Thursday, November 22, 2007

And so we give Thanks...

Although this time of year is typically used to give thanks and relfect on the good, it is also so close to New Years, and those pesky resolutions, that it becomes easier to reflect on what hasn't quite gone your way, rather than what has. I have certainly been guilty of committing this injustice to the Thanksgiving holiday.

This year, we have many reasons to give thanks. So, on this day, I do:

I give my biggest, joy filled thank you to TN's birth parents and family in Ethiopia. Without their painful sacrifice to give TN a better life we would not have such an amazingly beautiful daughter to gaze upon each day.

Next, I give thanks to the people of Ethiopia whom enriched our lives so fully and gave new meaning to giving and how to live life fully. Without them, we might not have discovered the true meaning of giving.

We give thank you's to all of our wonderful, supportive, loving, caring, and giving family and friends without whom this year would not have been possible. We love you more each day and appreciate all that you do for us, and little TN. Thank you.

And finally, we give thanks to TN, who has enriched our lives more fully than thought possible and will bless us all the days of our amazing lives.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Finding Parenthood

We've been home for a little over 3 months now, which is hard to believe. Sometimes it feels like we just got home and are constantly figuring out this little one in our home. Sometimes it feels like she's been here forever, and I can't imagine a time when she hasn't been with us.

At first, parenthood seems like a novelty. It seems like things change every day: I can dress her up, just like I practiced when I was a child; she can play new toys everyday, make new discoveries, and I discover the burning joy of random, excitement filled hugs and kisses. Sometimes, parenthood seems like a burden: doctors appointments, can't wait to get to sleep but can't because she is awake, finding a way to get the chores done and be entertaining... the latter of which Terry has been far more successful at than me.

Whether in novelty time or times of burden, TN is a joy to behold. I love watching her sleep, giggle at her antics while avoiding sleep, her discovering that you can hide toys up your pant legs, and that formula that comes through the nipple on the bottle is the perfect device for "coloring" on the carpet. We call them milk dots and as she makes them she says, "dot, dot, dot...". While at times annoying, I can't help to find this quite funny as she focuses intently and patiently for each "dot" of milk to come out. Who knew milk dots existed, better yet that they could be so fun?

We learn new things from TN each day. I've learned how to play again. I've learned to love intensly and overwhelmingly again and have marveled as tears sometimes come to my eyes as I laugh at her or just make eye contact. I will mourn the days when I no longer cuddle her in my lap to take a bottle, as she gazes into my eyes, and gently caresses my face, and I hers. Soon, these intimate moments will end and I know that my little one will be off running around, no longer so much interested in these mommy moments. But, I do not dwell in the future. I hold onto these little "baby" moments and grow in the wonderment that is parenthood.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Things they should have asked in the Homestudy

How will you bathe your child?

"In the washer, of course."

How will you transport your child?

"Why, in the lawn mower wagon!"

Will you take any embarrassing photos of your child?

"Surely not!"

(TN poo's... poo happens)

Will you adhere to all child labor practices?


Saturday, November 3, 2007

bee my, bee my baby

TN was a bee for the first of holidays here in the States. She came complete with a bzzzzz sound she learned in about 3 seconds. It was pretty darn cute. So, we dolled the poor girl up in a puffy bee costume and heading to grandma and grandpa's house. We trick or treated over at the neighbors, but she didn't find that too inspiring. No, the amazing part of the evening is that as many kids as she has ever dreamed of show up on the doorstep!! This is utterly amazing. Not only do they show up, unrequested, but you can look up and down both sides of the street and actually watch them come to you! Halloween is TN's dream. So many children to watch, so little time.

TN has mastered the art of the cheesy grin. She sometimes walks right up close to our faces and shows us her four little teeth while clenching her eyes nearly shut and wrinkling her nose. It's absolutely hysterical.

Addis Ababa Time