Life with 4 kids 6 and under. Our trip to pick up Tonito in China is: mid-March 2008 through April 12. Our trips to pick up Ricky in Ethiopia are in June and August of 2010.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Just hanging out with my little boy :)

We started off the day giddy with excitement, which was stifled a bit when we filled out US Embassy paperwork after breakfast. It was a little like a skit on Saturday Night Live with us asking Ato Teklu if we should write xxx in the blank, he would kind-of nod and we'd all write xxx. Then he'd read it back and it would be wrong and we'd have to erase or start over (repeat, repeat, repeat). Finally the torturous stack of paper was turned in by each couple, and the only thing we had left to do was waaaaaaaait for the white van. I was really nervous and wondering how Engida would feel to be separated from everything yet again... he still isn't comfortable with me... It's hard to see a child who is scared and then you can't do anything to alleviate their fear. SO anyway, the white van pulls up and chaos ensues. I don't remember much: cameras snapping, excited squeals, babies crying, kids running around, Sidaminya being playfully yelled back and forth, slamming doors, new toys swung, a spilled water bottle, nannies crying and trying to say good-bye to kids who didn't understand the permanence of their words, hugs, kisses, and then the van pulls away. Some of the parents took their kids upstairs to their rooms, and some stayed around the common area to marvel at their new family members. I followed Engida around for a while as he explored every inch of the first floor. He immediately was attracted to the ceiling light and loved when I turned it on and off. When he started to quibble over toys with the other kiddos, I thought it might be time to go up to our room. I remembered how Engida felt more comfortable at the orphanage when there were less people

We were told by our WACAP case worker that it is typical for kids to want to explore and take everything out of their little suitcases to check out each item. That is exactly what Engida did. I sat him on the bed and he checked out every toy in his backpack, flipping the pages through the books and photo album, drinking milk out of his sippy cup (and getting so frustrated with the counterintuitive straw that did not allow him to tilt his head back!).

He looks so good in red!!! I love his expressive eyes!!

He explored his toys with his hands, eyes, and with his mouth. I remember reading that some children who did not have the opportunity to explore objects with their mouths (as infants do) will do so when allowed. He was more comfortable in our room, with only me. I kept at a slight distance and let him explore. He later let me give him a massage with lotion, and even asked to put some lotion on me. When we went downstairs, he was a little more nervous, and way more active. He was overstimulated by all of the strangers, the new toys, and especially when one of the other kids would scream or get excited (which obviously was often). You can tell in this picture that he is not quite comfortable...

Engida really like to eat, especially bread and bananas. We have a kitchen here to use, but being alone I am not planning on going to the supermarket and cooking for him here in ET- even though I love to cook, there is no way I can watch this wandering and extremely curious toddler while cooking! Every time I turn around he is either in the bathroom playing with running water, or running outside by the security guards to good around with them. I asked Mimi (night receptionist) to help me explain to him it was time to go to bed. She is SO NICE, and came up to my room, helped me undress him, give him a shower (he loves the water!), and bathe him. He is my first child not afraid of shampoo in the eyes! The whole bath Mimi said "konjo" (beautiful) and "gobez" (good) about 1000 times, over and over, and he smiled every time. That must be the trick:).

Two of the others kiddos that came to their families today:

So day 1 with mommy he got to sleep his nap in my arms (in the baby ERGO carrier), we played, ate, had a bath, got 2 massages with lotion, and then he got to fall asleep holding my hand while I caressed his cheek. Could I ask for anything more??

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