Thursday, March 13, 2008

The King of the ET Shoulder Shrug!

Hello again!
I hope my photos went through this time!  Since I didn't really expect my memory key to work, I didn't take the time to write out a thoughtful post - and it would've worked!  oh well, maybe next time.  It is after 11 p.m. here and I'm pretty beat, so I'll do my best.  ;)
I would've been down to check email sooner, except that by the time mark and i got the kids to sleep it was after 9.  then we talked for the first time in 2 days!  that part i didn't really count on - they kids are VERY consuming and any extra energy is spent trying to give Grace a little time to herself (she's been a champ, but it is a bit hard for us to be so consumed by Abenezer and Hana).  Anyways, it was just nice to talk.
But back to the trip!  it has been a whirlwind few days.  The jet lag is hitting me especially hard so we are running on much less sleep than desirable.  We've been going to sleep with the kids around 8-8:30, but today we got to watch a traditional coffee ceremony and have some (yum) and topped it off with a coke (yum - glass bottles and real sugar ARE better) but now paying for it ... and yes, makes me ramble-y.
Yesterday we attempted to get the girls' hair braided.  We are learning that African time estimates are far from accurate.  ;)  We couldn't wait any longer since we had our embassy appointment, but that was okay.  After the embassy appointment (which is such a non-event it is almost irritating we had to go) we went to swim at the |Hilton and FINALLY meet one of our Internet friends!  That probably sounds so weird, but the adoption community is a whole different beast.  =)  it was great to meet her and her beautiful daughter (about Hana's age and from the same orphanage) but frankly the Hilton pool was a disappointment!  \it is pretty neat since it is filled naturally through hot springs under it.  But that makes it HOT - and I mean BATH WATER hot.  It was so uncomfortable!  And the kids had to be watched so carefully.  Even in the more shallow kiddie pool-ish area.  Abenezer waded in the more shallow part then proceeded to walk right to the edge, just out of Mark's reach, and walk OVER the edge above his head!  Mark was able to immediately fish him out but scary!  He laughed it off. these kids are so tough.  If he falls down, he might think about crying, maybe whine a little, but mostly they just pick up and keep going - there hasn't been anyone there to care much of they cry for awhile.  Well, that isn't quite true - the caregivers at the orphanage are amazing.  But they do only have so much time and energy to go around.  Anyways, I'm all over the place.  The Hilton was a nice visit (although seriously overpriced - I really wouldn't do it again).
Today was busy too. We spent the first part of the morning getting the girl's hair braided. That was pretty neat.  The woman was so fast, but it still took a long time (tiny braids!).  But very cute.  I know she was pulling tight b/c Hana's eyes kept watering but she just wiped them with a tissue - not a sound.  I felt horrible!  But she really liked it all done. And Grace wanted her's done too.  She actually sat for the whole thing, which is AMAZING if you know how sensitive her head is (and how big of a wuss she is).  But she loved it when it was done and has gotten many compliments.  Then we went shopping with a driver that was great.  Found some great stuff, but it is hard to shop with 3 kids.  Well, Grace is fine (actually helpful to keep an eye out)!  So we didn't get quite as much done.  But fun. This afternoon was a goodbye ceremony for Hana's friend and was very fun.  Grace finally loosened up and really played at the orphanage (she's been sort of scared and overwhelmed thus far).  But she had a blast!  There was this adorable little boy that attached himself and she felt bad when we had to leave!  But we'll be back in the morning to meet the neighbor that brought Abenezer to the orphanage, so she can play more then.
As for the title of my post ...
The kids are actually doing great.  Hana especially.  She has already really attached herself to Mark and (somewhat lesser) to me and Grace.  She handles disappointment pretty well (although doesn't like no a whole lot, she handles it pretty appropriately for 5).  Abenezer on the other hand is a bit of a stinker.  ;)  He is such a charmer, but can really turn it off and on.  He's been attached to my hip and very fixated on me, but there is an air of superficialness about it.  Obviously true attachment will take time and might be a long road.  He's got to re-learn what love is and there will be tests for all of us.  But overall he is beautiful and happy boy that makes friends with EVERYONE.  I think his age is pretty accurate at 3 1/2 but emotionally he is much more like 2, which can be exhausting.  Although Hana only rarely pulls out the famous "Ethiopian one shoulder shrug" he will do it almost any time he is told no or diverted from his path.  And it can last awhile!  Other times he is just so easy going, easy to laugh and hug.  He is very smart. He doesn't really try much English, but he understands more than he speaks.  He is mechanically inclined, always trying to figure out how things work, very focused.
Hana is such fun.  She is a total goofball, always making a silly face, laughing hysterically.  She and Grace are really starting to play, which is so fun to watch.  She and Abenezer have an interesting relationship. She watches out for him and often gives in when he insists on something.  But she will also fuss at him like a brother.  =)  She has Mark wrapped around her finger completely!  And i may have my tomboy - she HATES dresses.  one of the few times she settled into a good pout was when i made her wear one for the embassy appointment!  i didn't realize what the deal was until later though.  she doesn't even like nightgowns.  I have been trying to find the kids traditional clothes, but Hana hates all the dresses!  So we'll see what happens there.
Overall things are going really well.  I'm glad that our trip isn't quite winding down.  But it is hard to think about being away from Ally for another week and a half!  I try not to think about it too much.  =(  But we are having a great time.  The weather is very warm and the people are friendly.
Okay, I'm totally running up my Internet bill so better go!  But hopefully will post more soon!


Leslie said...

I'm so happy for you!

Anonymous said...

yay!!!! i can't wait to see all your pics and hear the rest of the stories :-)
love amanda

SupermomE11 said...

I can just picture all of it, after spending so much time with Abenezer and Hana for two weeks!!! The OSS (one shoulder shrug) goes away pretty quickly! :) I know Abenezer was a favorite of just about everyone so probably isn't very used to being told no. :) He'll get used to it!!

I love the girls' hair... Grace and Hana look SO beautiful.

Please, please please tell the ladies at the desk that Tsega and his mom say hi!!!!

Enjoy your stay... it is so hard to be away from home, but it goes fast and then you are home and missing Ethiopia. :)



So funny as my daughter who is 4 1/2 and we picked her up at 4 years HATES dresses too and night gowns. Sometimes I make her wear them because that is what is left in her closet (hand me downs from big sis). Even for Easter I bought her cute flowered pants cause she didn't want a dress. Ah well. Her most favorite thing in the world is a pair of blue jeans...the more glitz on them the better!
So glad things are going well!
jen in MI

Farmboy and Buttercup said...

Loved the post and all the details. What an amazing, exhausting, overwhelming time for you all, I'm sure.