September 30, 2008
When you answer 'we homeschool' one lady tells you that "some like it but most don't because their mom's get too mean..."
You decide to have an 'ly' word lesson from IEW writing lesson while watch the waves crash against the shore..... Our sentence was .......The waves___________ crashed against the shore.
Most interesting word given for that sentence........ gnarlingly (is that even a word!?
You make sure your kids can tell the difference between a female and male shark at the aquarium.
The best find of the week (for mom anyways) was a half alive sea urchin. Rachel wants to keep it as a pet...
At the aquarium:
September 28, 2008
Here is video of Ab's first time at the beach. It was great to have him laughing.
He woke up crying Friday morning and Saturday morning, missing Ethiopia.
He woke up this morning in the car and said 'mom, no (and made the tears motion)' and gave me a thumbs up!
He was so excited when he first saw it and told Greg 'dad go straight!' We were still in the car at that point. Then he told me 'Abenezer no wanna ' (wanna means swim to him) But he warmed up to it!
September 27, 2008
September 26, 2008
Ab asked me today what Rachel's spot on her chin was...I told him it was a freckle...He told me (I say tell...but most of it is one word with motions) that Jesus (pointing to Heaven) came down and kissed us there (kiss motion and point to freckle) He showed me the spots (freckles) where Jesus kissed me :)
I've received LOTS of hugs and kisses today...and I've been told I'm loved more times than I can count!
We were watching old reruns of The Cosby Show today and I told him they were Americans...His response was "what??" He currently thinks all people of color are Ethiopians. He was shocked to learn not all Americans are white!
This boy keeps us on our toes! And a big thank you to the Katzenbach family! We feel loved!
I asked him why he was sad and just looked up with big tears and said "Ethiopia" ugh...how many times can your heart break? I just sat and held him...he went back to sleep for a little bit and then once the other kids were awake, he was off and playing with them.
He has done fine since the, aside from needing lots of attention...
On a side note....Thanks God for rain!
September 25, 2008
Here is a snippet of the conversation...
September 24, 2008
Mom loves Abenezer
Dad loves Abenezer
Bekah loves Abenezer
Josh loves Abenezer
Rachel loves Abenzer
and then he would turn it around and say "Abenezer loves mom " and so on down the line! Can you tell we've told him that...alot!
I wrote our first letter to his family this week and have it in the mail with pictures ready to go...how do you sum up gratitude and blessing in a short letter that you are hoping they can get read or translated? It is so hard to pour out feelings and give them an update on their son.
But Abenezer was excited to know that we were sending them pictures..the best way I could get him to understand was to tell him the envelope was going to go on the plane to Ethiopia to his parents. He yelled "yes! thank you mom!"
September 23, 2008
One thing that was interesting was Ab was very nervous with her here. He literally clung to me on my lap while she was here and he kept hugging me and kissing me and telling me he loved me. He also began the sweating thing. I just wonder what in the world he was thinking. The language barrier is really tough sometimes.
He got mad again today when he came out from bed and the other kids were sitting beside me. He told us he was going back to sleep. We told him to come on out and sit beside the others and I kept rubbing his head so at least I was touching him. He then told me (by pointing to each body part) that his calves, thighs, arms, and head hurt alot (big hands out.) He thought by telling me that I would make the others move so that he could sit beside me.
They eventually did move and he got his cuddle time.
He also got upset when I said I was going to sleep in my own bed last night. His face immediately fell and he looked upset. He does not like to be by himself at all. (Bekah ended sleeping with him last night) He constantly wants someone with him....at ALL times. At times this can be very draining on all of us. BUT looking at it from his view...no matter how things seem to be okay...he is going to be wondering and insecure. Looking at it from his life....he had a mom and dad who loved him very much and were very affectionate with him. Then he is taken to an orphanage and left. Then this lady comes in 3 months later and takes you to a strange place where no one speaks your language and everyone looks different than you....He would have to be wondering what else can happen in his life. He would have to wonder if it was something he did ...or if he isn't good enough can we also give him up.... Those would all be natural questions and reactions.......Does he know we love him? Yes, I think so......but he also knows he parents loved them and in his eyes he was still 'left'......that would make anyone insecure. Breaks my heart.....
September 22, 2008
himbasha (ethiopian bread)
mandarin (orange drink)
and of course CAKE!
He had a great time and was so thankful for every gift. The winner of the favorite gift award goes to Uncle Randy and Aunt Janice (and Casey and Chris)! It was the spiderman web blaster. He cheered when he opened that.
He woke up Monday morning (he is still sleeping with one of us every night) and gave me and Greg two of the cars he received. We kept telling him that they were given to him and that we want him to have them and he kept telling us " No, For you" The boy would give anything away if he thought it would please you. He even gave us his drink yesterday at lunch ....he came and poured it out of his cup and into Greg and mine (Daddy was a good sport..you know he doesn't like backwash)
This is the traditional outfit that his parents gave him in Ethiopia..He wore it to church on Sunday morning:
He then came home and changed into his other ethiopian outfit. Notice the sunglasses on top of his hat!
Abenezer with his cake and himbasha. In all of the pictures his parents gave us, when they celebrated his birthday, the cake was on top of the himbasha. So we did the same thing.Spiderman!
The Ethiopian Spiderman!
Watch out Rachel!
September 20, 2008
September 17, 2008
September 15, 2008
Today as I walked out of the school room, there was a snake crawling across the floor...yes, it was little, but I immediately went and got the man of the house...I do alot of things..but I don't do snakes (alive anyways) Greg was putting him outside and Abenezer said "Ethiopia, Jesus" and he stomped his heel down where the snake was...(he always starts with Ethiopia if it's something he has learned there) We figured out he was talking about where Jesus will crush the serpent's head.....
The snake is now in a container on the table...as long as there are no others in the house :)
September 11, 2008
I didn't want to adopt a child older than 3 (he's almost 5)
I didn't want to have to deal with his family (I am)
I didn't want to go to Ethiopia without Greg (I did)
I didn't want to meet the family (I did)
I didn't want to meet his family outside of the orphanage without Almaz as my 'safeguard' (I did)
and I could go on and on
I had my reasons and justifications for all of things that I didn't want to do....but with each thing, God either changed my heart or walked me through it. I can't imagine our family without him--no matter what his age is, I am so thankful that I had the privilege of meeting his family and being able to help them keep up with his life, and I am in awe of God enabling me to do the trip without Greg.
I am still processing alot. For some reason when I am in the car (I think because that is my most 'still and quiet' time) that my mind immediately go to the children of E.A. and my heart just breaks. I cannot remove their faces or their 'home' from my mind. I am trying to figure out what to do with it. I know one thing that it has brought close to home is what is truly important. I don't want to waste my life and time and money on things that will make no difference whatsoever. I want to be able to walk in Heaven's door and Jesus to be able to say "well done, good and faithful servant" and maybe a holy high five. How to live that here and now? Still working that out in my life.....
I know that I can honestly say at this point that if I had the financial ability, I would begin the process again (Greg asked last night at what number would I stop??)
I am sure that if I write this post a month from now, that I will still have things that I will be learning......
While giving him a bath the other night, he told us that he has 2 moms and 2 dads. 2 in Ethiopia and 2 here (pointing to us) It's the first time that he has verbalized that to us. We told him yes, that he was very special and had 2 moms and 2 dads that love him very much. While part of me was glad that he is realizing who we will be in his life, the other part of me aches for his loss and his parent's loss.
On a funny note...He is insistent that he has been to Mexico and that it is right below Ethiopia...not sure where in the world that is coming from!
September 8, 2008
Some of you have mentioned that you would love to hear him praying. His prayers seem so earnest and sincere...Bekah taped him last night (he wasn't aware until he looked up) I hope to get it translated so we can have it when he is older...the camera cut off so there is part 1 and 2...if you listen close, you will hear Mom, Dad, Bekah, Josh and Rachel and America and of course..Jesus' name, Amen. Also..Rachel declared last night (after an evening of her and Abenezer playing together without anyone else around) that she should sleep in his room with him because " you know mom, we've attached" aaawwww
September 5, 2008
September 4, 2008
We had our first doctor visit. Abenezer got 4 shots, finger prick and tb test. He also peed in a cup which he thought was hilarious! He is about 50% in height and weight and looks good. We then got a Frosty from Wendys...
We then went to AMC to get blood drawn to retest some of the tests just to make sure... He did good at the doctor and at AMC. The gentleman who did the blood work was an african-american and was the nicest guy. Abenezer really liked him. We laughed alot and he was very compassionate towards him. He laughed at me trying to figure out the hair thing.
He then wanted another Frosty...I had to say no on that one!
At the doctors, he noticed that the sole of his feet matched my skin color..He laid his foot on my leg and kept pointing to them both..He then rubbed his skin and said Ethiopia and rubbed mine ----It was a precious moment...
After AMC, we were in the car and he said "mom, Abenezer, airplane, Ethiopia?" From the way he said it, I believe he was asking for both of us to go back to Ethiopia. Broke my heart....my consolation is at least he wanted to take me with him!
Tomorrow will be 3 weeks home...It has gone good...almost too good in some aspects...He is a precious boy and I can't imagine life without him at this point. We go to the dentist and get the rest of his teeth done...so pray for him in that regard...
We are going to try to go to the Ethiopian restaurant on Saturday and get some injera for him. Will post pics on that...
Also ... A hint to all Ethiopian adopters...He has really enjoyed the Tsion's Life book from www.amharickids.com He loves to look at the pics and tell us what everything is...I believe it's been very therapeutic for him...I highly recommend it.
The things that we noticed that was hard was the language barrier ....people think because he knows a few words that he understands alot. He doesn't, he will even nod yes sometimes when he has no clue. Just think about how you may know some spanish words and understand a word but if a native spanish speaking person would come up to you and start talking, you may be able to pick a word or two out, but that's it. Now, imagine if you are four and in a new country and all these people and kids are talking to you in another language?
It confirmed to me that small groups with us is best for now.....it's just too confusing for him....
This was a pretty fountain...Abenezer ran to it and wanted to (and proceeded to do so) wanna (swim) in it! Mom had to be pretty quick on that one!