Friday, November 13, 2009

The Queen, (The Prince), and I

People keep asking me isn't it tough, having adopted two (older) children at the same time. For me it isn't but I truly believe that we are only given vision for those things that we have also been equipped to do.

All the vision talk aside the ride just wouldn't be nearly as much fun without both of my treasures. There is nothing like watching them interact with each other, listening to him tell me how much he loves his sister, and her saying, "Yea, I love you but no touching me and no kissing me." I watch sometimes from a distance as she gently manipulates him into thinking that her ideas are really his own and then there are those classic moments like her polishing his fingernails and toe nails and then sending him to me with pride in his eyes while she laughs knowingly in the background.

Don't be fooled by those pretty doe eyes and innocent smile. She is truly made of sugar and spice and all that nice stuff with a little don't even try that mess with me thrown in. I think back to those early days of her refusing to wear pink with purple and now watch her apply three-days worth of lipgloss (chapAstick) in one application. She has the fashion thing down now and plans many of her outfits at night making sure that the tiny speck of pink on the tiny flower at the neckline matches the the pink in her socks that will be hidden by her shoes. She is so confident in her styling ability that she even wants to dress me. If it were up to her, she and I would wear coordinating outfits everyday, matching lipstick, and carbon copy hairdos. The day she put on that wig I thought she'd never take it off. She flounced around the house throwing the hair over her shoulders and telling me that she was definitely going to wear it to school for show-and-tell. She is all girl and for as much as I love her, uh and need her to constantly and lovingly REMIND me of ALL things I seem to forget, my life with her is deeper and more colorful because I too have my young prince.

If it weren't for having two of them then I wouldn't get all those wonderfully long periods of mommy time while they find and create new ways to play. I walked into their room the other day after a 2-hour mind-my-own-business pretend getaway in my room and was so incredibly pleased and proud to see that they had pulled out a lego set giving to them by the fabulous Kristine and my princess was reading the directions and putting together the fire truck for her brother as he sat trying so hard to help her. It was funny to hear her trying to explain how he needed to be patient, "slowly" she would tell him as he tried to rush the process and just use any piece of lego he could find. I was impressed she really managed to get those 60 or 70 little pieces into a truck with lights and wheels that he is still rolling around the house.

If it were not for having both of my treasures, I would not get to experience them trying to one up each other for my attention; race to me to kiss me first; insist that I hugged one longer than the other; or hear them say, "I am your baby too!" Without two who would take up for the other or plead the other's case to me as they both often do? And, I can't tell you what it is like to see him pick up a book and take it to her knowing that she can read it to him or now that he TOO can read he will often ask her first to help him.

Were it not for having both of them I wouldn't have so many laughs listening to their conversations in the car; hearing my daughter tell him in her best sista-girl voice, "stop I'm not playing with you." Then when she gets too bossy it is him telling her, "Don't tell me. I don't listen to you I only listen to my mom." That's right baby listen to your mama.

Then there are those comments that just come out of the blue and remind me of how wonderfully blessed I am to have them. For a few days my daughter kept asking if she could have my eyes. When I'd tell her I need them to see she would tell me that I could have her eyes for trade. No amount of telling her that her eyes were much prettier would convince her. Finally, she said she wanted my eyes because, "they have already seen everything and learned it." Profound right?

Still the best of the week was driving them to school and hearing them laugh and talk about a woman they saw driving a big semi-truck. "Mommmy, that's a lady? She's driving a truck?" They both just cracked up thinking that was so ridiculous.

Me: "Ladies in America drive trucks. They can do anything."

The Princess: "Anything?"

Me: "Yea, when you grow up if you want to you can drive a truck."

The Princess: "Who? Not me?"

Me: "Well what will you be when you grow up?"

The Princess: "A teacher I think. No...I am going to be a QUEEN."

When I walked in her room last night to turn out the light, I stopped in my tracks and laughed when I saw the royal way that she was sleeping. Do you see my baby wearing an eye mask? Help me please! I had to grab my phone and take this picture. What you can't see is that these pajamas have a fluffy fur-like collar and her legs are stretched out and crossed at the ankles.

All hail the QUEEN!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I Give You Everything!

For two years I wrote this blog and now it seems I'm on a once a month diet. Waiting for the kids to arrive gave me so much time to be reflective and usually I was writing about my feelings. Now that they are here I'm enjoying living every single moment with them and rarely pause to think or write about it. There are so many special moments, how do you pick just one. For me it's been impossible but I did want to share this little story.

My son is extremely talkative. He talks from the moment he wakes up and talks until he drifts off to sleep. Sometimes I think that he just talks because he is so impressed and amazed at his ability to speak English. I think he loves hearing words roll off his tongue and waiting for my reaction to the many things he says that he knows he should not say. I watch him amazed that four short months ago the only English word he knew was NO and he enjoyed speaking Amharic to one of my great friends who often called. Well, she called a couple of weeks ago and I put him on the phone. She immediately started greeting him in Amharic and he just as immediately said and I quote, "Hey what is this you are talking to me? I am ENGLISH, my mom is ENGLISH, everyday ENGLISH, ENGLISH, ENGLISH! If you want to talk to me you talk ENGLISH!" Then he handed the phone to me in a huff as though she had insulted him. For days after that he would say, "Mom, people know I am ENGLISH...right? I will talk no more Amharic."

Right after that he went into a story about his mother (I've chosen to call her that without the need to refer to her as the first one, the Ethiopian one, or the birth one). He told me that when he closes his eyes that he can see her running to him and he then he demonstrates how he will reach his hands out for her. He told me, "Mom, when I see her I am going to hug her and say HELLO." Right when he said that it was like he realized in that moment that she didn't know English. He looked and me and said, "What will she say, mom? Amharic or English?" Then he dropped it with a little sadness at the realization of what he said. My son's mastery of the language is pretty amazing, he has started correcting his sister's sentencing; he chimes in while she practices her spelling words (usually he is right about what letter comes next). However, because he talks so much and has so many ideas going on all the time sometimes I miss a few things and now when I do or tell him that I don't understand he ask, "Are your ears working? I'm talking ENGLISH to you. Do you hear this ENGLISH? Mom, you no listening to me?"

So, everyday we hear his version of English, English, English and a few days ago he said to me, "Mom when I'm very big boy, I will give you everything. Mom, I'm gonna buy three cars and give you two of them for you to drive. I'm going to work, work, work and give you my money, $100 I will give you. Mom, I will buy you leebs (clothes) at the leebs store so you can be pretty. Mom, I will get you shoes on your feet and socks for you. I will take you to the restaurant and get you food. Mom, when you get sick I will take you to doctor for him make you well." Then he started looking around the room. "Oh, yea mom I will buy you food for this house at the food store." He looked overhead at a kitchen light that was out. "Mom, I will get you this light here then it will no be dark in here...mmmm....mmmm.....Mom I will shower your car and make it clean and I will take you to church....mmmm...mmmm....mmmmm....Mom, I will get you pretty rings for your hands. Mom I will give you everything!"

I was smiling from ear to ear as much for what he would give me as for what he has learned since he's been here. It was so cute watching him roll his eyes upward to think of more and more things for me. "Mom, I stay with you forever. I stay HERE, no more change. Mom, this is it, I stay with you all the time and you stay with me. That's it!"

"Mom I love you for everything!"

Original Court Date: April 18, 2009
Final Court Date: May 18, 2009
[607 total days & 165 days w/IAN]