A Taste of Home - UPDATED 8/18/08

On Saturday night, we met 2 other America World families at an Ethiopian restaurant in Evanston. We're all in different phases of adoption. We've got our children, obviously. :) One couple and their little boy just received a referral for a baby girl, and the other couple and their 3 boys have got their dossier in.

Huh... I just figured out there were 12 of us at Addis Abeba , and HALF were children. I was certainly distracted by MY children, who were not being naughty, but were touching me constantly and "mommymommymommymommymommy".

Yordi wore her dress from Ethiopia that Grandmama got her. Our server hugged her and spoke in Amharic to her and got her name and a giggle out of her. Habti hid his face in Lee's chest when spoken to in Amharic. He's on an "Yes English, no Amharic" kick.

I felt we were more of a curiosity at that restaurant than anywhere so far. I noticed people looking at us on our manymanymany trips to the bathroom. I think Yordi especially attracted attention because a. she is beautiful in any country, b. she was dressed like an Ethiopian princess, and c. there was a white woman holding her hand, whom she was calling Mommy. I just pretty much felt proud.

Both kids did GREAT! I am still amazed at how far we've come in such a short time.

Did we ever tell you how we solved Habtamu's tantrums? I can't remember, but I'll tell you now. We figured out that he NEVER had the big meltdowns with me. It was always with Lee. I'd just tell him to go to Time Out and he'd complain, but he'd go. With Lee involved, tantrums would escalate to screaming, etc. Yes, he's emotionally tied to Lee, but that didn't fully explain it. We knew he must be getting something out of his interaction with Daddy, that he didn't get with me. I forget who thought of it first, but we realized that Lee got angry quickly and became physical right away (in terms of restraint... I knew I couldn't restrain him, so I never even tried.) Lee is not by nature angry. He is the calmer one of us, FOR SURE, but having children certainly brings things out in a person! Anyway, at their birthday party, Lee excused himself when things got dicey with H, and H calmed down within 20 minutes. We used that technique a couple more times, and now, I'll tell you about a huge breakthrough.

When we were all out at the campsite with Lee's folks, H got in a snit and stalked off. We let him go. He'd stalk back and forth making sure we were noticing just how angry he was. We all ignored him, and yet were all totally focused on him, trying to show we were NOT noticing him. Lee decided to take a walk alone to take himself out of the picture. The rest of us continued to ignore him as he threw his water bottle in the garbage, then, when that didn't elicit any response, he threw it into the woods. I looked at him like "whatever, kid". He stalked off again. By now 15 minutes had passed. 5 minutes later, Lee and H came hand in hand talking and laughing. H had met Lee on the way back, and APOLOGIZED. When I went to walk to the bathrooms, H followed me and apologized to me. Whoa! Talk about progress. He got himself out of his snit, people! And apologized, of his own volition. What a great kid!


kangaj1 said...

We had SUCH a blast with you guys last night at dinner. Probably the best Ethiopian food we've had so far! And your kids were so much fun to meet in person after reading about them so much. Nice to also find IV connections. :) I only wished we could've talked more!
Melissa Juvinall

Anonymous said...

You have a little cousin who could use your expertise!

Jori said...

So gald you have other families to fellowship with! What a blessing!

Ali BG said...

How 'bout some PICTURES of those beautiful Habesha dressed in traditional clothing...?