Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Other Shoe.....

.......When is it going to fall?
Many people have been so curious about how things are going in our household with our new sons.  To look in their eyes, I can tell they are not sure what answer I am going to pop up with.  Well here is my answer:

It is going so well, it scares me.

After months and months of reading books on adoption and all the pitfalls of taking in older children, I was ready for the worst.  I still am.  I am on my guard.....but I feel I am losing my grasp on this caution as I fall hopelessly in love with these boys.

I wince as I remember not in the too distant past (only a little over two weeks ago), how the youngest, Anteneh, hid behind his brother at the airport.  I remember his fear and my immediate primal desire to want to comfort him and tell him I was all his.  This little boy was the last to warm up to me.  In fact, his smiles had to be earned....and now I can't stop him. 

I will never forget having to hold him in my lap to restrain him for blood work.  It was almost more than I could handle.  Anteneh wept bitterly, this poor child who had traveled half way around the world to be in a family and a land that confused him.  Holding him, I wept.  No words could capture the ache I felt for this boy, the desperation of wanting him to feel safe in my arms, the sorrow I felt for his past.  It all came crashing down on me in that lab chair.  Not once have I ever wept when any of my other children received shots or had blood drawn.  But this particular instance did me in.  I was undone.

He is now a Tasmanian devil that crawls under our bed and grabs our feet to our horror and surprise.  This is the little guy that when given a cup to fill at the gas station, he fills it with every flavor of soda and every flavor of icee.  Yes, all in one cup.   This is a child that swallows life whole....without chewing.  He loves touch.  He loves to say the word "Mom."  He follows me smiling at times for unknown reasons and leaves after I kiss and hug him.  His hugs get tighter and tighter every night.

I am in love.

Ephrem is the eldest and is just gorgeous.  He is intelligent and much more serious that his youngest brother.  He is close to 11 years old and. like Anteneh, has blended so well with our boys that are around his age.  He is picking up English at an alarming rate and I am in awe of him.  Although he is quite a bit more laid back than his younger brother, he is not afraid to try anything new.  He seems fearless like his brother.  Ephrem is also so good to let us know the Amharic equivalent is to many words.  He is such a gentle child that has taken awhile to loosen up, but tonight, he let out a rip roaring laugh that filled our whole family with absolute delight.

They are both crazy-good at soccer, so much so that it seems their feet are as nimble as their hands.  It's beautiful and entertaining to watch.

Have I said that I am in love with these boys yet?

We have started them on chores by having them shadow several different children so they can learn the different jobs in our home.  They seem to relish the chance to help as I believe it makes them feel part of the family. 

Here are some pictures of our newest additions, Ephrem and Anteneh:

Their 1,000 watt smiles

Ephrem walked around the house with this box on his head as if were the most normal thing in the world.  His dry humor has won me over.

How can you NOT fall for a face like this??????

Anteneh.......trying to hide and failing miserably.

The computer is Ephrem's lost love.  He LOVES the game canvas rider and is not too crazy about the 30 minute limit we have on computer time.!

My handsome Ephrem.

Ephrem giving Timothy some brotherly love.


Doing chores as a team.

Ephrem showing his prowess at trash emptying.

Anteneh helping Luke with the dishes.

So this is our life with our new African sons Anteneh and Ephrem.  I have no complaints and to put it bluntly, I am amazed at how well things seem to be going.  I am ready for the hard times to come. The honeymoon will wear off and the backlash of culture shock and grief in some form must ensue.  But for now, I will enjoy without shame the beauty and innocence of it all.


  1. Oh my goodness. How precious and wonderful to hear about how well things are going! I am so happy for you! This made me cry!

  2. They are absolutely gorgeous Thea! Thank you for sharing an update! So, so thankful that everything is going so well! :0)

  3. I earned a couple of those smiles from Anteneh by the end of VBS! It is so rewarding! I am so happy fro ya'll.

  4. What an amazing update! A dear friend of mine that lives in Charlotte, just returned home with two sweet babies from the Ukraine. Both of your experiences are dear to my heart. I'm not being called to adopt as of yet, but the Lord truly works in mysterious, wondrous ways and I'm closing my mind to nothing.