Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Then and Now

Wow! It's been a whole year since we became parents again. Some days it's hard to believe it's only been a year and other days it seems like it's been forever. Thinking about where we were a year ago and where we are now is almost unbelieveable sometimes. August 27, 2007 -the moment that we had waited and planned for. As they brought the boys into the room to meet us it was just indescribable. In an instant we were a family. We have spent the last year trying to figure each other out - who likes to eat what, who needs a nap, what makes each one smile, who likes to play what, etc. None of that has been made any easier by the language and culture barriers that we have all faced. We are still discovering what makes each one unique. The boys are still trying to figure out so many things that are different in the US. Their English is good, but all those phrases and slang terms we use and understand so easily are lost on them. We still spend alot of time each day explaining what words mean and why certain things are funny. Andrew doesn't seem to remember very much Spanish and while the other two claim they don't, they still like to watch movies in Spanish. Maicol is reading English, Juan can sound out words and Andrew has learned about 3 letters and their sounds. They have learned to ride bikes, swim, sit still in a restaurant, play computer games and sit and listen to their Papi read bedtime stories. We have learned to explain words and situations with simple words, be patient, plan ahead, cook 3 meals a day and love them regardless of what they do or say. Has it been easy for us - no. Has it been easy for them - no. Could we have imagined what it would be like - not completely. Would we do it again - YES.

Maicol asked me today - "Why do you love us?" What a question from a 9 year old. He's still trying so hard to believe that I do love him and that he will be my son forever. It doesn't matter what he says or does - I still love him. My answer to his question was "Because I decided to". While they are beautiful children and most of the time a joy to have in our home the bottom line is that love is a choice. We have made the choice to love them and they make that choice too. I know they don't understand that completely yet, but someday they will.

Here's a picture of us a year ago in Colombia and a picture taken Sunday. What were we thinking then? Probably the same thing we were thinking Sunday - "Is it bedtime yet?" :)

Thanks for following along on our journey to become a family.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Trip to Grandma's

Hangin' with primo Christopher
Juan and Andrew with Grandma

Maicol - sliding down the pole - practicing to be a fireman

Juan, Christopher, Micah, Andrew and Maicol

Juan and Andrew

We made the trip to Grandma's last weekend. The four hour drive isn't alot of fun, but it sure is worth it once you get there! There's something for everyone. I get my "comfort food" - meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy and oatmeal cake. Dan gets to sleep alot. The boys get to eat ice cream bars and stay up late playing. Plus we all get to see Grandma! My sister and her family were able to come too, so it was even better. More people to play with, talk to and we even got to play cards! We got to make homemade ice cream - a first for my boys. Lots of catching cicadas by Juan and Andrew. We walked back to the woods and "looked" for deer. Seriously, is there any possibility that we are going to see a deer with three little boys walking through the woods and fields? Maicol took his toy bow and arrow just in case. :) We did manage to see alot of poison ivy and a few deer tracks. Thankfully none of them seemed to get a rash from the poison ivy.
Jonathan, Kristin and Bethany were all over today. Jonathan and Kristin took the boys to the skateboard park and the regular park. From what I understand all of the boys did pretty well with their skateboards. They had a great time. Bethany brought them some chocolate chip cookies to spoil their dinner. We had a fire and roasted hot dogs for dinner. The weather has been fantastic. In the 70's during the day and the 50-60's at night.
The Maicol and Mami saga continues. He is very jealous of the time I spend with the other boys and in particular the time I spend with Dan. He wants all of my time and my undivided attention - I can't even look at the newpaper while he does his schoolwork without him getting mad. We had a really long day Thursday. I ended up assigning him extra schoolwork and cleaning chores for his misbehavior. The next day he was much better. He has been drawing pictures and writing in a notebook for me - pictures of the two of us and some of the rest of the family and lots of pictures of hearts and the word love in every color. Today was a good day. Not sure why, but I have been trying to ignore some of the small stuff and trying to be more proactive in hugging and kissing him. He is also learning to tell me when he needs that and not just get mad.
We met our boys a year ago August 27. While we did tell them that day, we haven't done anything to celebrate, since in the past they haven't done well with celebrations. They haven't said anything else about it. We actually signed the papers September 10, so we're pondering doing something for that day. It's really the day they became ours. Still trying to decide what to do. I'd like to do something that either we would do each year, or give them some type of gift that we would add to each year. Any ideas?