Hello good people. Yesterday marked 4 weeks my littles have been home from Haiti. Time has flown. To commemorate their 1 month homecoming anniversary, they found the attic. Help us, Lord. It’s like coming home all over again. They are constantly sneaking up there and dragging something down or better yet hiding from me in all the mess that is our attic. On a happy note, they have seemingly stopped stealing/hiding our car keys, so that’s good. Had they found the attic right away, our keys might be up there in the madness and we would be stuck here.
We have been able to celebrate many milestones in their short month at home. We went out to a restaurant, to the grocery store, and even to 2 schools for tutoring. They are both learning to read (kind of), they have overcome lots of food texture issues and they seem to be making headway with peeing IN the toilet. My bath rooms have been scrubbed more in the past 4 weeks than in the past 4 years. Daily I raise my fist to the ceiling and proclaim “Curse you, pesky foreskin! You serve NO PURPOSE,”(or something like that ;), as I use container after container of generic Clorox wipes on walls/flooring/cabinetry/trash cans within a 5 foot radius of the toilets.
They have met lots of people and done well for the most part. The one I thought would be so social is cautious, moody and shy, but also quick to say that he loves me. The one I was most socially concerned for is buck wild, argumentative and borderline inappropriate. He still asks me EVERYDAY if he can have chips for breakfast. He will pretend he has a secret to tell you and then “eat” (read:lick) your ear. I don’t know what to say. He will climb up you or jump on you when you least expect it and hang backwards until he falls or you drop him and then he pretends to be dead. He patiently waits until you think something might actually be wrong, then jumps up laughing like a maniac and runs away. Don’t fall for “Up me, please.”
I love hearing them talk. I get a kick out of hearing them try to figure out how to say what they want to say. Some of my favs:
“I have poop!”= I need to poop.
“Mom! Fritzner do me like dat! (insert a demonstration of whatever injustice was inflicted)= Fritzner hit/pinched/tripped me.
“Mom! There is me.”= Here I am.
“For whaaaat?” (in whiney voice)= Why?
“I don love it.”= I don’t like that food.
“I need eggs in the ho-wo.”= I want an egg in the hole. (breakfast delight)
“I need the monkey.”= Can I play monkeyball? not to be confused with:
“I wan look at George.”= Can I watch Curious George?
“Mom! You say hurry, les go, les go, but you no go.”= perceptive kid
They have become bird lovers. They love all birds. especially the plain ones. They squeal with delight at any/all black birds in flight. Geese and ducks have caused me to almost wreck my car in response to their sightings from the back seat. “Mom! Dare is a bird! He have babies!” Yesterday on a bike ride, they were attempting to open mailboxes along the way to check for birds. I’m not sure why they think birds would be in a mail box.
Our big dog, Zeb Zebley, as they lovingly call him, can hold his own with these boys and finds them quite entertaining. Oliver, on the other hand, has resorted to hiding and growling at them if they even think about approaching him by the end of the day. He begs everyone who comes here to take him home with them. To his credit, he does allow them to carry him like a baby for most of the day, ride him on bikes and skateboards and to be dragged by scooters and anything else they tie his leash to. Bless him.
Anywho…we are all getting used to each other and the coups have been much less intense and much shorter on the whole, praise God! They recently got to Skype with another former orphan they used to live with and they told her they were so happy here. They kept talking about how clean they were and how good their beds smell. They told her that we feed them all the time. Last week they finally seemed to understand that this is forever and not just a reverse visit. Earlier this week, we were taking turns practicing “kind words” at the dinner table. Fritzner went around the table diligently naming what everybody was good at or something he likes about them. When he got to me, he said “And you, Mom, you love me.” And so, we press on! Love is winning every day here.
In other groundbreaking news, I am 40 yrs old today! That seems so crazy to even type. As I was pondering my 30’s and all that I have lived and learned, God gently reminded me of His faithfulness, as He always does. My 30’s were defining for me. Here is a brief synopsis. I narrowly escaped death giving birth to my second son when I was 31. I became a runner. I ran 2 half marathons in my 30’s. I quit running. <—– mistake. I had a small breakdown associated with grief and a little PTSD. I lost 40 lbs. along with my mind for a bit. I got into the best shape of my life. I underwent months of fertility treatments, shots, and a couple of failed IUI’s. I went to months and months of marriage counseling with my husband. I learned how to fast in my 30’s. I learned how to be real and raw with God and with myself. I learned boundaries. I got to feel loved by a second dad in my 30’s. I fell in love with Will again. I met 3 women who have come to be some of my very best friends. I went to Haiti. I crashed down a mountain in Haiti on my 2nd trip and went back 14 more times. I grew my hair out. I got a tattoo. I attempted to move to the third world. I learned a lot about humility. I stopped being afraid. I survived a 2 1/2 year process to bring my second set of sons home. I lost my illusion of control. I lost hope. I found it again. I began to live/give/love more purposefully. My 30’s were awesome. I am excited for my 40’s and all that I will learn. I am grateful for a loving God who has never left or forsaken me, who loves me more than I can imagine. He has made all the difference.
In the immortal words of Fritzner, “See you to-later!” (a combo of tomorrow and later) = Next time, friends. Thanks for reading.