Tuesday, November 9, 2010

only a few months late...Tate's birthday pictures

It seems like it was yesterday that we celebrated Tate's birthday. But...it was several months ago. And I am just now getting these pictures up. It is almost therapeutic to sit and look at these pictures. To see how much our little ones have grown. They are changing right before my very eyes.
We really did have a good time at his little party. It was a great time with just a few families who also have little ones born in other countries.

Something I have noticed since then...Tate is coming out of his shell around others. Just the other day, some friends mentioned how much their kids are enjoying Tate. He is feeling more comfortable around our friends and family and they are getting to know our little man.

These pictures also remind me...how much I would really like a new camera. My little point and shoot has official died and now I have NO camera to capture life with. These shots were all from a few friends. Man...they take some good shots.

Aside from dripping wet faces...these are some of my favorite pictures we have of Tate. It is best to capture him from afar, rather than ask him to smile for the camera.
Tate tends to be a bit more serious in his personality than Adu. He is such a little lovey one...saying "muah" as he leans in for a kiss. He talks nonstop and is still using his "special" language of his made up jibbery words. He is learning to play really well with toys and I hear him pretending as he plays. Our favorite thing he does these days...prays. It's like he is IN THE SPIRIT. =) Jibbering with a few understandable words (like mama or daddy) and then says "amen".

He has the squishiest skin and the most beautiful curls on his head. I love his big brown eyes and how he sticks out his tongue when he is concentrating on something. It is hard to resist squeezing his rolly belly and pinching his little tushy. Seriously...he is a CUTIE. It will be an absolute honor to watch him grow.

Oh...how we love you Tate...grateful for you in our lives.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

somehow tonight was different

Tonight as I tucked my "Adu" into bed, he hugged my neck so tight and held on for dear life. He always spends awhile rocking in my arms and snuggling in while I pray for him and sing to him as he settles down and starts to fall asleep. But, somehow...tonight was different. He just didn't want to let go. He held on and clung to me. The was a unique closeness that we shared as he rested in my arms.

Did it have anything to do with having a "good day" as a family...or perhaps he was attuned to the reality of orphan Sunday as we shared at church a little of our testimony of how God brought our family together...possibly it was because I had a terrible headache this afternoon and he was being extra tender with me because he knew I didn't feel well. What ever the case...and for what ever reason, he allowed me into a deeper level of the real Tyson Fikadu tonight. He felt a little more safe...a little more secure...and it was like I could almost see him opening the door and welcoming me in a little closer to his heart. A heart that has needed strong protection because he has been hurt and his trust has been broken. But, tonight, another piece of his puzzle was put in place and I'm able to see more of the whole picture. I have been able to watch as God heals and showers His loving kindness on him.

So...just as I have consistently done for the past 8 months, I prayed with him, sang to him, held him for awhile and then gently placed him on his pillow and covered him up with covers. And as I am I always do, I leaned in and kissed his cheek and whispered, "I love you". But, this time was different, he whispered back..."I love you too."

Saturday, November 6, 2010

keeping their culture alive

I am determined to keep the Ethiopian culture alive with our boys. I am always hunting for ways that we can include parts of the culture, history, language, customs, food, music...anything that helps them keep their roots.

Wanted to pass on some ideas that I have come up with that help with this. For starters our boys have lost their native language (actually English is their 3rd language). So I have hunted for some things that will help them learn Amharic. Found this blog/site here that has basic words that we can learn.

Here is a favorite music cd that we found via another adoptive mom. It is one of our favorites. The price fluctuates so watch when it goes down. It is hard to find so it can be a bit pricey.

We have done lots of research on the typical Ethiopian holidays and celebrations. As the Christmas season approaches, here is one way the people celebrate Timket.

We ordered some books from Amharic Kids. Great books for every Ethiopian adoptive family. Journey to Ethiopia is a good story book that helps kids understand more about Ethiopia as a country and the people who live there (simple pictures but good for kids). Tsion's Life is a fantastic book about what is it like to live in Addis. I wish there was a book like this about the country/rural life in Ethiopia. We also ordered a map and some other books from the Amharic Kids site.

I am still hunting for a site that can teach me about making some traditional Ethiopian clothing. I figured I can make some for the kids. I'd love to have some for when we celebrate the holidays. Until then, I found you can order from this store.

The girls just presented a display at a geography fair all about Ethiopia. I'll post pics soon. It was so neat to read and soak up all the history we could about Ethiopia. It will be easier to share with the boys what we know and have learned as we have come to really appreciate the culture, customs and history.