Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Transition into the Family - Our first couple of weeks

My poor, neglected blog. I tried to update you several times over the past couple of weeks. It just wasn’t in the cards. Once, blogger was not my friend. Then, a thunderstorm took the power out (fun fun). And then some random mishaps. But it is quiet this morning. And my coffee is ready. And I am determined to update at least a bit. I know I’ll be sorry if I don’t!

Since it HAS been so long, I don’t know where to begin. So this might be random. J

I’ll start with the basics. Selam is doing very well. Amazing really. She is very affectionate with Mark and I and is giving us lots of opportunities to love on her and interact. Yet, it is different than it was with Abi and Hana (who were fortunately both open for affection too). With Abi and Hana it was, at times, very draining. Very all-consuming. Selam seeks out attention and affection, but quietly. She doesn’t push the others away and she doesn’t demand one-on-one undivided look-at-me-and-me-only attention all day long.

She has just sort of slipped into the family quietly. She slipped into HER place in the family – a place we knew was there, waiting for her. But a place we didn’t dare to even hope would fit her so perfectly and completely right off the bat.

Hana has simply been on cloud nine since her sister got home. Just couldn’t wipe a smile off her face for DAYS. She’s starting to come down to normalcy… but is still generally happier (although she was never an Unhappy kid in the first place – just took herself up a notch I guess). :o)

Not everyone is so thrilled though. Well, right at first, everyone was. The honeymoon period was great. Actually, Abi was the only one that had a hard time at all, and that was relatively minor. Looking back, and watching the kids all interact over the first week, I think he was actually very nervous about Selam coming home. Hana is his best friend and he was scared of losing her – Selam was a threat. Fortunately, Hana has continued to play with Abi like “normal” so he seemed to get over that fear pretty quickly. And Abi also has a tendency to find something bad/sad in nearly everything. He rarely ends the day on a happy note (after all, he has to go to bed – surely that’s something to be upset about). So we continue to deal with those issues, but they were not greatly exacerbated by Selam’s arrival, other than initially.

The first two weeks, the kids that actually butt heads the most were… Selam and Ally. Go figure. I wasn’t worried about Ally at all – she was probably the only one I wasn’t concerned about at some level! But Selam is a teaser – she likes to push your buttons as a way to kid around with you. The other kids take it in stride. But you don’t do that to Ally. She will growl at you. That’s not her thing. And Selam was very excited to meet Ally – she talked about her a lot in Ethiopia. About her baby sister. Well, Ally is almost 3 and has been talking and potty trained for some time. If you ask her, she’ll tell you in no uncertain terms, “I am NOT a baby.” So, Selam’s favorite game is to call Ally a baby and Ally gets angry and yells at Selam. It’s fun.

But things started changing just over this past weekend. My mom came to visit Fri/Sat and we both noticed it, especially when we took the kids to the beach on Saturday. Now Ally is lightening up a bit. She and Selam tease back and forth (along the lines of “She’s my mom” “No she’s my mom” “She’s my grandma”, etc). They will both start it and then laugh. So, that seems like it will work itself out. Although Ally still doesn’t like that baby business.

Dang, most of the kids are up. Will I ever get to finish this? To be continued…


elizabee said...

What a wonderful update. It seems like things are going really, really well. While you clearly have your hands full, you make it look easy. :)

Mindy said...

I'm so glad to hear the first part of your update!!! Thank you for sharing. I'm so glad to hear that all is going well in your household. You inspire me! :)

Holly said...

I'm loving your update! Ellie would not handle being called a baby very well either. Those 3 yr olds... you gotta be careful how you mess with them! :) Glad that Selam is doing so well... can't wait to hear more! :)