Wednesday, January 26, 2011

fun website

I saw a cool link via Melanie from today.  It's a fun site that translates from English to Amharic.  Check it out:

I'd be the first to admit that online translations aren't super accurate.  They can't account for slang, etc.  But this site is a fun tool to use to translate your child's name.  I translated several names seperately (like Judah, his birth name, his birthmomma's name) and then saved them as a photo so that I can use them later.  I might try to do a few simple phrases too like "I love you".  Now if only I could find a site like this for Judah's first language...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hot Chocolate Drama

I sent the following story to a fellow AP earlier this morning.  Now thinking about the story again, I thought I'd just post it to my blog.  For those in the process, it's interesting to see what normal life might look like 8 months later...
I got a kick out of your comment about _____ being sick.  We thought the same about Judah.  Since we came home in May, we've had two rounds of some flu like bug that hit everyone in the family but Judah, two rounds of colds and then just recently stayed with Shonda's family where 4 out of their 6 were puking off and on the 5 days we were there.  In all of that, Judah never once got sick.  Until we got back from Shonda's.  He finally has a cold.  But it's not that bad.  Apparently they have guts of steel and crazy immune systems.  That or they're bodies are much more efficient than ours at fighting stuff off cause they've had to.
Seriously, I'm still amazed at the fact that Judah is never really sick.  He does have allergies which means a constant yucky nose and bad breath but otherwise no illnesses.  I thought I'd also add that his first while home, he had no weight gain and didn't really get taller.  Once his bowels got under control and his poop firmed up a bit, that started to change.  He's still small and hasn't gained a lot of weight but he's filled in some.  Either way, the boy his handsome and he'll tell you so :P

Glad to hear _____ is sleeping better.  It's amazing to watch how much they pick up from siblings.  Judah has learned lots of good and bad from Scott and Bethany.  Just this morning, he had a bit of a fit/whine session.  We're working with him on enunciation.  He knows words but seemingly doesn't even try to sound them out right.  Not sure if it's due to laziness, stubbornness, or because they're not common sounds he was familiar with.  So, this morning when he got his morning addiction of hot chocolate, Ryan asked him to enunciate "hot".  He can do it and does it when asked but otherwise leaves out the H.  He wouldn't do it.  Playing the battle of wills game, Ryan wouldn't give him his chocolate.  Finally after Ryan asked him too many times, I gently told him to go sit on the couch with Scott since he obviously was being stubborn and not saying the word.  He burst into crying and I let him walk off.  All he had to do was say "Hot".  A few minutes later when he calmed down and I was ready to go, I asked him if he could say hot, he said yes.  I asked him to say it and he did.  I asked him to go tell his daddy and he went to Ryan and stood directly in front of him and would NOT say hot.  Not sure why he does this.  It's like he just removes himself from the situation but he's still there.  He does this for other things.  Instead of asking for help when his undies get flipped inside out, he'll just sit there and hold them in his hand.  Wierd.  I'm reading The Connected Child right now and hoping that sheds some light.  Is it out of fear?  Is it something else?  I literally have no clue.
Anyway, Ryan played it up, Judah finally gave in and said "hot" and got his HC.  Simple.  I wonder how much I'm like that too.  How often does God ask me to do something of simple obedience and yet I'm too stubbon.  Hmm.
If you have any thoughts on why my child just zones out, feel free to comment or email me.  I'm really curious.  Happy Friday!

amharic tools help

Hi everyone.  Almaz, who is an a wonderful source of info, is putting together some information on words and phrases to help with transitioning.  Her questions are great and would be helpful.  We got a list from Holt with a few phrases and words but I found that I wish I would have known more to begin with.  Judah transitioned to English very easily plus was only 2 and not having adult conversations.  But this info could be super helpful.  See Almaz's questions below.  I left my answers on there just for fun.  They're by no means great answers since we've been home 8 months and have an english speaking child now.  If you'd like to share your input, please email her at almazsolutions at yahoo dot com.

* What words, phrases or scenarios did you wish you were able to express in
Amharic on your initial trip?  We were a 1-trip family... We have been praying for you.  We love you.  You are handsome/beautiful. 
* What words, phrases or scenarios did you wish you were able to expressin
Amharic as you were bonding with your child in Ethiopia? Are you scared?  Are you hungry? Do you want a bath? Are you thirsty?
* What words, phrases or scenarios did you wish you were able to express in
Amharic as you were traveling back home? Are you tired?  Does your tummy hurt? May I hold you?  Are you cold?  Hot? You have a brother and sister waiting to meet you? Do you understand?
* What words, phrases or scenarios do/did you have a need to express in Amharic
as your child is/was adjusting in his/her new environment?  Time to eat.  Bed time.  Time to brush your teeth.  Nap time.  I made this for you.  This is your grandma, cousin, etc.  Relationship titles (cousin, aunt, friend).  Don't be afraid.  There will be more to eat.  We don't spit food out.  We don't spit.  We don't bite.  Do you need help?  Do you miss your friends?  Did you have friends?  What are their names?
* What age was your child when you became his/her parent? We adopted a 27 month old little boy this summer.
* What age is your child now? We are 34 and 30 and have two bio kids at home.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

What started as Michelle and Betula having a nice quiet walk to the lake, ended up with Michelle and her followers (one of which was super spoiled and suckered Michelle into carrying her):

Not only does a certain little girl love Michelle. She also loves Betula (and Lyla for that matter):

This one is a little blurry but you can't tell when it's this small:

What a sweet little helper... she did great at trying to get Bethany (aka miss priss) to get in a picture with her:

We've mostly just lived life here the last 24 hours or so. Nothing fancy-schmancy that you take a ton of pictures of. Mostly eating, dishes, cleaning up toys, etc. But today's little walk to the lake was a great time to take the camera along.
It's always such a joy to hang out with these friends. Who would have imagined that we'd stay connected with those we travelled with.
PS Don't forget to put 4th of July on your calendar for hanging out at our place - whether you were in our travel group or not!

hangin' with our travel buddies

Living life with your travel buddies is wonderful, amazing. It was great to connect a couple of our families. We at supper, snuggled kids to bed and then stayed up way to late talking about adoption. Our time has been perfect.

One problem though. I didn't sleep well and decided that we can no longer talk about various adoption related topics. I stressfully dreamt about trying to frantically come up with money for future adoptions. Then I woke up and lay there thinking about adoptions and enduring a cold with a kleenex in hand. Do we adopt again? Where would we get the money? Do I really trust God to provide? At some point I fell back asleep on my halfway aired up mattress and when I woke back up, I decided that tonights conversations needed to be mindless.

Meanwhile on another floor of the house, my dear friend wasn't sleeping either. Multiple family members were sick. I think when Shonda wrote here about her raw deal, she thought this was a single puking incident. Apparently that wasn't so.

I went upstairs to two amazing guys who had taken over. Ryan was making baked oatmeal for breakfast and Travis was entertaining guests, taking care of kids and being on call for his wife. Sadly, we had to cancel our little KC Ethiopia family get together which is a major bummer.

But now, several hours later and a quiet house while kids pretend to nap upstairs, our gracious hostess is chilling on the couch while I got distracted from my 90-day bible on blog updates.

Guess I better get back to my reading so when the kids are awake I can chase them around some more. Rather than a Ganna celebration tonight, we'll be having home-made pizza on the grill. It's one of our favorites to eat. And hopefully that camera sitting on top of the tv stand will get some action tonight!

with much love from a snot-nosed, no longer puking bunch of friends!

tamara b