11 December 2012

Kalkidan is HOME!!

I know this post is long overdue, but that's just my life right now. We have been home for two weeks and five days today. Kalkidan and I got home from Ethiopia on Thanksgiving Day. It was a L.O.N.G. journey home. We were stuck in the Ethiopia airport for seven hours longer than expected and of those seven hours, we were on a busted plane for three hours. Then we had to get off the busted plane, board another plane and finally, we left Ethiopia at 5 am. We should have left at 10:15 pm. Kalkidan was such a trooper during it all!! She slept the whole time we were on the busted plane, so it kind of sucked to have to wake her up to get her off, but we got through it. :)

Then we flew 17 hours to Washington DC. We stopped in Rome to refuel and that was pretty awesome. I took that time to get Kalkidan up and moving around for a bit. It was about 9 am when we landed there, so we went to the back of the plane and got a little glimpse of Italy. I hope to see more of it one day! Once we got to DC, we had obviously missed our connecting flight, but thanks to my awesome friend Erica and my awesome husband, who I texted while we were stuck in Ethiopia, Kalkidan had a seat on the next plane to Cleveland. Somehow, someone was confused in DC, so it took a while to get me a ticket, but we got them. I had to run to our gate, which is not easy carrying a 35 pound toddler that is beyond exhausted. She refused to walk so when I would put her down, she just stood there and cried. That was the hardest part of the trip home and I'm so thankful it's over. We got to the gate with 1 minute to spare, landed in Cleveland just fine and the fam was waiting to greet us with a big sign! It was a nice little welcome home and just perfect for our scared little girl.
From the day I went to get her from the Transition Home...November 18th.
So on these two weeks and five days since Kalkidan has been home, we have all had to do some adjusting around here. It's really hard getting used to having another member in the family. Yes, we have wanted Kalkidan home for so long and we have prayed for her to come home and we are so thrilled that she is a part of our family forever, but that does not mean that there aren't adjustments for all of us. Kalkidan and Addison are four months apart, so I pretty much have twins now, which is difficult to figure out. We haven't gone many places because I just don't think I can figure out how to get two toddlers anywhere right now.
The day after I picked her up forever. And her new fro. :)
She cries a lot...mostly when we tell her no or try to put her down for a nap. We are all trying to figure out our new places and how to all get along together. She is sleeping in our room for now so that we can be close to her if she wakes up in the middle of the night. Which she happened to do a lot for the first week or so. She still wakes up sometimes during the night, but now I can just go put the blanket back on her and tell her to go back to sleep and she's fine.

Everything is an adjustment around here, but we are figuring it out. Makayla and Addison have been bossing her around a lot and not including her as much as I thought they would. But I think that's pretty typical behavior. They really wanted her to come home, too, but now that she's here, they are trying to figure out how to include her and share life with her.
Our first photo as a family of six!! I still can't believe this is my life. :)
I've been telling people that ask me how it's going that it's really like having a 3 year old newborn. Everything is new to Kalkidan. She doesn't know much English so we are trying to teach her everything right now. She still doesn't know that we are her Mommy and Daddy forever. At night it's really hard because if Adam tries to take her from me, she cries with tears streaming down her face. This only happens at night, though...not during any other time.

It's hard because we don't know the trauma that she has endured in her life. We know very little of her story before she came to us, none of which we will be sharing. It is her personal story so if she wants to share it when she is older, she can do that, but we won't be making that decision for her. So we don't know what triggers some of her emotions and why, which makes it difficult to try to remedy the problem.

So yeah. Life here is hard. We are getting through it day by day and literally taking it one step at a time. I think everything that we are experiencing is totally normal because having an adopted child come home is no different than having a biological child come home. I mean, it is different in some ways, like your bio kids don't have trauma that you will never know all the details of, but it's the same in that everyone needs to figure out how to get along. And life changes with each new addition to the family, no matter how they enter the family.

We have had some super sweet moments of course, too. And no matter what, the good always outweighs the bad. We press on through the bad times, pray through it all, and hope that we will all do better the next day.
Kalkidan is such a sassy little thing and she was meant to be a part of our family. We are so blessed by her presence in our home. She makes us laugh every single day with her silly little antics. When I put her in her car seat, she scrunches up her nose just like I do because it is so dang hard to fit that belly in her seat belt. :) Also, her diapers stink far worse than any other diaper I have ever smelled (still waiting to find out of she has giardia. I say yes.) and so I cover my nose with my shirt every time I change her and now she does the same thing. She is hilarious and is picking up things so well with taking in so many new things at one time.

Yesterday we dropped Makayla off at preschool and Kalkidan blew her a kiss and said 'Ciao!'. Then Addi said, 'Bye sissy!' and Kalkidan said, 'Bye sissy!'. It was so precious!! She also says: Mommy, Daddy, No, Thank you, Please, Ababa (Daddy in Amharic), Nay (come), Bie (eat), Ow (yes) and some other things I just can't remember right now.

Daddy and his littles.
And just one more thing, mostly for my records, but I thought you might like to see the difference between my little twinsies height and weight. :)

Kalkidan on Dec. 4th: 34 inches and 33 1/2 pounds
Addison on Oct. 15th: 32 inches and 23 3/4 pounds

They tell me Addison is too skinny (5th percentile) and Kalkidan is too short (5th percentile) so maybe they just meet in the middle? HAHA!

That's all I can think of right now. A friend of mine posted this quote on Facebook the other day and I can't stop thinking about it. It's totally my life right now, but I wouldn't want it any other way. God is good. Always.

"Remember, one who enjoys more is bound to suffer more because he becomes very sensitive. But suffering is not bad. If you understand it rightly, suffering is a cleansing. If you understand it rightly, sadness has a depth to it which no happiness can ever have. A person who is simply happy is always superficial. A person who has not known sorrow and has not known sadness, has not known the depths. He has not touched the bottom of his being; he has remained just on the periphery. One has to move within these two banks. Within these two banks flows the river." -Osho

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