause she saw me do it in Ethiopia. She can count to 5 and say abc's, she understands what we are saying and doesn't fight with the kids, she loves to tease and joke. She sleeps good and is very adventurous and not fearful at all of new experiences. She communicates amazingly, using English Amharic and sign language. She can definitely get her point across without a problem which reduces the fits. She copies the kids so if they clean up so does she. She loves to dress up and talk on the phone, anything electronic or pink or purple. She was afraid of the small dog but okay with the bigger one. She got over that fear in 2 days. She didn't like her car seat but with in one day accepted it without too much drama. She is a dream child. What can I say. But don't feel like I live the charmed life, I think my other adoptive child has oppositional defiance disorder. Gary and I are at a loss with him currently. We are taking him to be evaluated in a month. So while netty is has had no problems and she has been with us for 2 weeks, our other son has been with us over 2 years and we still don't know what to do. It is hard now that I can see the other end of things. I know we have a problem. I think sometimes I was in denial but now that there is a definite comparison, now that we have adopted 2 times and had two different experiences I can see we need help.