Friends of Orphans and Vulnerable Children

Friends of Orphans and Vulnerable Children
What could be better than an Ethiopian welcome, FOVC style?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dog Paddling

Well, now that we've been home for two weeks, it's probably time to write a blog post!

There is so much to say, it's hard to know where to start. If I had to give a word picture, I'd say we've been dog paddling.

For the first week we were in Ethiopia, I was really sick much of the time. After stays in two hospitals and a stop at a clinic, and completely by God's intervention, we found a doctor who could help me. One doctor said I was in serious condition, another said critical condition. Either way, I was really sick!

Soon, I will post pictures and share a bit about our amazing experiences, particularly during the second week, when we traveled around southern Ethiopia.

Here is a synopsis of how things have been since we got home:

The first few days = Nightmarish and terrible (shaded further by intense jet lag, sickness and being incredibly tired, I'm sure.) Regrets, doubts and second-guessing abounded.

The first full week = We all realize Bereket is a good boy. But the language barrier is a tough one! His "boy-ness" is nothing like "girl-ness," either....

Second week = Two year-old Amelia realizes Big Brother is here to stay, and he is cramping her style. What this looks like: she wants full access to everything that belongs to Bereket, but she wants to give him no access to anything that belongs to her, that she has ever looked at, touched or briefly considered. is OK with Bereket, but pretty much hell on wheels with Amelia!

End of second week (aka right now) = We can say that life is good. Not entirely easy, but good. Bereket is kind, considerate, helpful, eager to learn, eager to please and unfailingly gentle with Amelia. (Like a good brother, he does tease her occasionally, however.) He is also full of energy, on the go (even when we are all sick and would love some time to rest) and more physical than any daughter we've ever had.

Still, I was able to tell Bereket, "I love you" when I tucked him in the other night....and I meant it!

Amelia is coming around. She and "Brother" hold hands in parking lots, she laughs and smiles at his antics. She has even discovered that Mommy's lap is big enough to "nuggle" (that's "snuggle" if you don't speak Amelia-ese) two kiddos. She is happy to see him when they have been apart, and she's happy to scream at the top of her lungs if he crosses her in any real or perceived way.

Bereket started preschool yesterday and he had a fabulous day. Everyone's school schedules are now aligned, so Mom can actually go to work, in her office, without little kids, for two full days each week. Hallelujah!!!!

About the big girls: This has not been an easy transition. But I'm so proud of them--neither has second-guesssed our decision to bring Bereket home. They are helpful, they have been great role models, and they love their new brother already.

Yes, we've been dog paddling. But our noses are up out of the water a lot more than they were just last week.


Jennifer said...

I am so sorry you were so ill! That's gotta make the whole transition even harder. I "dog paddled" for at least 6 weeks with my 4 yr olds.It sounds like Amelia is slowly now finding out that there ARE good things about having a big brother, and that's gotta help! I bet your big girls are so helpful. Glad you are home; I just rechecked your return date yesterday wondering when you were going to resurface. Can't wait to see pictures!

Joshua and Lydia Rich said...

Oh, we are praying for you guys! The first weeks are NOT easy...It reminds me of our first month at home with our two....Bereket is a wonderful addition to your family, just hang in there!

Jeni said...

Sorry to hear that you've struggled so much. :( Praying for your family!

Anonymous said...


Jocelyn said...

Happy to read that things are going so well so soon!! I am leaving in 8 days to get my girl and am a nervous wreck:-) So different this time around!!

Our Ethiopian Journey said...

I get everything that you are saying. Our first 6 months have been a huge transition period for us all. Zoey and Tatem were 6 and 2 when they came home and we have 3 biological children ages 13, 11, and 8 so it's been challenging but after 6 months I can say that it feels so good. Hang in there!