Andrew and Mommy

Andrew and Mommy

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Together Forever Day

December 28, 2010, Dad and I went to Enet Alem Orphanage in Addis at 10 am. We picked up Andrew and participated in a coffee ceremony to celebrate bringing Andrew into our lives forever. We shared coffee, popcorn, oranges, and candy with the orphanage director, the nurse, the nannies, and our driver and translator in the courtyard at the orphanage. Andrew (then Anwar) just took it all in. He was quiet and comfortable as I put him in the carrier, and he sat with his new mommy. When we left the orphanage, we went back to the Sadula for a bottle and a nap, and this new mommy changed her first diaper--amazingly, all of this just came naturally (MUCH to my surprise!). After a couple of hours, Alemu picked us up, and we went to the Embassy for the final appointment to complete the Ethiopian part of the adoption. After that, we shared egg salad sandwiches and cokes in the car while Andrew slept on my chest!...and that's it! So spectacular and so normal at the same time! This miracle became a regular part of my life.

One year later, I am still awed by how spectacular and how normal having Andrew in my life is.

Andrew is growing up so beautifully. He speaks many words now and will imitate anything you say to him. Lately, he has started calling all dogs "Bernie" (one of our greyhound's name), he can name all of the major Sesame Street characters (although he calls the Count "HA, ha ha!"), ha asks for Grandma and Grandpa ("ammaw" and "pa") and our neighbors Pete and Rhee; he wakes up and wants a ride in the swing ("whee") and to eat CANDY! I just took him out of the crib a couple of days ago and put him into the toddler bed, and he seems to really like it. He is doing well in daycare. He has such a funny personality, and we laugh every day. Now--it's not all bliss--along with how bright and energetic he is, there is a part of him that is becoming more and more independent, and he is sometimes a pretty tough challenge for me! He is into everything, likes to explore and be active, and he's vocal about what he wants! "A handful" is putting it mildly!!

The week before Christmas, I took Andrew with me to the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago. I have been attending this conference for over 20 years, and I love it. It was a different experience with Andrew this year. It was so fun to share the grand Chicago Hilton with him...downtown Chicago sites....the music. We also got to meet up with our friends from our first Ethiopia trip--Suzanne and Larry and their son Patrick, and SOPHIA--who was in the same room in the same orphanage as Andrew.

We had a terrific Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza. My mom and dad spent a week with us. Andrew got a rocking horse, a little riding car, a tent/tunnel play house, Thomas trains, Fisher Price farm, Sesame Street neighborhood and people, Elmo singing/playing drums, and on and on. It was a big holiday for him!! He seems thrilled with everything!

This coming Saturday, New Year's Eve, will represent one year home with Andrew! We will have our own New Year's party, complete with popcorn, oranges, and coffee to celebrate a little bit Ethiopian style!

I am so incredibly grateful to be able to celebrate and share the ordinary and the extraordinary of having Andrew home for one year!