I have had several (everyone) asking me, "So, how's it going?" I have to take some time to think about that one. It depends on which day you ask... I think we are doing as well as can be expected.
I am not going to lie. There are no skittles falling out of the sky. I am not Maria Von Trapp sewing clothes for the children out of curtains and singing with them all day long.
But, we are definitely adjusting, bonding, attaching. I can definitely tell they are bonding with us when I leave to go the the store and come back to the children saying, "Mom, I missed you so much!" Or when Jameson just comes up out of the blue and kisses me and says, "I love you."
We are having a lot of fun getting to know one another. We are playing games, playing outside (Thank you God for the good weather this week), trying out new things, and enjoying going to places they have never been before. Last week the kids told us they missed the guesthouse (in Ethiopia.) At first, it made me sad because I thought that was not reality. Life is not going to be like that. We have jobs, other kids, laundry, food that we actually have to cook ourselves... But I am happy that their first memories with us are so great. I guess it's kind of like coming home from a vacation, facing reality and wishing you were back on vacation.
We are trying to institute a family game night to set aside time to do fun things with them as well as the everyday, living in a big family stuff has to be done, mode. I say trying because we all keep getting sick which interrupts my scheduling. If everyone could not be sick for 1 week, that would be great! The above photo is our "movie" night with popcorn in the living room (oohh aahh) Jaiden and Justine look lackluster because they both had fevers...of course.
We are still struggling with food. For those of you with young children who have seen Madagascar, remember when Alex the Lion tries fish for the first time, and Marty the Zebra says, "The kitty likes the fishey." Well that phrase is being used around here everytime we find something they like to eat... let's just say we've said it about 5 times so far. French toast. Macaroni and Cheese. Butter noodles. French fries. And any and everything sweet.
Today they all ate well, I offered a chocolate chip cookie after lunch. Jameson, without even looking at it said, "I don't like that." Well, we all had to laugh because we knew full well that if something has sugar in it, that girl is all over it. Trying new things and not automatically saying, "I don't like it" is an ongoing battle. I am beginning to dread every meal, but when they like something, it's such a huge celebration. We dance and sing and generally act like idiots every time.
All of the kids are doing great together. Jaiden and Jameson have become basically connected at the hip. When Jameson wakes up, the first thing she says is, "Where is my Mae Mae?" Justine quite frequently gets her nose out of joint, but she did that before.
Jack and Joshua are bonding. Jack has been very good at sharing his bike and showing Joshua the ropes. Joshua is GREAT with my dogs! I think they like him more than me.
I think most of all, they just don't know what to do with themselves. They are great at playing outside because that's what they're used to. We continue to go over the fact that you cannot ride your bike down the middle of the road in America.
I'm not sure they really know how to play. We have tons of toys, and I think this is overwhelming to them. I don't think they know how to use their imaginations. I can't figure out if they are easily bored with things or just simply overwhelmed with it. They seem to just move from one thing to another without really putting in enough effort to figure it out. I think they are just really soaking everything in. One issue we've had is that they really like to act like they know how everything works and don't like to ask questions. My jacked up computer in the basement is one of the examples of this...just continue pushing buttons until something happens evidently isn't a good way to figure it out. I think they are just afraid of asking. So we have tried to really show them things even when they act like they don't want to know because I think they really do want to know...
We are still going over general safety rules... practicing buckling seatbelts, don't wander off at the grocery store, don't go in the street etc. "Don't open the car door until the car comes to a complete stop" is one thing I hadn't rehearsed, but I think we all get the picture now. We are really trying to be sticklers at household rules and chores etc so that consistent reminders will become habit, but all of the kids still have to be reminded to put their clothes in the hamper, even the ones who have lived here all their life.
I don't want to wish away any of this time of seeing them experience things for the first time, but I also can't wait for 6 to 9 months down the road to see how far we've come.
All 6 of them are a blessing to us and are amazing kids!