Tadesse has been here in the USA for five weeks and if you wondering how he is doing take a look for yourself…
I think his smile says it all.
There have been so many silly moments of trying to understand and process all that is new. We make meals and he asks if he is eating pig or cow. He wants to venture out for a bike ride and he comes in wearing his bicycle helmet backwards. He answers the home phone with a sweet “hi,” and loves to hand me the phone when he is talking to one of his Ethiopian people no matter what I am doing. He and Ava are finally fast friends but Tadesse still has no idea quite what to do when his little firecracker of a sister puts her foot down and starts shouting “no.” Sometimes we catch him staring as he tries to process some of the disrespect from the boys when they simply will not listen to what I ask them to do and today was the first time he heard me angrily proclaim that American children need to live in a place like Ethiopia so that they will better understand how to respect all the opportunity they have here at home.
All in all this experience has been humbling, challenging and incredibly beautiful. Some nights while we sit on the couch watching the Olympics I am nearly overcome with emotion. He is here, right here with me and I no longer need to wonder where he is sleeping, waht he is eating and how sad he feels that he has no parents to call his own. Tadesse’s heart and his willingness to surrender to parents, family, fears, changes and of course all things new gives me inspiration sometimes on an hourly basis. There are days I feel ill equipped to handle all the many facets of parenting four littles and yet Taddesse and his courage helps me to rise to the challenge. He helps me to remember to put God first and to parent that way.
Each day we make adjustments. We strive to meet everyone’s needs and interests and we seek to have all the boys and sweet Ava know that there are limits and expectations for how we treat one another. Parenting ages 2 through 17 will never be easy but both Bob and I know we did not sign up for easy. Instead we signed up for potty training in the middle of registering for drivers training. We signed up for managing 7 personalities in one vehicle. We signed up for noisey dinner hours, tons of laundry, extra trips to the grocery store and the patrolling of Facebook chat. There is rarely a dull moment around here and although I feel the need to document the details, I can say that I would never choose to have it any other way. Adoption has changed the very core of who we are as a family and no matter what the picture and the challenge, I am grateful to be a part of the journey.