Friday, October 28, 2011

One Year Later!

One year ago today, Addison woke up in her new home for the first time.  I remember that first night; I couldn't bring myself to put her into her 'big' bed all by herself, so I snuggled her in between Scott and I...she slept sideways most of the night...we didn't sleep at all, with all the excitement of having her home, and with little feet and elbows jammed into our sides...she was a very quiet little angel...fascinated by the newness of everything around her...including us...BUT THEN

about 5 days in, she began to get her mojo back...there was a swagger in her step...she began to challenge us on pretty much everything...BUT THEN

I knew she'd be little pumpkin is very resilient...she loves life...and us...PHEW...

Friday, October 14, 2011

But We're Different

A few nights ago, during dinner, Addison (who chats and sings nonstop during dinner), came out with the following:

"Mommy, you're my best friend right?"
"Yes sweetie, Mommy is your best friend" (these days everyone she plays with is her 'best friend')
"And Daddy is my boyfriend right Daddy?"
"Uh huh, Daddy is your boyfriend" (Scott and I smile at each other at this one)
"But we're different"
"How are we different Addison?"
"I'm brown.  What colour are you Mommy?"
"Well, I'm kind of a pinky beige colour"
"And Daddy, what colour are you?"
"Well, I'm the same as Mommy except I have hairy arms"
I took Addison's hand, and flipped it over to show her palm.  I placed my palm beside hers, and then Scott's, so all our palms were beside each other, and said "Addison, look at our hands now, they're all the same colour"
She giggled and smiled, loving the fact that this part of our bodies looked the same, and carried on with pushing her food around her plate, singing 'Ring around the Rosie'.
I could have gone into more of an explanation and discussion, but she was happy and content at that moment.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

First Day of Junior Kindergarten!

Addison's first day of Junior Kindergarten! She was very excited! Here she is with her teacher, Mrs. Gouthro.                     
A new chapter is beginning...our little girl is growing up so fast...

Well, I finally did it! And it went fine!

Well, I finally did it; Addison has been calling me her "new mommy" for a long time now, so yesterday I started telling her the story of her 'first mommy'; she seemed mildly interested, but not traumatized in any way, which was my fear.  So this morning, after she gave me the first of many morning hugs, I asked her if she'd like to see a picture of her 'first mommy'.  When I showed it to her I asked if she remembered this lady; she showed no sign of recognition, but asked what her name was; then she said "she's brown like me"..."can I show her my bunny?"; I retreived her photo album, and placed the picture inside, so she can look at it whenever she wants.  I'm glad it's out, and she wasn't upset at all, just very matter of fact about it.  Phew!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Finally an Update! 8 Months Home!

Life has been whirling by so quickly, here's an update on our adventures.  Addison is doing excellent!  She's full of life, wants to be busy every second, talks non-stop, HAS to do everything 'all by self', is somewhat fearless, especially when it comes to swimming (just finished 3rd level, and can float 'all by self').  Her preschool teachers call her 'a ray of sunshine', and she really is...she has a good heart and wants to help anyone who seems to need it...a little boy she just met bumped his head yesterday, and she asked me if she could kiss it better for she did...

She is more even-tempered now, and her and I are getting into a nice groove, with much less 'butting of the heads'.  She's very girly on one hand, wanting to put on dresses and be a 'princess' daily, but she also can run with the boys and tries to hang upside down on every apparatus in every park.  She's still picky with food at dinnertime, but can gobble down a peanut butter sandwich and chocolate milk in no time.  We've found a place that sells 'injera' (a flat Ethiopian bread) and she can scarf that down quickly too; especially when the nice lady gave us, for free, real homemade Ethiopian food to go with our injera!  Here she is with Scott on Father's Day.

Every day really is an adventure! 

Friday, February 11, 2011

3 Months Home!

Although it's only been 3 months since we brought Addison home, it feels like she's always been with us...she is a very happy, well-adjusted little girl, despite her previous circumstances; she just LOVES life!  Her English is coming along nicely, she is saying 5-6 word sentences already; I can't believe how good her memory is, we give her a new word for something, and she remembers it and uses it from then on!  I had no idea how smart kids this age are...she is giving us lots of spontaneous hugs and kisses, which melts my heart every time.  She loves to point out things we all have in common, Daddy shirt, Mommy shirt, Addison shirt!  When we are all out somewhere, she insists on holding both Mommy and Daddy's hand, she loves when we're a 'unit'; she is going to preschool 3x per week, for 2.5 hours each session, and she LOVES going there; one day, upon leaving school, she pulled away briefly to kiss a car in the parking lot, she was so full of joy she just had to share it, with a car!  We also go to a playgroup at the community centre 2 mornings per week, where she sees her favorite fellow, Gord, a 70 something retired Army Colonel, who has been volunteering for over 10 years to work with the children; at first it seemed a bit creepy that he worked there, but it turns out he is a wonderful fellow and has become one of Addison's favourite people - a reminder to me to not judge a book by its cover!

She has just discovered the 'Wiggles' DVD's, thanks to a friend who gave them to us; she is hooked on the Wiggles now, taking a slight departure from 'Barney'; I don't get why kids love the 'Wiggles', like Scott says, "it's so low-rent", meaning these guys sing badly and do silly things in front of sad looking backdrops, but they are so popular they're apparently billionaires!  Kinda makes me want to create a kids DVD, from my own livingroom, who knows!

Here are some new pics of her since we've been home.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

And the Adventure Begins! Home with Addison...

We have been home with our little angel for 2 weeks, and I am just now getting a breather (Daddy's putting her to bed!) in order to catch up on my blog.  Our week in Addis Ababa was an incredible adventure; we were so excited to get there and meet her that the long flights were quickly forgotten.  Our first meeting with her was exciting for us, she was very shy and afraid, just stared at the walls; she liked the presents we brought her, and finally warmed up, especially with Scott playing 'drop the giraffe'; on Day 2, we went back to pick her up Forever, and she was a real trooper; she didn't cry, but also didn't speak; she stared silently at us for 2 days, with an occasional smile while playing balloon.  And then, on day 3, she finally spoke, her first word was "doggie"!  Scott was so amazing with her, he drew her out of her brings tears to my eyes remembering how his love for her made her finally open up to us... 

I went alone to meet her birthmom at Addison's former orphanage, she was a nice but understandably sad lady; I gave her pictures of Addison and we spoke through interpreters.  We had a long hard hug.  It was very emotional for both of us.  I feel very lucky that I will be able to tell her one day that I met her birthmom and that we spoke and hugged, and that she was very sad that she couldn't care for Addison and had to give her up; I even have pictures of us together - a valuable gift. 

We hung around the Hilton and got into a good routine - venturing out to the playground and swimming pool each day, which Addison loved, then naps for all of us in the afternoon and then out for dinner.  She was an absolute angel the whole time in Addis, and also on the long plane rides home.  She continued to sleep through the night in her new bed until 3 or 4 days in, then as she began attaching to us, she didn't want to be left alone at night, and would wake up 2x each night crying.  So after many sleepless nights, we moved a crib (thanks Steph!) into our room and have now had 3 blissful nights with no waking up, for any of us.  The lack of sleep turned our world upside down, and we all found it very tough going (thanks again Steph! and Noelle! - don't know what I'd do without you!).  She is constantly talking now, part Amharic, part English, and is learning so quickly we can hardly believe it!  She is incredibly smart, and is being a typical 3 year old, challenging us on boundaries, having meltdowns if she can't have her way with things, but blossoming every day, and appearing to love her new life, and even us!   She appears to be quite attached to us, although true attachment is probably a long way off, but for now, we are all enjoying each other ('cept during the meltdowns!) and are finding our way to becoming a family.  I will sign off for now, but will leave you with a precious picture from our time in Addis Ababa.