Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tres Months....with a family

A couple of months ago I sat down at 4:22a.m. after a long ER shift that involved me slipping out of the emergency department to sit on the couch in the ICU call room and MAYBE tear up to my friend about how hard this adoption was.  Remember the Sarah McLachlan Post? JT may have kicked the shake and go Buzz Lightyear into the wall.  Then, most of August and September I spent feeling alone in Chernet's school behavior....like we were chasing our tails and it would never get better...we would always be in the orange zone.... No flying for us.

He has been home THREE months.  It seems so fast but so long at the same time.  I am not sure what happened, but about 3 weeks ago, something clicked.  The orange behaviors moved to a couple of yellows and then blue.  Two weeks, ago GREEN snuck in there.  Then, he started speaking English.  Like, with inflection, this is what I want and I wish you knew what I was trying say English. 
He says "Cuse me, Teddddi Bear.  My turn talk."  and  "I want Happy Birthday for Chernet"  and  "I want score goalie" and he will tell us stories about school, even if there is no timeframe!  He thinks Tedi is the best thing in the whole world....like cries if they are not together.  And Tedi feels the same way.  It really is a beautiful picture to witness.

Despite the immense progress, there are still struggles.  It would be a lie to say otherwise.  Chernet would choose his brother or dad over me 100 times out of 100.  He still shows affection indiscriminately and we feel like jerks asking people to NOT be overly affectionate.  And he does not listen well some days (I know that is many kids but sometimes it is with danger and is a learned behavior) ....But there has been so much progress.

Yet in the good and the bad, I would do it all over again.  I MAY or MAY NOT have said to JT tonight "can we have or adopt a girl now?"  If you are contemplating adoption, I will tell you...it is not easy.  It can be really tough taking on the issues caused by someone else and loving someone through it.  Yet, it is worth it.  It is worth the pain and fights and work.... the love, the kisses, the baby steps and huge progress is soo worth.  It is by the far the most redemptive life-changing thing I have experienced.  Both boys have changed my lives in so so many ways.  Can you see the difference?

The Difference a Family Makes


  1. Your writing is so awesome Natalie! I so appreciate you "keeping it real" because others really do need to know the whole story. I totally get how you feel about not being "chosen" when your Ethiopian kid wants the other parent or sibling...we've got that one too. We'll be praying for you all and and can't wait to see you and give you a hug (I'll ask before I hug Chernet :) )

  2. Simply beautiful. What a legacy you guys are leaving!

  3. Beautiful - thanks for continuing to share!