We just returned from our 1st family vacation as a family of 7!!! I was quite worried about how it would go but it was Great!! The only bad part was the 20hr. drive to grandmas and back in a 7 passenger van filled to capacity!! Tommy and Milly were troopers never complaining just wondering when we might get to grandmas house! We had beautiful weather the whole week, 80-85 everyday!! We mostly stayed and swam at the pool. Both Tommy and Milly loved the water!! No fear and not concerned at all with water getting in their eyes. After the 1st hour they were both jumping in, of course with swimmies on! We will be starting them both in lessons soon. We visited Gatorland where the Gators were a plenty!! Marianna and Matteo even sat on a live gator and posed for a picture! We also made the drive to Clearwater beach but it wasn't very Clear! The fog had set in blocking all the sun and we froze yet the kids made the best of it! Watching Tommy and Milly experience many firsts was amazing! They had no problem sleeping at grandmas and adjusting to all the different people and places we visited. While we were there we also got to meet a fellow adoptive family just starting their journey to Ethiopia and their children. We loved sharing about the blessings of our experience!
Our kids and the Kicklighter kids a fellow AWAA family!
This will go down as one of our best and favorite vacations yet! One whole week of family time..no cleaning..no work..no softball/sports or music lessons! Just a whole week of relaxing and bonding! Every day they amaze me at how well they are doing, if you didn't know you would never guess they had only been home for 9 weeks! We certainly miss the warmth as we were welcomed home to a typical Buffalo storm! Tommy said first thing in the morning..No shorts?! No not here! I took so many pictures that I'm going to put together a slide show! It is incredible how it feels to make such wonderful memories! Everyday is a new experience through their eyes. I'm so Thankful for every moment! Not only has this adoption taught me to treasure every second with them it has also taught us to slow down and really enjoy every second we have with all of our children! All of our children are such miracles!! I could not imagine our CrAzY life without them!!
WOW!!! Has it really been 2 months!? It seems like we waited forever for them to get here but now it feels like they have always been here! In the last month we enjoyed many firsts... Milly had her first official birthday party she is now the big 3!! They do not celebrate birthdays where they come from so it was a very special day. We missed Tommy's birthday while we were waiting to bring them home so we are going to have a late birthday party for him soon! They both went sledding for the first time!! They both Love it!! Tommy would go up and down the huge hill till his legs fall off..we really don't know how he does it! It is clear he is fearless at all activities! Milly just hangs on and closes her eyes! The only part of her not covered is her eyes! They also went in a bounce house and on an inflatable slide for the first time! At first they were a little worried but they quickly got the hang of it! It is so exciting watching things for the first time through their eyes! We joined a local Mommy and Me group this month too! Hopefully we all can make new friends while having fun! This winter is very cold and long this year so we are going a little stir crazy! We invented a bike race track in the basement for a little entertainment! They are both settling in great! Their English is amazing!!! No communication problems at all! We now have bedtime and mealtime down to a science.. no more crying or fits! They still prefer Mommy to put them to bed but Daddy gets story time. Very few timeouts are needed any more which is great! We are still working on sharing and separation from Mommy and Daddy. Both are understandable..they NEVER had any toys to share! They have only been home 8 weeks they are still getting used to us being here and not worrying that we are going to leave them so if they are a little worried when we take them to Sunday school then I understand! It is explaining it to others when they say " Just give them a nice hug and leave" these are not average kids with separation issues, these are kids who were left by their father and sent to live with strangers. I will hug and kiss them everyday and for as long as I need to and tell them We love them and we are NEVER going to leave them!!! Alot of the things we are dealing with are typical toddler things but they are also typical adoption things! For the most part it has been amazing but we know this is a journey that we will be on for a lifetime, helping them to adjust, helping them learn to trust and learn to love. For now we are being Mom and Dad!!!
Tommy and his best friend/brother Matteo
You are such an adorable little boy! Sooo smart!! You love to be quiet and just observe how we do everything! You are a pro at the TV remote already:) You speak all English now and understand almost everything we say. You love your brother Matteo and count down the minutes till he gets home from school. It has blossomed into a true sibling relationship..a love/hate relationship!!! You love to pick on your brother and sisters yet you are lonely when they are not around. You started in a one a week play group this month but next week we start 3 day/week Preschool. We weren't sure how well you would pick up English but you love to learn. I get asked many times a day "What is it" You want to know what everything is in English. Your favorite food is Nonna's lasagna! You don't like anything Green but what kids do?! Your favorite phrase is " Mommy go Bye-Bye??" You love to be on the go which is a good thing in this family! You and your brother have created your own language " Itchy Noochie" LOL!!! Matteo made up his own words for what he thought Amharic sounded like, now you guys laugh and make up silly words its hysterical but strangers are clueless to what you are saying!
First time down the slide..scared out of your mind!
Milly and her 2 favorite people!!! Her sisters!
You are still our sweet silly girl! You are blossoming right in front of our eyes! You are happy all the time unless you didn't get a nap then Look Out! Just kidding you just get cranky like any other 3 year old! You love kids all kids even ones we don't know! You love you baby dolls! You love to use my kitchen towels as blankets to cover them up! Your favorite food is French toast sticks! The stickier you are the better! You love to give kisses and snuggle! I am enjoying this as my other girls are too cool to snuggle any more! You love to sing I just wish I knew what you were singing as you don't sing in English! We have now moved on from Sesame Street to Barney and love that you have multiple toys that play the barney theme song! You are certainly a girlie girl..you love purses, lip gloss, pretty bows and clothes! I have a ton of pictures of you but not too many of your brother! He hides from the camera you run to it! You call your brother "Tamiraty" it is so cute! Your brother is your best friend and you follow him every where..except for when the girls are home then its Tommy who? Potty training is complete NO more accidents at night and you are sleeping ALL night!!! I have found no sugar anywhere near bedtime or you are both wide awake in bed for hours! The 1st month was a little difficult and tiring but now that we are entering month 3 things are going quite well! Cant wait to see what this month has in store for both of you!!!