Thursday, July 23, 2009

One Step At A Time...

Is "cocooning" possible for 9-year-old active boys? I don't think so. We slowed down a ton, but are still going and making huge strides...this last weekend we traveled to Wisconsin to visit and meet grandma and grandpa. They loved him! While there, he swam in the lake, went fishing, tried wakeboarding and ate everything grandma made!

Last week, we had our appointment at the adoption clinic at the university. They drew 6 vials of blood to test for everything! Poor Eli. Afterwards he got a headache and felt sick in the car. It's no wonder! I said, "wow, that's a lot of blood from a little guy!" The nurse responded, "oh, he has quarts and quarts." Really? I feel weird after only 2 vials! Who are these people!?

The other night Eli called one of his friends who now lives in California. They talked and laughed for 45 minutes! It was so cute to see him share all of his news, eventhough I understood very little. Afterwards, he shared as much about the conversation as he could. I am becoming expert in the field of charades and mixed Amharic/English. Through this conversation I learned that his friend loves her new BIG house, does not like American food, has taught her sisters to say "I love you" in Amharic, fell off a bike over and over, is taking karate lessons, loves her new family and is happy in America! Pretty good, huh?

Yesterday, I bought him a watch. He seemed to be able to be close to telling time and was always asking me about time and timeframe. Today, he tells time beautifully! Really. TODAY. We went to the Mall of America for the first time and he reported the time about every hour! (he also went on the Ghostbusters ride...)

He asked about American hamburgers and I reminded him that we already tried a Mickey D's. I reminded him also that he looked at the meat and said "no meat. Ethiopia (pronounced "Etopia") no meat!" Whatever that means...this guy can put away a whole steak! He laughed and said " hamburger!" So, at the MOA, we bought him another Happy Meal and he devoured it! Now, we just have to eat some pizza!

Eli also shares that in "Etopia" they eat a lot of "findisha" or popcorn. So, we took him to see the movie "Up!" and shared a large bucket of popcorn, which I think he ate most of...and LOVED it! It was better than the movie!

Cocooning? What's that?

Lastly, here's something interesting...people are always asking about his mom in Ethiopia...who is dying...people want to know how he feels about it, how sick is she, will they stay in touch, will we know when she dies, how does he feel about me as his mom...etc. Well, I don't know the answers to most of those questions, but he now refers to his mom as his "Etopia mom". Which I believe, makes me his "American mom" and that is okay by me. Just as long as he obeys when I say, "stop stalling and go to sleep."


Just a cool pic

Meeting Grandma and Grandpa


  1. Sweet fishing pics!
    It's so amazing how much a little guy whose grown up in a totally different situation can adapt to AMERICA!

    I get the same questions about the birth family, and wonder what it's like to be uprooted from poverty and sadness (even though I believe the kids don't know any differently - they don't know they don't that others don't experience these things). I just keep praying that we can meet all of their needs.

    Thank you for sharing your experience! Sounds like you're having fun getting to know him and helping him to fit into America and your family.

  2. Hi Tina. Enjoyed your post. Sounds like Eli is doing so well! I'm glad you all had a sweet time with grandparents.

  3. Sounds like you are having a great time! Eli sounds like a great kid, and I hope someday we can all get together! I know Biruktawit wants to see her friends.
    I don't think it would be healthy for these kids to cocoon in the extreme way they tell us too. I know Biruktawit would go crazy stuck in the house for months with only doctor appointments allowed.. I love reading about Eli! Biruktawit didn't believe he went fishing. We keep telling her we're going to take her. I think us fishing together as a family of three is healthy bonding, healthier then sitting in front of the tv!